Old West themed model trains

Mario’s been in touch. He’s added to the Old West themed model trains on the blog:


Our railroader Ferclub.eu already had 5 layouts with a European setting and the members had expressed the desire to also have a layout with American trains.

Given the lack of space we opted for the N scale and a size of 235×90 cm (93” x 35”) and called it “Old West RR”.

The setting is a bit “naive” and reminiscent of the old west themed model trains, all the landscape (land, trees, houses, Indian tents, bridge) was self-built by the Club members using different types of material; parsley, chives, colored sawdust for trees and bushes; turmeric, chili powder, soil, chopped dried leaves for landscaping; basswood strips for the trestle bridge; printing building models for buildings; cork powder for the ballast; cardboard for teepees; etc. etc.

Up to 8 trains can circulate automatically on the layout (4 for each direction) with an automatic exit and track change system controlled with reeds and relays.

There are three double track stations connected by three single track sections, the height goes from 0″ to 10″ with a 5-turn spiral, the maximum gradient is 2.5% and the curves have a minimum radius of 9, 8”, the tracks, switches and switch machines are Peco.

The entire themed landscape is built with movable elements so as to allow repairs or recovery of derailed trains.

The fuel system is made of Digitrax material and the locomotives and rolling stock are Kato, Atlas, Paragon and Bachmann all with sound.

The construction time was 3 years and once finished the layout was much admired by visitors to the model train FerClub.

I’ll send you some photos of the Old West construction.



railroad bench for N scale

 railroad helix build

railroad helix with trestle bridge

railroad helix with trestle bridge

Old west themed model trains:

railroad helix build

Old west themed model trains bridge

Old west themed model trains

Old west themed model trains

Old west themed model trains

Old west themed model trains

N scale wigwam

 Old west themed model trains

 Old west themed model trains

A big thanks to Mario for sharing his old west themed model trains – I think his club has done a wonderful job.

I’m always reminded of Frank’s layout with this era:

Frank’s Western layout.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And if today is the day you get started on your layout, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

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

Got a model train question?

18 Responses to Old West themed model trains

  1. Danny Henderson says:

    WOW. A great N-Scale layout. That’s exactly the type of layout I have always wanted to build. An old wild west layout. Right now mine’s just another modern day layout because I can’t find any way to acquire N-Scale old wild west wagons and stagecoaches. Question – Where did they come up with the wagons and the wagon wheels for N-scale. They are hard or imposable to find. I could probably scratch build everything else but possibly the wagon wheels.

  2. Brian Olson says:

    Fabulous at every level, and there are so many!

  3. Rich B. says:

    And just when you think you’ve seen a bit of everything out there. Words not invented yet for this… maybe awe-inspiring lol. Today’s story just shows maybe a full sized basement isn’t really required after all?

    The twisted wire pairs, somebody knows what they’re doing. The stage is certainly set for steam only eras, Lost Dutchman Gold Mine and maybe freak snow squall somewheres. Wagon trains passing by, the scheme’s are endless. The platform (almost hate that word, Zuckerberg thing FB) is like a piece of furniture. This is going in my personal H of F.

    Regarding, Rich

  4. robert dale tiemann says:

    i like it. really good work.

  5. gene servoss says:

    that one blows mian mind

  6. Ross says:

    Danny: Look into Outland Models for 3D printed Wagons, Stagecoaches, etc.

  7. Rob McCrain says:

    Mario, What a great layout you have created! I love the vistas. It demonstrates how you can integrate background scenes with the foreground for an immersive look. You also have several interesting dioramas to study. Great layout, Rob

  8. Greg Marples says:

    Excellent “Old West” scene. Great sense of space looking into the backdrop. Love the natural, sun baked wood everywhere, and the wagon, horses and cattle. Great detail! The locomotives and most of the rolling stock are too modern for the scene. There are some great old time wood burning locomotives out there, perhaps not the best runners, but they work well enough and you can retrofit DCC chips. Takes some looking, but the old wooden rolling stock is available also.

  9. Ronald Kehl says:

    Wonderful! Wish there was a track plan!

  10. Kirk Knutson says:

    Wow. The finished product is stunning!

    Kirk in Tacoma

  11. Kevin McArdle says:

    Who knew that great landscaping material is in our pantry. Amazing layout and beautifully done. Thankyou for sharing. Next time how about a video on operating.

  12. John McCloud says:

    Could you share some pics of the trestle bridge being constructed? I live fairly close to Goat Canyon where the famous G.C. trestle bridge is located and have always wanted to incorporate a trestle bridge in my layout. It would be helpful to get some ideas on how to assemble one.

  13. Bill Butler says:

    Just look at that BRIDGE!!

  14. Will in NM says:

    Mario, Great layout and very nice explanation of your construction process. It’s har to believe that’s all N-scale. NIce work! Thanks for sharing.

  15. David F Zehr says:

    Great layout. I’d love to see your track plan and how the helix was fit in.

  16. Ross Charles Johnston says:

    Mario! What a magnificent layout in such a small space. I would love for to send us a video of the layout running. Thank you and your club for sharing this with us. Cheers! Rossco, Adelaide, South Australia.

  17. william james palmer says:

    awesome love the trestle

  18. Jon Webb says:

    Great layout! One subtle detail; the tepees, wonderfully decorated, need to all face East , and the one out of the circle should be on the circle. I love the fun you’ve had with this!

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