Pennsylvania trains video


Thanks for all the modeling tips. Here are a few more:

Cutting cork roadbed – We all know that cork roadbed is tough to cut. Sear’s sells a great rubber hose cutter (looks like a large set of pruning shears). It cuts through cork roadbed like butter with a clean straight edge.

Nails/Pins – For “dry fitting” new track, use Woodlands Scenics 2” foam nails. They are 2” long pins that have a “T” on the top. They fit through the holes in the track and are easily removed and replaced by track nails.

Nails/pins – Small nails and pins are tough to pick up on a flat surface. Go to the automotive parts store and buy a magnet on a telescoping wand. Just sweep the magnet over the nails pins for really fast and easy pick up.




I used aluminum foil to make rock landscapes.

Spray the foil with the colors that you want it to be, then crinkled it up and then shape as desired. depend on the size of the mountain, you may need to built a support behind.

I have a 1 x 4 “curb” around the perimeter of my platform and covered it with the foil.
In one location on the back wall, to cover it, I used large sheets of foil, mounted it on large sheets of cardboard, and “stuffed” various places to give it a 3 dimensional look.

Also, I used roofing shingles for my roads. and for grass, I gathered sawdust from the lumber yard and dyed it with Rit (green) by getting various textures of sawdust, I can have a smoothly cut lawn, or a heavy, thick hay field


” The first step in any model RR is to get piece of grid paper spaced out in 1′ squares and design you layout on paper first making sure you have enough room for what ever industries and what not, keep in mind that you need space for you trains to run from one point to another to keep it real.

Tom Pres. CEO & mostly janitor…Narragansett RR On3, Gn15 and soon to be indoor G Scale”

“I’m sorry I didn’t include any photos of Pennsylvania trains in my photos.

So here’s a couple of videos of my pennsy trains on my layout.

You can also get a better view of the south end of the layout here.

Thanks so much for posting my photos for the group!


That’s all for today folks.

A big thanks to Andrew and Karl.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And if you want to get going on your very own layout, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

29 Responses to Pennsylvania trains video

  1. Paul Wilson says:

    Sorry my mistake the computer jumped the video… A fine looking layout
    I must just be jealous all the very best paul

  2. Peter Jones says:

    Nice layout Andrew, can we see a lot more please, like the scenics

  3. kenn says:

    I love seeing things come to life. I can only hope that layout can be so fun. Great job.

  4. Mike says:

    Very nice, looks like you did a lot of work. My one suggestion is some weathering, everything looks new and shinny. Still very nice.

  5. Glenn Roach says:

    Nice to see the PRR on Rolling Stock and engines WITH a caboose at the end. I also agree with Mike, Rolling stock & engines need to look like they have been Working the rails for a few years.

  6. Tom says:


    Thanks everyone for helpful tips

    Thanks Al for bringing them to us


  7. Toni says:

    One of the biggest comments that I keep reading is that engines and rolling stock that does not look natural and too unused or new. Well, I have been going thru a few boxes of old, model railroad magazines. I read in one of them, a tip from a young modeler that makes a lot of sense. When they get a new piece of rolling stock, or a new engine, they would give the model shell a light spray of what they called “Dull-Coat”, then let it dry before weathering the model. This would act like a primer coat, then they would weather the unit to their desire and then give it another light spray coat of “Dull-Coat” to set the weathering. They also mentioned that if they were out of the “Dull-Coat”, they would use thinned “Artist Mat” mixture in the same fashion. As a former artist this makes sense to me, because a high gloss finish looks so un-natural on a something that is supposed to look real.

    I also have another tip for those that like to do detailing and scenery. Go to your local dentist and ask them if you can obtain used dental tools from them. I’m not suggesting large tools like dental drills and stuff, but rather smaller tools like dental spoons, picks and files. These tools are great for detail work. If they don’t have any that they can part with, check the local dental supplier. If that is not feasible then check your local art supplier for clay working tools. One of these tools is a thin handled tool with blades on both ends. One blade is triangle shaped with a curved, crescent shaped blade on the other end. This tool is great for detailing rock cliffs.

  8. Dave Carreau says:

    Just think that your layout is extrodinady! It would be even neater if the cars on the road were in motion too.

  9. THOMAS says:


  10. terry jacks says:

    pa train. love it. thanks

  11. Roger Spence says:

    Looks like a wonderful layout! But, if the train is in Pennsylvania, I’m surprised to see the Santa Fe logo in the background tower! Otherwise, great scene.


  12. Ed Macomber says:

    I have a good friend who has been operating a model railroad sales/hobby shop in East Stroudsburg for decades now. He is a wonderful airbrush artist/author fro Badger. I hope he appreciates my sharing this video with him. You might know him Andrew. His name is Peter West. Thanks for an exciting share.

  13. bob says:

    great, reminds me of my old neighborhood thru the 60’s and 70’s.

  14. John Marshall says:

    Just a hint. The Pennsylvania ran its GP7 & 9 and ALCo RS1,2 & 3 long nose forward. This was to protect the crews. The F-M’s and Baldwin’s ran short nose forward. Short nose forward did not occur on EMD or ALCo until thw arrival of GP20s and RS15’s.

