N scale small layout

Richard has been in touch with his N scale small layout.


I have been working on my small N-scale layout.

I have accumulated approximately 30 locomotives and somewhere around 110 to 120 freight cars and some 20 passenger cars.

I have not modeled any particular location but have mostly late 1950 to 1970 rolling stock.

The structures are mostly card stock with two plastic kits and several scratch built ones.

The 4 ft by 7 ft 6 inch layout table is framed with 1 x 3 limber and the topography is mostly foam building insulation.

I have found your site to be most helpful, as I am an amateur when compared to many of your contributers, but I am certainly having fun. Living in an apartment, space is at a premium and my train room is in one of the smaller bedrooms. I am thiknking of getting rid of the bar in the room to make room for an L shape addition in the future.

I have a few photos and any sugestions are more than welcome. Thank you for all you do for this wonderful hobby.

I look forward to your daily emails every morning.

Richard “Dick” Coerse
Lexington Park, Maryland, USA”

N scale small layout

N scale small layout

N scale small layout

N scale small layout

N scale

N scale

N scale

N scale small layout

As far as I’m concerned, Richard is living the dream, because it’s all about having fun.

And all if you have to do is make that start, which is why I’m always banging on about it.

Remember, it’s the start that stops most people, which is a great shame. There’s fun to be had.

That’s all for today folks.

A big thanks to Richard for sharing his N scale small layout.

And if today is the day you get started on your layout, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

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

model train answers

44 Responses to N scale small layout

  1. Morgan from Monroe says:

    This looks really great, I do like the tunnel and street area, looks real to me.

  2. Nice layout you have build there Richard …plenty of detail and Depth ..all adding to the scenics ….Dangerous dave

  3. Don Wood -Fort Collins, Colorado, USA says:

    Wow – Richard does not have to make apologies to anyone. That is a great busy layout with tons of activity and interest built in. Keep up the great work.

  4. Jerry says:

    Nice work!

  5. Robert Brady says:

    When a train goes past that grave yard it must vibrate the teeth out of the corpses’
    Lol. Nice layout Rich
    The Critic

  6. Richard great layout, a little bit of everything I love it.

  7. Peter Vonk says:

    Some people have a gift from God to be able to see things before they are, this layout is proof of this, thankyou for showing it,Pete Vonk of Rose City Michigan

  8. Chuck from NY, USA says:

    Hey Richard, Nice work. I really like all the details. Keep on having fun.

  9. Jean Comeaux says:

    Reminds me of my old n scale layout. Very nice.

  10. Erick says:

    I like it. Kinda what mine going look like.

  11. Michael Glass says:

    Richard your layout is beautiful, I have n scale Amtrak & Union Pacific City Of Los Angeles & your’re right it is fun. and I’m 65.

  12. Ken Seibert says:

    You should be real proud of your work, looks like your a pro at asking your layout. Good job and thanks for sharing this.

  13. Dan Hulitt says:

    Richard. A very nice layout indeed. We may have crossed paths as I was often in town to meet with the people at Mattingly’s, as they were customers of mine. The manager, Al, used to also sell model trains, maybe Lionel, mostly.
    Enjoy your layout!

    Mn Dan

  14. Terry Fleet, Old Hampshire says:

    Do not get rid of the bar.
    If necessary lower it a bit and build s brewery, winery or bar on top.
    The basement will add so much to the realism of the model.

  15. nice layout I like the service station by the tunnel
    Enjoy your great work
    bob from florida

  16. Rob McCrain says:

    great use of space. interesting terrain. nice tunnel, well done.
    rob McCrain – Farlad Howe

  17. I love the layout, although not in HO scale (smile). You have done a great job at multi-layering the terrain. This is the most difficult phase of the planning of my layout. I have basically laid out, on paper, my first layout in about 30+ years, and even then, it was a 4 x 8 foot table top for the four children to run and “play” with. I have been planning this layout for nearly two complete years. I have a very good concept in three dimensional paper model (8×11.5). It has a lower deck to house up to seven consists (circus train, coal train – full, coal train emptied and several passenger – B&O and PRR trains, along with a few freight trains). I have two upper mainlines that will be on several berms, trestles or bridges. Again, its only conceptualized and subject to much change as it is eventually built. I have been picking some nice vintage items off of eBay over the years and have amassed most of what I will need as far as track, switches, etc.
    It is the most difficult phase of starting that i fear the most. I may never see my wife of 36 years again, once I commence my train room construction! I may not even get to my PC again………… Oh what a wonderful world this will be!!!!!!!!!
    Kudos to you for making that start and achieving such great results!

