O guage layouts – Steve’s

Steve’s added to the O guage layouts on the blog:


Thought people might be interested in some progress pictures of my O gauge layout.

Each “section” has some family meaning, ie. the town replicates where my kids were born, a building like my first job, our ski vacations, my son the Fireman, etc.

I tried to incorporate some cool ideas I saw on various layouts you’ve show us:

Wooden Truss Bridge, Automatic Gateman, A Drive-In Theater using a photo frame, a Smoking BBQ Joint with BBQ scented smoke, and a Trolly.

Next there will be a building on Fire using a Seuthe smoke generator and fire lighting from Evan Designs.

In hindsight, my biggest recommendations regard wiring and initial track layout.

First, since I had both O and 027 I used both – don’t – use one of the other. Makes life easier, joints tighter, and computer design more accurate.

Second, use isolated bus lines for each Isolated Track Section and the Turnout Switches (which I did), BUT also run individual bus lines for: Static lighting like in Buildings, another for Operating Accessories, another for Smoke Units, and another for future expansion options.

And Absolutely use tape to color code each bus Line and their dropdowns from the accessory, turnout, etc

Anyway. here are some progress pictures


O guage layouts

O guage layouts

O guage layouts

model railroad

model railroad

O scale model train track plan

O guage layouts

O guage layouts

model train layout

“Hi Al, this is a reply to Tom’s post on using spray foam from a can. It works extremely well and very easy to use. I also used a wire brush to rough up the surface a bit. Trestle bridge removed for photo purposes.


model train cliff

model train cliff

A big thanks to Steve for adding to the O guage layouts on the blog. I do love hearing your tips and seeing the progress of a layout.

One last thing, Terry has a question about running DC trains on a DCC wired layout – can anyone help?

Please do keep ’em coming.

And don’t forget, the Beginner’s Guide is here and ready to help you every step of the way.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

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

model train answers

36 Responses to O guage layouts – Steve’s

  1. Chuck Bartunek says:

    Looking good,the track plan looks interesting.

  2. wow nice layout…
    027 and several levels….
    nice beginning on the scenery and we all wanna see it when its finished
    keep it runnin fellas

  3. Dave Ober says:

    What a great job you did. Where did you get this talent? How can I get it?

  4. John says:

    Great Job! Love the meaning behind the structures and incorporating the family.

  5. Kenton says:


  6. Thomas Meleck says:

    Both great layouts. I love the “helix” on Steve’s layout.

  7. paul Otway says:

    looks neat

  8. John Parker Clayton, CA says:

    Good to see some “O” gauge layout pix… botta figure out how to send my videos

  9. Maurice Towne says:

    What a wonderful layout I especially like the Hot airballoon

  10. Archie R. says:

    Steve, that is a great layout! What size is the table? Looks like a lot more than 4’x8′. 🙂
    And I love that old crank telephone on the wall. My grandfather worked for the Forestry Service and had about 8 of those in his “office” at the base of the forestry tower. Mercy that was about 63-64 years ago. Good memories!

  11. Ian Mc Donald says:

    very cool looks great will enjoy the next lot of photos.

  12. jeff z says:

    looks awesome..i should take pics ofmine..doing (redoing) my n scale layout

  13. jim morris says:

    great !

  14. Brent 'Hooligan' Polson says:

    Wow!, to pull off a large 3-rail layout like that and make it interesting is a feat in itself. Great execution! Can’t wait to see this one complete.

  15. Yves says:

    Great layout. Nice work !

  16. John says:

    Are these to be glued only to card stock?
    I would like plans that I can make out of wood possibly
    balsam or some other wood?
    I don’t want to make just one, possibly 2 or 3 items.

  17. Richard Trilling says:

    Regards to computer design of track layouts, I use it a lot, comes in very handy with 3D reverse loops.

    My main problem is that layout software have good wiring design built-in. I would be happy if I could have a layer where straight of curved lines could be simply drawn and colored


    Any suggestions ?

  18. Great job! Thanks for this update.

    Any news from “Dangerous Dave” on his layout’s progress?

  19. I like your design representing family. I too have a large O gauge layout, still in progress representing the Texas Hill Country. Maybe I could send in some progress pictures

  20. Great to see a Lionel 0 and 027 set up. While I will probably never qualify as a “Modeler”, I do enjoy running the Lionel O gauge stuff with with I grew up. Have to think that there are really quite a lot of us “runners” using the old stuff who love to look at this great site. It starts of my morning on a good footing. Thank you.

  21. Dan Hulitt says:

    Steve’s layout reminds me of our permanent layouts of my youth, and of the one my brother and dad put together in the folk’s retirement home. Powered by a big ZW transformer as Steve has. Very nice work, indeed.

    Brians cliff looks very nice. Great Stuff and Dap make these foam products, and when Great Stuff first came out, it was really too expansive for some applications [don’t ask me how I know that] so they came out with a variety of expansion levels. Not sure what one is best for modeling, but Brian looks to have the technique down.

    MN Dan

  22. Paul D Drum says:

    Would love to know how you are able to get the trains running on the tracks and how many trains you’ll have running at one time. Nice layout, very interested in the layout , would love a drawing if possible.

  23. Robert Brady says:

    Steve u need to truss the elevated tracks. The 3 rails cheapens the look ur trying to achieve.Although your mountain tunnels are great.
    The Critic

  24. Bob Amling says:

    You’ve does some excellent HI-Rail work there. HI-Rail = ToyTrains running on a scale sceniced layout. You have the same methodology as I do, creating scenes that are memories or honor friends and family. It give purpose to your creation. Having a few artists in the family, my daughter keeps telling me that what we modelers do is a form of art. I’m curios about the helix and the other incline. What grade did you use? It looks kind of steep.
    Bob in Colts Neck Crossing, NJ

  25. Shlack says:

    Always great to see the work of fellow “high railers”.
    Shlack in NC

  26. Mark T. Pianka says:

    Nice layout Brain!! Always enjoy looking at 0 scale layouts!! along with all scales for great ideas!!

  27. Erick says:

    Look pretty neat.

  28. John Ray says:

    Hey Steve, excellent job. I am curious what size is your layout? Keep up the good work and keep us posted. Thank, John.

  29. Steven Hesse says:


  30. Charles Eyster says:

    Great update on what looks to be a great layout in the making!
    I had a good chuckle trying to peek at your copiously written notes and photos. You definitely qualify as a visually oriented person!
    I do the same thing, with post it pads everywhere! If it works to keep us on “track”, no pun intended, then do it!
    Best to all !

  31. Eugene Shaffer says:

    Loved the telephone on the wall in photo no. 6

  32. Don says:

    wow, well done

  33. Steve Ruple says:

    Steve, what an awesome layout. What size is your layout, lots of excellent ideas. I also have ordered some things from Evan Designs in the past for my railroads that I’m building or plan to build.
    Brian, excellent mountain using spay foam.
    Thank you for the information on using DC on DCC tracks and vice versa.

  34. Thomas Meleck says:

    Now that is one “Fun” layout. Looks like you are having a lot of fun with it too. Thanks for posting.

  35. robert dale tiemann says:

    very nice work

  36. Rod in NC says:

    Very nice, well executed Hi rail layout. One suggestion for all who post layouts, Please state the size of the layout. With photos of portions of the layout it is always a guessing game to figure out how much space is required to have to achieve a similar result. This will be helpful to those of us planning a new layout. Thanks to all who contribute and motivate us to stay involved with this joy of our childhood, even at 80+ years old!

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