Steve asks for some comments


I’ve attached some “progress pictures” and would appreciate any feedback or comments anyone might care to provide. This is my 1st real non-Christmas layout.

It’s O gauge, bench is three 4’x8’s making an ___—–___ shape. I have some passenger trains and Intermodals that need 54″ turns, but 80% only need 31″…so my plan was all 54″ with an inner loop(s) with 31″.

The 31″ loop(s) concept was also to have an isolated loop that was very “kid, friend & cocktail safe” before letting them out on the “big” track where the larger more expensive trains play ( Platinum Ghost, Southern Daylight, GG1s, etc)

I used the Troy & Mohawk Valley Plan from 101 Track Plans as a basis and tried to modify it for my bench space. I also used software from AnyRail initially.

I have thick skin and would appreciate any guidance…


“These are just a few shots of the lake hope you like them.


Stunning pics from Tracy, his original post is here.

“Hi Alastair,

You can use a lot of bought in or found items as scenery, such as cars, animals or figures, but these plastic items always look “cheap and plasticky”. Just give them a light coat of matt varnish, avoiding any ‘glassed’ areas. It tones down colours and evens the finish – it works great on rolling stock too.



“Hi Al,

Layout is OO and I am incorporating the “Micro” car racing track to add a bit more fun – the grand-kids love it and the scale is comparative.

See photos of work in progress to date:

Layout is on a 8′ x 4′ top then running round the window to the goods yard.


Another bumper edition! Loved Tracy’s water pics. Impressive stuff.

Keep ’em coming!

And I don’t know what it is about this time of year but there are lots of bargains to be grabbed on the latest ebay cheat sheet.



19 Responses to Steve asks for some comments

  1. Jaaques Shellaque says:

    Looking good, Steve (always great to see “Mo O “)
    “Lake Tracy” is wonderful, and Neil’s tip is great.

  2. builder Kim says:

    Hi Steve.Looking good.May I ask those pieces of wood holding up a single rail.What are you going to do about that.Make supports or are those the ones your going to use.May I ask again why did you choose 3 rails.Continue on with it and send in more pictures I could be missing something.keep up the good work.

  3. builder Kim says:

    MR.TRACY E. BROWN love your lake.Makes me want to go jump in it.

  4. Duncan Galbraith says:

    Hi, what is a Micro car circuit? Is this racing cars like Scalectrix? Good idea.
    Could the cars be modified to change the bodies – make trucks etc? D/

  5. Roland Burch says:

    Great layout pictures and the wonderful lake, what detail.

  6. Dave DeCarlo says:

    Tracy, that is the best lake I have ever seen! KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK.

  7. Tim Crump says:

    Love Tony’s setup…..with two discarded dressers and an old door, you can have a sturdy layout with tons of storage…

  8. Tracy, I love your lake! Would be nice if we could see how you made it. The best I’ve seen!

  9. Kevin McArdle says:

    Regarding the o gauge layout, I personally would change out thetrack to the more realistic three rail track with ties, that can be ballasted, unless you wanted the older toy train look, but by the look of your layout you want to include scenery, so just an observation. Regarding the layout with added slot cars, I think they may overshadow the railroad, since more people can play. Make sure your track and operation is flawless before you put scenery, otherwise a small issue becomes a big headache. Happy railroading.

  10. don kadunc says:

    Tracy, what material did you use for your water. Also, has anyone used the new Woodland Scenic’s deep water?

  11. imthepoppa says:

    i’m starting my first layout in a very, very long time and want to include a waterfall. any suggestions.

  12. Warren says:

    Tracy, your lake is the best I have seen! Keep up the wonderful work.

  13. Charlie says:

    Grate layout, I love the water features.

  14. Robert Brady says:

    Steve,You asked for it! I’ll be gentile I know your putting alot of love and care building the layout but why did you choose Lionel? They’re more expensive, never changed there design With that 3 rail configuration and why did they not put in more ties per track is beyond me.To each there own.I wish you luck and enjoyment
    See that didn’t hurt,
    regards : Robert B

  15. Those lakes look very real , nice job you have done with them …Dangerous dave

  16. Brad K says:

    LOVE the lake scene,very well done!!

  17. Wonderful WORK!
    Rails look very toy like. Perhaps utting ties and putting underneath.
    Is the incline around 2%?
    Love anyrail too
    Use it to make building shapes. Cut them out and place to be sure it all fits.

  18. Robert Brady says:

    Steve i am not a fan of 3 rail tracks.They in my opinion take away from realism.I think that was Lionel’s only downfall although they do have a small following.I think HO was a way to go and so many more options.

  19. Bill in Virginia says:

    Steve – you’re on the right track (pun intended) with your thoughts on curve radius. A couple of thoughts though. Do you have enough room to access the backside along the wall? Doesn’t look like much space and trying to get to any problem there could be an issue. Also the elevated loop stands out as very high relative to the layout as a whole. Have you thought of lowering it some? It would still give clearance but make it easier to add scenery and not hide the base level tracks.

    Neil that is a great lake 😀 Keep up the great modeling

    Tony your layout looks wonderful! Great progress on it and it looks fun to operate too

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