Paul’s layout

“Hi Alastair,

Normally, I’m a man of few words, but I have enjoyed reading the tips and viewing the photos and movies of the model railway buffs.

So I thought I’d send a few photo’s of my HO Layout of which I started with a – 8’ x 4’ ( 240cm x 120cm ) table, which has now grown to the extent that I can’t reach the centre of the table due to, in total, 5 extensions with a size now measuring – 10’ 4” x 7’ 4”, ( 315cm x 223.5cm ) and hoping nothing goes too wrong? The extensions are detachable. I have done since these photos.

Kindest regards.

Paul ( Australia )”

And just for fun – seeing as I get the odd mail on it – here’s a whole town that you can make with one download

Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

That’s all for today peeps.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And if today is the day you do the unthinkable and make that all important start, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

44 Responses to Paul’s layout

  1. Cameron Davies says:

    Ripper layout Paul. Well done.

  2. Ralph Berry says:

    Quite a busy layout Paul, I think I have a church similar to that on my layout. Great to see the “bones” of the layout as you have developed it, it certainly gives me some ideas.

  3. Don says:

    Paul ( Australia ),
    You have a very attractive setup.
    I have a question though. If you should have a derailment inside one of the tunnels in picture #DSCN1453 have you made a way to get to it to fix it?
    That’s all.
    Thank You to all of the people sending in pictures.

  4. pauls lay is great love the realistic look of the town I don’t think it could have been done any better

  5. Ben says:

    Very nice layout. There was a mention of detachable extensions. How are the extensions connected to the main layout both physically and electrically? I’m in the engineering phase of what will be a modular layout in the dining room. All the trains have to be removed for the occasional dinner party (I think they’d be a conversation starter if they stayed put). How to get the modules to connect with minimal adjustments for track alignment is my quandry. Getting this to work will solve the whole benchwork phase.

  6. Mont Hadley says:

    incredable layout very nice

  7. Roland Burch says:

    Paul, you have a great layout. Be careful not to box yourself in a corner with each addition.

  8. Bob Miller says:

    Very nice Paul. I understand your problem first hand. I started out with a 4’x8′ in a spare bedroom and kept expanding little by little until I had to move the layout into my storage shed. Long story short …. I have kept expanding until I now have a 12’x 24′ room and I am out of room again. I think it’s some sort of a brain malfunction.
    Keep at it Paul, you do very nice work and the layout shows it.

    p.s. – I still have a problem understanding how your layouts are always right side up when you are upside down.

  9. Rob M says:

    It is a great layout. It is very well planned.

  10. Bob says:

    Very well done! Model Railroaders Rock!!

  11. Tim Conley says:

    Unless your a rocket scientist with an I.Q. of 300 you have inspired the hell out of me that I can do this quality of a layout. Mine so far is looking very similar. A FRIGGIN SWEET normal size layout. Thanks for the photos.

  12. Kenny A. (Chicago) says:

    Nice setup. Maybe it’s the angle of the photograph but that incline on the right looks a little steep to me going up the right side to the unfinished mountain. Especially if pulling a long line of cars. Hope you did a long test before filling in the scenery. Otherwise it’s looking great.

  13. james says:

    looks like someone has a nice layout

  14. THOMAS says:


  15. Ian Mc Donald says:

    great layout plenty of track extensions,this what makes this far can you push that corner. I started with a table top now its the whole corner of the garage next down the side keep going paul. getting plenty of ideas from this.

  16. Willie Kerr (Glasgow) says:

    Very very impressive layout, absolutely fantastic with great attention to detail. You are a star!!

  17. Tom says:

    Paul your layout is fantastic enjoy your layout just have fun!
    Thanks for sharing!

  18. Bedros Anserian says:

    Perfect and well done. Congratulations.

  19. Rod Mackay says:

    Kenny A., look closely mate, the line climbing up the outside of the extension has a rack-rail up the centre, not unusual in Europe but I can only think of a couple Stateside, Mount Washington and is it Pike’s Peak? Some of the European routes have quite regular-type trains over them, eg the Glacier Express route is part-rack fitted.

  20. Robert Bouskill says:

    I really like your layout, it is about trains. I liked your plywood boxed structures for mountains and hidden track.

  21. Barry Pearlman says:

    Kenny A. – You are right about Pikes Peak and Mt. Washington; both have the “rack track” up the middle. Over here in the colonies I have heard both referred to as a “cog railroad”.

    Been to both – great sights to see.


  22. dewaine says:

    great camera work and paning.

  23. Larry says:

    Great layout that you built, where did you get the switch 3D layout or did you create it?

    Great Job!

  24. allan c says:

    what is the steepest a train will climb I keep hearing 4% as steepest but on a 4×8 table this is too slow I need to climb 100mm in 1meter or 10% can it be done

  25. Ray Suckling says:

    Hi Paul, very neat layout. I am modeling Queensland Rail around the 1950’s and am wondering what the passenger carriages are in DSCN0799 as I am having trouble locating suitable carriages and those look pretty close to the mark. Ray.

