Small space HO train layout

John’s been back in touch with an upate on his small space HO train layout.

And as usual, he’s having fun:

“Hello Al

I have now completed the street scene portion of my latest modeling adventure.

I still need to get some figures from Hattons and maybe an auto or two.

I mentioned that I would provide a narrative about this project so I will give it a go.

For years I have been space and budget limited. To compensate I began building small layouts appropriate to the space I had available.

While I live “across the pond” in America, I found that certain British publications were far more helpful when it came to model railroading in small spaces than our native Model Railroader and Railroad Model Craftsman.

Model Trains International was most inspirational and I wish I could collect every issue.

About seven or eight years ago I discovered Model Rail and when they came out with their bespoke USA tank engine I had to get one. Of course a Gronk followed and then an Ivatt 2-6-0. 

The addiction is getting worse. I just acquired an Austerity 0-6-0 tank and I am waiting on the arrival of a J-70 and a Sentinel.

Wagons and vans have also been collected and I am now trying to focus on the 1950’s to late 1960’s time frame. English English is slowly becoming my third language.

With the acquisition of British railway equipment, a layout is now in order. While I have a couple of projects under consideration, a small Inglenook with a dock for a canal narrow boat is where I have decided to start.

I was especially inspired by a photo of a locomotive threading it’s way between a pub and another structure. This looked like a unique way to exit the layout to reach the fiddle track.

While I very much enjoy what I have accomplished so far, this I a learning experience and I am already finding things that I will do differently on my next effort.

All the best,

Nevada, USA”

small space HO train layout level crossing

small space HO train layout

small space HO train layout model stream train level crossing

small space HO train layout

small space HO train layout

small space HO train layout

small space HO train layout fiddle yard

A big thanks to John.

Whenever he gets in touch I always think of his narrow gauge layout that looks like an absolute blast.

Here’s a pic of it with a link: Small gauge railroad

mini gauge loco

And here’s the youtube of it in action. Looks great fun:

And now on to Carol.

Although Christmas either feels like a distant memory or speeding towards you at an alarming rate, I thought this okay to post because it’s another good example of a small space HO train layout:

“Hi Al,

Over the years, I’ve truly enjoyed and learned a lot from your daily posts. I thought I would send you a couple of photos from my annual Christmas HO layout.

I put it up every year, starting at the end of November and it stays up though February. Each year I try to add or do something a little different.

This year I built my mountain & tunnel from a block of hard foam,using a hot wire/knife to carve out the center and mold the mountain.

I used the helpful tips from past postings from you and the other subscribers. Thanks!!  

There are over 250 people, which really make the town look alive and my board is lit up at night.

One of my favorite items, of which I’m very proud of, is my working band stand. I’ve used small speakers hooked up to a mixer and a iPod to provide sound.  

I call my layout Hansenville (named by a good friend of ours).

Thanks and keep the posts coming!!!!


small space HO train layout

small space HO train layout

small space HO train layout

small space HO train layout

small space HO train layout

christmas model train

christmas model railroad

christmas model railroad

christmas model railroad

model train

model train

model train

small space HO train layout

It’s always good to read when the blog helps others make a start on their layout, so I’m very much looking forward to seeing what the year brings.

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.

8 Responses to Small space HO train layout

  1. John Reynolds says:

    Christmas layouts are always fun and Carol’s is very will done.
    I love the tunnel and all the people! Wow!
    I really need to add people to my scenes.

  2. david howarth says:

    Well done John , all coming along nicely

  3. Brian Olson says:

    Where there’s space large or small, there is opportunity.

  4. Robert Brady says:

    Happy New year everyone !
    The Critic

  5. David says:

    Carol’s layout made me laugh with the police officers at the donut shop. I am a retired LEO and I know these officers were there to protect the donuts.

    I am not a modeler but I tried my hand at an HO layout in the 1950’s. I enjoy Al’s blog every day.

  6. Mike Balog says:

    To Al and ALL my Friends Around the World of Model Railroading who I have met Here on this Blog Site: Wishing Everyone of you, Your Families and Friends, and The Legeands here,,, Dave, Al and the “Critic”… a Very Healthy, Cheerful, Joyful and VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR TOO… God Bless One and All…

    ~ Mike, N.H. U.S.A. ~
    New Year’s Eve.. 12-31-2022

  7. Warner Smith says:

    Hi Al

    Just want to thank for all you efforts year after year the keep us so keen on the hobby. I haven’t posted any progress yet as have only been retired 23 years with so many things to keep me away from this my 5th other hobby. Always enjoy peoples input that keep me interested. HAPPY NEW YEAR and all the best for 2023.


  8. Frank Fleury says:

    I hope you had a Merry Christmas and that 2023 will be a the Happiest New Year ever . . until next year.
    Thank you for all the positive encouragement that you have provided to the railroad modelling community with your blog. Ignore the nay-sayers. They are just jealous or frustrated because they didn’t do it first!
    I wish the best to you, your family and friends for the new year.
    Frank Fleury
    Surrey, British Columbia, Canada

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *