Northwest model railroad club

Tom’s been in touch – he’s been busy on a module for the Northwest model railroad club:

“Well. Alastair, from one old man to another, there is nothing that makes me happier than showing my model railroad photos and my track plans formerly drawn with WinRail and MS Paint but currently drawn with WinRail and Paint.NET.

Here is a selection of attachments including progress on the Northwest Crossing MRRC Parker module and progress on the crude and vacuum unit that caused so much trouble but is due to bring so much glory when it finds its place on the Northwest model railroad club Free-MoN modules dedicated to petroleum transport, refining, and general handling on or near Houston’s own ship channel as seen from Google Earth.


Northwest model railroad club

Northwest model railroad club

Northwest model railroad club

Northwest model railroad club

Plan is clickable!

“Hi Al just posted this one , new Loco I have just acquired , the Deltic , one of the favoured ones in the UK for all the railway fans and hobbyist , she needs a re blow on the sound , but what a beautiful Loco …



A huge big thanks to Dave and Tom.

That’s all for today folks. Until tomorrow!

Please do keep ’em coming.

And if today is the day you stop dreaming and start doing, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

53 Responses to Northwest model railroad club

  1. Ralph Berry says:

    What a marvelous layout, the oi refinery has so much detail it looks like it might actually produce motor spirit.

  2. Duane Hampton says:



  3. Ken Merrick says:

    Very impressive !

  4. thanks for the tips…i adjust them to my O scale lay outs, where i can…you have so much talent…

  5. Pat Taylor says:

    I have seen a lot of kit bashing but never anything close to that great structure you created. Wonderful job on the refinery and your landscaping.

  6. Very nice and the layout is exceptional. Job well done. I never thought to use Google earth to recreate an area. Thanks for the idea.

  7. John Dye says:

    Hi thanks for sharing your layout with us. What are the dimensions of your layout. Thanks, John (Yuma, AZ)

  8. Some great buildings you have constructed there Tom from Google Images ..well done Sir .

  9. Roland Burch says:

    Tom, great layout with wonderful detail. What scale is your layout and the size in feet?

  10. Ray Appenzeller says:

    Wow! You really have created a masterpiece of a layout. I am so impressed with your work and attention to detail. Very amazing working! Thank you for sharing it!

  11. paul Otway says:

    well done so realistic

  12. Tom Oliver says:

    I am stunned by the amount of detail! Superb effort Tom! Thanks for sharing.

  13. Robert says:

    I love to see masses of track packed into the available space; and this is the best example I’ve seen. Fantastic! Well Done. Need a lot of stock to populate all those sidings and turntable slots, how wonderful!

  14. PETER BENSON says:


  15. Gary Eales says:

    What a fantastic layout Tom.

  16. Bud says:

    Yours is the best sculpted, detailed hillside that I have about ever seen! Rocks and soil are very realistic and I love the way you have a road cut between hillsides. Great work.

  17. keith says:

    just love what you have none

  18. keith says:

    how long have you been doing this layout
    regards keith

  19. THOMAS says:


  20. RalphG says:

    Nice Very Nice
    Question on the layout picture
    Upper right has two mains line crossing 4 main lines
    Is this a over under or a massive X crossing???
    Can you send me the elevation details?


  21. jim morris says:


  22. Jeff Salisbury says:

    Nice work, I worked in oil for 30 years. Pipelines, terminals, tank farms. Like what you have done.

  23. John says:

    Dave I wanna see a driver in that cab please! LOL!

    JohnE UK

  24. Jim Cubie says:

    Thanks for the track plan. What is the size of the layout?

  25. Chris says:

    Hello, what scale is it and what are the dimensions of your layout. It looks like N-scale on and 8’x7′ plan? Many thanks for sharing.Chris

  26. Les says:

    Hello Tom – I really like your layout so could you please give me the actual dimensions of it.

    Kind regards and happy modelling,

    Les ( in Melbourne)

  27. Fred Pohl says:

    This looks great very awesome a lot of guys really go to lengths to be detailed

  28. Craig Burton says:

    Tom,what an AWESOME layout!! Very nice work!! Craig,Vt.

  29. Rick Mallon (Houston Texas) says:

    Great layout. What scale is it.

  30. Warren Ferguson says:

    Tom, looking at your work reminds me so much of driving along Hwy 225, and over the ship channel bridge in Houston! Brings it all back again after a lot of years away. Wonderful work. Thank you for sharing.

  31. David Hannan says:

    Northwest Crossing – just stunning!

    The lighting really makes it! That is exceptional – you should be very proud of your work! Well done!