  26. Ken Hecker says:

    Allan, I think 10% is way too optimistic. Usually one engine can climb up to 2.5%, and to make a 4% grade probably would involve a double-header. For 10% you might get away with four or five engines, but then you’d have terrible slippage on the rails. If you could put rubber tires on the drivers, that might work. But anything over 2% is usually pushing it with one engine.

  27. Great layout Paul; I like your utilization of the space that you have. There are many pictures to be taken and each square foot has a self explained story [diorama] by what you have shown. Keep up the good work and sharing with us seeking other ideas for our trusted railroad works.

    Harold Jr. Grand Prairie Tx

  28. Carl in Kansas says:

    While 2% incline is often considered the maximum, it is easy to double that. I did it by having one track go up 2% while the other one drops 2%, thus there is a difference of 4% between the two.

    Keep on training those hills,
    Carl in Kansas

  29. tom in az says:

    Well Paul I love your work and love your country. Im in Arizona and so funny I too started with 4 X 8 and added sections. It just sounded so much like what I did. Can`t reach the middle. Any way we have fun on ladders. Have fun and I guess you say gd day mate. Tom Payson Az.

  30. Kevin McArdle says:

    As much as I would like a large room size layout, a smaller (5×9) is fine for me. I can pay attention to detail, and get a lot done in a small amount of time which is good as I’m 69 and the actuarial tables are working against me. It’s all about enjoyment and running trains. Great layout, and neat enough to please? A woman.

  31. Robert Brady says:

    great job, a good busy scene. happy looking town.

  32. Ray Suckling says:

    Great to see some Australian layouts popping up. I am restricted to 4 x 8 due to space restraints and it is taking me a long time but I am slowly getting there, will have to send in some photo’s of my progress so far.
    Ray Qld.Au……….

  33. Brad says:

    My plan for space is is to make a layered layout in a U shape.The first level would be knee high,put posts is,add another layer at waist high,and yet a 3rd at should high.Each will have a semi circle cut out so I can get the the back of each section should it be required.Finally, I will make a shelf that conforms to the rest and I will have a loco running around just below the ceiling.It’s a tall order(yes I get the pun),but having at least 50 locos,I’d love to run them all when I want to.Each of the tiered sections will be divided in 1/2 by a clear partition,which allows me to model 6 different “eras” or scenes.The one that runs around the ceiling will probably be my monorail.I am 62 and have planned this in my head.Getting it to function is another thing entirely,but I plan on starting once I have relocated in 4-6 months.So in essence,I will have 7 small layouts tied into one huge one.I hope this works!!! HAHA Happy Modeling

  34. Thanks for sharing, It’s 7am here, and looking at your pic’s brought a well needed smile to me, thanks it’s beautiful………….yours red

  35. The print out buildings are so cool. Very realistic, plus I love all the power poles and lines. The whole layout reminds me of a old mining town or farming town. Very rustic!! Farmer AL

  36. Jim Sulkosky says:

    Well done Paul, looks nice keep up the great work.

  37. Bill in Virginia says:

    An excellent layout with beautiful scenery and love the village! Very well done!

  38. Herman Crauwels says:

    Very beautiful layout and good pictures, go on like this and lets us all enjoy this layout.
    Best Regards,
    Herman C. HC Treintje Belgium

  39. Herman Crauwels says:

    Thanks Al (moderator).
    HC Treintje Belgium

  40. Bill Baldwin says:

    Very nice, Paul. I gasped when I saw the first photo of your upper-level grade under construction. But you put my mind to rest when the very next photo confirmed you were only attempting it utilizing Fleischmann’s Rack-and-Pinion track. That’s the only way this would be possible. I recently completed design work for a 5-level (no helix) 1 x 2 meter (3’3″ x 6’6″) layout, which was only possible due to the standard-gauge Fleishmann system in N-Gauge. Unfortunately, it’s not something US prototype modelers can contemplate. I’m an American, but my decision to model DB (German Federal Railways) was based solely on the existence of a cog system, which gave me two more levels, due to its ability to easily climb 8 to 10% grades (23% is the max) and minimum radius curves. This plus the 1950s differential in size between German and US equipment (about minus-35% on average) greatly increased the operational capacity of my design.

  41. stan ries says:

    your buildings are grate, but would it be so hard to make correct ridges for them ?

  42. NickK says:

    Brilliant Paul, I’m always amazed how much can be put into such a confined space. I’m trying to get away from a flat layout and looking at the levels/layers in this layout are ticking a lot of boxes 🙂

    Incidentally, I use Scarm to get to the right layout, based on 00 and 009 scale, which are the models and track I already have. So, seeing layouts like this does give me some inspiration, because I’m an old surveyor and guess I’m looking at things too realistically 😀

  43. Pudge Wolfe says:

    Does matchbox cars scale to a HO train set? If not where did you find you automobiles?

  44. William Orton says:

    What a stunning layout. I particularly like the passenger platform and stairs. I have to build something like it for my layout and you give me a ton of ideas. Great work!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *