Thomas’ mine layout

“Alistair – These are pictures of my Mine and the rest so far. You don’t need to publish, just wanted to show you what that river runs through. All the rocks are natural, and the bridges are all hand built using 2 sizes of match sticks.

Thanks again,


model train track layout

(top level – bottom track not connected)

“Hi Alastair,

Attached some pics of my latest Layout (now for sale on Ebay) with working catenary, signals, crossing barriers (slow motion and flashing lights) and smoke generator in police building (burning criminals, I guess?)



“Hi Al, just a couple of pics of the corner tunnel I made on my shed layout, I got the retaining walls from a guy in Bristol on ebay, he makes them from MDF and presses out the brickwork etc, I weathered them with my weathering powders in about an hour, really easy to do, I wanted access to my track for cleaning and maintenance so I bought a couple of those magnetic latches you get for wardrobe doors etc, it works great, I hope the tip is useful to somebody out there, by the way the whole tunnel and scenery cost me about £20.00 using scrap timber and scatter etc from my bits box.

Thanks for all the brilliant tips and information from some really great modelers on here.

Cheers Al,

Regards Ron”

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

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.

14 Responses to Thomas’ mine layout

  1. Mike Wilson says:

    G’day Ron, fantastic idea of the magnetic latches for those hard to get into places when an accident does happen or even cleaning the track.

    Thomas I like the look of your layout so far and hope we get to see the completed layout.

    Claus. your layout looks to be very busy with all the catenary wires going all over. I’m not a fan of electric catenary myself but it still looks good

  2. John P. Walker says:

    Hi Al! I want thank you and all the other great modelers out there who contribute to the site with some really great information. I retired over a year ago and have been thinking of starting a layout. I have always been a fan of HO but I am now limited in space. (4X8 would probably be the largest size I could manage) Any comments on +/- for going to N would be very much appreciated. Never worked with DCC and that would be my choice.

    Thanks to all.


  3. Ron , Thomas , and Klaus have all done some nice layouts as we can see from the pictures , always good to see other idea`s put to the layouts ..Well done all 3

  4. Richard Chapple Sr says:

    Nice idea Ron with the magnetic latches.
    I used velcro on mine to quickly access behind the front panel.
    In my case the front panel represents store fronts I call the “Miners Mall”.
    The idea being The mall is built right into the mountain side so all that you see is the store fronts.

  5. Ross Johnston says:

    Great idea Ron! Thankyou for the tip. I liked the retaining wall too. Cheers Rossco

  6. Jaaques Shellaque says:

    Thanks Thomas, Claus, Ron, et al (especially
    “al”). Great to see shots from so many different angles.
    They provide inspiration to blend with our inevitable

  7. builder Kim says:

    John P. Walker I would go DCC.can run more than 1 loco.N scale is good for small spaces.but if your a scratch builder N scale is really hard to scratch build.And alittle more expensive than Ho.

  8. Cary Price says:

    Great layouts guys and thanks for sharing. Thomas, really like the mine and rock quarry, it’s unique and always interesting to see something different. Great selection and placement of your rock features, hope to see more as your project progresses. Just curious if you plan to add some more buildings and/or vegetation to the scenery? Might help to add some points of interest with the quarry as the central focal point. Looks like you’ve left some level space in one corner for maybe a town or other structures. But as I often tell myself, i’m building my layout for me, i’m sure you have your own vision of what you want and hope your having fun getting there. Cary in KY

  9. Daniel Hulitt says:

    To John,
    When we are young small things are easy to see, but hard to handle. And when we get older small things can be hard to see and handle . So bear your visual acuity and dexterity in mind for your venture. You can certainly do a lot more with an N scale layout on a 4 x 8 board….as we have seen here. Best of luck as you work your RR.

    Mn Dan

  10. NJ Mark says:

    Great work, gentlemen! So many new ideas! Stay well. Cheers! NJ MArk

  11. Mark T. Pianka says:

    Very nice layout well done, Nice to see new ideas.

  12. Jim Logue says:

    Very nice, thanks for sharing!

  13. Dave Karper says:

    Claus, always nice to see catenary, as I spent time in the ca running beneath catenary. Ex firefighter and Amtrak engineer Dave

  14. Stephen Hill says:

    Great pics and layouts fellas , really like the coal mine theme … good job on the river .

    To the guy , John who is determining where to begin . 4×8 can offer a lot of room for HO scale . There are many pros and cons to both the ho or n scale likewise with DCC or dc. My suggestion is to buy a beginners guide and evaluate what your skill set is or can be . DCC is great , but you better do some research and be familiar with electronics. Dc is more forgiving but limits your display .
    Best advice , know what you are capable of learning and get a beginners guide from Al on this site . Oh , and good luck please do post your work , this site is great learning research and folks will help you .

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