Rob’s train peep hole!

Rob’s been in touch with a wonderful idea.

So simple – but you can easily see the fun everybody has with it:

“Hi Al,

I was at my layout the other day and I was trying to set up some new shots.

While I was at it, I decided to turn on the camera and have a running seesion while I was filming.

I have a new mural behind my viaduct and a new water column and crane that I was having a little fun with. I wanted to see them in video so they are in this one.

I also installed a child’s viewing hole since we have a couple of young ones around sometimes. It turned out to be a big hit.

Without even saying anything to them, they immediately made a beeline to the viewing port and spent 20 minutes there.

I have been pretty busy on the layout and considerable change occurs every week.

So for those that have seen my layout before, they will no doubt find something new now.

I really enjoy seeing what other people have been up to with their layouts and the tips you publish.

Your web posts are so very helpful and what a great way for the modeling community to get connected.

I hope you enjoy watching this as much as I had fun making it.



A big thanks to Hall of Fame member, Rob.

Hope you enjoyed today’s as much as me. Do have a look at all the comments below!

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

Don’t forget the Beginner’s Guide is here if you want to take that first step.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here

51 Responses to Rob’s train peep hole!

  1. Good idea Rob, keeps the children happy without trying to reach for items on the layout , your layout is looking very good , that viaduct goes very well

  2. david says:

    well done for a very nice layout, the only complaint is ,it is to clean,it needs some weathering.

  3. what a fantasy… have out done yourself with this one..thank you for your talented thoughts

  4. Peter Jones says:

    Rob what a fantastic video, you have a superb layout and I have thoroughly enjoyed watching your film, and once again have managed to pinch a few ideas for my own layout. Many thanks for sharing, Pete

  5. Cameron says:

    Great video!
    The layout is looking fantastic.
    Thankyou or posting.

  6. Kendal Thomas says:

    Hi, Rob brilliant layout everything looks spot on, hope my exhibition layout is half as good as yours when finished

  7. Rob McCrain says:

    You are all so kind with your generous comments.
    Thanks Al for putting this one in.


  8. Lou Santello says:

    Every building, road and bridge when built in real world was once brand new. Ignore the comment that your layout needs weathering. I just spent 120 hours building 2 170 foot truss bridges, era 1860. Those bridges are going on my layout as if they were built yesterday. I think your layout is great:)

  9. MIKE,Seattle WA says:

    VERY NICE Rob & I like the music you add to your films.

  10. chuck says:

    David’s suggestion bears noting – urban scenes a bit too sterile and grass could use some nitrogen; viaduct backdrop (top left) needs irregularity with signs of some vegitation to add realism. But egad, what a neat layout.

  11. chuck says:

    David’s suggestion bears noting – urban scenes a bit too sterile and grass could use some nitrogen; viaduct backdrop (top left) needs irregularity with signs of some vegitation to add realism. But egad, what a neat layout

  12. chuck says:

    Enjoy viewing your presentations.

  13. Hi Rob nice lay out not to crazy but well done .

  14. Roland Burch says:

    Rob, everything is great. Your backgrounds were of special interest to me.

  15. Raymond Appenzeller says:

    I really liked your layout. Your attention to detail is superb. Thank you and do keep up the great work! Ray A. from the USA

  16. Austin Wilson says:

    Hi Rob, great video, thanks for sharing. Love it.

  17. Jim Sarosi says:

    The peep hole for the kids is a great idea, but why not just build a little lower at kids eye level. My grandkids love to visit my trains.

  18. builder Kim says:

    That was good.very well done.yes need some garbage laying around lol.But was a great video.Thanks for showing it.

  19. Tom Keller says:


  20. Tom says:

    Did I see “Yoda” The Jedi Knight from Star Wars, on the sidewalk in town; Or was that a figment of my immadgenation? Was it Haloween and some kid started “trick or treat” early? Hummm Loved the banjo music in the background … had my toe tapping! The peep hole reminded me of my childhood; memories. What a fantastic addition for the little ones.

    The layout superb. The detail amazing. The video great!
    Well Done Rob, Well Done!!!!!

    Is it wonderful how just one word can summerize any model railroader, for the work her/she does … LOVE!



  21. Tom says:

    when you finnish reading my first comments please read this one.
    Correcteed an error.

    Where it says, Is it wonderful how just one word can summerize any model railroader, for the work her/she does … LOVE!
    Should read: for the work he/she does
    I guess the old saying applies here: to err is human; to forgive is devine?



  22. Chris says:

    Fantastic idea, love the layout

  23. paul Otway says:

    nice one, how do you send these movies by email?

  24. THOMAS says:


  25. 'Nother Grandpa says:

    I get an immense amount of joy in watching videos posted by you, Dave and others. Thank you!
    QUESTION. What track and roadbed are you using?


  26. Rob says:

    I am using Hornby track and Woodland Scenics track pad.

  27. 'Nother Grandpa says:

    Thank you, Rob!

  28. Mark s.noble says:

    Hi rob beutifull layout i have one question
    Ive been hunting high and low for a double
    Decker british bus but to now avail

  29. Paul B. says:

    The backdrop in the opening city scene is excellent. Nice job.

