N scale 10×4 – Rob’s

Rob’s been busy on his N scale 10×4:

“Hi Al,

Here is a new video your readers might be interested in.

I am building an n scale 1:160 layout based on my home town Longmont, Colorado as you may recall.

I have built buildings and sidings for the now-closed Gibson Tractor factory and the Kuner Empson cannery.

This time I decided to try and create a nod toward a miller that used to be here.

The business was called the Golden West Milling Company and had a fairly long and interesting history.

There are a couple of buildings left on the site and they piqued my interest. I did not try to duplicate the exact set of buildings, rather I tried to give the flavor of the place since I did not have the room to create the entire complex.

Model train layouts usually can never duplicate to scale any large areas of geography due to space limitations. We all must use selective compaction to provide a meaningful reflection of reality.
My Colorado and North Western n scale layout is no exception.

It is 10 feet by 4 feet which is about 1,600 feet long. The real town is more than two miles north to south and much more east to west so as you can see it would be impossible to map it and build the whole thing.

People familiar with Longmont, Colorado have said they agree the layout does give the feel of the area.


N scale 10x4 road crossing

N scale 10x4 factory

N scale diesel engine

N scale diesel engine

N scale 10x4 passenger carriages

N scale weathering factory

n scale weathering factory

N scale factory

I was having one of my wobbles earlier in the week, but then I got this in from Dave and it cheered me right up:

“Hi Al,

I just wanted to write to you and tell you how much i appreciate these newsletters and updates.

Let me tell you how it touched my heart and inspired me. I started back in late 2018 and 2019 getting back into the hobby. Went to some train shows bought a lot of O gauge locomotives and track.

The benchwork really put me off because i’m just not a good artist or carpenter. So i got overwhelmed with everything i wanted i mean i really wanted it all. I wanted mountains, water features, tunnels etc.

I wanted some thing that would resemble remote locations that is spectacular in view and somewhere a locomotive is the only thing around and then maybe a small town with some crossings and just neat things. I also wanted to have a snowy side to it and christmas for that time of year but i wanted realistic and real track.

So what happened, well it all ended up in a crate in the house. Wife had a better plan for my train room and my dreams where shattered.

What happened next well i talked to her told her how i felt and she gave me my train room back. What nudged me to relight that fire well for one i also look over at my iphone and read all your emails and pictures of peoples builds and it started that fire kidnling of how much i wanted and loved this hobby so that fire turned into something bigger i talked to the wife and got the room back.

It’s about a 12×11 room but it is a start. I want to run O gauge but i know HO gauge can fit more and do more so i’m stuck in between but O gauge is more realistic with the rail cars and engines that’s what i appreciate about it.

But again thanks for all you do and i pray that this continues for the long term i seen a few almost shutdowns from you and my heart sunk but it seems to be going along still and i will love to see it prosper for a long time.


And emails like that, my friends, keep me going.

It appears to be a happy arrangement too, because I know the blog helps a lot of you take that first step.

A big thanks to Rob for sharing (his last post is here).

And a big thanks to Dave too for putting a smile on my face.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming – just email me if you’d like to share anything.

And if today is the day you poke boredom in the eye, 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

14 Responses to N scale 10×4 – Rob’s

  1. George Zaky says:

    Thanks for the input you so masterfully present. Do you have any time other than the trains? LOL
    George from LI, NY

  2. Jeff says:

    Dave you should consider ‘S’ scale which is in between HO and O. I’ve found that as I get older it’s not easy to work on small scales and S is what I would call the perfect size that still has good detail and when it comes to finding vehicles and other accessories like that 1/64 is very common and you can get anything you want from cars to construction equipment to farm equipment. For more information on S scale visit NASG.org

  3. Robert Brady says:

    Nice tutorial Rob kept my interest.
    The Critic

  4. Dave,
    My discussion with SWMBO took place before we got married. When SWMBO realized how much the trains meant to me there was always space for a layout even if that space was my desk top. SWMBO also made sure I got something train related for every Christmas and every Birthday.
    I model in HO and On30 now — I admire those who work in N scale and smaller — Some do amazingly realistic work. All that said, If I was truly starting from scratch, S scale would be my choice these days. There is a solid group of advocates for S scale and a growing number of suppliers. It is easier on older eyes than HO and it is not the space eater that O scale is.

  5. Erick says:

    Pretty Kool.!!!!! i hope mine turns out that goods.

  6. don kadunc says:

    What a great way to combine kits and scratch building to end up with a reasonable representation of the prototype.

  7. Ruben Simon says:

    Man, that is so real-looking that I can smell the air pollution just looking at the pictures! 😀 Nice work!

  8. Brian Rockey says:

    I would echo Dave’s comments and thank you for the tremendous commitment you have to our hobby.
    Dave, is it worth seriously considering trading in your O gauge stock and exchanging for HO? You’ll get a lot more in, but it depends whether you can take the financial hit? Also, the support woodwork – you don’t need to be a carpenter – just careful measuring, saw, drill and bits, screws and a screwdriver. 2×1 framework with plywood baseboard.
    Always enjoy your videos Rob.
    Best to all.
    Brian, Wokingham

  9. Jim Richards says:

    Rob, The layout looks great. I am not sure what year you are using as a display. Just a note is the road markings were yellow and not white not too long ago.

  10. Steve Hughes says:

    Nice work & a great video. I enjoyed & appreciate it! Thanks

  11. DJfromNJ says:

    Great job! If you care to make a fun change in your harbor scene, flip the fishing boat around so that stern first is in the tow of “Jaws.”

  12. Jim Tuggle says:

    Rob, I am familiar with Longmont as I live in Brighton, Co and have been building a layout for the past few years. I have a neighbor who has a great layout of Wyo. and he has been a lot of help. Your layout looks just like Longmont to me and you have done a great job. Thanks for sharing it with us.
    Jim Tuggle

  13. McBookWriter says:

    I started out with my first layout in N Gauge. At first, it drove me crazy with constant derails. I also had trouble putting the cars back on the track.
    After some tinkering, I was able to figure out why the derails were occurring, and I repaired them one by one. There was only one spot that I could not fix: it was a Kato short turnout. No matter what I did, most of my locomotives would not make it past that turnout without derailing. Luckily, I had multiple ways to get around.

    Fast forward to the present. I have changed to HO. New track, new cars, new layout. After all I did and $$$ I have spent, I’m sorry that I made the change. I don’t have a lot of room, and going to a larger size made my space limitations much worse. I’m glad that I didn’t sell much of my N equipment, but I spent a lot on Marklin HO. They make excellent equipment, but I’ll never come close to getting my money back when it comes time to sell my HO locomotives, cars and track.

  14. robert dale tiemann says:

    so many trains so little time, very nice.

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