1940’s model train layout update – Steve’s

Steve’s been back in touch with his 1940’s model train layout.

You all know how much I enjoy an update, especially when it’s one like this:

“Alastair, It’s been quite a few months since my first post about the Ohio Western & Louisville Short-line (OWLS).

Slowly making progress, but still a long way to go!

Recall, the OWLS RR is set in the late-1940s-early 1950s and LOOSLEY modelled after my hometown – during a simpler way of life.

The photos were taken on a late Friday afternoon with the logging camp, sawmill, brick factory and lumber yard winding down for the weekend.

In downtown Mt. Healthy some folks are getting in last minute shopping, while other are lining up for the latest Disney movies at the Main theater.


1940's model train layout corner

1940's model train layout town

1940's model train layout ravine

1940's model train layout town

model railroad logging camp

1940's model train layout freight platform

model railroad sidings

model railroad sidings

model railroad logging camp

A huge thanks to Steve for sharing his 1940’s model train layout update – really nice pics.

If you missed his last post, it’s here.

After all the years I still get a kick out of seeing a bare table morph into a layout like this.

Have a quick look at Steve’s first post and you’ll see exactly what I mean. Steve has done a great job with his layout, and with documenting it too.

Of course, I’m biased, but there are few hobbies that you can do entirely at your own pace that give you so much satisfaction.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming because it’ starting to get very quiet this end again, especially with you N scale folk.

Don’t forget, your layout doesn’t have to be a stunner if you’d like to share it, all shapes and scales are welcome, and we enjoy them all.

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.

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

61 Responses to 1940’s model train layout update – Steve’s

  1. David Hannan says:

    Super scenery! Very impressive!
    Dirty Dave

  2. christine says:

    Very nice layout. Lot of work.

  3. Jacques Rousseau says:

    WOW very nice layout Steve

  4. Lawrence says:

    Beautiful layout, really holds to the history.

  5. Peter Bayley-Bligh says:

    Impressed especially with the lighting effects.

  6. mike wootton says:

    Nice, well excecuted layout this, I wish I had the skill to make a layout this good.

  7. NJ Mark says:

    Outstanding and great attention to detail! Cheers! NJ Mark

  8. Graeme Coleman says:

    Great, wonderful use of 7 x 5 space.

  9. paul vogel says:

    Really cool layout and I thought you did a great job on your scenery. Good work Steve !

  10. Frank Goessler says:

    Great looking layout. I am amazed at you railroaders who are able to work within the N gauge world. Sorry, too small for these old fingers to handle. Keep up the good work.

    O gauge Frank

  11. Guido Rottie says:

    Fantastisch , knappe lay-out zeer goed gedaan.

  12. Randy Blankenship says:

    Nice work, great detail, good camera work too!

  13. Robert Matteson says:

    Really nice Steve. Keep the pictures coming.

  14. Philip Unbehagen says:

    Real nice how do I get the plans?

  15. Fergy says:

    I”M impressed, Just starting up again after 43 years off,got my plans for track,ordered lots of goodies,,just waiting to get stuff here

  16. Helmut Eppich says:

    Excellent stuff!

  17. bob says:

    A simpler time? WW2, Korea war; new technology all over the place including the Avro Aero, first airplane to carry a computer? Maybe better but not simpler.

  18. Yale Schiffman says:

    Very nice work. I am also into n scale so it is encouraging to see what other folks have done. Great detail work.

  19. Cal says:

    Very nice. A lot of detail
    Cal from Oregon

  20. Robert Shuman says:

    excellent work and photography!

  21. Totally awesomeness..I’m just starting an N oval ..

  22. Don Kadunc says:

    I like the theme from the forest to the saw mill and then to the lumber yard.

  23. Jim says:

    You have a great looking layout. Really appreciate your attention to detail and scene settings. Very realistic.

    Jim AZ

  24. frank says:

    nice layout

  25. frank says:

    nice looking layout shows careful thought

  26. Robb Warren says:

    Love it! I need more building and my coffee table will be good to go!

  27. WOWWW Steve …. superbe layout
    the detail is terrific
    keep em runnin’ fellas
    stjohn in long beach calif

  28. Philip Gray says:

    A tribute to excellent planning and execution. Very nice presentation, I went back and reviewed your previous presentation. An inspiration to all of new beys, I’m now 80 and started my layout last year in HO. Need to sent photos. My thanks to Alistair and to contributors like Steve and Dangerous Dave!
    Phil in Tulsa, OK, USA

  29. W.C. in Misouri says:

    Your layout illustrates incredible creativity, patience, attention to the last detail, and also storytelling. The logs from forest to mill to yard is exceptional sequence. You have maximized your allotted space . The scenery work and buildings are wonderful. Also the photography is creative and composed beautifully. The ONLY thing you need is back-wall painting and lighting to give even more depth to the layout by letting it “fill” the room. Even the ceiling could be utilized. But perhaps you already have that planned. You have created a real model railroad from which others can learn and aspire to as well as fine example of N-scale craftsmanship. You are to be congratulated.

  30. Milton Robinson says:

    Adding my accolades to those who have responded! I have a 9X11 HO layout which is far from being as scenicked as yours! In fact, watching your videos have changed my mind on a couple of ideas I was playing with (all for the better)! At age 71 I’m in no hurry! Thanks for sharing.

