OO scale model railway

Rob’s been back in touch with an update on his OO scale model railway:

As well as a fab youtube update, he’s taken the time to talk us through his train journey and shared pics too:

“Farland is a OO scale 1:76.2 model railway. It is my impression of Britain. It is not historically accurate.

When I started it, I intended to keep to a narrow time frame of 1965-1968, but the time frame has leaked to pre-1950s and post-1990s. I add anything that piques my interest.

I started modeling in OO in 2012 after buying what was described to me as a locomotive with sound. Sound? Yes, the London store clerk explained, it has sound when it runs. That started me on this journey I have been on ever since.

I had some Lionel O gauge trains as a youngster and a wind-up, clockwork-type train given to me when I was about 6. I still have it, though the 3 rail O gauge stuff is long gone. I guess I should also explain that as a child, I lived in London, England, for a time when I was a kid, once again that 6-year-old period.

The current Farland is actually the second version of it. The first version was built in our unfinished basement at the time. I made every mistake possible with this first layout.

There was no plan at all in the beginning. I bought a sheet of 4-foot by 8-foot plywood and put legs under it, then set up my sound locomotive to run on it. It wasn’t long until I added 2 more feet along one side and then one foot along the end. Within 6 months, the layout was “U” shaped and 22 feet by 13 feet.

Around then, my loving and understanding wife decided she had had enough of seeing out the junk that we stored in our basement in the YouTube videos I started making. She suggested we finish off at least the part of the basement that the layout was occupying.

I agreed and came up with an overall plan for a completely finished basement. We didn’t feel we could afford to do the whole thing so scaled down to the hall leading from the bottom of the stairs to the would-be train room.

I then worked on a track plan that would maximize the running track and include some of the elements I wanted on my model railway. One and most important was I did not want a duck under or bridge. I wanted to be able to walk into the layout unencumbered. All Farland plans achieved this.

By the way, for those of you that are unfamiliar with the OO scale or gauge, it uses the same HO track with a 16.5 mm gauge as HO uses. The track for all purposes is HO track.

Here are three track plans. The first is about the third iteration of the first unfinished basement layout.

L shaped track plan OO scale model railway

Next is the final plan of the first Farland in the unfinished basement.

OO scale track plan

Last is the as-built version of the current Farland in the now-finished train room.

The room is 23 feet x 22 feet with a bump out in one corner and an inset at the opposite corner.


OO scale track plan model railway

model train tree

model train quay

model train farm

model train station OO scale model railway

model train tug boat

OO scale overhead view

model train freight

model train crane freight

A huge big thanks to Hall of Fame member Rob for sharing his OO scale model railway.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And if today is the day you make a start just like Rob did, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

16 Responses to OO scale model railway

  1. Charles Brenner says:

    Swell layout! Question, you indicated you had Lionels back in the day. Were you able to run them to UK 230V mains, or did you need a converter? (USA is 120V 60 cycles.)

  2. Colin Edinburgh. says:

    Charles. As far as I remember the 3rail Lionel layout I had back in the early 60’s ran on the uk 240volt supply. The train originated in the USA and was brought back after the war and gifted to me by a good neighbour of my family. I still have the loco and coaches. The tracks long gone lost in many home moves. So yes it will run on 240 volt transformer. As long as your only delivering 12 volt to the track. Just about all uk transformers/ control units deliver 12volts DC

  3. Gary M from Long Island says:

    Rob.:::: one of the best. And I enjoy and learn from your instruction videos.

  4. Bill in Virginia says:

    Absolutely beautiful layout! A great journey both for you and for your model trains.

  5. John Frye says:

    I always like to see Rob’s work posted on Alistair’s site. His modeling and engineering are top notch, and clever.
    Hats off to you Rob!
    John from Baltimore

  6. George Zaky says:

    Your FH layout, marvelous scenery and incredible mentorship has been an inspiration to us all. It was a treat to see the final layout plan and what that looks like in the room. Awesome. I’ll be looking at this for a while.
    Much thanks.
    Big Al- Thanks

  7. Stephen Hill says:

    There’s a clear reason you sir are a hall of fame modeler. Always enjoy seeing your posts and videos , learn something every time . Great work and craftsmanship, thank you for all your insight .

  8. jim says:

    Thanks for sharing the video of your great layout learned allot about scenery

  9. Kevin McArdle says:

    One word….. Amazing!

  10. william james palmer says:


  11. Ben Olson says:

    Simply Excellent! Thank you so much for the tour. I especially enjoyed the farm scene where you talked about not building houses in that area in order to save the old trees.

  12. Don Kadunc says:

    I have followed each of your layouts and the changes made. I also like your tutorials
    I plan to buy some clay and make some of the trees you’ve made. Even though you model England, I thought you live in the US? There must be a history behind you choice of location and time frame.

  13. Wayne R says:

    I love those clouds.

  14. Mike says:

    I have had the privilege of seeing Rob’s layout many times. He is a master at creating layouts, buildings, and electrical connections. What a wealth of knowledge and always willing to share information.

  15. Peter Jacobs says:

    I have been a fan of yours since your first publication when I lived in Canada.
    You are so fortunate to have the basement facility, I really miss mine since moving back to Wales. (bad move)
    I really admire your skills, take care, stay safe wsh you all the very best;
    Peter Jacobs

  16. Gary Mitchell says:

    Great video Rob, good story also. Very enjoyable.
    Regards gary form NZ

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