Paul’s 8×12 HO basement layout

“Hi Alastair I thought I would send you some progress photos of my new 8 X 12 around the wall layout.

It is constructed using 3/4″ plywood to form L Girders and the baseboard.

The mainline layout is a three times around over-under track. There is a liftout which has 3 tracks crossing it.

The liftout uses copper pads and contacts which I made to continue the electrical circuit when in place.

The layout also uses Woodland Scenics inclines to create a 2 degree incline and decline throughout the layout.

There will be a steam flowing to a lake which runs under the three small bridges.

I cut out the foam using the Dremel tool seen in the photo. It works great by allowing you to slice off the foam in small layers until you reach the desired effect.

Essentially the layout is blowup or dissected version of an old 4X8 layout I found in an old Model Railroader magazine. What you do is cut a copy of the layout into 4 pieces, or quadrants. You separate the pieces and then draw lines connecting the tracks to form an around the wall layout.

I finished the basement room this past summer and started construction of the L girder baseboard in September. The trick I am learning is that you have to plan all your moves so as not to make any parts inexpressible.

So right now I am building a small hill to fit in a corner of the layout that will be hard to reach in the future. It is removable so I will landscape it on the workbench and then put it in place.

I have also built a temporary bridge over some of the layout so I can sit on top and not crush my work.

I will send more photos as work progresses.

Thanks for all the great tips you forward to us via your blog.


A huge thank you to Paul.

It just goes to show how a little planning can go a long way. Can’t wait to see an update from Paul!

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And don’t forget the the Beginner’s Guide if Paul has inspired you to stop dreaming and start doing.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here. Stil updated daily <<

9 Responses to Paul’s 8×12 HO basement layout

  1. Glenn says:

    Paul, when you cut the rails slide on some special rail joiner that I have used. I cut the joiner in the middle down to the flat part. Then I open the sides into a U-shape with slightly slanted sides. If the inner edge interferes with flanges bend it outward some more. Glenn

  2. steven nelson says:

    Hi Paul….Love the idea of using copper strips on the bridge to complete the circuit…On my layout I use a swing away bridge that does not work too well…Will have to change to a lift out…Thanks…Steve

  3. Chuck says:

    Paul, great idea with the cutting the smaller track plan into 4 parts, then making it any size that will fit your space. I really like the “layered” effect especially if you have the room to get one track well above the others. Tall, wide trussels really add visual interest. Please, please add an overall track plan drawing, even if it’s hand drawn on a piece of paper, to give us some idea of your overall intent.
    Great job

  4. Leonard says:

    Awesome workmanship! I like the positioning blocks for the WS risers.

  5. Udie Bauer says:

    Hi, I liked the way Paul did the lift out. If possible could you tell more of how you built it, or is there a site I could go to, to learn more.
    Very nice construction on the whole layout.

    I like this blog. It has some very interesting material and comments on it.
    Thank You.

  6. Jim says:

    Nice. You’re off to a great start with smart planning. Envious of all that space you have to work with. LOL.

    Jim AZ

  7. steve JOyce says:

    Radius templates. Marvelous idea. I still may use the Atlas 22 and 24 inch radius pieces for my curves but will keep this in mind in case I want to custom with flex track

  8. John Meyer says:

    In addition to the comments above I like the fact that you “work neat”. It bodes well for the future of this project. You have kindly provided us with some good solid “how to” photographs. Please follow through with periodic updates. This is good stuff that deserves detailed exposure if you will be so kind to take the time to inform us. Thanks in advance,

    Rail buff in FL

  9. Paul Case says:

    Thanks to all for the great comments. I will be sending more photos along with more details of what I am doing and how I did it. Paul — Northport, NY

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