Steam model railroad – Paul’s

Paul’s been in touch with his latest layout – a steam model railroad theme.

It always tears at the heart when you have to demolish a layout, but it also paves the way for another layout:


You were gracious enough to post my initial layout from when I retired well over 10 yrs ago (Paul’s retirement project)

Unfortunately life events forced me to sell my house and I had to demolish my layout.

I packaged up some of the buildings along with all my Triang Super 4 track, locos and rolling stock and put it into storage for a few years.

Fortunately I was able to purchase another residence, this one had less room but I still managed to get one small bedroom and build a 7×7 layout, in the Super 4 track and sticking with DC.

I built this layout higher at 47″ (the last one was a lot lower for the little grandkids)

I wanted better access this time so only butted one edge flush to a wall and left about 12″ around the others with a bit more on the control side with a closet behind.

I made one large access panel, so all areas can be reached fairly easily. (There is also a removable panel behind the hill with generous access inside).

I opted to use a full 1.5″ foam board on top of 5/8″ plywood. Track was layed on cork and I decided on foam (the same sheeting cut up and stacked along with expanding spray foam) for the hill and smaller embankments.

Both inner and outer tracks incline up 2% on Woodland Scenics product, covered in plastercloth and spray foam.

I wanted more water this time so did a few ponds and a small river with a small lake on top of my only access cut out.

Only one turnout off the inner loop and a cramped disjointed yard but I had to make things fit as best I could.

A castle was a must (I had visited Dover castle in the 60’s), this time as well as an airfiled commemorating my dads time at RAF #2 Grading School at Kirton-in-Lindsey airfield on the Tiger Moth in 1952.

Both inner and outer lines are controlled separately as well as the yard. (Although the yard will probably just focus on detailed staic scenes for the most part)

On this layout I decided to wire every single piece of track, even the numerous 1″ long 1/4 straights. I also did all the droppers on the underside with wires through a single hole drilled through the track center.

Although I feel I did a decent job on my first layout, I wanted to improve the quality on every aspect. Although things can look great from a distance the proof in the pudding is those close up pictures. It needs to look close to real.

Note mine is far from prototypical and generally spans Era 3-5.

I did not use any electronic track planning other than using a 7×7 template made from coroplast sheets, that were layed on the garage floor and played for a few weeks with different ideas.

I am now close to completing the perimeter of the layout, mostly finished the insert, next will start the farm, finally I will put in the station.

I will put together further updates as things progress.


Paul (In Vancouver)”

model train track plan

model train bench with hatch

steam model railroad backdrop

steam model railroad backdrop

Steam model railroad:

model train elevated tracks

model railway elevated tracks

making model train rock cliff

making model train rock cliff

making model train rock cliff

model railroad track

model train castle

model train layout construction

model train tunnel portal

 steam model railroad backdrop

making model train lake

lake for steam model railroad

lake for steam model railroad

Steam model railroad:

 steam model railroad

steam model railroad

steam model railroad

 steam model railroad

model railway lake scene

model train lake scene

steam model railroad castle tunnel

steam model railroad turntable

A huge big thanks to Paul for sharing his new steam model railroad – actually, with this theme, I suppose it should really be steam model railway.

Anyhow, hope you enjoyed it as much as me. Stunning stuff. Really looking forward to seeing more of Paul’s fabulous work.

Paul’s first post by the way (the one he’s just demolished), is here: Paul’s retirement project.

Also, whenever I see a castle on a layout I’m reminded me of these posts:

Model railroad castles.

Bob’s N scale.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And if today is the day you join in the fun, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

PPS More HO scale train layouts here if that’s your thing.

Got a model train question?

15 Responses to Steam model railroad – Paul’s

  1. robert dale tiemann says:

    the water scene makes you almost wamt to dive in and get wet, almost. very nice layout. lots of good work done here.

  2. John Birch says:

    Fantastic Paul. I like the sense of space with lots of interesting cameos..

  3. Colin Edinburgh says:

    Well done. A nice railway you’re developing there. Detail very good and loads of interest. Keep the photos coming.

  4. Rich B. says:

    This was done right, so does practice make perfect? That fortress idea is focal to the entire theme. England of coarse with the rolling but not mountainous landscape, the pond looks realistic, bright blue water just doesn’t do it. Things are spaced, not looking like an unassembled jigsaw puzzle or cat litter box. Can’t say on the blocked out window but had to be done it appears, doesn’t hurt anything. Might want an expanded metal screen over outside, things these days…

    So, too many topics on here are being whitewashed over. Believe the engineer(s) of submitted material want honest feedback. Many oohs and ahhs are deserving and several showings could do much better. Anybody that can’t figure out the rules need not post or forget about many of the plain stupid answers and replies that actually are put in print. I will answer you right away, Al sees fit to not to put things in print with what I usually have to say lmao. And this if you don’t have anything to say… say nothing at all- WRONG ANSWER!

  5. Stephen Hill says:

    That’s a delightful layout , amazing what you have done with such little space . Great backdrop scenes , really adds to the dimension, I agree , the lake looks inviting , you nailed the water perfectly . Just an overall wonderful layout , not too busy yet full of life . Great job!

  6. James says:

    Looks interesting, interesting. Love the city on the hill!

  7. Don says:

    nice setup, perfect size for starters well done

  8. Arthur Romano says:

    I like the castle. Reminds me of Europe. The other details are nice too. Have fun!

  9. Sam H. / Baltimore, Maryland says:

    Really nice layout. Scenery is awesome. Where did you get that stairway? I could really use something like that. I also have a tall stairway coming down the side of a hill.

  10. Terry Miller says:

    Nice layout in a small space. Is there a train stop under the castle called “dungeon”?
    Terry Miller/Idaho USA

  11. Steve Ruple says:

    Awesome layout and scenes’ well done Paul !!!!!

  12. Susan Cannon says:

    WOW!!( Awesome job!!!!!!

  13. Brian Rockey says:

    Great Metcalfe castle build and assembly Paul – a very nice focal point.
    Best to all.
    Wokingham, UK

  14. Paul Simpson says:

    Response for Sam H. In Baltimore. I used both sets of stairs from an old Triang Footbridge, carving out the foam of the hill to accept them and using an exact knife to fashion the remainder.

    Regards, Paul

  15. Dan Williams says:

    Nice job. No matter what anyone says, it’s your layout your way. Always.

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