New York O gauge

Robert’s been in touch tough with his New York O gauge. I do love how people mode their childhood memories and where they grew up:

“This New York O gauge layout has been over 25 years in the making and, like all model railroads, can never be finished.

Some of the locomotives were Christmas presents from the early 1950s and some are less than a year old.

There are scratch built cars, structures and a “Doodlebug” along with numerous scenes along about 300 feet of track in two attic rooms.

The Pine Island Railroad runs from the city of Basura (Spanish for garbage) out passed a dirty industrial area into the countryside. There is a town along the way named Katonah (where I grew up in N.Y. State) and a flag stop at the small resort settlement of Pine Island.

Various scenes along the way, some not shown in these limited views, show life and activities in the towns, farms and forests.

We have busy crowd scenes at the Union Station; kids playing basketball in the back streets or baseball in the park; a family farm is working the land and selling produce in a roadside stand; hippies are getting busted for a growing a greenhouse full of pot; a flying saucer has landed drawing the whole neighborhood over to see, and a hapless railfan is oblivious to the cougar and alligator creeping up behind him.

Soon I will send you some more photos, I hope you enjoy them.

I live in Southwest Oregon in the Siskiyou Mountains. The nearest town is Cave Junction, about 10 miles away, and the nearest railroad is the storied “Siskiyou Line”, formerly Southern Pacific, which runs through Grants Pass and Medford, connecting the mainline at Eugene, OR and Weed, CA.

As a child, I grew up with the New York Central back east.

peace and joy,


New York O gauge boker bar

O gauge smelting factory

New York O gauge car scene

O gauge forced perspective

New York O gauge

O gauge flying saucer

New York O gauge station

o scale foreced perspective

New York O gauge scenery

O gauge policemen

New York O gauge

model railroad river scene

O gauge

O gauge

O gauge

New York O gauge yard

My word, what a layout: 25 years of fun!

A huge thank you to Robert for sharing his New York O gauge layout with us. Loved it.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And don’t forget the The Beginner’s Guide is here if today is the day you take your first step towards your very own layout.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

70 Responses to New York O gauge

  1. Brian Messenger says:

    Robert, love all the detail and lighting. The guy cleaning the coach window is a nice touch. Thanks for sharing a well detailed O scale layout.
    Brian – the HOn3 guy. RSA

  2. Mike Street says:

    Wow, what a layout, if this was HO it would be fantastic, but O gauge, staggering!
    Mike S

  3. Colin Edinburgh says:

    More please.
    Possibly the best “0” gauge layout that’s been featured on the site. Love the river with the swimmers and the diver. The last photo of your station/junction gives us a glimpse into the track layout and complexity. More please a video of the layout would be spectacular especially if you shows some trains running. Well done impressed.

  4. Peter Waring says:

    Robert, what a brilliant layout. Each scene tells a story, had me going back through the photos several times to read the detail, it reflects all the time and effort that you have but into your model railway. Thanks for sharing it with us. Peter…

  5. Always wanted a 0 gauge , but not the room or the money needed , so nice to see this up and running …Dangerous Dave

  6. Illinois Central RR Russ says:

    This is great. 25 years of fun. I had an O gauge when I was small. Destroyed in my brothers house fire not too long ago, shame. Keep on, keep on.

  7. Raymond says:

    This is a level of dedication that shows a true Love of model railroading. Some of these scenes I have never seen before. Thank you for sharing and putting a smile on my face. Congratulations on a job well done.

  8. paul says:

    this is a period railway done with love ,i like all the scenes shown i wonder if he can do a video of the layout ?? .The time spend over the years must have given him much joy and satisfaction.Thank you for sharing your layout for all of us to enjoy .Stay safe stay well in these difficult times

  9. John Birch says:

    Well done! I love the human detail – which makes any layout such fun. In creating little cameos of life, a layout takes on indiviual character. It also reminds me of the first layout I ever created in the 1950s after I bought a second hand Lionel trainset from a friend. I still have the three-rail track and rolling stock that hasn’t used for many, many years.

  10. Ruben Simon says:

    Every single photo looked just like that: a photo of real life. Incredible. Nothing out of place. Just so real. Fantastic job!

  11. JACK MASARIE says:

    Great, Robert!!!! Always nice to see some great work in O scale/3-rail. The
    autos and people really make it all come together.

  12. Zee Berrios says:

    Robert: Thank you so much. Love the details, the accuracy of ratio, the small stories within each scene,… the” Mogul” visiting the Chemical plant named “Blasphemy” is grandiose…, the alien landing, the car wreck … WOW, it inspired me to finish my “super hero” city…

  13. george zaky says:

    Fabulous layout. Wonderful artwork and story line. Is “Blasphemy” on line. LOL. The woody, Studebaker, Buick- man this is great stuff. Please show us some more like a video of your awesome engines running.
    Many thanks- and be safe
    George from NY

  14. Tony O says:

    You are the Norman Rockwell of the O gauge. Very nicely done.

