N scale small switching layout

Kaustav’s been back in touch with his N scale small switching layout.

Have a look at the vid to see how he operates his train in his working port – nothing happens too fast, and for good reason too.

(His last post is here if you want to catch up).

“Hi Al,

I just want to thank all the viewers and subscribers for the overwhelming response on the last post about Wrightsville Port.

As much as people liked the photos, I think the next obvious question is how well does it run?

I started Wrightsville Port as a 2 year project; 9 years on and it’s still not done yet!

The layout definitely has become a part of my life, so much so that it has been with me through 6 relocations across 2 cities over a 1000 miles apart.

I also started the hobby with a very limited income; earning in Indian Rupee and spending in US Dollar. One way, that forced me to be creative and bring out the best of my model making abilities, but on the other hand, technologically I had to stay simple; therefore, no DCC, block detection or even a fancy DC controller with momentum.

And to make things even more complicated, 80% of my track is modeled to be embedded in concrete including several turnouts – in N scale!

So how well does a layout that had its track laid 9 years ago, modeled to be embedded in concrete, relocated 6 times across 2 cities whilst running on conventional DC with two very basic controllers operate?

Take a look!


n scale small switching layout

n scale small switching layout

Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

“Hi Al,

Thank you to all your readers and to you for sharing good ideas.

I saw your recent post from Roberto with recycled tracks rails as a cargo for his wagons. Attached are some photos of my use for the spare sleepers. I made coal bunkers with the redundant sleepers and coal from the foam that protected my last computer. Coal in the trucks is random lumps off the sole of old flip-flops (thongs in Australia)

Best wishes to you and all your readers



n scale coal bunker

n scael coal bunker

n scael coal bunker

“Hi need some help with wiring the attached plan.

It’s been about 25 years since I last modeled. I dug this plan up from my old files, but can’t find wiring.

Can you or one of your subscribers help? All turnouts are manual, and at this time only power to the tracks.

Thank you for your ongoing efforts to further our love for this wonderful medium.

Many thanks.


Who can help Bob? And a big thanks to Kaustav and Andrew.

It’s wonderful to see more of Kaustav’s N scale small switching layout, and Andrew’s coal bunker shows how effective a little imagination can be.

That’s all for today, folks.

Please do keep ’em coming, and if today is the day you start your layout, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



31 Responses to N scale small switching layout

  1. John Birch says:

    Brilliant, excellent! Amazing detail. Congratulations!

  2. Tom says:

    Kaustav: The longevity you have invested in your model has proven you have captured the essence of model railroading. I highly respect your attention carried out in the details of speed while switching. An observers eye. Is drawn to every detailed facet of your port. The tied off ship. The tidal effects on the seawall and shore line. The downtown. If there were a world contest on quality of exhibits, THIS would instantly be in the final top five. Brilliant work.

  3. Larry Dodge says:

    Terrific presentation of your model railroad. A module at times since you moved about and the fact it was so well built provides many clues to your abilities to build and maintain.
    I would say that you have completed the 3 C’s : craftmanship, creativity, and care. You can be extremely proud of your accomplishment and thanks for sharing your work with us .

  4. Robert Bouskill says:

    Kaustav’s layout is one of the finest presentations ever and I have been around trains for a while. His approach in methodical and instantly you can tell he is very intelligent and I wonder if he was born in April. Good Job !

  5. Gerry says:


    I am very highly impressed with your talent, your patience and your attention to detail. Seeing as how the exchange of Rupees to U.S. dollars is not so great I am more impressed with your patience there.


  6. Bob Berkeley says:

    Al, you didn’t tell them I need electric with manual turnouts.

  7. Lee says:

    Remarkable! Your modelling skills are top notch!

  8. Chuck says:

    Nicely done!

  9. Andrew Aves says:

    Awesome Kaustav. A fabulous layout – Andrew

  10. Jim MacLean says:

    What a great way of presenting your layout by showing both an overhead view & eye level view at the same time. A really terrific & informative tutorial Kaustav. I look forward to your next posting. Jim from CB.

  11. kevinTrainor says:

    You’re brilliant.!

  12. Malcom Lee Johnson says:

    How about that realistic slow train movement on this harbor layout? That is actually great. And the Bascule bridge? When I was a youngster during WW2, we lived at the port of Corpus Christi, Texas, and had a similar Bascule bridge across the entrance of the port that carried both railroad traffic and automobile traffic, and that allowed me to see up close and personal some of the military equipment being moved overseas for the war effort.

