Model train oval layout 4×8 – Rich’s

Rich has been in touch with his model train oval layout 4×8:

“Good Day Alastair,

I had a few moments so I dug out the newest pictures for you.

I am retired, 74, living in New Mexico since I retired and have built model railroads and stick and tissue airplanes since early childhood.

The layout itself is a 4 X 8 and a composite of two 4 X 8 layouts featured in Model Railroader.

It is now virtually complete except for all vehicles, horses and wagons which are downloaded from the internet, resized and rendered in 3D on sheets of paper for now. I will replace them as time allows.

Eventually I will extend the layout to include another town, yard and industries.

I hope you enjoy the pictures as much as I have enjoyed your column.



Model train oval layout 4x8 - Aerial View

Model train oval layout 4x8 locomotive

Model train oval layout 4x8

Model train oval layout 4x8

Model train oval layout 4x8 Coal Mine

Model train oval layout 4x8

Model train oval layout 4x8 trestle bridge

model railroad

Model train oval layout 4x8

4x8 track plan

model railroad yard

model railroad control panel

model railroad trestle bridge

“Hi Al, found this photo and commentary from 2 years back. Thought that you and the others may enjoy it.

Dawn is breaking and locomotives are being readied for the days work ahead. Everything is running smoothly at present and the crew have all had their coffee and ready to go.
Have to pick up empty log cars in the yard and head off up to the forrest to have them loaded and then taken to the sawmill.



A big thanks to Richard for sharing his model train oval layout 4×8. And of course, the same for Brian. (I love his stuff, and you can see more of it in the Hall of Fame).

Don’t forget the silly is open for a few days longer – if you feel like supporting the blog and bagging a great deal for just $9, you can so here.

You get 33 free printable buildings:

printable buildings

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

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

63 Responses to Model train oval layout 4×8 – Rich’s

  1. Bill says:

    I any just starting to build a 4 x 6 layout. richard’s layout looks great – is there any chance of having a track plan which i could adjust to fit my smaller board?

  2. John says:

    Great detailing on 8×4 Richard well done fella

  3. Don says:

    Richard you sure have captured the New Mexico landscape beautifully. Only been there once but it left an indelible impression. And thanks so much for showing us your control panel. We can always learn from how others have achieved a result.

    Thanks a lot… Don from Oz

  4. Michael Brookman says:

    Inspiring layout, great pic of engine house! Thanks for sharing these!

  5. Is this S gauge track or other?
    Irv Blatt.

  6. Roy Cox says:

    A well thought out layout…….very beautiful and inspiring. Make me want to start mine over.

  7. Mark Piznik says:

    Beautiful scenery! Thanks for sharing. NJ Mark

  8. Irvin Terrell says:

    Great layout….Great attention to detail.

  9. David Hedlund says:

    I have “Z” gauge and I am thinking of a layout that will be over all it will be
    12′ X 8′. One 4′ X 8′ at each end and a 4′ X 4′ in the middle.

  10. Chuck Bartunek says:

    Beautiful , well thought out with excellent scenery .

  11. Ray says:

    Absolutely beautiful rendition of the Old West. Not many can picture that any more. Thank you so much and please keep them coming. Ray in MS.

  12. Mike Rounds says:

    Richard looks great and well detailed! You got the lay of the land, as I live just west of El Paso.

  13. daniel barker says:

    Enjoyed looking at your layout. I am 79 and spent the 1950’s in Air Force in New Mexico. Also hobby in stick & tissue, but now fly electric RC.
    My MARKLIN sits in the closet and may not become another layout. Dan

  14. Kevin says:

    WOW! Now that is detail. I love the desert look. so real.

  15. Ken Goldenberg says:

    What a fantastic layout! A lot going on in a small space. Is is HO or N?

  16. Gerald says:

    Richard, that is one of the most impressive layouts I’ve seen. Looks very authentic. Great old New Mexico look.
    Jerry, in Northern California

  17. Richard says:

    Sorry guys. I neglected to state the gauge. It is HO. Thanks for all the kind comments. The engine house is not mine. The track plan is a combination of the “REID GAP” from, I believe, the February 2002 Model Railroader and is available in their Track Plan Database. The balance is from a Model Railroader book “Building an HO Layout With Personality”.

  18. Glenn A Badcock says:

    Just got to say Alistair you have a great website full of great ideas. Looking at Richards layout and wow it is great. I am 57 and just getting back into the model train layouts. Years ago I had one setup in my Parents basement but now I have my own home and the front 1/3 of my basement I dedicated to my trains. One day when I get a chance I well send you some pictures of my layout. But right now I have to work to pay for my hobby. I hope to continue It when I retire. Thanks again a Friend into trains. Glenn A. Badcock

  19. christine says:

    Very nice work. Love it.

