HO train trestles

Jim’s been in touch with his scratch built HO train trestles – and what a layout it sits on:

“Hi Al.

I really enjoy & look forward to your daily e-mails. Very informative & lots of helpful tips. I’m 68 & live in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada.

I’ve been modeling in HO scale off & on now for about 30 years and have been a railway enthusiast ever since my dad, or should I say Santa, gave me a wind-up train when I was only 3. The memory of it running with a smoking cigarette butt sticking out of it’s stack is still vivid.

My layout is HO in a 12’x14′ room.

I scratch-built the curved trestle upside down on my work table with 3/16″ x 3/16″ strips of pine sawed with a bandsaw.

It took approx. 500 pieces of various lengths to assemble & with a 36″ section of flex-track, it was placed on the layout & the mountain & gulch was then fitted around the HO train trestles.

Keep up the great e-mails.


HO scale steam engine

HO scale industial scene fire

HO scale hoffa cement

HO train trestles

HO train trestles

model railroad freight

ho train trestles

model railroad freight

ho train trestle roundhouse view


“Good morning Al,

I just got back from a nice vacation visiting my daughter and inlaws in Holland. I had lived there for a while after college and my wife is Dutch. We go there often and I am always so impressed with their Rail system. So organized, so clean, and so easy to get anywhere in the country. So of course I had to visit as many hobby shops as possible and add a couple Dutch locos to my collection. I purchased a beautiful NS “hondakop” and a NS Grey-Yellow loco and a bunch of NS passenger wagons.

I also visited the Dutch Railway Museum in Utrecht which was awesome. A must take for anyone who visits the Netherlands

I have appreciated you posting a few of my entries (photos) in the past so I figured I would try a video. This is a real amateur video entry compared to some that you post,but here are my new Dutch NS loco on my New England layout together with one of my older “switchers”.



Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

Two fantastic layouts from Ray and James for sharing his HO train trestles – thanks to both of them for sharing. Hope you enjoyed them as much as I did.

And if they have inspired you, grab the guide and get to work on yours today. There’s no point sitting on the side lines…

Thanks for all the nice comments on the guide and the site by the way. I really do appreciate them.

Lastly, thanks to all the folks that have been good enough to leave answers on the forum – it’s slowly starting to take shape.

You can see the forum here.



model train answers

49 Responses to HO train trestles

  1. Bob Cassidy says:

    I was noticing some sort of devices between the sections of track, what are those and what are their purpose? Great looking layouts!!

  2. David Nelson says:

    Jim,is that wooden bridge scratch built or ready made? Either way it’s very impressive regards Dave

  3. Peter Jones says:

    Thanks ray and James for showing your layouts, both jammed with detail and plenty going on which is great.
    Peter “the Macken” in Sunderland, England

  4. Chuck Bartunek says:

    Two very impressive layouts.

  5. david vulgar says:

    nice name for the cement company i am sure jimmy would love it

  6. Paul B. says:

    Super layouts. Jim, I never thought of putting a burning cigarette butt into a smoke stack before. That is so funny. I’m glad we have all found other ways. 🙂 Thanks for posting.

  7. John Meehan says:

    Hup Holland! I lived in Amsterdam for four years and brought back N and HO Nederland Spoor Trains and run them with my other US Trains. Love ’em. The layout still were also wonderful. I just ripped up my N gauge track because of hard to find shorts and am redoing it with Peco track and a much simpler electro optic design. Thanks for motivating me to get back downstairs and back to work on fixing my layout!

  8. ken says:

    loved the detailed photos and there is nothing wrong with the video ether as I can see at this end but I do not look for mess ups as long as the locos and cars run smoothly who cares lol
    after all aint that’s what its all for is showing it off lol

  9. Mike Pace says:

    Most impressive video and layouts, I enjoy seeing them !!! Thank you. Mike

  10. david says:

    Both layouts look superb.

  11. bob says:

    sizes would be nice to have. track plans would be even nicer

  12. John wisnieski says:


  13. John W Kauffman says:

    I am looking for H.O. Track plans that would fit on a 4x8x4 L shaped layout.

  14. Ralphie says:

    I love Jim’s Concrete Plant entitled “HOFFA CEMENT.” I was wondering if Jimmy is buried around there – lol

  15. Richard Sappelli says:

    Ray a really wonderful layout. But if you would have only one train going and then follow that one train around its route we would be able to get a better feel for the whole thing. Then follow the second train on its route and when done all would see the whole layout and get a better understanding of your efforts. Still a wonderful job.
    thanks ,

  16. Marty says:

    The 2:59 comment could have left out the four letter word! Great pictures and video!!!

  17. Ian McDonald says:

    great pictures like the bridge plenty of caring when building that. impressed with the scenery detail. nice video good to see trains moving. good to see large layout plenty of things to do.

  18. Neil Brand says:

    I strongly agree that the four letter word used by 2:59 was totally uncalled for and just shows his or hers ignorance of the English language.

