5×9 HO train layout

Wayne’s been in touch with is 5×9 HO train layout:

“Hi Al,

So thoroughly enjoy your e-mails and tips from model train buffs. So much talent out there. I was inspired to re-enter the hobby after 30 odd years. I am 67 years young.

Started a new 5×9 HO layout back in January. I am nowhere near as skilled or knowledgeable as most of your contributors but even us novices can still enjoy the hobby. I wanted to share some pictures of my progress so far. I am running three trains, one Berkshire pulling passenger cars lighted with Easy-Peasy sticks, one PRR Diesel and one tiny Bachmann steam loco which will travel back and forth on the lowest level using Circuitron AR-2 reversing circuit.

The diesel runs around a full oval with electric switches to take it a different path through what will eventually be an industrial area. My trestle bridges were hand made using plastic file drawer dividers and balsa wood stock.

The scenery has all been done with Woodland Scenics products, (so easy to use), as has the waterfall and river. I also recently added the MRC Sound System with horn, whistle, bells, chuff-chuff etc which my grandkids love and even my wife is impressed. You can have a lot of fun with this hobby without getting too technical. Hope your readers enjoy. Also hope you can view the pics. I’m not too savvy with computer files.

Wayne, Pittsburgh PA.”

laying track HO scale

5x9 HO train layout scenery

5x9 HO train layout scenery

5x9 HO train layout scenery

5×9 HO train layout:

model train laying track

model train tunnel

 5x9 HO train layoutmodel train waterfall


5x9 HO train layout tunnel

model train laying track

HO scale steam loco

Trains August 2015

model train scratch build bridge

And to finish off, here’s the latest from Dangerous Dave:

Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

A big thanks to Wayne for sharing his 5×9 HO train layout.

That’s all this time, folks.

Please keep ’em coming.



PS And if you haven’t taken the plunge yet, the can still get the model railroad guide here.

model train answers

69 Responses to 5×9 HO train layout

  1. Chuck Bartunek says:

    Very nice,I like the water fall.

  2. vince longo says:

    Don’t sell yourself short. Your landscaping is really nice looking and the way you integrated the portals into the hills. Good luck and enjoy.

  3. David V. Corbin says:

    Great stuff… The interaction of the track and terrain looks very similar to an area I am trying to setup on my layout. I keep running into issues (that you appear to have solved) where something that “works” (i.e. matches the track layout) is not even close to something that would occur in nature.

    Would love to discuss this further….

  4. kim says:

    Novice. That look’s super nice.The water fall is very nice. The rock face’s are super.Maybe add more vegetation on the hill’s. That river with a few rock’s would be even better. May I suggest and a lot make the mistake don’t cover the rocks. They will come out shinny.Leave them natural. and bring the water up to a certain level on the rock. and just above the water line darken it with a small line.Water levels raise and fall. when after many years the rock above the present water level will darken and leave a line.Just a suggestion as I live near many rivers and the rocks have a sort of dark black or dark line above the water level.Really nice work.

  5. Roly says:

    The scenery is some of the best I have seen on any layout. Doing a good job!

  6. kim says:

    Wayne I have a easy cheap idea for you. I sent picture’s to Al. It’s crafter’s board to make walls and all sort’s of thing’s. Cost for a 3 foot by 3 foot at less than a 1/4 inch thick board is $1

  7. interesting layout
    and nice detail work on the scenery…
    keep em runnin fellas

  8. Danny says:

    Great looking layout. Keep up the good work. But the only thing missing is a photograph from above showing the whole complete layout. But you’re close with the one with the 3/4 view of it. Looking forward to seeing more of it as you work toward the finished layout – Yes I know – No layout is ever finished – The fun is forever adding, changing and tinkering with it.

  9. john seale says:

    simple track plan makes a lot of running room for ur nkp berk..i like the concepts

  10. Hi Wayne,

    Your scenery is on par with some of the best I have seen. Any model RR club would be proud to call you a member and have you help with their scenery.

