N scale Zephyr

Dick’s been back in touch with hsi N scale Zephyr layout:

And if you want to get up to speed, his last post is here.

“Hi Al:

An update of the N scale Ca Zephyr Route.

Obviously I have tons of work ahead of me to gain realism.

I am happy that all track is now operational and without derailments and dead electrical spots.

All backdrop panels are up and painted a basic blue for now.

I like the way our famous Dave used trim for his backdrops, so I trimmed the backdrops and painted them gray.

All styrofoam bases have a coat of paint now. Of course there are a few sneaky spots I missed but they will get covered.

Also carved a steep backroad going up the mountain in the river gorge out of Denver.

You will note a school bus sitting up about 2/3rd of the way up.

With the aid of a couple heavy 4 wheel drive vehicles, the bus was helped up to that vista point. The bus driver got cold feet and would not drive it back down, it will have to be air lifted out of there unless a local driver is found with enough nerve to drive it out.

We’re searching for a short 4 wheel drive school bus now, to take the mountain kids to school. My 6 year old grandson likes it, he also planted pine trees on the mountain, he put good thought into where to place them.

My grandson is helping me plan out where roads need to go now. So much to do, it is a joy to have him help Papa.

N scale Zephyr

Closeup of Oakland area

N scale Zephyr

Looking at West end of Denver

N scale Zephyr

Looking down on Denver Colorado

N scale Zephyr

Another look at Denver

N scale Zephyr

River gorge out of Denver

Looking at Salt Lake City

Looking at Chicago

Looking toward mountains from Chicago area

Looking toward Oakland area from West of Denver area


A big thanks to Dick for sharing his N scale Zephyr layout – you all know how much I enjoy an update.

That’s all for this time. Please do keep ’em coming though.

And if you want to make today the day you start on your very own layout, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

20 Responses to N scale Zephyr

  1. Oldtaz says:

    I have A surplus tank retrevr with a good crew I could bring it down and get that school bus off the mountain for you !! looking really good Richard.

  2. Richard H Chapple Sr says:

    Thank you Al for posting my update.

    And thanks to all who share their stories and pictures which is so encouraging.

  3. Terry Price. says:

    Salt Lake area would be nice with the Morman Tab. Church in it. Very nice building

  4. Robert Brady says:

    Backdrops look powder blue to me Dick. I can see the works still in progress. Keep us up to date Dick. The buildings look superb.
    The Critic

  5. Robert Brady says:

    Oldtaz, make arrangements with dick to follow up on that bus retrieval, Looks hard.
    The Critic

  6. alan spence says:

    brilliant and i think you are using kato track which i use in my japanese layout
    regards alan in a cold england

  7. Bob Amling says:

    Hi Al,
    Just want to say how much I enjoy your blog every morning. I’ve recently started getting a cup of coffee and planting my self in front of the TV. Using screen mirroring I bring up your email on the TV. The pictures look really great there and I can still use the the phone zoom to highlight scenes like Dick’s “chicken bus driver “ LOL.

    Dick, I always marvel at what you N scalers can do. I never had the patience. Your layout is coming along along nicely! It’s so great that your grandson is involved. What great bonding! Your use of the blue background on your layout gave me an idea this morning. It always bothered me that my collection on the walls is a distraction when taking pictures. I’m going to get a number of foam boards and paint some sky. Then I’ll hook them on a shelf behind the scene I’m trying to capture. Thanks for that!
    Bob in Colts Neck Crossing NJ

  8. Colin Edinburgh says:

    Dick The double splitting raised track looks very good and I think the deep river gorge will work very well. It will be interesting to see how this layout develops . please keep us up to date with progress.
    Its good to see acknowledgement of Dangerous Dave’s hints and tips. I’m sure he is an inspiration to all.

  9. looks great. you can get a lot of trains moving at once. My Zephyr is S Gauge and is 13 feet long. I do not have room for the whole consist. And at most I can run one other train.

  10. Terry, Fleet says:

    Wow what potential for hours of operating fun.
    I cant tell from your photos what period you are modelling but try searching for a Swiss ‘Postbus’ typically short wheelbase buses for very mountainous areas but will need a repaint.

  11. Greg Schaefer says:

    I’ve lived in Chicago most of my life. Came from a railroad family. I will be interested in seeing how you depict the railroad capital of the world. Looks like they are on Covid-19 lockdown right now. Google “Chicago Skyline 1950” or whatever year is appropriate. You might get some nice ideas.

  12. Mark T. Pianka says:

    Nice looking layout cant wait to see it done, way 2 go!!

  13. Erick says:

    Look ice. Keep up the good work.

  14. gordon valentine says:

    I am impressed to the point I almost want to start over in “N” scale.

  15. Mike Matejka says:

    Can a track plan be shared — this is an impressive undertaking and great to see it evolve.

  16. Looks as this is going to be a great Model Railroad Dick , plenty of work still to do , but with help from your Grandson ..its going to fun all the way …Dangerous Dave

  17. Bill Robinson says:

    A massive undertaking. for sure. Requires a lot of space even in N gauge. Imagine trying to do the same thing in O gauge

  18. Johnny Free says:

    You have a great Start, it is going to be Great after you get the scenery completed. No Model railroad is ever really done, as long as there is Imagination from it’s creator. Keep up the great work.

  19. Clark Ward says:

    That river gorge is off to a great start!

  20. Well well from what i see this gonna be a nice layout to much for me but just dam nice to see i am doing ho scale just got back in to it just doing a Yard only got just enough room so to see this will keep me going keep up the good work.

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