    From another 65 year old (re)beginner!

  18. Elmer Banks says:

    Really busy layout. I especially like the use of “card” buildings. This makes our pikes, personal. Plastic kits are good, but to work on paper buildings takes patience and every one of them is unique. Nice work!

  19. Gardiner Schneider says:

    Richard, what a great, richly conceived, layout! As I Lionel O gauge guy, I am very impressed with the level of detail and realism you have wrought in your much smaller scale. Well Done.
    Thank you Alistair, for the many hours each day that you put into this wonderful site. Garry

  20. A lot of us are limited by the space available. You have done a fantastic job with a small area. Very impressive!

  21. Alabama Mike says:

    Richard, you have done a great job. I really like your layout

  22. Cary B says:

    Great looking layout, you certainly have lots of detail going on there. Very well laid out.
    Cary New Market, Maryland

  23. Richard Chapple Sr says:

    Very nice indeed Dick. Lots to see, lots to like, fun to study. It really is well done. Thank you for sharing with us and thank you Al for all your continual work to bring us together to enjoy our kindred spirit.
    Dick(little r) from Hardin Mt

  24. Dave Massimi says:

    An excellent layout ! I bet it gives you lots of fun ! Well done !

  25. Warren Yohe says:

    I like your use of shortened buildings in the town with the hill and trees behind them. It inspires me to try something like that on my layout.

  26. Brian Olson says:

    Good work! However, I don’t know how you could in any way, and in good conscience get with of your bar!

  27. Ellis James English says:

    Great job, N is one of my favorites and you have done a bang up job presenting it. I love the downtown area with the rr station and the shops.

  28. THOMAS says:

    Miniature Worlds look good on camera but I thought that there would be quite a
    few more trains that would be running on this site . My trains run and that is all I
    care about … I intend not to build a movie set !

  29. Roger Alexander says:

    hi there young man. Gosh from what I have seen this layout has had a lot of woork . You did great. Some day could you please give us the trak plans. Roger

  30. Mr. Ron from South Mississippi says:

    Your layout has a “cluttered” look, but that is what makes it interesting. My layout is a bit larger than yours in HO and I am getting the cluttered look. That tends to hide the mistakes that would stand out if in plain sight.

  31. Jim Connolly says:

    Never have I seen so much good stuff in such a small area, Very good job

  32. Chris Sylvester says:

    Wow!!! That’s a really GREAT job on your layout!!!!!

  33. george zaky says:

    You N guys never cease to amaze me. You packed in so much scenery in a confined space, made it look good, and have trains making noise to give us cheer & happiness. Who did the back drop? Nicely done.

  34. Randy Hoeft says:

    Nicely done!

  35. robert dale tiemann says:

    very nice, really cool, lots of work.very nice.

  36. Terry Fleet Old Hampshire says:

    I was interested to read at 09:15 another comment sent at 2:45pm using my heading at least it was polite. I have not posted any comment for the 30 months.
    That said Richard you have a good eye creating a beleaveabal landscape in which to loose yourself and have fun.
    Well done.

  37. Stephen Hill says:

    Very nicely done , great job . Would be fun to see all those trains in action . Well done !

  38. Grant, Ont says:

    Richard, A great build. A suggestion. Explore an around the wall design. Maybe keep the bar if you can have one track passing over or behind the bar. A short lift piece or duck under at the door. Doors can be rehung to swing outwards. Or leave it off… Have fun.

  39. Joseph Evans says:

    I love seeing what others have done. However, I have a small request, please show a diagram of the overall track layout?

  40. robert dale tiemann says:

    so much in one place, nice job.

  41. Rocco Maley says:

    Hey Rich, You have done a great job on your layout. It makes me want to go back to my “N” scale days, but I am 79 years OLD, and I have a hard enough time working with my “HO” scale my eyes no longer can handle “N” scale. That’s why I am working with “HO” now, and that’s getting to much for my tired old eyes. Great job Rich. Enjoy. Rocco from North New Jersey, U.S.A..

  42. Rocco Maley says:

    Rich, Rocco here again from North New Jersey. I got so caught up with my self that I forgot to mention I love the way you took your Photo’s If you put them all together you would have your whole layout in one photo. You didn’t skip scene. Thank’s again. Rocco

  43. Old Ben says:

    What type of track are you using?

  44. Al Kondas says:

    You’ve got a nice layout there. Don’t worry about what anyone else thinks, its your layout and your having fun which is the point of it all. It’s not work if it’s fun! And maybe find a way to include or work around the bar because workin’ on the railroad is thirsty business.

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