  19. Rod Mackay says:

    “his or hers ignorance of the English language.”

    Oh lovely, couldn’t make it up.
    Rod 🙂

  20. Gene "Hat" Hatfield says:

    May I brow “HOFFA CEMENT” for a cement plant I I have in the planning stage? Great layout. Thanks for letting us see it.

  21. pete freestone says:

    like the HOFFA CEMENT plant

  22. Brian Moretti says:

    do you have a track plan of the HO layout , would like to see an over view of it looks very nice most of the pics are track level and cant see much of where the trains come from and go send the pics to my e mail thanks but its a very detailed spread and very thought out which I like to see ….

  23. Dan Hulitt says:

    Jim, well done, and the square sliding table was new to me. Nice rusty MOW equipment and of course, the Hoffa memorial.

    No apologies for the video Ray, very enjoyable.
    Mn Dan

  24. Gary M from Long Isalnd says:

    Jim……this is a stunning layout. Love the bridge with the waterfall. Fabulous detail.

  25. Chris Sylvester says:

    Wow!!! That’s a really great job on your layout!!! Thanks for sharing Chris

  26. DJfromNJ says:

    “Hoffa Cement” is the crowning touch to Jim’s excellent layout.

    Thank you, Al, for the double header – 2 well done presentations! Keep ’em coming.

  27. Mark T. Pianka says:

    nice looking layout well done!

  28. Mike Balog says:

    Nice Looking HOFFA Cement Plant… it that down the Road from their Shoe Store and Charter Fishing Boat Dock?

  29. Will in NM says:

    Jim, Very nice photos of your impressive layout. I loved all the detail and junk around the turntable area. One small observation: there appears to be a huge amount of water coming down the waterfall that seems to just disappear into a trickle near the rockslide construction area on the near side of your fabulous trestle. From the number of construction vehicles and scenes on your layout is it possible you were in the heavy construction business at some time in the past?

    Ray, You have nothing to apologize for. Your video was well done and showed your layout very nicely. From the sharpness of the curves I am guessing that it’s an N scale layout. I don’t know anything about Dutch locomotives but your running trains looked great to me.

  30. Doug says:

    It is always great to see such detail on the layouts And, these are remarkable examples. Thanks for sharing.

  31. Erick says:

    Pretty Kool.!!!! I going do something like that.

  32. Love it! Wonderful work

  33. J S Friedman says:

    Ho Ho Hoffa
    Canadians do have a wonderful sense of humor

  34. Willard Wheelock says:

    You have created a truly awesome railroad world. I fell in love with Nova Scotia when I visited there a couple of years ago and would move there if I could. I would have to pack up my rail system and start over again at age 80. God bless!

  35. Scott J says:

    Hah! Hoffa cement..proud purveyor of those classic cement overshoes!

  36. robert dale tiemann says:

    love the trellis bridge. if its a hand built great job, lots of work. if its a kit they are ok too.

  37. Denny Mckernan says:

    so enjoyed looking and surveying the detail. love the trestle bridge. first class.

  38. Brian Olson says:

    Wow, these are a great start to the week! Especially admire modelers who build trestles. Something I’m not likely to ever do but again, admire those who do.

    Good stuff today!

  39. Rich B. says:

    Today’s theme is definitely about the journey not destination. Both posts can only be labeled as magnificent. Only one thing noted… the track across the long curved truss looks as it needs structure under the rails going opposite direction for better tie support. I wouldn’t change a thing though, perfect as is!

    Think I’ve been here before with this question, no problem as awesome to review as many times it’s shown… short memory these days. 😵‍💫

    Regards, R

  40. robert dale tiemann says:

    very nice set up.

  41. John Hauser - LINY says:

    Jim: Nicely done! European railways are much better kept than their US counterparts. I especially enjoyed seeing your trestle bridge. A fun hobby that is influenced by our lifetime experiences. A good stuff.

    John – LINY

  42. Tom Duffy says:

    Jim, one well constructed/ scratch built trusses .
    What is the radius ?

  43. Runna Muck says:

    LOVE, love the engine shed great job

  44. Steve Ruple says:

    Nice scratch built wooden bridge Jim and some nice pictures.

  45. RON RABEL says:

    I really like to see videos of operating layouts, but they would be so much better if they were in focus.

  46. Stephen says:

    That curved span bridge is certainly spectacular. He did an excellent job of it.

  47. Andrew Aves says:

    Two superb layouts, thank you for sharing.

    Andrew in Oz

  48. Sam H. Maryland, USA says:

    JIm, That trestle bridge is fantastic. Any chance that we could see how you did that, plans, or video?

  49. Ross Johnston says:

    Jim! What a fantastic trestle bridge hand built by you. I liked all aspects of your layout and the scenery. Thanks for sharing.
    Al! I liked your layout too but try to be slower with the panning next time. Have you been to Madauradam, which is a miniature city near The hague. The Dutch Railways run it and the trains and scenery are fantastic. Cheers Rossco South Australia

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