  15. stephen says:

    very detailed layout very impressive layout in my opinion

  16. Arnold Robert Lee says:

    My first impression was the camera work-it was as someone else has said, very professional, KISS is the way to do it. Plus the layout was very good. Just one spare hour and Mine will look–nothing like this.

  17. Denis (N gauge) says:

    I’ve just discovered a good, and relatively cheep solution to providing scatter materials of the correct colour: use the real thing.
    If you take. for example, petals from the flowers you wish to provide and dry them in a microwave oven at 10% (I.e. the oven is on for a short period of time then off for nine times that period} this long space between ON periods allows the moisture to dissipate, doesn’t cook the plant material and, surprisingly, keeps the colour true . You need to experiment with the timing but I find that 60min at 10% works well to start then repeat as necessary. The main advantage of using the Microwave oven is that the radiation kills all the bacteria which would otherwise cause the biological matter to rot so it stays fresh.
    Once dried you and crush or grind, in a mortar and pestle, the petals to suit your chosen scale.
    Keep up the good work Denis (British N Gauge)

  18. Tim says:

    Very, VERY nice diorama shot of your layout.. Lots of time and energy it appears.
    Side Note:
    See if you can turn off you automatic focus feature.Then focus on the area you desire to have in a “clear shot”. Use a piece of paper with an image on it if you need to focus on say, a consist that will be there later in the video..

  19. Cary says:

    I might offer this on weathering and making things look old. Years ago I was into military dioramas and had a book from a guy named Sheperd Paine. Shep has now passed away but his book “How to Build Dioramas” explains in great detail a variety of techniques for weathering. Here’s a few that I use. Yes you want a flat finish, gloss does not look scale. Next use a “wash” or a little bit of black paint in thinner (it’s really tinted thinner rather than thinned paint). Brush the wash on liberally so it settles down in the crevices creating effect of shadows. Then take your base color and add a little white to lighten it up a bit. Dip your brush and then wipe the liquid paint off with a rag. Then drag your brush lightly so the “highlight” paint collects on the raised parts of the model creating highlights. This is called dry brushing but be careful, it’s easy to over do it. There’s a tribute to Shep on You Tube and you can see his work, it appears his books are still available. Cary in Kentucky

  20. Charlie says:

    I hope I never become as critical as some comments I read .. It is great that some people are ” rivet counters ” but i think perhaps those people should appreciate all levels of skill, experience, and the simple fact model RR is a hobby and should be enjoyed by all who have an interest . Negetive comments are not encouraging!

  21. Bruce says:

    Another weathering thought is “is it so important?”. I have many O gauge trains I have bought or brought by a jolly fellow in red for the past 70 years. I have made portable layouts for grandkids and the larger stationary type. With several other interests, I find it necessary to not concentrate most of my time on one hobby. Doing so would reduce time spent with those not into the same hobby.

    To weather is OK for those purist, but I have to many items for the rails to use that much time. I and the kids do not notice the newness and shiny rolling stock. Kids especially do not notice nor care.

    The activity has always been and is to have fun in and with what one does.

    I will be building a new 10 by 60 foot layout in new home soon and scenery will be a must. But the weathering will be left to those who enjoy that most realistic look.

    For me, onward with the play factor and operational/motion stationary items.

    Thank you Al and all who provide very useful ideas the I will use some of, but weathering will be for my time when I can do no other hobby.

    Bruce in SC USA

  22. Tony says:

    I think that Andrew did an amazing job ! No negative comments here Tony

  23. john thorogood says:

    I remember those PRR cabooses as a kid growing up in Delaware seeing them on the NEC

  24. john thorogood says:

    Each of us build our RRs they way we want and like them. All you purist need to get a life and let everyone enjoy their hobby. I had that problem building scale R/C war planes. Plus I kept losing airplanes to runaways or crashes. With model RRing if I lose a train I can still find it. And crashes are never fatal.

  25. Wm althaus says:

    What makes our hobby truly unique is that no two layouts are the same. We each envision our worlds differently. This site compliments each of us in that others share skills we may lack. Modeling is a fun fun hobby in the train world we each create.

    Love the PRR :D. Mine is mostly going to be running Pennsylvania equipment but occasionally Thomas the Tank Engine may do some car switching as well lol

    Bill in Virginia

  26. choochoo52 says:

    I totally agree with Bruce. Gloss doesn’t bother me and I’d rather not do anything to my rolling stock. Building I do some but not much.

  27. Will in NM says:

    Andrew, That’s another fine video you’ve produced. I’d still like to see a wider view sometime that shows more of the layout. What you have in this video looks fine to me, Santa Fe tower and all. As to weathering, I think it should be up to each modeller if he likes the weathered look or not. Personally, I prefer “light” weathering that shows some usage but doesn’t make the equipment look decrepit.

    Looking forward yo your next video or photos.

  28. Martin Gliddon says:


    T pins from any haberdashery or dress shop are the same and far cheaper than Woodland Scenics.

  29. Stephen Hill Woodstock GA says:

    Andrew , love your display , I grew up in Pittsburgh your train brings me home . Magnificent detail , would like to see the entire display , can you repost? Great work !

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