OO scale layout – Steve’s

Steve’s been in touch with his OO scale layout:

“Hi Al,

Wondered if you guys might be interested in a smaller 00 British layout project that I’ve been working on.

After a house move I down-sized and have very limited space. This layout is about 6’6″ x 3’6″, so VERY compact for 00 Scale. Some would say too small for a viable layout.

I considered N scale but I have so much investment in 00 with DDC sound locos, rolling stock and buildings etc. that it was too expensive to change from a OO scale layout.

The layout is very much a work in progress and nothing is fixed down because I need to dismantle everything when I need the space. The board is in two pieces, made of 9mm plywood and 2″×1” bracing.

It’s far from perfect but gives me a lot of pleasure with plenty of running options.

Hope that you like it.

oo scale model railway

7x4 track plan oo scale

oo scale freight




oo scale

OO scale layout:

oo scale layout

oo scale layout

oo scale track plan

oo scale layout

oo scale model railway sidings

oo scale diner

oo scale locomotive

That’s pretty much it so far. I’m married to an American girl so live between the two countries. Its been interesting looking at the HO layouts and comparing them to my 00 things. Considering a HO layout for our US base now.

There’s often a lot of negative comments on other forums dismissing anything small as insignificant so I’m hoping that it may buck the trend.

My previous garage layout was 12’x12 sort was a real challenge.

This project is limiting because it has to be packable when my wife needs to invite dinner guests !!

She’s a very tolerant and patient wife but she has her limits 😉

I’m in the US at the moment but will be back in England in a couple of weeks.

Thank you for all your hard work. The site is fascinating.


Withernsea, East Yorkshire”

A huge thanks to Steve for sharing his OO scale layout – it’s another one that just goes to show lack of space is never a problem with a bit of thought.

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

49 Responses to OO scale layout – Steve’s

  1. Colin Edinburgh says:

    Steve. Must be one of the best small pop railways we have seen. The road on the bridge with its effect of depth is outstanding. It’s a pity you have to pack it all away when visitors coming for dinner. Is it not possible to fix down on its board and lift it off complete. Well done.

  2. Peter Bayley-Bligh says:

    Amazing for one with so much interest that has to be set up and taken down in house at regular intervals and packed away.

  3. Good one , easily moved yet so much on the layout , with all that detail ..

  4. Kelvin says:

    Steve, great layout and I love the detail. Would it be possible to use some ropes and pulleys like some of the people this site have done? Then you could just lift the layout up out of the way for dinners.

  5. James says:

    Very impressive

  6. Ant says:

    Steve, your layout may be small but you have managed to pack in plenty of interest. It is also good that it can readily split into pieces, this is something I put a lot of thought into just for maintenance. Very well done. Don’t worry about any gainsayers. The first 2 things we have to sacrifice are space and radius of curvature – unless you happen to own a spare warehouse. I am currently building a layout round my attic (25′ x 16′ approx) and I still won’t be able to run full length trains. Best of luck with the American version.

  7. Bob Amling says:

    Very well done Steve. I was so there is certainly no lack of detail. I was wondering about the USA Dina but then you explained it later.

    Bob in Horse Country NJ USA

  8. Robert K Tompsett says:

    Where is 00 scale in relation to HO, or N scales?

  9. George Zaky says:

    Unbelievable layout! Great planning & execution and it’s broken down to move. The amount of talent on this site, in so many ways, is amazing.
    Be well
    George from LI, NY

  10. Jim Sterling says:

    Very, very nicely done!

  11. Great work Steve.
    Yup…when I date a gal and she comes to my house I hope she likes trains.
    The first expression tells the tale, then they ask, ‘can I bring my nephew over sometime?’. I’m in!


  12. Frank Vazquez says:

    In every hobby you have snobs and rude people. I like small layouts because when people build them, they are making the statement that they love this hobby so much that would rather have something, even a small layout, than nothing at all.

    Your layout looks full and interesting and you can run trains through your scenery and past everything you built which is what it is all about.