  15. Larry Ripplinger says:

    This is a very detailed layout! Everything was just right. Photographs right on spot. Can I visit your layout? I live in King City, just a little ways up from you. Very good!

  16. Benjamin Wright says:

    What a great layout! I can tell you have a great sense of humor with some of your scenes and signs.

  17. Will in NM says:

    Robert, WOW! What a fabulous O scale layout. I think it’s the best I’ve ever seen. I love your sense of humor and all the little vignettes you’ve created that make the layout so much more fun to see. Please share more photos, track plan and video when you can.

  18. Jerry Treich says:

    Robert, that’s quite an accomplishment! Wonderful details on your layout!

  19. Very impressive Hi-Rail layout..
    Excellent attention to detail.
    The third rail becomes essentially invisible.

  20. Kevin McArdle says:

    Love the Buick convertible. Is that the space ship from “The day the Earth stood still? “Klatu Borata Nikto.”

  21. Graeme COLEMAN says:

    Absolutely brilliant, probably the best large O scale layout i have seen. The detail is amazing.

  22. Read Ferguson says:

    As an O guage supporter of this site, I absolutely loved seeing this submission. They are somewhat rare, and this was an even rarer submission because of 25 years of craftsmanship on display. Exceedingly well done. Would very much like to see some long views to see the breadth of the space it is in, and to get a sense of how the layout works as a whole. This also interesting for me as I grew up in NYS, but upstate from Robert closer to Buffalo. Thanks for sharing.

  23. Ralph Menweg says:

    Love the layout ! The details are fabulous, and inspiring. Great job, and it will continue to inspire you to add even more as you well know.
    I too have post WWII Lionel trains in “O” gauge, and Plasticville from my grandfather. It is now under construction (finally). I will get pics in to you all in the near future.

  24. Tony, Kitty Hawk NC says:

    Excellent Layout- really creative! And great photography. Would love to see a video and track plan!

  25. Rob McCrain says:

    What a fabulous layout. What skilled scenery building. It is a wonderful example of what can be done with time and imagination.
    Rob McCrain – Farland Howe

  26. Robert
    What a great layout I love the passenger trains and
    The tow truck scene

  27. Joe says:

    Wow, cracker just about covers this layout. The attention to detail in the scenes is mind boggling. A “work in progress” with reality as a base point, imagination as the spice that entices, and the curiosity for what’s next, holds the viewer in a headlock. This layout has a backstory worthy of a Disney Pixel full length feature. To say “keep up the good work is insulting,” as this imagineer certainly is not sort on desire, or incentive in building this incredible monument to our favorite hobby.

  28. TOO COOL!!

  29. NJ Mark says:

    What a grand layout! I love the little scenes, the biker bar, the UFO and especially the alligator creeping up on an unsuspecting train watcher. You have a great sense of detail and a great sense of humor! Stay well. Cheers! NJ Mark

  30. Marklin Ed says:

    Great Robert, not a fan of O gauge but you make me think again how great it can be. Thanks for the pictures.send the track plan if possible.

  31. Patrick A Talley says:


    Video’s PLEASE…

  32. JOHN SCHAEFFER says:

    Very Nice

  33. Stuart Leuthner says:

    Nice work! Where did you get those backgrounds..steel mill, city??

  34. David P Prince says:

    Love the attitude of the ladies at the nice tubing spot!

  35. Guy Pernetti says:

    Very nice

  36. Terry Miller says:

    Robert: Spectacular to say the least. At one time I lived in Medford and later in Redding California and am familiar with the Siskiyou Line. I actually got SP to give me a ride from Yreka to Ashland over the old roue.

    Terry Miller
    Idaho USA

  37. Helmut Eppich says:

    25 years?! Wow. Certainly can tell your layout goes back to the 1950s. Especially with that alien saucer landing beneath an underpass near a home as well as the vehicles, namely those police squad cars. Reminiscent of the old television shows. Nice cloud effect too. First time I’ve seen background sky stretched to curve over a layout. Makes for realistic surroundings at any angle.
    25 years of model railroading enhances your layout’s historical background.

  38. Aliens and skinny dipping women!!! I love it all!!

  39. Bob From Towson says:

    Having been a professional photographer for 30 yrs I can really appreciate your photos! Great job! Well done, especially like the drain pipe streaming water (waste, factory , or sewer ?) down the side of the cliff…

  40. Joe Gennari says:


  41. Bob Richards says:

    This is fantastic. I can place myself in every scene. It is so realistic and incorporating so many real life activities and experiences.

  42. Gary M from Long Island says:

    WOW….WOW….WOW……Great layout…great detail… and great dedication to the hobby. I think 90% of us model railroaders started in the 50’s with our first Lionel set………I gave my 11 Lionel sets to my brother for his grand children and now (because of space constraints) I am modeling in HO.

    Love your detail……the scenes and figures make it come alive. Great job.

