New England themed HO scale layouts

William has been in touch and added to the New England themed HO scale layouts on the blog:

“The Valley Stream Railroad 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.


New England themed HO scale layouts buildings

New England themed HO scale layouts platform

New England themed HO scale layouts snow

New England themed HO scale layouts horse carriage

New England themed HO scale layouts bridge

New England themed HO scale layouts:

1900s HO scale

model railroad church

New England themed HO scale layouts waterfront

New England themed HO scale layouts town scene

HO scale shop

New England themed HO scale layouts

track curve

New England themed HO scale layouts sidings

box cars

New England themed HO scale layouts

New England themed HO scale layouts

New England themed HO scale layouts

HO scale horse carriage

New England themed HO scale layouts

A huge thanks to William adding to the New England themed HO scale layouts. 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.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

82 Responses to New England themed HO scale layouts

  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:

    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.

  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.



    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.

  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:


  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:


  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.

  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…
    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.

  55. Roger Ringnalda says:

    William, Your layout is My Dream-Type Layout and perhaps the best I’ve ever seen. The details are outstanding, your model-building is super-realistic and the. of the highest quality, and while your track plan is simple, it is believable, not a maze of switches, crossovers, and other fancy tie-ins combining as many tracks together in as small of a maze as possible, and best of all… it is all REAL Railroading with seam power! My hat is off to you and I hope we get to see more of your fantastic RR world!

  56. Roger Ringnalda says:

    Correction: make that STEAM Power!

  57. Jim AZ says:

    Very nice. Ya gotta love the “old days” where you can model horses and carriages. Good stuff.

  58. Superb job, William! It made me chilly (welcomed here in Las Vegas) just looking at your scenes. Question: Do you keep your room temperature really cool to match the cloudy, cold scenery?!? lol

  59. Fred Svoboda says:

    NIce. The sky is a knockout!

    A friend of mine has modeled a similar era in Petoskey, Michigan, a northern resort community. He actually got the city to give him the use of an old fire house and moved in with several other guys and recreated the town as it actually was, based on old photos and maps. He said that what was most difficult was getting the appropriate rolling stock. Older and new stuff was easy to come by, 1900-1910 much more difficult.

  60. Very well done! Like other’s have mentioned, it is wonderfully staged without being too busy. I love a layout with some open space and unique areas to feast on, you’ve managed to build a true masterpiece, my compliments to you! My favorite scene was…….how can one choose?, I liked all of them.

  61. Alabama Mike says:

    William, you have a beautiful layout and I love the time period you chose. Maybe one day you could show us a video of the train running. I would like to see some of your engines and freight cars. even if they are not on video.

  62. Totally Awesome,I truly enjoy being able to see what all of you modeler’s can do in the imagination of the mind!! TOO COOL!!

  63. Tom Goldsworthy says:

    Great looking layout! Like Raymond’s comment above I would love to see what the track plan looks like. I am starting to build a new layout that is similar to yours in configuration. Hope mine is 1/2 as nice as yours.

  64. Gary M from Long Island says:

    William…. Stunning is the right word..I love the buildings…….

    I live just north of Valley Stream, Long Island

  65. Robert Brady says:

    Bill ; Great layout A quaint little town It seems to tell a story. I’m from Westchester NY. Spent many a time at Jones beach
    The scenes are very familiar. A video would be the cherry on top.
    The critic

  66. Bob Amling says:

    You’ve created a masterpiece! Kudos to you. Every scene is amazing. I was expecting the news video at the end of your post.
    Bob Amling In Horse Country NJ

  67. Andy says:

    Top layout. Kudos!

  68. Marklin ed says:

    Great looking layout, needs people then it would be one of the very best I seen.

  69. Mark T. Pianka says:

    Outstanding layout!!