  32. Brad says:

    Tom,exceptional work.Love the fact the layout is not needlessly cluttered,very realistic.The tower is just SWEET.Nice work

  33. Dave W says:

    Awesome refinery, I am looking at a chemical plant, what kit did you use?

  34. Hemi says:

    NICE work guys!!!! WOW. that refinery is impressive!!!!!! LOVE the lighting!!!! ~Hemi

  35. The oil refinery is truly impressive. Dave’s layout is always impressive. A true hobbyist. I always look forward to seeing Dave’s layout and the new creations he comes up with! Farmer AL

  36. Fred Driver says:

    I can only reiterate the many other requests and ask the scale and the actual size of the layout. I am in the middle of planing my layout for 00 and that is exactly what I want with the exception of the two turntables. Pleeeeze?

  37. Fred Driver says:

    To Dave, luv your layout and I can only dream. One thing if I may, I notice your centre platform has a down ramp leading to the grass between the tracks. Shouldn’t that have a dead end there with a barrier “do not cross” – you know for safety? I would hate to see one of your passengers go down that ramp and try to cross the tracks instead of using the overhead stairs and get run over by your new loco class 55!

  38. Perry Dean Rissler says:


    Am back into MRR after being out of it for 50 yrs. HO Scale is my thing and have 50 yrs of cars, tracks and etc.

    Enjoy your site and a suggestion that I think everyone would go along with.

    Great site!


  39. John S. Brunel says:

    I am so humbled by the work displayed on this site. You guys have so much talent, ability and ambition, it has created a huge barrier of inertia for me to start my on railroad. I recently rediscovered my 1950’s 027 Lionel trains and want to start on my own project but am having a hard time getting started. Afraid to fail, but if you never start, that is failure in and of itself. Keep on railroading and impressing the rest of us with your work. Thanks Alastair for these postings.

  40. Gary Mitchell says:

    Great modelling skills Tom, well done.

  41. Will in NM says:

    Tom, Great photos and such wonderful details in your refinery models. The photos look like they are of a different layout than the included track plan. Am I missing something?

    Dave, Glad you’re enjoying your new class 55 loco. Your videos are always a treat. Keep up the great work!

  42. Walt Walters says:

    An amazingly detailed cracking tower! Have never seen such detail on any model I’ve ever seen! Have you worked at a refinery?
    I remember seeing these towers often when i lived in southern California near Long Beach!

  43. Tom Wayburn says:

    The track plan is one of two versions of nearly identical track planning ideas: 1.) very slight grades restricted to specialized transition tracks and 2) no grades (hence track crossings).

    These are twice around double track with stations at both ends inside loops. They have nothing to do with anything I have ever built.

  44. Pete Bova says:

    Great work!! No, FANTASTIC work!!!!
    It must be a blast running your layout.
    Like some of the others have asked, what gauge is this and is there a dimensional plan? I also am starting a U shaped layout but with a longer straight away and if your working in HO, I would love to know the dimensions and the rail radius’ on the ends.

  45. Terry Sipe says:

    The man who works with his hands is a laborer
    The man who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman
    The man who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist
    Tom, you are definitely an artist! Thanks for sharing your works with us.

  46. Frank says:

    I liked the contrast between the first photo and the second as well among the rest. We have a modern look along with a more late steam or early diesel look. Most railroads have a coal facility or a maybe an old logging business to mark the history of the layout.

    That first photo is amazing, but the tower is cool with the lights. Made think of the movie “Armageddon”. And your scenic layout sets a nice background for all your buildings and facilities. The terrain features, the track placement and the bridges are all very interesting.

    Dave, well that a nice looking engine.

    Frank in Orlando

  47. Erick says:

    Pretty epic!!!!!!!! I hope mine well turn out that good.

  48. Don Nesslage says:

    I am planning a similar “U” shaped table. Some of your track layout is interesting, but mine will not have nearly the amount of track as it will be based on late 19th and early 20th century western US. I would like to know dimensions of your table so I might adapt some of your ideas for my track layout.

  49. Gary Wilfred Hildebrandt says:

    Regarding the oil refinery. It is sad to see a shrine dedicated to the destrucion of the environment..

  50. william j plmer says:

    loved the lighting on the tower

  51. GaryM from Long Island says:


  52. Tony Weisbecker says:

    Thats pretty outrageous alrighty .

  53. george zaky says:

    The Northwest Crossing MRRC must be a real fun group to be in. Astounding layout, artistry and craftsmanship. The tower is spectacular and had to be a bear to replicate but you fellas have the only one and must display it proudly. Very impressive plan and refinery. WOW.
    D. D.
    Sweet addition to the layout. Have fun & be well.
    Big Al
    Had a lot of work with this one. Thanks. Best.

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