Steve’s logging themed model railroad


First, THANK YOU for all you do to share everyone’s model railroading!!! It’s great to see what people around the globe are doing – using their experiences for learning and education!

Second, it’s hard to believe it’s been over 3 ½ years since I sent my original email regarding the OWLS (Ohio Western & Lima Short line).

I continue to plug away, focusing on the scenery, landscape & buildings. Alas, age has taken it’s toll and the old hands aren’t as steady as they used to be!!

Here are recent photos of the OWLS Short line, mainly the progress I’ve made with the above mentioned areas.

Again, THANK YOU for all you do!

The layout is from about the late 1950 – 1960 time period and centers around a local logging/ lumber industry.

model railroad foam mountains

The sub roadbed made from pink insulation foam.

model railroad lumber yard

A a couple of the local industries.

The center of town on a lazy Saturday afternoon.

model railroad control panel

The switches controlling track power, power to the industry & house LEDs, smoke system for the lumber mill & other buildings as well as sound system. The sound system has one set for daylight (trucks, cars, etc.) and one set for night time (crickets, owls, etc.)

model railroad logging camp

Where the timber is harvested

model railroad lumber yard

Retail outlet for the finished lumber

model railroad lumber mill

Where the rough cut trees are converted to lumber

model train lumber shop

Another look at the lumber mill and the shop for the ever ongoing work to repair/ refurbish trains and other manufacturing equipment

A look at some of the house in the little town.


A huge thanks to Steve – I do love an update.

If you’re looking for Steve’s first post, it’s here.

And don’t forget, if you wan to make that start, just like Steve did all those years ago, the Beginner’s Guide is here.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

19 Responses to Steve’s logging themed model railroad

  1. Paul says:

    Very nice update on the layout Steve…..would be nice to see a video clip of it working etc but 5 stars from me here

  2. James Marek says:

    Nice looking layout! Suggestion: the logs in the mill pond appear to be floating above the water surface instead of actually in the water. It appears they were placed there after the pond was already finished. Maybe some work there would make it look more realistic. Keep up the great work!!!


  3. Chuck says:

    Awesome layout, great scenery and detail. I would like to see more pictures of the motive power and rolling stock too. Keep up the great work.

  4. Jack Bury says:

    Nice work. You’ve done a great job on the layout.

  5. Cary B says:

    Awesome looking layout Steve. It certainly has a great mix of detail. Has the look of a very pleasant place to live, work and conduct business
    Thanks for sharing
    Cary in New Market Maryland

  6. Lynn Taubeneck says:

    Great layout. Very nice details and I love the theme. About the logs, I cut mine in half and glued them to the surface of the water and they look great!

  7. Mike Balog says:

    I Like the concept of the layout and the different scenes present taking you thru the steps from harvesting the trees to the finished product. How did you make your saw mill pond? What did you use to make the water? Reminds me of “tin foil” with all the reflections off it. Could you elaborate ? Do you have the lights on a timer for Daytime?.. Just wondering, excellent details throughout. Ask the town highway dept. to paint white lines down the road and parking spaces in the town center.

  8. Robert Brady says:

    The floating logs is no big deal (as per James) but what has my attention seems all tracks are dead end. No continued traveling? Why?

    The Critic

  9. Bill in Virginia says:

    Great looking layout Steve! I’m sure you have a lot of fun operating it.

  10. Rob McCrain says:

    Steve, What a wonderful layout. I love your main street, it looks just right for America. You captured a lumber operation so well. I hope my new n scale layout turns out half as well. Thank you for allowing Al to publish it. Keep up the great work, Rob McCrain – Farland Howe

  11. Marklin ed says:

    Great looking Steve, always wanted to build a logging railroad. Keep up up the wonderful work, as you know a layout is NEVER DONE
    Marklin ed upstate N Y

  12. Gary M from Long Island says:

    Steve….fabulous looking layout. I love you detailed scenery around the railroad.
    Great job…… I know what you mean about the old hands…..also my knees make it difficult to get under the layout for modifications. But we try.

  13. Mark T. Pianka says:

    A job well done!! Looks good enjoy the hobby!! Make your layout the way you want!!

  14. Gary skinner says:

    Where is all the wiring hidden?

  15. THOMAS says:

    Do trains run on this layout ? Where are they ? I do not see them running !

  16. Alabama Mike says:

    Steve, you have an amazing layout. The scenery is beautiful and well detailed. I don’t how you have so much in a small place, yet it does not seem to be crowded.
    Keep up the great work.

  17. Will in NM says:

    Steve, I am amazed by all the layout and details you’ve managed to build in just 5 by 7 feet. Yours is the first N scale logging layout I’ve ever seen and you’ve done a great job of capturing the genre in N scale. Personally, I gave away all my N scale equipment a while back when I realized my hands and eyesight were just not sharp enough to work in 1:160 scale. HO is about as small as I can manage these days.

    I agree that the logs in the sawmill pond should not be floating completely above the water surface as others have mentioned. Also, you might use some of Bill’s mountain finishing techniques to improve the surfaces of your exposed rock faces. Still, overall you’ve done a fantastic job of building one of the best N scale layouts I’ve ever seen. I especially like the town main street with all the people, lighting and details. It looks like a very inviting place to live.

  18. Steve Harness says:

    MANY THANKS for all the helpful comments!! It always helps to have second sets of eyes look over a project and willing to offer constructive builds!!!

  19. Brian Rockey says:

    Wonderful layouts everyone – well done!
    Brian, Wokingham, UK

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