  43. Johnny B says:

    Hot dog !! Finally trains featured here covering the New York Central ! Some outstanding tinplate and other details to go with that too ! Well done man !

  44. James Maitland says:

    BZ!! Super operation. Yes would like to see from above and rail plan

  45. Tom Provo says:

    I am definitely impressed. My two favorites are the UFO and the tow truck.

  46. Alex Dula says:

    You have done a fantastic job with your layout. My Dad started me with Lionel O-gauge during the 1940’s and 1050’s, I added some later but took down my layout.
    If I were startling today I would go with HO but I still have an interest in going back to O-gauge. I sure would like you to give lessons on your ability to do craftsman work. It seems to be missing in a lot of things today.
    Thank you again for sharing your layout, it makes me want to build again, as soon as I find the room,probably in the barn..

  47. Hemi says:

    GORGEOUS O Scale layout!!!! A LOT of years and a LOT of fun, and STILL more to be had!

    GREAT work….. ~Hemi

  48. Robert Brady says:

    Well being that I despise 3 rail tracks you built your layout in such a way my attention is focused on the diarama and the bulk of trains in one’s view,tite town and yard. you took me on an adventure I truely enjoyed.,Tell Betty when you see her ,nice Tatas.
    The Critic

  49. Bob Amling says:

    Great job Robert! Your attention to detail is outstanding.

  50. Mark T. Pianka says:

    very nice layout what size? Wish I had your space I downed size after moving, Great Layout!!

  51. Mark T. Pianka says:

    Great Layout, what size is it? I wish I had your size, I downed sized after moving. Great Layout!!

  52. Robert Brady says:

    To Mark T / 0 gauge Reads the heading
    The Critic

  53. john magnotti says:

    great job on the detailing, love your layout and all that work you put in to it. keep well.

  54. Rich Fath says:

    GREAT JOB!!!! I really enjoy the touches of whimsy, gator and unabashed ladies, haha. I visited a local club a few years back, they had a good sense of humor and fantastic detail; as I was pointing them out to my dad one of the members suggested look into the a certain yard house. Once I looked through the window I could see a guy on a toilet reading a news paper, got a chuckle out of that, so did dad. This club has hotel with ladies of the evening and they too were sun bathing on the roof, el naturel. The details in there layout and yours really add to the enjoyment of the hobby.

  55. Bill Garity says:

    I am like Robert, in that I want to come visit. I am a little further away, but still in the State of Oregon.

    My O gauge layout is still in progress. Started with my grandson who helped with the benchwork. Granddaughter helped with the 1st two loops of trackwork and homosote underlayment painted gray for the “ballast”. Youngest grandson helped me add the 3rd line, a 2 level, point to point with turn around loops, and “the Mountain”.

    With the current distancing we are experiencing, my Grands haven’t been any help lately. It is time to start painting the table and mountain relief.


  56. Mike Matejka says:

    absolutely incredible! Not only a great sense of scenery & detail, but humor too! Well done!

  57. Zee says:

    Your layouts are amazing, so inspiring and thoughtful. Continue to have fun. You have a blessed eye for details and stories…

  58. Chuck Bartunek says:

    Great looking layout ,could we see a track plan?,thank you for sharing

  59. Richard "kip" Smith says:

    The most realistic O gauge layout I have ever seen. Fantastic!

  60. Franco428 says:

    It is always nice to sit here and look at layout photos of some of the best creations people can build. I see these excellent layouts by all of the model train hobbyists as equivalent to paintings of famous artists. You all create such beauty from the gift of imagination, skill & dedication. God bless you & every other creator for doing what you do best in this hobby.

  61. Chester Karlewicz says:

    Fantastic job, wants me to give up my HO and go back to my old Lionel set.

  62. Ken Wasson says:

    Just starting in O scale, so very much appreciate your sharing of your magnificent work of 25 years. One of the most creative layouts I have seen, reflecting an exceptional dedication to the hobby. Thank you

  63. Michael Callis says:

    you can see you really are into the detail, the story and the hours of work you put into it shows! Fantastic set up

  64. JoeS-inME says:

    Great scenes! Where did you find the people; the poses are very difficult to find!

  65. Chris Sylvester says:

    Wow!!! That’s an awesome layout !! Love the the alien landing idea very different thank you for sharing your layout Chris

  66. chris keil says:

    Always love O guage layouts. What is your source for the vintage vehicles? I’ve been searching for two years and striking out.

  67. Wes says:

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful layout Robert.
    Is there a track plan or a video available?

  68. Jim AZ says:

    I know it’s been said before but this is one of the best O gauge layouts posted on this site. So many great, detailed and unique scenes. Great modeling skills here. Thanks for sharing.

    Jim AZ

  69. Don says:

    the river rafting & passenger station was just some of the many awesome things that were great about this layout

  70. John Airgood says:

    Really incredible layout. Each scene is a story in itself. Such creativity and artwork.

    I agree with some of the posters, I would love to see a video.

    Keep up the great work

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