  70. Mike Balog says:

    Hi AL and William:

    Fantastic Detailed Turn of the Century Layout.. Just Supurbe as to the Details, brings one right back to the early 20th Century Steam Railroads with all the background, buildings. horse and wagons… William should be Elected to the Hall of Fame…. The Winter Scenes bring you right in… Would like to see a track play and would appreciate a Video much the same as Dangerous Dave Does.. That would be the frosting on the cake… Minor comments,, could use more People, and animals. The Covered Bridge is Very Realistic… could use raised or embedded supports on each side though. And that fellow in the horse and buggy looks like he lost the Reins for the Horse! A little Dull Coat over the figures and animals cuts the glare of the light shining off the plastic. Excellent Layout Though… Puts You Right back There in that Era…

  71. Mike Balog says:

    Hi Al, William and Others… I Had started building an around there room or wall type layout several years ago… used 1.5″ x 1/2″ clear pine.. 2 ft x 4 ft long. with 1/4 in plywood top,, then had 1 in blue board on top of that. Used 2 in sheetrock screws to hold things together. I had built two H Side Frames at each end, out of 2″ x 4″ x 8 ft pieces cut down the center with a table saw.. then made 2 ft short pieces for the Near Middle and top of the frames.. I had started to build this to place each H Piece on the end of a long credenza that supported my color TV Set, Stereo equipment – the layout 2 ft x 4 ft section was made to slide onto two L supports at each end for the “H”. Several Inches above the TV Set, the DVD-VCR Deck and other equipment. My intention was to go around the top of the Other furniture, such as File Cabinets. so they would be the same height. Then a Narrow section above my drafting table. etc. Thought of using printed background scenes. Alas, I had to dismantle everything as I had to move. Many years and a few moves later it still waits to be set up again. BUT for Christmas, I used the same method… but made a 4 ft x 4 ft square duel tack raised 2nd track layout… With the Center Middle Raised Section a Christmas Village and a Skating Park, with Gazebo, small Ferris Wheel, etc. there were people on Magnets with another below the mirror top,, the figures move in a wide circle around the Gazebo Center.. I had about 300 white Winter Pine Trees around the layout.,, used to buy them at the end of the Christmas Holiday Season at Walmart, Home Depot or CVS, stores cheap. The Small Ferris wheel used to work..but the gears jumped under neath. I had this 4 ft above the floor supported by four 2 in x 4 in x 4 ft long supports made from 2 in x 4 in ripped down the center. This year was the first time in about 5 yrs I set it up as I had a New German Shepherd Puppy.. now grown up so he doesn’t just Jump up like he used to… Have to get set up more often.. I have a few still Photos of the Christmas Layout set up for the Holidays. I used an old Lionel HO Scale Model RR Power Supply for DC power, ~ Mike in N.H. USA.

  72. Mike Balog says:

    Addendum to the Above… My 2 ft wide x 4 ft long section,, actually was 2 ft wide by 8 ft long… When I moved. I had to Cut it down to 2 ft x 6 ft cause there was a door to the living room in the way. WIlliam’s layout brought memories of Christmas’s Past….~ Mike In N.H.

  73. Will in NM says:

    William, You have done an amazing job of capturing the essence of a wintry railroad. The barren trees and the darkening sky backdrop evoke a sense of cold, blustery winter days. You must have had a lot of fun building all those Jordan wagons and the fire truck. You’ve done an excellent job balancing structures versus open country and the absence of any paved roads helps to set your era to the early 1900’s.

    I have a few recommendations: (1) Your railroad cars look a bit too shiny and new. I little light weathering and some dull coat would make them more realistic. (2) Your track would look more period accurate if the rail edges were painted a rusty brown color and the ties were ballasted. (3) While your scenes with figures are well done and promote the sense of being in a turn of the century town, you could use a few more such vignettes to add a little more life to your railroad.

    All in all, you’ve done a fabulous job. Yours is one of the best layouts I’ve ever seen. I’d love to see the track plan and/or a video of some trains running on your layout.

  74. Erick says:

    I love the old time look. I hope mine comes out that good.

  75. Brian Olson says:

    Love the shot looking down towards the boxcar between the two buildings.

  76. Dan Newman says:

    The attention to detail is fantastic.

  77. TJK says:


  78. Rich B. says:

    Now that is NE, last minute snow squall, the 19th century Industrial Revolution remnants and things haven’t changed that much in many small communities other than population explosion and what to do with that influx. TG most of Maine is still undeveloped… not for long.

    Rich, Regarding

  79. Richard Ridgely says:

    William…. nice layout and beautifully done… I too am from Long Island, grew up in the Hamptons… Water Mill to be exact… my dad had a restaurant there… Richard Ridgely

  80. Brian Olson says:

    Scenery and buildings my favorite part of this hobby, you get to tell a story. Your story.

  81. robert dale tiemann says:

    very nice layout. really good work.

  82. Steve Ruple says:

    A very nice layout with beautiful scenery, well done !!!!

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