S scale train layouts

John’s been in touch with an update on his S scale:

“Hi Al…

here are some pics of my addition since the last post…

Stella’s Diner, and the Hobo Camp…

Thanks for all that you do!



model railroad hobo camp

model railroad diner

model railroad hobo camp

So of course, you all know how much I love an update, so I looked for John’s previous post and saw that most of you won’t have seen it, so here it is:

“Dear Al,

I am writing to you from Pearland, Texas, a suburb of Houston.

Ten to twelve years ago my son Michael and I became interested in model railroads during our annual family Christmas visit to Northampton, Massachusetts to visit my mother in law for the holidays.

Look Park always has a very nice S scale model train display operating, and my son, then about 9 years old, was given a nice customized Christmas train car as a present from his grandmother that would be running on the layout when we visited each year. Our fascination with model train layouts thus began.

Having never done anything like this before, we were fortunate to have met Steve Allen when attending the Look Park display.

He was one of the main S scale trains railroaders in that area, setting up and operating the layouts each year.

He became a great mentor and advisor for us in starting a layout back in Pearland in 2012.

Steve was invaluable in helping me to learn about S scale, and guiding us on what to look for with S Helper Service items to get us started.

My son had fun “designing” the basic layout structure and paths for the tracks, including some small rock hill formations, and a big mountain to put a tunnel through.

A lake was designed also, fed from a long waterfall from the top of the mountain.

Due to space, we were working with approximately a 4ft by 6ft benchwork structure with plywood base, and several layers of form core.

Over the next 6 months or so, we built the layout, laying track, roadways, buildings and streets and lighting.

There was not really a particular geographic area or era that we designed from, but just what seemed to be fun and fit nicely in how the layout was put together. It did end up being a slightly older time frame, and certainly not today’s modern style.

We added cars and trucks, and of course people in the small town. Over the following years a few things were added and slightly changed, but because of space, it has stayed pretty much the same.

I have included a few photos from the beginning, and some showing the layout as it is now.

Hope you enjoy seeing our rather compact S scale layout!


Pearland, Texas”

s scale trains overhead view

start s scale train layout

tunnels for s scale train layout

model train adding scenery

s scale mountains

s scale trains overhead view

model train signal box town

model train town

s scale overhead view

scale freight train

model train railroad lake

model railroad store

s scale boat lake

s scale freight train

model train town

model train farm

model train curve

A big thanks to John for sharing his S scale trains. I don’t think I’ll ever tire of seeing your layouts.

You can see more S scale layouts here.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

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.

16 Responses to S scale train layouts

  1. Stephen Dean says:

    Excellent layout. I especially like the Hobo camp.

  2. Don says:

    nicely done work, love the dilapidated house & the small town feel. great work on the caboose being a restaurant.

  3. Mike Wootton says:

    Nice use of the space available, nice layout. Well done

  4. Stephen Hill says:

    John, that’s is an impressive display , very well done and very nice . Great detail throughout, us viewers can see your efforts and hard work here . Really a nice job , just looks great .

  5. george zaky says:

    I light up and get excited whenever an S scaler pops up. Your layout is fantastic and your artistry is right up there.
    I hope you keep expanding or adding because you’re good at this. You need to think how to entertain the grand kids when they come along. That’s the best part and no better scale than the hefty but small enough S scale for tiny hands.
    If I live that long, I hope to get all my engines in DCC with sound and have my Baldwin do its switching with engine noise & clanging.
    Big Al
    You’re the gift that keeps giving. Merci beaucoup.

  6. Richard says:

    Nice layout. Glad to see there are some railroaders in the area

  7. Brian Olson says:

    Very, very, very creative small scenes that add to the big picture!

  8. Carl Gianonatti says:

    John Cool layout very interesting with alot of detail. Very creative for sush a small layout. Keep up tje excelent work.

  9. John says:

    Thanks to everyone for your nice and encouraging comments. Great community to be a part of. Thanks to Al for administering!

  10. John says:

    I love the small cameos of real-life situations. Excellent, very creative work.

  11. robert dale tiemann says:

    very nice i like the layout a lot

  12. Ms Heather Logan says:

    Can some one tell me please what size is S scale I have no listing for it ???????

  13. Red says:

    Not only is it an awesome layout, I love the fact that there isn’t a third rail.
    That is the main reason that I don’t like Lionel trains as they have that not-normal center rail!
    But this is an awesome layout for sure.

  14. Larry Schweitzer says:

    Really great detail! I’ve got an American Flier set that has been packed away for 70 years.

  15. william janmes palmer says:

    wow that’s a lot of detail. well done

  16. Grant Miles says:

    John, Your very creative layout brings to mind the comment that you do not need a large space to have a very creative build. The cameos are great and nicely spaced out. As to rolling stock, the Crown Models S scale refrigerator cars, made in the 90’s, may be of interest. They do show up on the bay website. As to what is S scale, it is 3/16 to the foot. The proportion is 1/64 of the real thing. It has much of the detail of 0 gauge in a smaller package. It should be more popular than it currently is. John, thanks for showing us your creation.

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