    I have an old Lionel train set (Gift from Grandmother), some HO and then N scale when I decided to switch to that…. and it’s all in a foot locker. Maybe someday soon I can setup a layout or 3 to show off the little bit of stuff I have.

    Frank in Orlando

  13. Scott Llewellyn says:

    Steve very impressive. You have a lot on your lay out with out looking crowded. I seen an 8 ft x12ft that has so much on it it takes away from the trains and that’s why we build these layouts. Beautiful job good luck on your layout on this side of the pond.
    Scott from Pa

  14. Dave Erling says:

    I really appreciate seeing the innovative solutions ito overcoming issues related to small space and multi-use areas. I learn a lot.

  15. Erick says:

    like the looks of it. Hope mine turns out that good.

  16. Tony, Kitty Hawk NC says:

    Steve- very nice! I especially like the terraced houses. I have a small HO (Southern Pacific) and a little bit bigger OO (Western Region). They both sort of fit in the same room!

  17. Old Ben says:

    I like it.. Simple but complete, all on one level

  18. roger turner says:

    Awesome layout, if you didn’t make note of it, I almost wouldn’t have known it was portable. Great job, keep on keeping on.

    Roger in Kansas

  19. Rob Schweitzer says:

    Great use of your space Steve. Any model railroad is fun and interesting regardless of its size. Love the “Take your Dog with you by Rail” poster. My Wire Fox Terrier looks just like the one in that poster!
    St. Goar & Murren Scenic Railway
    Ann Arbor, Michigan USA

  20. Gary says:

    Well done Steve mine is a smaller one also so that she who must be obeyed can get her MG3 in the garage -( she is also a great help doing scenery on the layout)
    Cheers from NZ

  21. Art in NJ USA says:

    Awesome layout! You have managed to get so much in a small area. Congratz.

  22. Bill McCourt says:

    Nice looking layout!

  23. Dave Karper says:

    Mr. Tompset, 00 is slightly larger than HO. HO is 3.5 mm=1ft. OO is 4 mm=1ft.

  24. Malcolm Cleaveland says:

    Very nice! But why consider HO (1:87.1) in the USA when you can do twice as much in the same space with N (1:160)? There is now as much rolling stock, scenery, accessories, etc. available in N as there is in HO. I model in Z (1:220) and find the small size challenging but satisfying. I have a portable Z layout that I take to shows that allows me to run 2 trains through scenery. The older modelers say “How can you see stuff that small?” I say “I’m 80 years old and I don’t have a problem, have you consulted your eye doctor lately”? The kids are fascinated!

  25. Andrew Aves says:

    Awesome – So much interesting scenery and operation
    Andrew in Oz

  26. Fadmucker says:

    Just be aware that now the UK is not in the EU vat import and export taxes are involved. It might not be news to you but as an expat in Spain I have stopped purchasing anything from the UK as a pair of sock (worth about 4£ cost me 16€ with taxes)as it was a present I had no clue of what was inside the package .
    I would think it would be better to stay with 1/87 rather than 1/76. These are my options based on my experience,so don’t let’s start the endless discord that can happen about taxes etc

  27. Erick says:

    Awesome Layout.!!!!! Let hope mine turns out that good.

  28. Dannofive0 says:

    Very nice.

  29. Is it OO or HO?

  30. Mr. Ron says:

    Excellent layout. Is the track HO scale or OO scale?

  31. Steve Jubb says:

    Thanks everyone. You have all been so kind and supportive. That’s why I love this website, no snob or rivet counters, just good advice given by people who clearly love rhis hobby.
    To answer a few questions.. the British layout is 00 scale. The US layout will be HO since we’ll have a lot more room, probably in a basement. This is going to be a joint project with my Father in Law based on the New Orleans Street cars with a link up to the passenger station for locos.
    Sadly, my space in England means it’s got to be packed up. The pulley system is a great idea but might be a little too “industrial” in appearance for the room.
    I’d loved to have made it on different levels but the boards have to clamp together closely forint a limited storage space too.
    Thank you for all of your support.