  30. David says:

    The peep hole is a very clever idea. I think limiting the field if vision helps add to the imagination. I hope you don’t mind if I use your idea on my own layout. My grandkids will,love it!

  31. Fraser Wison says:

    Great video and thanks for posting it.
    What was the name of the music track – the fiddle and banjo – when locos were crossing the viaduct?
    Keep up the good work!

  32. Ken Hecker says:

    Rob, some excellent shots. Were these taken with a miniature video camera, or a DSLR with video capabilities. The lens is excellent, even when you shoot through what gives me the feeling of the entrance to a bird house. I used to have a 110 Minolta camera whose lens was perfect for color stills. Just the right lens for model photography. The Kodak film was very fine grain because it used the same film emulsion that was developed for 35mm. This reallly gives you the feeling you’re there, and 1.5″ tall (I’m from the States, and modeling in On30.


  33. John says:

    WELL DONE Rob……Smashing!!!! Keep `em coming!……where`d those seagulls come from?? LOL!

  34. Ben says:

    One of the reasons we Americans love our Mother Country is the British appreciation for the simpler life. You take time to do absolutely admirable work while still enjoying your accomplishments. The lawn is not perfect because life is not perfect. The layout is not perfect, because ( like the street and railroad scenes it depicts) it is manmade. I really enjoyed the peep hole view especially as it allows us to nit only imagine, but literally feel the calm, quiet and simpler life of an English village in the Mother Country. Thank you for sharing!

  35. Michael C says:

    Rob, first off let me say you have many honed talents. Your layout is superb. The viaduct scene, very realistic. And the trains are a perfect blend. I do love the peep hole concept,for the smaller hands and viewers. Much better than my idea ( to keep little hands at bay ) an electric fence. Lol. Seriously though great work. Waiting for more of your great videos. Michael C.

  36. Tony says:

    You have a fine model Railway, and I also would like the name of the music.

  37. john andrew says:

    Rob ,I am a product of the good old days and being dirty and crappy is easy, but to see nice , clean and well kept is great bring on more John A

  38. Roy Tibbles says:

    Rob great layout very good video too. Roy

  39. SHELDON PHX. AZ. says:

    Very nice ! 👍 Clean is good ….
    Sheldon. Phoenix Arizona

  40. Cary says:

    Rob, While old and dirty hides mistakes, clean and pristine is much more difficult in my opinion. Your attention to detail really stands out and the peep hole certainly adds a new dimension. Thanks for sharing. Cary in Kentucky

  41. Joe Cavilla says:

    Very enjoyable to watch and a very nice layout. I liked the automated fill station.

  42. Dave w says:

    HI Rob,
    Great to see a good & varied layout that is intended to be enjoyed also by youngsters.
    Never mind the rivet counters. If you want or need to’ weather’ , you can when your ready if you feel its necessary and involve the young in the process to aid their learning. The important thing with all kids is action now! & the Peephole idea is a good first step in grabbing their interest whilst keeping their naive hands away. It looks brilliant.

  43. Brian says:

    Great idea with the ‘peep hole’ Rob, very novel. Also a very nice layout.
    Being honest though, didn’t like the first piece of music – preferred the hootenanny stuff – haha! Keep up the great work.

  44. Robert Brady says:

    I see Rob’s in Competition with Dangerous Dave. Keep on Keep n on fellas

  45. Gary Mitchell says:

    Hi Rob always enjoy your videos, and I really like the peep hole.
    All the best from NZ

  46. David Schaffner says:

    Haven’t heard that comment for awhile; ‘Smashing!’ Love the extended bridge with the small stream running through at the bottom. Very good. Nice job video taping, a craft in itself…..Like the track that looks brass colored without the bottom edging….Thought maybe I saw a little Plasticville, but maybe not, love the vintage cars and a few extras thrown in…Looks a little ‘England Born’…..You put a lot of work into, and I simply love it…That peep hole is so cool, because I couldn’t keep my grand kids to lay off. No touching, but like to make it an adventure for them. Happy Railroading!

  47. Rob
    Very nice

  48. Eric Faust says:

    Very nice!

    I found the lone engine with the lone silver car to be the “comic relief” character. Awesomely done, made the viewing interesting and entertaining.

    thank you very much.

  49. Vicki says:

    Enjoyed the video.
    I do have a small question but may have just thought of the answer. Is it called a transformer? I was in a train shop many years ago and the Beckham Harry Potter set was on sale because the owner told the power supply to someone who didn’t want the HP train. I’ve now given it to my adult son but he got sick and was unable to drive any more. Now I want to buy the missing part but don’t know what to ask for. The box said “HO /OO. Can anyone help. I’m in the US, state of Hew Hampshire.

  50. Stephen Hill Woodstock GA says:

    Rob , your display is always refreshing to see, absolutely great detail and nostalgic trains … really enjoy them . Kids must love the peephole , that’s a brilliant idea.
    As we do we learn as we go , already planning for the next go at it , consuming so many great ideas and tips and immeasurable insight from you seasoned modelers. Thank you all for sharing and re sharing . Just stunning display , one can see why you’re in the Hall of Fame .

  51. william james palmer says:

    nice the kids will love it have seen that on other layouts

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