More layout updates

Tony’s been in touch.

He’s looking for a few pointers if any of you want to leave a comment below:

“Hi Al,

my name is Tony.

I live in New York City in the US.

I have a 10×10 layout with a cutout in the middle for accessibility. Here are some pictures of it.

I used 1by 3’s for the frame and 2 by 2’s for the legs.

Then I used 2’-2’ Pink foam insulation for my base. I glued wheels on it so I can move it if needed.

I’m wiring in in DCC Digitrax. I am using Kato track for ease ability.

I’m not a professional so I hope to get feedback on my little world.

Thank you so much


model train laying track 10x10 layout

laying track model train 10x10 layout

10x10 layout

model train layout

Thanks to Tony for sharing his 10×10 layout.

Now on to Tom:

“I just started this layout in January.

It’s on two 4×8 sheets off plywood and foam.


Next, Jerry:

“I have a layout I’ve been working on or started on in 2010… My wife gave me permission to actually take over a spare bedroom and after a while took down a wall between the bedroom and the living room.

I built a double decker layout and started building a helix but halfway through building I had an accident at work and almost severed my spinal column doing by a dislocated spine misalignment.

Pulling too many pallets of water and windshield washing fluid. Didn’t have it fused but had a rod inserted next to the spine screwed into it. The layout went on hold for at least six to eight months, then I found out I couldn’t finish the helix because my reach and bending were limited.

That’s still where I’m at today. Helix is not finished.. I can’t get help… Only comments that came back is “I’ll buy your rolling stock and track to help you!”

Yeah right! If that was my intention all the time! Idiots!

So it has been left unfinished for years…



track laying loco

water tower

tunnel entrance

trestle bridge

model railroad curves

A big thanks to Tony, Tom and Jerry.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And if today is the day you stop dreaming and start doing, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

PPS More HO scale train layouts here if that’s your thing.

model train answers

25 Responses to More layout updates

  1. Colin Edinburgh says:

    Jerry. I wonder if it would be possible for you to build your helix as a separate board. This would give you access all round the helix and then you could add it to you layout. Just a thought. Have you tried to see if your local model railway club could help you.

  2. Keith Pittman says:

    Hi Gerry, tell us what town, country your in and what scale.
    Somebody may be interested helping you.

  3. Don says:

    both layouts are nice, the one with the elevated tracks with the airport is great.

  4. Stephen Hill says:

    Jerry , I’m sorry to hear about your accident , that sucks . Sucks even more that you can’t find help. I’m in Atlanta , gladly come to your aid .. are you nearby at all ?
    What you have looks good , need to take it to the next level .

  5. Andrew Ball says:

    Hi Jerry,
    Have you tried to find a local model rail club that might be able to help you with reaching the areas you can’t reach yourself. As one of the others commented, perhaps you could build the helix seperately and someone could lift it in and make the final track connections for you.

  6. Rob McCrain says:

    Tony, Your n scale layout looks great. It is a good size for n scale. Your level of workmanship is to be commended—all the Best of luck with your scenery. Kato track does make it easy. Don’t be afraid of flex track for n. With the acquisition of skills through doing it, it can be easy too.
    Jerry, So sorry to hear about your troubles with your back. As one with back problems too, not as bad as yours, however, I certainly sympathize. At least you are to a stage you can run a few trains now and then. If you are not quite there yet, maybe someone would be interested in helping you get running.
    Rob McCrain

  7. Doc Canzoniero says:

    Hi Al

    I’m a seventy-six year old who has loved trains since my first ride on one seventy years ago. Of course as a kid I was a Lionel fan, but many years ago when my boys were small, I stated a little HO layout in the basement. I fiddled with it for about ten years then forgot about it. Sixteen years ago, when my fist grandson was born, my oldest son said I should get it going for my grandkids. I ripped up the old mess and started building a new one. By the time I moved four years ago, the layout had grown into a 16×6 with a 6×4 L at one end. I gave it away when I moved into my new home in a retirement community. With no basement here, I had to figure space in the HVAC room. After some creative construction of the area I began my Flanders Valley RR.
    I figured the layout by mashing two Woodland scenics layout kits – the Grand Valley and the River Pass – to make an “L” of two 4x8s. I made several changes to the Woodland plans so I could have a lake and a waterfall, a farm, etc. The project has taken two years and is pretty near completion though I’m still installing lights and fixtures. Created this video to show how it looks to this point.


  8. george zaky says:

    Looks like N scale and Kato stuff is good. Looks like a very interesting scheme and since most of us are not professionals use the Beginners guide, check out the internet, and build what makes you happy.
    looks like a nice layout.
    If you cant reach it to make it then you wont be able to clean it, fix derailments, and maintain it. Change the problem. IMHO I’d make go away and redo the area so it works for you and not a source of concern. This is Your layout and has to work for you just as you had to make major life changes with your injury.
    Your new fan club is wishing you the best, hope you function OK, and keep us up to date with what you do.
    Big Al
    Please tell all the folks that they have to include the scale for their missives. I would love more techy stuff but that’s just me. Besides you’re the Commander & Chief and what you say goes!!! LOL

  9. Eric Kiehl says:

    Tony, I know you are heading in the right direction . Everything looks great from what I can see. Awesome beginning for sure , keep it up. Great Job.

