Will’s layout

“This layout is gona be quite huge when complete,size is 15 x 33 feet with 2 islands. I will include you a photo of my river span all kitbashed and scratch built. My very 1st attempt at a river span its 8 feet long.

I’m still laying track gona be doing that for long while LOL. I took a break from it for summer but plan on getting back to it soon. this is a walk around layout built in my house.most of my friends freak out when they come over and see it for 1st time at just the size of it. Plan is to also have 2nd level just for passenger trains.

And to give you more info its freelance and I’m incorporating some actual settings from my area. The river scene is the Tennessee river in north Alabama with that scratch built vertical lift bridge that csx and northfork and southern use daily. The layout will have 2 main lines,few yards, and long sidings to park long consist all analog dc for now because that’s what i have. May go dcc later on because I have about 20 dcc locos out of the 80 I have now. There will be plenty of rolling stock to fill the yards and run long trains last count I had about 450 peaces.been working on this layout for about a year buying inventory up for it about 3 years.


(images are clickable)


Here are some more photos of the MIDLAND GREAT CENTRAL JOINT RAILWAY.

I ballasted the the goods yard area with sand and grit from a building site.

I also used faller scatter material to make some track weed grown.

I used Pva glue mixed with water and detergent.

A word of warning don’t put any glue near the moving parts of a point it will gum up the point, but if you do hot water melts the glue, and the point will work again.


“Hi Al.

You have these sort of things in the UK.We have taken them and are using them on abandoned and working rail tracks in large groups. Sort of tour around. In the old days the track inspector’s used them to check out the track.But now they have modified pickup trucks and are bigger.

I been in a group who restored them to use on old tracks.Great fun and really boot along.they are called speedster’s.


“Hi Al,

Further to the various posts about wagon loads, for what it is worth, here is my method:-

First I lay clingfilm over the wagon and push it down into the corners. I then squeeze in a thick layer of ‘No More Nails’ until the wagon is about half full. Next I pour in the load. usually some scenic coal, or track ballast and tamp it down just a little. At this stage I cut off the surplus clingfilm level with the top of the truck so that it will not be seen. I then top up the load to the brim of the wagon and sculpt it how I want it to look. Finally I spray with hair spray which seals it all in place. You need to start the spray away from the model so that the load does not get blown away by the initial burst of air. I make the load quite wet with the spray, but it dries clear. I have been using this method for a while and so far no problems. The trucks do not spill their loads in the event of a derailment. The purpose of the clingfilm is to allow you to remove the load without marking the wagon. I have had no need to do this so far, but assume it will work.

Best regards,


That’s all this time, folks. Thanks for the comments on the ebay cheat sheet. I’ll keep updating it.



26 Responses to Will’s layout

  1. Nice job you have done there Will

  2. Ralph Berry says:

    That is one huge layout Will, I like the size of trains that can be run, that river crossing is a marvelous central feature.

  3. Ralph Berry says:

    That looks very rustic Paul. The tip about the glue is very timely as I am about to do some ballasting this weekend.

  4. Don Ripper says:

    Hey Will, just love your river – the water is perfect. More info please?


  5. will says:

    Thanks guys,it has been more of a project than I thought.LOL!!

  6. Great looking layout.


  7. Bill Stevens says:

    An exceptional presentation. I can only imagine the finish product. Excellent work.

  8. Rob says:

    All, your layout looks lily will be a stunner.

  9. Jim says:

    Great water effect. Please elaborate on method used.

  10. Skip (Greywoulf) says:

    Nicely realistic appearing moving boats in water. -Something not easily accomplished nor often seen done as well as this! -I would hesitate to sit in the office chair by the water’s edge, for fear that the river might spill over into my lap! ;>})


  11. Rog says:

    Nice work.. Water has great effect & lotsa work on the Bridges.. Thanks
    for the tip on “Glue”.. Keep Railin’ Fun & have the same with your weekend-

  12. Jim in NC says:

    Super-looking layout! Can’t wait to see the finished product.

  13. paul Otway says:

    About the loco in the photos I sent, it is a Hornby railroad Jinty of the S&DJR.

  14. Tom says:

    Great Looks! Great work! Keep up both!


  15. THOMAS says:


  16. Wow, I wish I had that sort of space, I like what you’ve done with the scratch built bridges, you’d never know it was your first go at this type of build as it looks like a manurfactured kit, only much better. Can’t wait to see the completed layout, in time. Enjoy the fruits of your labor!!!

    Stemar, (Downunder.)

  17. Ian says:

    great layout nice and big. great looking bridges. will enjoy the next round of photos.

  18. will says:

    Jim I mixed and used acrylic paints and dry brushed the color in using Google earth to get color I wanted added some lighter color to get a current effect.brushed on poly and checked when it got thick and used paint brush to give the motion and churning effect of the boats moving I have never did this before but some how got the effect I was looking for

  19. will says:

    Stemar I have a good wife and 3000 sqaure foot house that kids just moved out of.the one main line I have done is around 3 scale miles I luv running long consist

  20. Willie Kerr (Glasgow) says:

    The water looks fantastic. I have just started my layout and need all the help I can get. Keep all the info coming.

  21. will says:

    The bridge piers were made from ripped up 2 x 4s sanded the edges round and painted to look like weathered concrete.

  22. B Clifton says:

    When using hairspray, use the pump spray, not pressure can spray. Doesn’t blow things away.

  23. Rod Mackay says:

    Beautiful bridgework! Sure, we’re all looking at that lovely water, but there’s an awful lot of hard work in those bridges. Well done.

  24. will says:

    With fall comeing on hope to make more progress with track laying still have alot to lay

  25. dan o wiseman says:

    lots of good work going on here , great lay out hey a week back the video had a working crain in the lay out , dos any one have information on where to get one or was scractch build thanks ex_blue@hotmail,com

  26. Desert Rat PHX AZ says:

    Great stuff ONCE AGAIN WHAT GAGE??????????????????????????????

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