Lionel 027 layout

Tom’s been in touch with his Lionel 027 layout:

“This is Toms River NJ Steve USA.

My wife and I are moving to South Carolina USA. We have two of our four kids down there now.

Well my Lionel 027 layout took me 6 years to build. I am at the point where I have to take it apart.

All track are glued down with ties and ballast plus all joints are soldered. I don’t think I can save much of it.

I am looking forward to building a new layout but packing up the old stuff is going to be a big job.


Lionel 027 layout control panel

Lionel 027 layout signal box

lionel engine shed

Lionel 027 layout

Lionel 027 layout hopper

Lionel 027 layout turnouts

Lionel 027 layout buildings

I did enjoy seeing the engine shed from the printable buildings range. It does make me smile when I spot them on a layout.

Course, I’m biased, but I thought it looked great too.

Now on to Rob, who had a small problem to solve.

Was his track too big or his bench too small?

Either way, it’s nothing a bit of woodwork couldn’t solve.

(If you want to get up to speed, his last post is here.)

“Part 3 of my N scale.

In it the little running layout gets to the place where trains are able to do some limited running.

I go over wiring and track laying.


N scale dropper ballast

n scale dropper ballast

N scale model railroad

n scale freight brake van

n scale extending bench

n scale laying track dogbone layout

tools for model railroad

n scale bench hinge

n scale dogbone track layout

model train wiring

Even the best laid plans create problems out of the blue.

I’m often saying a little planning goes a long way with a model railroad, but the reality is, no matter how much you plan, you will still find yourself scratching you head over something.

It’s very much what this hobby is about, it’s seldom goes to plan.

But then again, that’s half the fun. And I do enjoy seeing how you all solve your problems.

A big thanks to Stephen for sharing his Lionel 027 layout.

And to Rob too.

Lastly, ‘Perplexed from Michigan’ has been in touch on the forum – he has a question on engines that keep stalling on the the forum. Can you help?

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming because soon I’ll have nothing to post.

And if today is the day you get bored with day dreaming, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

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

model train answers

16 Responses to Lionel 027 layout

  1. Mr D J Howarth says:

    Robs N scale is coming along nicely , and Toms Lionel layout is a treat to see , just love those old layouts ..Dangerous Dave

  2. George Zaky says:

    I cant wait to see you install turnouts. My Peco turnouts were a disaster and turned me off of ever doing an N scale ever again. My preference of power connections is to solder wires to joiners then join the track. Less solder blobs.
    You have a marvelous layout and unless you want to do something different, which is common, and the only issue is shipping the original DaVinci then study how and where to cut the ell and re-attach the two pieces again and leave everything else intact. Put the two pieces in a van or trailer and separately bring them to SC. I would hate to see that dismantled.
    Let us know what you did.

  3. John Bullock says:

    Rob… thanks for showing us the alligator-clip heat sink idea.
    Stephen… a dilemma for sure. We’ve seen and heard about people having to move and tear their layouts apart. Good news is you can always rebuild!

  4. Ted Martin says:

    Toms River NJ Steve,
    George Zaky has the right idea. Carefully cut the layout to 2 or 3 pieces that will fit into a U-Haul. Bolting braces to the sides so that one will fit over the other in the U-Haul, or a stack of three, with the extraneous equipment sliding underneath the bottom layer. Most U-Haul vehicles are tall but some of their trucks are wide so you need to visit their web site for measurements. Replacing the track and roadbed at the sections is minor compared to redoing the whole layout. You can even cut the track with a fine metal saw and reconnect with new rail joiners. Leaving the U-Haul at a S.C. dealer should be simple and I’m sure you will be making more than one trip in your move; SC is not that far.

  5. William Orton says:

    I started with Tinplate track as well, but 054 curves or bigger. I’m finding I get derailments on some of my MTH engines at my switches. If you decide to go with new track instead of salvaging sections as proposed above, pls let everyone know what track you chose and why. I’m considering gargraves flex track to go with Ross Custom Switches I already have. Always looking for other opinions. Thanks

  6. Steve says:

    Steve from Toms River
    Thanks everyone for your comment. My layout I was built an ell shape in two tables. One is 5 feet by 9 feet and the other is 3 foot 6 inches by 13 foot. Both have there own legs with wheels. They are bolted together and all legs are bolted on. So I can take the whole thing together. The top is 1/4” plywood with 2” of foam glued on. So it will come apart. I am using pods to move so they will fit in. I am thinking of starting over with a new layout. Do away with the 027 track and go to 031 or bigger. My biggest problem is my wife. Right now I have 18 turnouts on my table they are all old 027 turnouts I got most of them for next to nothing. Some are when I was a kid in the early fifties. If I go new they could go for $100 each. That’s $1800. And that is just the start. My wife would kill me. But I have learned so much over the years that I would have a ball building a new layout. I am not in a hurry with so much going on. When I start I will show you all the progress from start to finish.

  7. Bob Nemeth says:

    I know you hate to part with your 027
    But if you go with Gargraves track and Ross switches life would be easier. Good luck

  8. Steve says:

    Bob I understand that you are saying and I agree what you are saying but some of the track and turnouts and I have a lot of history. I know that may sound silly but my Mom and Dad got them for me. Taking an old turnouts that doesn’t work right and worn out and modifying it to work properly is very rewarding. It took me some time but my trains run just fine. I have very few derailment which took some time but is rewarding. I hope people out there know what I am talking about.

  9. william janmes palmer says:

    nice work on both layouts shame to tear the 027 apart can’t you dremel the track apart then cut the sections then you would be able to save some and have a starting point

  10. Warren Yohe says:

    If you happened to have glued down the track and ballast with white glue, matte medium or PVA, they can be easily removed by soaking with with rubbing alcohol (IPA 70%). I have done it often on HO track.

  11. David Schaffner says:

    Seeing that old Lionel accessories remind me of my Lional layout forty five years ago, with just about every imaginable railroad tower. crossing signals, plastic Ville structures, and the big transformer that allowed the operation to run smoothly.
    I had about fifteen different engines and was a tireless landscaper with all my mountains, ridges and sealing on tunnel portals. At the time I used spackling compounds for my paste for creating mountains and such.
    I had about fifty railroad cars which today would be collector items. When I began a family, unfortunately, someone else got my layout… Love your layout.

  12. Gary M from Long Island says:

    Tom…… very nice layout. Great scenery detail

  13. robert dale tiemann says:

    very nice setup.

  14. Robert T Beard says:

    You won’t regret moving to South Carolina. Remove from New Jersey to North Carolina. What a difference!

  15. Steve Ruple says:

    Steve from Tom’s River. That’s a awesome layout, to bad you have to take it down but I think you can save it by cutting the track in sections like stated before. As you mentioned to Bob previously I know how you feel about the original switches, I rework mine if they need some attention also. I’ve been collecting Lionel trains ever sense I was very young. I’m working on a Lionel layout also. I would love to see your layout when you start to build it.

  16. Dave Karper says:

    Ah, yes. Lionel. Join the track, hook the wires to the lockon, put the train on the track and they run first time every time.

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