William’s HO layout

“I started the Valley Stream Railroad in the summer of 2003. The scale is HO, the time period would be between 1900-1910, it’s late fall and winter is just around the corner in New England. I have been a train buff for as long back as I can remember and a modeler most of my life.

The layout is in a small bedroom, around the room single track with several sidings and a couple of passing’s. All the locomotives are steam with sound. A couple of friends helped me with the bench work and the wiring. The bench work was built 2′ x 4′ sections with 2 x 2 legs, 1/2” plywood on the top, and topped off with a cut up 4 x 8 sheet of 4 inch thick foam.

The foam was excellent when it comes to scenery and it diminishes any sound along with the road bed. The Valley Stream is my own private railroad name as I did not want to follow any prototype railroad. Free lance is very satisfying for me.

Scenery is what I love to do thus the simple loop around for the railroad. Most of the building are kits or were “kit bashed”. Since space was limited the large building against the back drop were cut down the center and spliced end to end. Most of the structures I was building before I started the layout.

There was no great track layout just my own sketches and drawings. I just knew what I wanted to do and what I wanted it to look like. The track is code 70 for a more realistic look for the steam power. The rocks were pebbles from the road., the winter trees were made from twigs in the yard along with the use of. a glue pot then spray painted (time and patience on the trees).

Since the base board was 4″ foam planting all the trees was easy. I used sifted real dirt with white glue for some scenes, Woodland Scenics material,the snow piles are crushed white foam, lots of cellu clay (papier mache) mixed with water vermiculite (mineral) for the ground and embankments. The back drop I painted using spray paint and the effect was just what I wanted……………..cold and cloudy.

A friend of mine mention the layout to the local news paper and they came over to see it and take pictures. On December 26, 2010 the layout and I were on the front page of Sundays paper. The railroad was also filmed and put on the local news. Needless to say it’s been fun to have that to share with others.

The railroad will probably never be entirely finished as the details seem to be endless. Hope you enjoy the photos.

William”

A huge thanks to William for sharing these pics. We’ve had a nice run of scenery pics over the last few days. Let’s keep ’em coming.

And don’t forget the Beginner’s Guide if you want to start tinkering on your own layout.

Best

Al

PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.


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54 responses to “William’s HO layout”

  1. Bob Shipley says:

    Very nice layout. Did you know that there is a town on Long Island NY called Valley Stream?

  2. William Pignataro says:

    ………………….and that’s where it came from. I’m from Long Island

  3. Michael Lynch says:

    William
    Your passion for modeling in clearly evident in this exceptional layout. Your sullen brooding sky is a masterpiece. I am only begining my OO guage Great Western English inspired layout and agree that a fictisios theam frees the creative juices.l only dream to come near your high standard.
    Michael
    Australia

  4. mark Allen says:

    Exceptional work William, some of the best I’ve seen. Looking forward to more.

  5. Brian Messenger says:

    Hi William, great to see a shelf type layout around the walls. Looking great so far. Keep up the excellent work. Brian – HOF member

  6. John Meehan says:

    Love those buildings and scenery! I’m the same. Prefer scenery but love to watch the train go round and round at the same time i work on the scenery.

  7. Richard Scott says:

    Very nice. I especially like the scenery. It is very realistic. The period is the same as my New Mexico Northern.

  8. Adolph Svec says:

    My favorite image is the fifth from the end. The bit of a blur adds a nice touch as
    so much of the equipment often seen is so crisp and unnatural.

  9. Jim Clarke says:

    My personal favorite “scene” on this layout is that of the business man standing on the corner watching the kids playing. He puts his briefcase down and is likely reminiscing his own childhood not too many years prior. He will watch for a while and then it is back to work. It reflects many of the remarks posted here and my own reason for building this.

  10. Jim Clarke says:

    Ooops! I posted the above in response to the wrong e-mail.

    My apologies William. I do wish I could step back and enter your beautiful New England scene.

    Jim

  11. SHELDON H. SCHUSLER says:

    Very nice 👍. Well done…

  12. MICHAEL GLASS says:

    your layout is beautiful.

  13. tom in az says:

    Me too I really like good scenery, yours is fantastic. I`ll save this post to look at for help. Thanks Tom in Payson AZ

  14. Love it…I too am a scenery nut, but I also love watching the trains, especially if they are coming out of a different hideaway tunnel…..My favorite scene is the lone box car between two buildings… Bravo!

  15. Brad says:

    Wonderful effects.Your bare trees are superb!! I wont be starting a layout for maybe a year,but like you I am already in “pre-build” mode because I am anxious to get started.Wonderful layout!!

  16. JACK WINDT says:

    well done, not too busy, as most lawouts are, well thought out……except, since i live in florida, the lawout is much too cold for me…………..nice work….

  17. Raymond J. Kutcher says:

    I am new to HO and just beginning my R.R. this one of the best 4X8 layouts I have seen. Your attention to detail and staging makes it almost real life. I would appreciate if you could provide a track layout visual and overhead view of The Valley Stream R.R. Thanks for sharing and keep up the good work you are a real inspiration. Ray

  18. Warren Ferguson says:

    “🎶 …and I say to myself, what a wonderful world!…🎵” And, it is a wonderful world you have made, William. If only I could step back into that time, just for a little while. Thank you for sharing with us!

  19. Larry Johnson says:

    Nice work on a hard to model prototype (early 20th century. Nice detailing. I was impressed by your use of the big, Heljan I believe, building in the first picture where you sliced it down the middle to double its size. I use the same building on my Abingdon & Crane for part of my brewery. I did the same thing with a Life-Like building, thus making it twice its size, and it is against a flat surface. Keep up the great work!

