Double track N scale bridge

Richard has been in touch. He’ shared his double track N scale bridge layout:

“Hi Al,

I’m a first time contributor to your web page.

I started this N scale layout about 3 to 4 years ago.

I am slow but steady. The layout size is 14 feet by 9 feet. I have 100 foot of 12 gauge buss wire under the layout.

Everything on the layout I have built and painted by hand. A lot of trial and error.

When I started out, I knew nothing about trains or modeling. This is my first layout.

Hope you enjoy the pics,


Double track N scale bridge

Double track N scale bridge

n scale water

n scale bridge

mdoel railroad N scale station

N scale rock formation

n scale tunnel

model railroad track plan

Now on to Brad:


I ask a complicated question maybe someone can answer.

HO scale is 1:87, yet HO scale slot cars are 1:64.

This creates some “fun” when buying vehicles even in diecast.

Hotwheels are mostly 1:64 but they do have a few in 1:87.

So,can someone tell me why despite the same “HO” designation and the actual sizes differ?

If HO slot cars were 1:87,it would be easy to add a roadway into your train layout, or vice versa if HO trains were 1:64 it would make life easy for us all who model this scale.


“Hi Al,

just a short video, showing and hearing the power on these Deltics fitted with a em2 speaker…blows your socks off as they say …



Latest ebay cheat sheet is here. Still updated every day.

That’s all for today folks.

A big thanks to Rich for sharing his double track N scale bridge layout, thanks to Dave too – and who can help Brad?

And talking of scales, we’ve had quite a run of N scale recently, but if you want to see your scale, please do keep’ em coming. Just email me.

To submit pics please don’t send more than three per mail – but send as many mails as you like.

That’s all this time folks – but don’t forget the Beginner’s Guide if you want your day dreams to appear on your table.



54 Responses to Double track N scale bridge

  1. Gary O'Connor says:

    That big gap in the rails at about 2:15 to 2:19, is that for expansion or did you intentionally set it to create the ‘click-clack’ sounds? It looks a bit wide so I wonder, if it is for the ‘click-clack’, did you experiment to set that width to a good size for the effect?
    Gary from Australia.

  2. Bob Compton says:

    Richard. Good looking layout. I am impressed with the close up of the river bank. It looks real to me. Maybe I should get at my layout that I built the bench work for 30 years

  3. Brian Sloth says:

    Fantastic work, Please tell us it’s really not your first!!! Just kidding, it is brilliant, and trial and error is the way to go. Even Dangerous Dave has told everyone that trial and error is often the only way to go with some things.

    But a beautiful layout, you should be very proud of it.

  4. Brad, if you want to use 1/64 scale cars, the easiest would be to migrate to S scale and gauge, which is 1/64.

  5. Art Jones says:

    Comment on Dave’s Video.
    Starting at the 1:13 point in the video, there is a big dip in the track. Is this for special effects?

  6. colin says:

    Richard If you keep going the way you are and to the standard you are you will have an outstanding layout. You are obviously taking great care with the scale of all the scenic areas and this shows. Well done cant wait for future pics.

  7. Brian Messenger says:

    Rich, if this is your first bash at modeling, you are definitely on the right track (pun intended) especially in ‘n’ Scale. Your scenery, bridges and river beds are top notch. Keep up the excellent work that you are doing.
    Dave, fantastic sound on your amazing layout. Keep the videos coming. – Brian the HOn3 guy. 🇿🇦

  8. For a first go round,it’s awesome!!

  9. Robert Brady says:

    Richard Love the train station and platforms where did you purchase? I got to get me one of those. Great layout thus far.

  10. Robert Matteson says:

    Good looking layout, and reall good eye for scenery. Can’t wait to see more.

  11. Malcolm Hodgson says:

    The first slot cars were 4mm to the foot ie 00 and made in England to suit 00 railways. When they were exported to the states as a marketing decision it was felt that the US market would accept HO as a designator despite it still being 1:76 rather than the “foreign” 00 scale. This ploy worked and it became popular.

    The Aurora brand was so popular that Tyco wanted to get in on the show. They chose a slightly larger 1:64 which allowed larger more powerful motors to be fitted horizontally in the car and greater detail on the bodies. Despite this the idea was to continue to run on the original 3” track. So in order not to lose the marketing momentum and they stuck with the HO marketing name. Despite neither system being HO as us rail modellers know it!

    1:64 is half scale 1:32 or O gauge common to the Scalectrix system and of course the Lionel system. So I suppose the slot car HO at 1:64 is saying half-0 in car terms.

    So in short both systems hijacked the H0 designator to make it appeal to the US modeller as something they were familiar with from a name point of view only. And the 1:64 system is half of an 0 gauge.