  20. Dana says:

    Richard, I notice you have one of the Bachman DCC units on your control panel, I’m curious, how do you like that unit? I’m looking into DCC for my layout and have been hoping to find out some first-hand experience with operations. I’m modeling N-scale, and heard some horror stories about burning out DC locomotives when using the number 10 position, which I’m thinking I won’t do, but, I’d like to hear your impressions.

  21. Joe blanchard says:

    I really like that track plan. I’m new to the modeling hobby and wonder if it’s possible to copy the track plan from a book or Richard I especially like the wood Trestle Bridge

  22. J.P. Kuchar says:

    Nicely done.

  23. Don says:

    It looks great and well organised. Gave me some ideals for my next layout in the future. Thanks for showing and would like to see some Video if possible.

  24. dick johnson says:

    super good job. love the trains and the layouts.

  25. richard says:

    I have had a problem with a few motors on position 10. At the present I have converted ALL locomotives to DCC and I have had no problems. Some locomotives are more than 50 years old and still work well.

    All the rolling stock is built from old MDC(Roundhouse) kits, Central Valley or La Belle kits or scratchbuilt. All the structures are scratchbuilt from wood with only SOME of the windows and doors purchased.

  26. j watters says:

    very good love it

  27. great stuff
    the curved trestle is fantastic
    excellent detail
    keep working on it
    keep em runnin fellas
    stjohn from long beach calif

  28. David Steuerwald says:

    Richard very impressive. Planning a 4×8 HO layout and your comments will surely help me figure out a layout. So far I’ve only got as far as freeing up space.
    Al your site has definately been an inspiration to keep plugging away.

  29. Ian Mc Donald says:

    great work. love the detail.

  30. Ray Suckling says:

    Great layout Richard, I am looking at building a 4 x 8 layout myself and was wondering if you could post a track plan as I am looking for ideas and I do like your overall layout.
    Ray AU…….

  31. John Reynolds says:

    That is an amazing layout in a very reasonable space.. The American Southwest is well represented. The pictures are wonderful… Breathtaking!

  32. Kenton says:

    Great job!

  33. tonyg says:

    The detail of the engine house is great if you did not know it was a model you would think it was real.

  34. David Murray says:

    It’s obvious that a lot of work has gone into this 4 X 8 board which is a nice size for average-size dwellings. The scenery (always a challenge to ‘get right’) is superb and it has been a pleasure viewing it.

  35. William Schneider says:

    Great! I am thinking of getting back into model railroading and I love your layout. I don’t have a lot of room, nor the desire to keep up the maintanence of a large layout. 4×8 would be great.

  36. Rene Vanderneut says:

    I can not believe the amt. of detail you managed to put on a 4×8 sheet of wood. Well done richard.

  37. chuck seigel of zachary ,louisiana says:

    wonderful and very time giving layout worth the satisfaction of self .thanks for sharing a wonderful model with all .shows how big you get in little .thanks again chuck in Louisiana .

  38. Thomas Murphy says:

    It’s so pleasing to view an impressive layout as this, built in a smaller space with appreciable detail. Congratulations Richard, very clever.
    Tom from Maryland

  39. Fran Odyniec says:

    I very much like your utilization of space, especially the “above level ground” elevations. They really have me thinking.

  40. Jim says:

    great looking scenery. love the rock face colors. what coloring technic did you use? what colors did you use to achieve such realism?

  41. Ken Stramel says:

    Looks so real. Great work

  42. Roy says:

    Would really like to see a track plan on this. Have a ton of HO in my garage attic and no room to really build a nice layout. So am looking for a 4×8 track plan that I could make movable on a 4×8 table. This one looks to fit the bill. Really looks nice.

  43. David Johnson says:

    Looks great. What gauge is it? Thanks. David

  44. Bob Carlson says:

    Richard I love your layout. What is the minimum radius on your layout?
    I would also like to see a sketch of your track plan.
    Thank you
    Bob C

  45. Nancy says:

    Wow, this is really impressive! And to think it is only 4 x 8!! The scenery is great, and the layout realistic. Keep up the good work!

    Nancy from South Carolina, USA

  46. Paul Case says:

    Dana, don’t go for the Bachmann DCC unit. Very limited functionality regarding adjusting CVs. You will be much happier with the NCE Powercab which is a full fledged DCC control cab —should cost around $200. You can operate up to 6 engines at a time,but believe me 3-4 will keep your head spinning.