  32. Deborah Jubb says:

    Hi, Steve’s American wife here.

    I’m so proud of my man and all that he’s accomplished with this layout. Having seen it up close, the detail is amazing! He tells me about the technical stuff too, which I’m less interested in. Lol.

    The whole thing is very impressive especially since it’s portable. Re the person who asked if we could glue some things down; no because the boards need to be flat due to the area we store them unfortunately. We are currently looking into moving to a house where he can have a small train room and could make things more permanent.

    Stay calm and keep doing transport simulation.

  33. Think it’s great. I just moved last year and had to down size to a 4×4 foot layout so know the challenge
    Good job

  34. Michael Benson says:

    Very inspiring Steve.
    I’m from UK originally moved to US via Canada and I have a mixture of Triang/Hornby OO. I’m retired and trying to get back into it after many many years. I have baseboards in progress and I’m reading a lot and consulting books and forums.
    Good luck

  35. Ak JIm says:

    Sir, excellent use of the space you have! Thx for posting.

  36. Paul M says:

    Great model lovely looking British town-Would have loved t’ see the one in the garage and what support from your wife if only we could all have such encouragement Love the classic mini motors too

  37. Paul says:

    Thanks for the house Steve

  38. robert dale tiemann says:

    very nice. a lot of work in a smaller place.

  39. DJfromNJ says:

    An outstanding job of space utilization without sacrificing , well, anything!

  40. Brian Olson says:

    Great use of space. Where there’s a will, there’s a way!

  41. MatiSon says:

    Excellent job! Your bridge solves several issues, and I might go that route with my current layout in progress. The bridge allows unobstructed passageway for the trains, and a platform for shops or other interesting things to be built upon. When space is tight, one has to be creative, and going up was a great choice for your layout.

  42. Bob Beard says:

    Steve notes, quite rightly, that in the model railroad press, there is a lack of attention, and sometimes (maybe more in the UK than in the US?) disparaging comments about small layouts. This is a shame because more people in the hobby here in the States are downsizing or being forced to rent. Steve, you have done a masterful job in showing (just like famous US modeler John Allen) how a small space can be utilized and provide operation. It was wonderful to see what Steve has accomplished in a very small space for OO. It was also interesting to learn about the layout’s portability. I have only one question: where does he store the layout when they have dinner parties without damaging it? Thank you Alastair for providing a forum where these kinds of layouts can be seen.

  43. Steve Ruple says:

    Steve I think you did an awesome job planning your layout with the small room you have. Well planned and well detailed yet portable to take down when you need the room. If I were you I would be very proud of your layout it’s awesome

  44. Kevin McArdle says:

    Ignore naysayers, and tell them to go pound sand. Your layout packs more operating possibilities than bigger layouts and is beautifully done. Please send pictures of the US layout when you build.

  45. Michael Gibbons says:

    Great job Steve, your lay out inspires me to get mine started. Doing the Northeast Corridor which there are no mountains so seeing your use of tunnels with buildings on top Great idea! You did so much with a small area.

  46. roger turner says:

    Steve, you are a genius, great layout and detail. I can tell you have a lot of fun with it.

    Roger in Kansas

  47. Philip Pridmore says:

    Nice layout Steve,
    My late wife was also American and that’s why I live in Ohio, upruted from the West Midlands. I noticed the buses were from the midlands, Midland Red, Walsall and it looks like Wolverhampton. Keep up the good work. My railway is also 4mm to the ft. And is also small, 8’6×4’6” Great Western themed.
    Keep it up, Phil.

  48. Keith Goodman says:

    In November 1995 I moved to the USA as my job moved. I had OO 2-rail trains from about 1970. My two boys had some HO trains as well from 1985. I have bought a couple more HO trains since then. I’m moving to another house and will have a 14 x 16 ft room above the garage for a new layout. This new layout will have both US HO and UK OO trains on it by having a short tunnel between the US and the UK!!

    Good luck with the US layout when you start it.

  49. Andrew Ball says:

    No layout is too small to be significant, great work packing so much in to the space

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