    John Edwards
    Mountain Empire Model Railroaders

  11. MIKE P says:

    Very nice! very realistic
    thank you for sharing

  12. jeff greko says:

    very nice layout,, takes a lot of patient to do all that work,, but you earned it,,, this is looks like euro style and this is HO scale I believe,,, I am an O scale collector and use for American style,, but anyway you have a very nice layout,, and thx for sharing…

  13. Dave says:

    Read the comment about “crafter’s Board” and searched the internet for it. Didn’t come up with anything. I s there another name this is know by. I am in the US and many times the same things are called by different names here. If anyone can help thanks in advance, Dave

  14. Peter Jones says:

    A really great looking layout Wayne I love the waterfall. Keep up the excellent work you are doing a fantastic job.
    Pete “The Makcem” in Sunderland, England

  15. Peter Jones says:

    Dave, once again a fantastic video of your majestic layout the truck cam adds a new view especially when the express trains speed past adds so much realism. Thanks so much for sharing once again.

    Pete “The Mackem” in Sunderland

  16. Jerry Birkbeck says:

    The cam vehicle is a clever idea. Whilst watching I wondered where the camera was located, an excellent method. However, what do you use to enable the journeys to be recorded,please.
    Many thanks

  17. Bryan says:

    It looks awesome. I be glad when I get to start on mine.

  18. Ken Stramel says:

    Great job. Can’t wait till I get that far. Keep it up.

  19. tom says:

    Wayne …. A job well done! Dave … another video well done!
    I remember a saying from Westinghouse, Progress is our most important product.”
    best always,
    Tom, Maryland, USA

  20. Bud says:

    AL: I do like to see what other modelers are doing. I have a 4’x8′ layout with three HO Marklin trains. There is a Suburban Train in the center loop, a passenger train in the next loop, and a freight train in the outer loop. The Suburban train runs through town, while the other two trains can be raced against each other on two outer loops, as they come out of a 2-track tunnel. I’ve just replaced the main transformer and all is now OK.I purchased some extra autos so I can change off vehicles to get a new look..Pictures.will be sent soon.

  21. Carl Kinz\inger says:

    Hey Mr. Novice – you are doing real well – your water affects are very nice, esp. the waterfall. Keep up the good work.
    Dave, your layout continues to look great – glad to see cookie man is alive and well. The cam is a useful tool but I notice it showed some track defects; not trying to be overly critical but if you look closely you will see some misalignment in places where sections join – not overly serious obviously when trains can roll over them. Keep up the good work.

  22. Tim Goodman says:

    Wayne, Layout is looking great! I am 62 years young and also just re-entering model RR. I will send in some pics soon.
    When I saw the pic of your layout with tools, etc spread out all over I had to chuckle! I often scold myself for being a bit scattered. Believe me, yours looks neat compared to mine! Keep up the great work. it really is so much fun!

  23. Tommy B says:

    This is actually for Dave…I have seen pictures of your loft when you are just starting to build a railroad and I was wondering…where in the hell do you keep all your trains and buildings and track and on and on and on! You must have a
    2nd loft just to store all of your trains and buildings and track and on and on and on! What does the “Boss” say during that period of time when everything is stored, WHERE?
    Thanks, I really enjoy your railroads and being able to see the progress you make. After all that work, how can you tear it down and start over!
    Tommy B

  24. tony smith says:

    hi al that realy makes me determined to get fit enough to go up to loft and at least take pics of what i built with the help and advice from your pages thank you so much

  25. paul Otway says:

    It looks great.

  26. izze kiah says:

    Truly an inspirational presentation.
    Thanks for sharing !

  27. Theo says:

    Love very nice, I can’t wait till I finish moving house so I can start on my room and my layout.

  28. Jerry Suits says:

    Great scenery! Looks fantastic to me!

  29. Ken says:

    Love how the water fall has turned out I enjoy looking at these layouts for inspiration for my own . KEN

  30. Jim Peters says:

    Nice Job Wayne! I’m In The North Hills Near Ross Park Pittsburgh!

  31. david howarth says:

    Wayne you have done a nice layout there , as you say with woodland scenics it makes the job a lot easier , but great job with the home made trestle bridge`s , no wonder the grandkids love it …Dave

  32. Reed Cranmore says:

    Crafter board is also known as foam board and can be found at Dollar Tree or the dollar store for a $1.00 per sheet

  33. Richard Sommery-Gade says:

    Love these movies, just show what you can do with todays electronic gadgets. Very good, wish I could get back into the game. Maybe one day I’ll visit. Keep up the good work. Aloha Richard

  34. Alan says:

    Must be getting dangerously close to Dangerous Dave rebuilding the layout. I would be happy to just get to within 50% of his quality.