  12. Bruce Bordelon says:

    In model railroad the use of gauge refers to a linear measure between the two rails. This is referenced to the measure of rails in most of world being 4′ 8-1/2″. Keep in mind that this is a linear measure.
    In other modeling, scale is referenced to a three dimension figure and therefore is a measure of volume.
    Unfortunately, these two terms are used interchangeably and are not the same measure.
    Hope this helps,
    Bruce in SC USA

  13. Bruce in SC USA says:

    This follows the comment by Mal.
    Gauge is a LINEAR measure for the distance between rails in relation to the Standard Gauge of 4 feet 8-1/2 inches used over half the world. O gauge is considered 1/4 inch or 1:48. HO gauge is called “Half O” but is actually 1:87
    Scale is a VOLUMETRIC measure and is a comparison to actual 3D size.
    Unfortunately, over time these two terms have become somewhat synonymous.
    Hope this helps,
    Bruce in SC USA

  14. Don Jennings says:

    It looks like you are getting ready to do a yard area on the layout. One very important thing is ==to have a tail track for the yard. A tail track will allow you to do switching or moving of cars from one track to another without using the mainline. I wish more of you would use a tail tracks for yards and industry switching areas VERY IMPORTANT. Good Luck

  15. Brad says:

    Thanks to all who answered my question.It just seems to me a good corporation would be one where they make trains and cars that are the same scale/size or however you wish to word it.Sort of like a 1 stop shopping deal.I know Mattel(Hotwheels) has produced some actual 1:87 diecasts .So now another question since I am not familiar with it. Is the Marklin(I believe) road kit(where the vehicles follow wires) in OO scale? I would assume it is and was wondering if they sell something to run on that road to where I could fit it onto vehicles of my choice.Sensors,or whatever

  16. Jim Lynch says:

    I also model in N scale. This is a great layout, even for an experienced modeler. Wonderful job.

  17. steve says:

    great job rich, keep us updated.

  18. Rich says:

    Robert, I made the train platforms from old scrap wood I had. Painted them with a gray primer. I used charcoal powder to weather and add foot traffic marks.

  19. When I stand a 1″ or 1.25″ figure next to a 1:64 sized matchbox car, I have trouble envisioning that figure actually getting into that car. Since I’m re-creating the layout of my youth (kid’s playing with), I’m not going to be concerned with exact scale. The 1:64 in human scale is 64″ or 5’4″-an average woman’s height.

  20. Allan J Jelinek says:

    Looking Good Richard. Trust me, You have talent, and trial & error is the way we all learned. I’m thinking of going “N” scale because we moved to a town house. Anyway……… Great job. Keep it up.

  21. Malcolm Hodgson says:

    I think the system that follows the buried wires is Faller. This is designed in Germany and is HO that is to say 1:87.



  22. Rob McCrain says:

    Rich, what a fabulous layout. What great opportunities the track plan presents. Well done. Rob McCrain – Farland Howe

  23. Rod Mackay says:

    That river scene is really superb Rich, excellent work.


  24. Rich’s layout Looks great for it being his first one! Nice job!

  25. Hey Richard,
    Great looking layout. Keep up the good work and have a whole bunch of fun with making it and operating it. Do you plan on having an operating block-signal on your layout? It would really be neat.
    From Chandler, AZ (USA)
    Gene Hildebrand
    P.S. I spent 8 years on the Western Maryland Railway as an electrician. I learned a whole lot about railroading, especially in the shop. However, I saw, in time, the RR was dying and moved on. (I was there from 1956 to 1963) (My last day there was the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas.).

  26. tom Chrisyopher says:

    Well Richard you can come to my house any time and help me, your a natural. I have doing these for about 4 years and I like your work. Tom in Payson AZ.

  27. OLar Maksin says:


    Your water is stellar. I like the fact that you have done such a nice job using “static ” water and not using a lot of waves, ripples etc. The effect is stunning.

    I stopped trying to achieve that level of detail long ago and take a slightly different tack with my modelling. 🙂

    That said I was wondering what you are using to photograph your layout. There is something about your pics, the water ones in particular, that have a very rich quality about them…

    Nicely done,

  28. Marklin ed says:

    This a wonderful site, thanks to everyone who add to it.learned a lots of great stuff.

  29. Ian McDonald says:

    great layout,nice sound on the video. thanks for sharing.

  30. Ian McDonald says:

    great layout pictures. nice sound on the video.

  31. Thomas says:

    In europe, Norway at least, O used to be 1:43,5, half an O then being 1:87, Ho.
    Seeing now that they sell O as 1:45.
    Beautiful water… looks alive!
    Thomas, Norway

  32. Kevin McArdle says:

    Richard, great job so far, and slow and steady wins the day. Great realism on the landscape, and I hope you’ll keep us posted as you complete more of the layout.