  13. Truly a remarkable little layout…

  14. Rod Mackay says:

    That’s the best running N gauge layout I’ve seen, excellent. I’m involved with a small 009 section on our club layout and cleanliness is all, wheels, rails, the insides of the blades on turnouts, and after cleaning, I vacuum up the dust too. A tip I got from Brian Harrap (?) of the German Railway Society was to put a drop of Wahl hair clipper oil on each rail, just a a tiny amount, and let the trains spread it around, it seems to both clean and promote contact, and many barbers have the odd tube free. But fundamentally, the trains are much smaller than 00 but the dust and dirt stay the same size, it’s always more of a problem.

  15. Norman Rosen says:

    I can’t add anything more than what has been said already. The presentation is excellent. More importantly, you have shown what can be done with DC.

  16. Kaustav says:

    I just want to say ‘Thank you’ to each of you for all the great comments, appreciation and encouragement. I’m glad that this little layout continues to entertain. I still have a few more things to add in this layout to make it perfect, but as my as I love this little beauty, i can’t wait to move to my next projects – DHR in OO9, and logging in Adirondacks mountain in the dying days of logging. A lot of material to come for many more months and years.

  17. Harry Awarski says:

    Very effective use of pip. Doesn’. Congratulations onan interet distract from watching main picture. I operate my g trains in analog mode using atlas controllers, 2MRC POWER G, and 1 Tech II power packs. Most of my turnouts are manual and 5 are electric using Atlas switches. This way it’s also easy for my grandkids and me to operate. Congratulations on an interesting video. I really enjoyed it with your comments.

  18. bob schildgen says:

    In your track plan photo, I would suggest that you connect the what is the inner loop on the lower left to the middle track of the 3 tracks. There are no reverse loops so wiring is straight forward, just wire every track to your power source. The reason is that this connect would allow running two trains simultaneously so you might want to make two zones, the inner one and the outer one. Of course then you would need two throttles. I know you said no Dcc, but I really like it even for use on any model RR. Your layout would benefit with Dcc greatly due to all of the spur tracks. Good Luck.

  19. Len Rizzo says:

    I’ve been watching this amazing website for several years and as I am now in my mid 70’s – your video is what is giving me the motivation to get back into the hobby.

    thank you and looking forward to your next post.

  20. George Zaky says:

    Always a treat when I see your name in the intro. I marvel that you can do such fine and exacting work in N scale. Please keep us posted here so we can learn more of your exacting approach to this hobby. If I could do a Kaustev build on my S scale it would look like it it was really real. All the best & thanks.
    Big Al
    Another eye opener. You’re doing 2 a days now- double for the money. ( What money??) Us old Coots have to slow down-not speed up. Therefore-double thanks for your hard work and be safe.

  21. Brian Messenger says:

    Kaustav, well done. I have followed your previous posts as well as your builds on you -tube. Excellent workmanship and detail. I just love your harbour scenes and am jealous of them. Congratulations.
    Brian – The HOn3 guy from Knysna RSA.

  22. Steven Porcelius says:

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you
    Hooray to someone that understands the ratio of speed to scale of the trains
    I have commented on how fast some of these modelers run their scale of trains. I run “G” series trains and run them properly as I had with my Lionel and HO trains
    I greatly appreciate this video
    Again Thank you

  23. Marklin ed. says:

    Kaustav I think your contributions to this web site is wonderful. Everything you show here has been very intelligent and challenging to us train hobbyist. Thank you.

    Thanks Al also

  24. Daniel Newman says:

    Excellent work LOVE the overhead view

  25. Arthur Romano says:

    Kaustav’s work is more than exemplary. A true ‘modeler’. No high tech tricks. I like the mirror too. I’ve done that to give a depth to smaller layouts. Thanks for letting us in on it.

  26. Al Otis says:

    Kaustav excellent video and excellent work. I am jealous of the level of detail you have achieved with N scale. Kudos my friend keep it up!

  27. Jon Webb says:

    Kaustav, what a gem of a layout. Operations seem very realistic, and the detailed modeling is brilliant! A real work of art. Inspirational for me.

  28. robert dale tiemann says:

    very nice, keep up the goos work.

  29. Joseph Evans says:

    That drawbridge is fantastic. I would love to see more about it.

  30. FRED ORMOND says:

    This layout exhibits excellent workmanship! Slow running like this takes CLEAN TRACK and CLEAN WHEELS… A thin layer of conductive grease helps too…I know a lot of folks like Wahl, but I found it picks up dirt… My most recent experience with the conductive grease is no CLEANING track for two years’ running! Its downside is it may cause traction issues on steep grades…

  31. Rob says:

    Slow Speed Running in N Scale; 60 years ago I had an HO passenger diesel that had a flywheel installed that ran absolutely fabulously. That engine could creep (and I mean barely perceptible movement) all around the entire layout without fail. It also had a really great humming sound that was very realistic and full. May not be practical in anything smaller than HO but it sure worked amazing!

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