  35. Judith says:

    For a novice I think your layout is brilliant, very realistic. Keep the pictures coming in would love to see how you progress. Thanks Judith

  36. André says:

    I have to ask. What is the minimum radius that you have used. From what I see yours look good and there are so many conflicting stories out there. Love the scenery and a great job

  37. David De Bondi says:

    That’s a fantastic effort for a novice on the cliff faces.
    If I can do anywhere near as good on my layout I’ll be happy.

  38. Roy Tibbles says:

    Hi Wayne, great layout and like to know on how you done your water fall, as I am thinking of doing something like that, not at that stage yet but getting there. Looks like a water fall I saw when we were on a coach trip in Scotland. But a road by side of it and not a rail-road you done. Well done and keep them coming. Roy

  39. fred says:

    the best

  40. kim says:

    Hi Dave. You asked about the crafter’s board. I’m in Canada. All our dollar stores sell it .You can buy a box I think there is about 10 sheets in each box. or can buy 1 board your choice. It is called crafter’s board. Okay maybe named different. You get them in 3 foot by 3 foot. You can use acrylic paint to paint on them. Basicaly that’s what they are for painting with acrylic’s. But in Canada its called crafter’s board.Dave where about’s do you live. Reason I ask is if your close anough maybe we can manage something. I’m telling you once you start playing with this board so many idea’s crop up .Speak with Al. Ask Al for my email address. I give permission to do so.I even cut it to make nice road beds track bed’s walls homes calvert’s that has water running out it. I even made up a test brick wall in N scale and it looks great even that small.Hope this helps Dave.

  41. Thomas says:

    Great Job! A layout always seem to grow and grow in a very nice way of course.

  42. Bob says:

    Sure do like the waterfall! Nicely done.

  43. Dave says:

    Thanks for the answers on the crafter board, I will be able to find it now. I live in Hudson Ohio and have plenty of dollar general and dollar tree stores around. I am about to rip up my unfinished layout and start anew. Too many great ideas from everyone. Being a novice at this it was easy to make the mistakes I made. Rather than remain stuck with them I decided to change it before I was i too deep. Having fun doing it. Thank you

  44. Richard Tkatch says:

    Great pics. Like the use of material for your bridge. On the video the long bridge is that a puzzle bridge?

  45. Mark says:

    Question for Dave

    What is on the shelf to the left of the suspention bridges?



  46. Roy Tibbles says:

    Hi Dave, always like your video s in the past, but this one can not get into it, tried 4 times now has any one else had this problem. Well you keep them coming I will work out why my end for reason. Roy

  47. Roy Tibbles says:

    Hi Dave, just read about 7 people comment on your Dave, must be my net work not doing its job lol. Roy

  48. David Blankenship says:

    looks good to me. I wish I was that talented.

    Great film.


  49. Wayne Pursh says:

    All, thanks for all the encouraging comments. Couple of answers: the outside oval is 22″ radius and the inside oval is 18″. I thought I might have trouble with the Berk on the 18″ curves but it runs just fine. The waterfall was made with Woodland Scenics Water Effects. I just watched the Woodland Scenics video a few times to get educated. Took a few tries but finally got the look I was going for. The rocks were made from Woodland Scenics molds and Hydrocal then colored with leopard spotting tecnique, (also on Woodland Scenics instructional video). Thanks

  50. Robin Hallam says:

    awesome job on your layout .

  51. Steve Roberts says:

    Nice one Wayne, don’t you love it when a plan comes together. I’m 67 and mine is just starting to look like something. Good job. Another nice video Dave.

  52. Ian says:

    Very impressive

  53. Neal Fowler says:

    Love what I see. I am 60 and have been trying to.get started up, but have been unable to.get.off the ground with mine. After seeing your project, I feel inspired to get going. Thank you for sharing.

  54. Rick says:

    I love all the comments, tips, videos & pics. It makes me believe even I can create something to keep me out of trouble. Love this site. Rick from Jersey.