  47. Scott Llewellyn says:

    Nice work love the engine house

  48. george zaky says:

    Once you said that all the buildings are scratch and rolling stock from kits your status shot up from great to master. Your layout is spectacular. I would love to know more techy stuff like whose track, turnouts, how you wired the switches, etc. Fantastic weathering. Your fan club will now demand more of you LOL.
    Brian- awesome
    George from LI, NY

  49. Macbear says:

    What I particularly enjoy about these posts is the stories. Of course, the models are inspiring, but reading why members have done things raises the posts above pure technicality. The imaginative narratives bring a smile e.g. Brian’s bit about the crew being ready to go fortified by coffee. My own layout is progressing slowly, and I hope soon to exercise that same touch.

  50. Great layout. Love the scenery detail.

  51. Mike Balog says:

    Great 4 x 8 Detailed Ole West Layout.. Reminds me of the Western Theme Layout in Model RR or Railroad Model Craftsman Layout a few years ago.. Based in the Movie BLAZING SADDLES.. the Town of Rockridge,,, Railroad Layout. That in of itself would make an interesting addition to a larger layout if you wished to have a Western Scene.

    I Built a 4 ft x 4 ft Christmas Tree Layout… out of 1/2 inch x 1.5 inch clear white pine with Blue Board over 1/4 thick thin Masonite type plywood.. It is Movable, in that I removed all the buildings and “White Pine Trees” Used for Scenery in order to store is upright on it’s side in my spare laundry room. Used ATLAS Sectional H.O. Scale track, as well as Flex Track and ATLAS Switches.. The top of the layout is a complete circle with a Switch and lead track down to the lower level which is an oval. Usually I had a mixed consist train ( a baggage car and a Coach followed by a couple of freight cars and a caboose) on the larger lower Oval and a self propelled Duddlebug Unit, Shorter than a standard RDC Car for the top Circle. Had over 200 of those cheap white pine bristle brush type Pine Trees you see on sale in Walmart or KMart, Home Depot or Craft Stores.. I waited till the End of the Christmas Holiday Season to buy them… It makes it very easy to set up for the Holidays or year round, and easier to move.

  52. Jim L Robinson says:

    Love it! My favored era and topography, and great detail work.

  53. Phil says:

    Great detail but would love to see an overall aerial view of the whole layout and/or a trackplan as I am looking for inspiration for a layout of my own.

  54. Will in NM says:

    Richard, I love your 4×8 layout. It’s a very interesting track plan with options for expansion. I really like the “old west” feel and the fact that you stuck with smaller period-appropriate locomotives and rolling stock. I have a fondness for the old Roundhouse car kits and your Climax locomotive. I’ve got one just like it only yours probably runs a lot better than mine. The fact that you scratch built all the structures puts you in a whole different class of model railroaders. Your use of the paper / cardboard vehicles, horses and wagons is very clever and doesn’t detract from the overall feel of the layout. Thanks for sharing your photos and please send more.

    I’m building a small Christmas layout with an 1890-1900’s theme where I hope to make use of my collection of old time rolling stock and figures. I’m 73 and also live in New Mexico in the Alamogordo area. Are you a member of the NMRA Roadrunner Division by chance? They’re mainly active in the Las Cruces area so I haven’t yet met them in person due to Covid restrictions, just Zoom meetings since I joined last year. There are some excellent modelers in the group,

  55. Brian Olson says:

    This is why I so appreciate this forum. There is no “one size fits all” model for our hobby. Very creative use of space for your empire. Looking forward to updates!

  56. Steve says:

    Great stuff from both posters. For those asking about a track plan for Ricard’s layout, suely the photo showing his control panel gives you this…?

  57. robert dale tiemann says:

    good lighting and layout.nice work

  58. Rich B. says:

    Sure, not even the surface mount switches detract here. Great theme and circa for a railroad. This is quality of work like to see x-rayed from beginning to level it’s at now. Great job, certainly keeps the cogwheels turning.


  59. robert dale tiemann says:

    very nice the lighting is really good.

  60. Brian Olson says:

    LOVE the Engine House!

  61. Dave Karper says:

    Maybe when I visit my daughter and grandchildren in Las Cruces, Icould meet some Road Runners.

  62. Calvin says:

    Just returned from a western (US) trip. The scenery really gives the feel to the area! I love the engine house although it is neater and cleaner than one would expect – great detail!

  63. Larry Schweitzer says:

    Very nice “aging” on much of the layout. Something often overlooked by Model RRers. Nice NM representation also.

Leave a Reply

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