    Eric The Firefighter (Now Retired)
    St Louis Missouri Area.

  10. Allen Lukowski says:

    Hi Al,

    All 3 layouts look great.
    Tony, Good start. Keep it up and do what pleases you my friend. Keep us posted.
    Tom, Same for you, good detail work and interesting design.
    Jerry, If the helix is an absolute maybe a topside creeper might work for you?
    Al, keep ’em coming sir. Excellent job.

    Allen from Indiana

  11. robert dale tiemann says:

    very nice layouts, especiallt the elevated parts.

  12. $100 Bill says:

    It’s true you do have some fine rolling stock. As you mentioned getting rid of it was not the plan and shouldn’t be.
    When I was a kid my uncle contracted polio and the result was being confined to a wheelchair. While he couldn’t stand, he had an extremely strong torso and arms. He was an excellent welder and made farm implements. He had a Quonset metal building and my dad and his other brother went into it and lowered all the benches, tool stands and anything else that was too high form him enabling him to do just about anything.
    First thing he did was to craft his on handicap levers in order to be able to drive his car. It was a stick so he needed brake, clutch and throttle had controls.
    Jerry, the first rule of being limited is to figure out what you can and cannot manage and find or make ways to get around those things that are hardest.
    Lower the layout. Get a strong stool with wheels and change how you do things. Maybe that will increase your capabilities. I’m sure you will have many modelers ready to help you make the modifications.
    Do not let the layout sit there unfinished and unused. Do not sell it. Change it and continue what you started. You will not regret it.

  13. Ronald says:

    Were can I get work machine for HO track

  14. Bruce J WALTON says:

    Hi Jerry.
    I am in the same situation as you except I have trouble with the width of my layout
    I can with the help of a small stole get extra reach needed. I also use a step ladder cut down placed inside layout which enables me to get on top of layout but I can only do this in 10mins durations due to the fact I cant walk now without walking sticks keep at it it will keep you sane

  15. Carl Gianonatti says:

    Hi Jerry
    do not give in to your limitations use them to your advantage sounds kind of crazy change things arround to fit your restrictions one step at a time feel the satifaction of each step as you go you can do it Carl

  16. Matt says:

    Tony, your layout looks great. As stated your qualityworkmanship is evident and stands out. DCC is the way to go. There are lots of resources and tutorials on how to out there on the internet, YouTube and books. Thats exactly what I did, researched tips and tricks and finally just dug in. It’s your layout do what .akes you happy. Looking really good so far l. Are you sure this is your first one? 🙂

  17. william james palmer says:

    good start

  18. Susan Cannon says:

    Jerry, I wish I were close to you so I could come help with your helix. I wish you good health from here on out. Your layout is lovely. And we’re never quite ‘finished’ no matter what we do, right? Enjoy what you have and who knows – maybe soon you’ll get that helix done one way or another.

    They are available for purchase, I believe, if your budget allows.

  19. Rich B. says:

    Helix? So take a sheet of 1/4” paneling or plywood and corkscrew it with jig saw from outer edge to center. Yeah! a cookie cutter helix… height would be determined by grade, pitch and gradients from inner to outer inclines.

    Nobody does these-these days. Have this big flat space and have to add the inclines, valley hollows and which other. When flat layout- period, have to think of what to fill all that empty space with, oh well.

    Rich, regards

  20. John Hauser - LINY says:

    Tony: My experience is that moving around the layout is critical, since these tend to be a work in progress and change over time. A U shape is more conducive to access. Think about how you could do that.
    Tom: Keep going!
    Jerry: Life manages to give us changes, some of which are unfortunate. Take solace in enjoying what you built, take your down time as an opportunity to explore manageable changes to challenge you, but are doable. This hobby gives us a lot of options, I’m sure you can find one that works. A plan that doesn’t allow for change is not a good plan, old Roman proverb.

  21. Terry Miller says:

    All 3 are nice layouts.
    TONY how did you attach the track to the foam board? Nails or glue? It seems to me that gluing them down would be very difficult to remove at a later date without ruining them.
    Terry Idaho USA

  22. Wayne Rybak says:

    The farm house looks bigger than the barn. Are these the same scale? Otherwise you have a wonderful layout. Lucky you!!

  23. Don says:

    both are very nice & the one with elevated tracks is awesome to me.

  24. Steve Ruple says:

    Jerry, you have a very awesome layout and it’s a shame that you had a accident at work. May be if you can check somewhere to see if they can design you a chair so you will be able to finish your helix. Just a suggestion in case you haven’t thought of it. I wouldn’t give up but enjoy running your trains until you can find someone to help you or if someone can design you a chair to help you. Good luck and may GOD bless you !!!!!!!!

  25. robert dale tiemann says:


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