  55. Bob says:

    I have a question for Wayne, I am just starting out myself and have been racking my brain deciding on a track plan. On your photos of your “naked” layout there are two separate ovals one of which has turnouts to extend an oval. On your finished plan it appears you now have three routes on 3 elevations running at the same time, how did you achieve this? I hope you’ll understand what I’m trying to ask. And your layout is fabulous.
    Bob in NH

  56. Terry Foster says:

    Thanks Dave for the extreme enjoyment viewing your brilliant layout,its the best ive ever seen,i wish I could do half as good.congratulations on great job. Regards Terry, Aus Qld

  57. Ben Olson says:

    Wow, very nice job, esp. the mountains, portals and waterfall. I’m at about the same stage with my layout, so thanks for sharing the pictures, you gave me some good ideas!

  58. Richard Sappelli says:

    As usual Dave has presented a stunning video of his layout. I have watched Dave change his layout over the years and always learned something new from his work. He has a great layout. I guess he also like long passenger trains and especially like the streamlined steamers. way to go Dave.

  59. Joe Wilson says:

    Just a beautiful layout. I notice you are from Pittsburgh. You or any other Pittsburgher that needs some buildings or 80 years of H-0 miscellaneous material, I am giving it away.. At 94 I have to go into a Nursing home.
    I’m on the East side of PGH. Murrysville, Delmont area.

  60. Warren Ferguson says:

    Wonderful job you’re doing, Wayne. Your work sure doesn’t look like a novice. I’m 77 years old (not young), and my wife has Alzheimer’s, so I’m not getting anything done on a layout. I have tons of brass locos (and others) and rolling stock, both passenger and freight, trackage, etc. But, I have no real time to work on building a platform for the layout. I have a whole garage bay to use for it too. I hope I can find someone to build a the table for me. Maybe getting that done will provide some inspiration and get me rolling.

  61. Well done my friend oh, I am impressed with the detail that you are using. I am no expert but your work is pleasing to the eye and I applaud you for it! Thank you for sharing

  62. Gary Manganiello says:

    Wayne…….. you said “I am nowhere near as skilled or knowledgeable as most of your contributors……” BUT you did a fantastice job on the mountain, waterfall and river on your layout……… Great job….. send more pics when your done.

  63. Chris Clarkson says:

    your layout is the bomb! I love trains, and I would love to have a five feet by nine feet railroad. I saw a few buildings in the Walthers catalog, some fullly assembled, and some in kit form. I would love to have a layout that’ll attract attention. After all, I love trains, and trains love me!

  64. Wayne you scenery is excellent!
    I really like the fact that you kept your colors subtle. Love the outcrops of rocks.
    Marvelous work. Thanks for the insperation!

  65. Karl says:

    Question for Dangerous Dave, how many boosters do you use. The trains are running pretty fast

  66. Will in NM says:

    Wayne, For a so-called “novice” you’ve done a great job with your 5 x 9 foot layout. You kept the track plan simple enough that you didn’t get bogged down in construction issues like I did with my first layout. You’ve managed to get to the point of creating lovely scenery and water effects. I’ve got three layouts all in the track-laying and wiring stages, but look forward to adding scenery ASAP so I can send in some photos of my work too.

    Foam board, aka “Foam Core” and Crafter’s Board is really useful for making mock-ups of buildings, bridges, etc. With Al’s printable buildings, it can form a sturdy core to which Al’s printout buildings can be attached. It can also be cut to make light-weight profile supports for plaster cloth scenery. The $1 per sheet foam board at the dollar stores tends to be thinner (about 3/16 inch) compared to the more expensive foam core from Hobby Lobby or MIchael’s which is more like 1/4 inch thick and finished a bit nicer.

    Dave, Another excellent video from the Dangerous One. I loved the cam car shots and seeing your steam locos running. Also happy to see the gingerbread man is alive and well. Keep up the good work!

  67. Erick says:

    Looks Kool.!!!!

  68. David Schaffner says:

    Super WOW!
    Bravo’ to a never-ending adventure into ‘Dangerous Dave’s artistry, creativity and landscaping ability. Love everything about his layout and something new has been added with every new video. Love the houses, buildings, depots, the cam car and the amount of passenger cars, the expanse and magnitude of trains and wonder of the huge expense of it all. Like the old cars, the double deck bus and have to wonder where he finds these classic cars which I never see in any US outlets. Have to wonder of so many new additions and where does he find the time, especially if the structures are from kits…..Watch for the Gingerbread man.. He pops up twice neat and under that classic bridge…

  69. robert dale tiemann says:

    nice jobe looks great

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