  20. Ken hirsch says:

    I used to live in valley stream ny. The Long Island railroad had astatine there. Store called train land in sunrise highway is where I got my Lionel trains around 1957

  21. Robert Shuman says:

    Some of those winter shots actually gave me a chill! Like I was there in the winter.
    Great work.

  22. Harry Little says:

    Winter is the most difficult season to model and is often overdone on layouts. Your layout has captured the feel and mood of that time of year to perfection. In addition it is a beautiful period piece. Wonderful and skilled work. You have the eye and talent of an artist which is made even more difficult when working with a 3D model. I truly enjoyed seeing your pictures. Thank you for sharing it with all of us.

  23. Richard H Chapple Sr says:

    This is another inspiring layout. superb work.
    I will soon have an opportunity to do the same in our double garage, an around the wall, but in Garden scale.
    This would be an ideal fit.
    thank you for sharing.
    Dick

  24. WOWWW
    now thas some really great detail work…

  25. James D Smith says:

    Very nice backdrops. I am looking for ideas for my “North Georgia Division of The Pennsylvania Railroad. also around the walls of a storage building. Backdrops appear to be something I might be able to handle that would cover the bare walls behind the trains. Mine is “O” guage with tinplate track. Not meant to be all that realistic. Just something to enjoy that was bought here and there mostly on Ebay for cheap.

  26. steve says:

    the snow scene,s are awesome.

    layout is great.

  27. Al Allison says:

    Very nice layout. I have been working on a 4 x 8 HO logging layout for several years. I am now adding lights, asphalt road, more people and scenic detail. I hope it looks as good as yours some day.

  28. Sal Fazio says:

    I would love to see a wide angle picture of that fabulous layout in its entirety. You captured the late fall chill in the air with your excellent use of color and those leafless trees, bravo William.

  29. Mark Loos says:

    Flat out beautiful! Really enjoyed all the photos! Thanks for sharing. Mark <

  30. Hugo Budzien says:

    Very nice, lots of personal details, Bud

  31. Joe says:

    Very nice do you have a pic of the whole layout been looking for a 4×8 layout to get started on and from what I see this might be the one to do

  32. Mal says:

    Spoilt again. So many fantastic photos we are just spoilt for choice! Great modelling work, lovely scenes. You should be very proud.

  33. Mike Richardson says:

    William, you do great work. All the details are just fantastic. Love your layout.

  34. Joe Wright says:

    Love Fall/winter scenes or as in this transitional seasons.
    I live in the Northeastern part of the U.S. and love the change of seasons. Fall. Being my favorite, would never live in Florida. Because of that. Your RR scene setups ate perfect, great work. I can see wjy it was in a magazine and on TV

    Thank ypu for sharing with us.

  35. Mike Pettruzzelli says:

    EXCELLENT!!!!!

  36. Jim says:

    William, I’m new to model railroading. Your layout is quite an inspiration.
    Thanks for sharing.

  37. Tom Sallee says:

    Great scenery, great structures and great pictures of the Valley Stream.

  38. Mark says:

    Great scenery very well done Would have liked to see a picture of entire layout By the wat I am from Rockland County so the felling of the layout came thru for me What size is the layout

  39. Ian Campbell says:

    Man, those delivery-cart horses graze a lot. 😉
    I put nosebags on a couple of mine, built up with layers of woodglue, then painted.

  40. Stan Rosenson says:

    Incidentally, the Trainland store that William mentioned in a response is still there, as is the Long Island Railroad’s Valley Stream station. The Trainland store is in Freeport, Long Island, NY, and is one stop farther eastward from the Valley Stream station. The folks who own that store (as well as another one by the same name in Brooklyn, NY), are nearby neighbors of mine.

  41. Dennis says:

    Fantastic.

  42. John says:

    Brilliant detail. Well done.

  43. William Pignataro says:

    Thank you all for the wonderful comments !

  44. Rod Mackay says:

    Beautiful work, full of atmosphere, well done.
    Rod

  45. NJ Mark says:

    The winter scenery is beautiful and beyond anything I could have imagined. Cheers! NJ Mark

  46. Art says:

    Very nice layout. Well done. Let’s see more.

  47. Thomas Murphy says:

    I am a big fan of steam locomotives, the steam era, old-time buildings and unique scenery; William’s layout has it all. Thank you William for sharing this bit of your historical ideas with us.
    Regards, Tom (USA).

  48. Mike says:

    Hi William This is the best Ho I have ever seen, all I can say is WOW breath taking your scenery is so beautiful and life like. I love your set….

  49. Jim Sulkosky says:

    Very nice winter layout

  50. Ken Goldenberg says:

    Your layout reminds me of a “Currier and Ives” card! I want to live there. Nice.

  51. NEAL MARRISON says:

    Very nice layout. I enjoyed the tour. Thanks, Neal

  52. John Reynolds says:

    truly well done and an unusual time of year to be modeled…
    Brilliant
    John
    From where we only have two seasons… Summer and occasionally Fall/Spring
    Southern California

  53. Susan Cannon says:

    I LOVE how your wintery skies actually look “wintery!” I got a chill just looking at your scenes. What a lovely layout! Thank you so much for sharing!

  54. Peter Pocock says:

    Hi William, a very big we’ll done to you. May I make one suggestion to you, and in my so doing, please know I only wish to be constructive! Have you thought about painting the rails a rust colour? Any time I lay track it is what I do and the effect is awesome! Try a bit somewhere discrete and if you like the result, go nuts and do the lot.
    Cheers
    Pete

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