  31. Cary Price says:

    Hi Steve, You have a lot going on in a small space and it works very well. Great job integrating the town and rail portions along with the excellent detail and story telling. Really first class! Thanks for sharing. Cary in KY

  32. Lee Hirsch says:

    OMG! What fantastic work! Superbly done. An inspiration to us all, whatever scale we are in. My 6 x 6 L shaped, N scale layout is just in the beginning stages, but this gives me hope I can do something that won’t look too toy like. Thanks for sharing. I do agree with one critique, clean up your background for your pics, ok? Lee. PS … where do you get your vehicles?

  33. Colin says:

    Hi Well done nice track design and layout. Like the lighting and the town and site buildings. The rock formations in the cuttings etc. look very good and the marshalling yard very good ground cover etc. The only comment is the boulders in the first photo. They look way over scale even if trying to depict large boulder formations. They would weigh hundreds of tons each and would no have been moved by the railway company to their current position. They are just way over scale. See the size of the train in the picture as a size guide.
    Please keep your updates coming

  34. Ross Johnston says:

    Excellent work Steve. I have enjoyed both your articles. I would hope you would send a video of your railway in operating mode. Cheers Rossco, Adelaide, Austyralia

  35. Mike Childs says:

    Beautiful layout Steve. Keep on truckin’.

  36. Ian McDonald says:

    a very soothing to look at layout the pictures seem to show easy going township well presented thanks for sharing

  37. John Oliva says:

    Very nice.The scenery is well done and gives it an interesting look.Love it.

  38. James Sulkosky says:

    Very nice layout , love it fine detail, keep up the great work.

  39. Benjamin Wright says:

    Great looking layout! Very cool!

  40. Dr. Bob says:

    Nice scenery detail and great train details but missing some traffic details?

  41. joseph hanz says:

    Wow, it is really nice. I want to start a layout but just can not currently find the time. I hope to sometime soon. JLH

  42. ROBERT K SCHWORM says:


    Just a thought to pass along. When starting out with your layout, it may be best to design it first before doing any benchwork. I built my bench work 30 inches wide against outside walls, and then decided later it should be 36 inches. This meant the spars had to be extended 6 inches out, with the legs recessed the same. this puts the rails and drop feeders outside the 1×4 rails of the benchwork and also leaves a hangover you do not want to climb onto.

    I highly recommend a CAD program called AnyRail. You can design your entire layout, with elevations and helixs very easily over a “surface” you lay down ( your benchwork top, Get the layout designed, figure out the surface required to hold it, and THEN build your benchwork under it. Easy to lay out out the girders under the surface and get your bench work design just right. my bench surface is 39 inches off the floor, just right. Puts you right in the action when seated.

    Point 2 – When designing a helix to an upper level – do NOT build your shelf and then build the helilx. Very tough to align the shelf. Rather, build the helix to a level, and then extend your shelf out from that point.

  43. dondh says:

    One of the best N gauge setup I’ve seen. Great job!

  44. Dick Chapple Sr says:

    So well done!!!! another layout to study and use as an excellent benchmark to reach while working on my N scale layout.. Thanks for sharing with your excellent pictures.

  45. TOM SAWYER says:


  46. Mark Twain says:

    Love the train yard scene great angle. The street scene the road needs some color and traffic lines to complete. nice layout.

  47. John Birch says:

    Fantastic detail and sense of space.

  48. Jim Logue says:

    AWESOME 👍 Great lighting and detailed. Thanks for sharing! Jim now from Florida.

  49. Old Taz says:

    Steve you’re a true artist layout is fantastic I love the train coming through the cut so realistic especially for engage keep up the good work you look like you’re on top of it well done man

  50. MARKLIN ED says:

    Great looking layout, I like the cut thru the rocks nice idea, I may steal that for my layout. THANKS

  51. Will in NM says:

    Really awesome layout Steve! Hard to believe you’ve created such detailed scenes in N scale. I especially like your logging operations and the sawmill. Did you scratch build those? Also, you did a wonderful job photographing your creation. Any chance we’ll get to see a video of it in operation?

  52. Erick says:

    Wow that amazing? I hope mine turns out that good.

  53. Brian Olson says:

    Seeing these photos I’m glad someone invented the word “Excellent!”

  54. Rob says:

    WOW what a great job of modeling. I second all the kudos put forth on these comments. Unbelievable how spacious this RR feels and functional to boot!
    I have one comment that is directed to most of you wonderful modelers out there. Check out the rooftops on your commercial buildings. You’ll find a plethora of equipment that is just begging to be represented up there. HVAC units, ductwork, condensors, fans, turbines, pipes, gas lines, electrical posts, satellite dishes, swamp coolers, Sight Screens, people (like me…the roofer), and trash, leaves, vagrants, and pools of water.
    I love this website and I look forward to it every morning when I wake up either in Southern California, or Yucatan Mexico. I’m a bystander now so I really enjoy the talent and beautiful layouts and stories every morning. Keep ’em comin’ folks!

  55. James M Uhlig says:

    Absolutly a great layout, fantastic scenery, got to be proud f your work.

  56. Don says:

    the logging company is awesome & the whole layout is excellent.

  57. Steve Ruple says:

    Very nice layout Steve and some very nice scenery. I like the logging area and saw mill area.

  58. Frank from HB says:

    Love it!

  59. James says:

    Excellent layout! Got some nice ideas from you.

  60. robert dale tiemann says:

    love the logging scenery. very nice.

  61. John S says:

    Love the layout. Lighting is great and buildings take me back in time, Looks like the town I grew up in .

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