  33. Jim AZ says:

    Nice start, Richard. Looks like you’ve done the hardest parts first, the water, bridges and the mountains. They look great and quite realistic. Thanks for sharing.

    Jim AZ

  34. Ben Olson says:

    Rich, the river scene is excellent! Take your time and have fun. You have some natural modeling talent my friend, so keep at it and share more pics in the future!
    Dangerous Dave, your layout is always an inspiration to me! Loved the sound on this one, thanks for sharing!

  35. Alabama Mike says:

    Rich, you have done a great job on your layout. I look forward to more pictures from you as you progress.

  36. Jeff says:

    Yes S gauge is 1/64 scale. It’s too bad it isn’t more popular because near as I can tell it’s the perfect size. I started with S because I originally just wanted to park a train on a farm display however once I bought that first train things snowballed and now I’m working on my first module of what is to be a large layout. The advantage of the S is it’s just a little bigger than the HO so much easier to work on with my aging eyes and you can still do a lot in a small space. Plus there is a plethora of 1/64 farm toys and cars to be had. I’m having fun with the limited switching I’m doing on my first module that is 30”x6’. What you have so far looks great though. Love the stream/river you have.

  37. Fred says:

    Rich ,I’m loving that bridge and river . This might be your first layout but you seem like a damn fine modeller to . Hope to see more down the road ( track I should say)

    Regards fred

  38. Joe Graffi says:

    “Trial and error” have served you well!

  39. John Hauser says:

    I love to listen to the click and clack of the trains as they pass by and your wooden coaches are a classic . The videos are always enjoyable, keep them coming

    John Hauser – LI NY

  40. Tom Sallee says:

    Rich, Your river banks alone show you are way are way ahead of the game.If you hadn’t said you were a beginner no one would have ever guessed.

  41. Rob McCrain says:

    There are many scales used for many different things. To further confuse the issue people get gauge and scale confused sometimes. Gauge is the distance between the rails. HO scale 1:87 uses a gauge of 16.5 mm or .65 inches. OO scale is 1:76. O scale is 1:48. HO means Half O, or half O scale, but it is not exactly half of O scale. Go figure. When buying things other than trains to go on a layout, it is sometimes difficult to find what you want in exactly the scale you are using. Another problem is things like figures come in approximate scales like HO/OO. What? Exactly Things are either in one scale or in some other scale. Model-train folks accept this and will frequently mix scales so they can create the scenes they want. Basically, if it looks okay to you, do it and enjoy. Confused? 😉

  42. Dave Karper says:

    English O scale, at one time was 7 mm=1 foot.I don’t know if it still is.When HO was developed, it was designed to be half of the then prevalent 7 mm O scale or half O, this being 3.5 mm. OO came about due to the the motors at that time needed more space to fit than HO allowed.

  43. Bernie Glynn says:


    The first thing that struck me was your use of a non-rectangular baseboard. The sweeping curves around the inside corner really drew my eye, and then looking at your water and bridge feature I was very impressed. Well done. Makes me want to start my first layout!

  44. Rich B. says:

    This is right up there with the best. Some can do it and some never will…

    Dave sets the example, his RR as always, exemplary.

    Rich, regarding

  45. Gordon Grindey says:

    GREAT STARTERUPPER… I saved the water shots for later… i need help on my water scenes…Gordy from Naples

  46. Marklin ed says:

    Great start for your first layout, keep us updated on your progress. You sure have a gift for the landscaping. I like the track layout too, simple, clean.

  47. Rick Shoop says:

    A great effort, does not look like a first layout to me. Somewhere in your trackwork you need to have an additional cross over facing in the opposite direction. As described in the posting once inside the interior double loop, there is no way out.

  48. robert dale tiemann says:

    great terrain. hard work but looks like it was worth it.

  49. wayne russell irwin says:

    very nice. but i could not deal with n guage at 79 years old. i have a hard time with 300 square feet of h,o size.

  50. william james palmer says:

    nice start

  51. Larry Kenneth Schweitzer says:

    Great detail. Best water I’ve seen!

  52. Daniel says:

    Station looks great !!

  53. Kelvin says:

    Brad, check out the German made Faller model road system which is all HO. It used to be “slot cars” but now the vehicles are charged up and follow a wire buried in the road. This looks really authentic. They have featured on some of Al’s emails, one was a Dutch layout I think. This is why Al’s service is vital!

  54. James Lawler says:

    So So cool, Ditto on the comments above, looking forward to getting mine started someday.

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