More train tips from Rob

“HI AL … plan to keep your layout flexible … do not make everything so rigid that it becomes too much trouble to make modifications …

allow for the rearrangement of some scenry (trees) and layout accessories and buildings … minor adjustments to track … maybe add a siding …

the whole concept being similar to rearranging furniture in your home to offer a new perspective … I have found that this approach gives me new incentives and extends the pleasure of the hobby by working the mind …

always have a theme in mind for your layout … give a function to different parts … city … industrial … rural … give the trains a place to go … for me it was the small town USA … along with coal, oil / gas and freight …

FYI, the Gulf oil tanks on my layout were made from coffee cans … 6 1/2″ in diameter and 6 1/2″ tall …

my layout is a 6′ x 18′ dog bone, 3′ wide in the middle … 90 sf of table top surface … runs two trains, over and under action with bridges … four sidings … fun to run


“Hi Alastair,

Here are a couple pictures of a bridge I am building for the track to make it to an actual folding bridge – access entrance.

I am using this craft-type balsa you can find at a big-box hardware.

This balsa represents 8×8’s about 16 feet high. Then there will be side rails that will be the foundation for beams about the same width. These will support the track.

This will be an area as a dry river bed. And, formed with a drywall patch compound that sets up quickly.

The white foam area will be an oil platform and scenery. It will have a track and a siding for service.

So, here is the beginning construction. Perhaps you could consider sharing this.


And lastly, a few of you have have asked for the roads and pavements link again.

We’ll, I’ll go one better than that, here’s the sale offer too:

The latest prints consist of 4 roads, 4 pavements and 4 tarmac tracks – giving you a limitless combination for your layout. In fact, it’s only limited by your imagination.

John kindly put the below together just to give you an idea of what you can come up with. Here it is:



Just like every building in the store, it’s all made from print outs. Here’s his video. Hope it makes you smile as much as I did.

Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

The prints for the roads and pavements that John was using are in the store already – but I’ve got a special offer for you.

Until Sunday night, I’m bundling this fantastic green house with the roads and pavements, for free:


So if you’d like this fantastic house, as well as the roads and pavements, all for just $9.97 please click here to buy, or the button below.


(The house sells for $9.97 on its own, so it’s a great saving).

But remember – only until Sunday night.

Everytime I watch one of John’s videos it always makes me want to build something. I love his enthusiasm.

He also does a great job with all the scenery store it is all made from print out scenery (you just download it, print it out and stick it together).

That’s all this time folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And don’t forget the Beginner’s Guide is here if you want to get off that armchair and join in with the fun.



9 Responses to More train tips from Rob

  1. NJ Mark says:

    Nice tutorial. It shows what a bit of talent and time can achieve. Cheers! NJ Mark

  2. Bruce says:

    Bob, coffee can oil tanks look great. How & with what are the pipes made? Indeed the pink mountain with tunnel is nicely put in apparent unnoticeable background, and so mobile….no problem reshaping in need be. Really enjoy seeing a fellow O gauger who enjoys the fun of trains. Is your room above the garage?
    Thanks to you and Alastair for posting.

  3. Noel Ford says:

    Bob’s bridge looks very reminiscent of the “old” Erector sets.

  4. Jerry Truax says:

    I am confused. The pictures show three rail track, “O” Scale but the video shows “HO” Scale two rail track. Please explain this to us…. I really enjoy your emails. Thank you for your hard work.

  5. This is a fine tutorial. It shows, in systematic steps, how to achieve the desired end result.

  6. Bob Walker, NH, USA says:

    Hey Bob… very nice use of the coffee cans… the truss bridge in the background looks as though it was made from an “Erector Set” (I used to have one as a kid) – true? All the best… -Bob W, NH, USA

  7. Darrel says:


    hello Rob – Great idea for wanting to paint vertical like you did. But you said that you like those little plastic cups. You can ask a restaurant when you go to one if the will give you a few of them and they probably will or offer to purchase them. You can also go to a restaurant supply company in you area or contact the cafe and they can give you a name of the supplier and I don’t think that they are going to cost that much either and then you will have them. Keep up the good work on your layout. Also I like your idea for the coffee can oil tank. I used spray paint covers and painted them silver to for oil tanks and for grain elevators for storage, until I could purchase the ones in the right size for my HO layout. Darrel

  8. Robert Brady says:

    to Jerry T Two dif people ,What video???

  9. JACK F MASARIE says:

    Great to see another 3-railers work. Keep it up.Thanks,

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