4×8 HO scale – what a layout!


I enjoy seeing the info you share, but I have never shared my layout with you so here are some pics.

This is a 4×8 that has been in the works for 10 or so years, I now have it in a loft that is 16×20 and I am building a new layout and this 4×8 will not work into it well at all so I will be dismanteling it in the next few weeks to get started on the new one so I thought I would share some of it with you.


Salina Kansas”

4x8 mountains and track curves

HO scale town buildings

4x8 with tunnel

Ho scale locomotive

model train shed

model train valley

model railroad mountain scenery

HO scale garage

HO scale buildings


I thought it a superb layout. Let me know what you thought below!

All the best,


(There are hundreds and hundreds of posts to enjoy and learn from – but the only way you’ll get to see them all is by being on the newsletter).

80 Responses to 4×8 HO scale – what a layout!

  1. Ed Albritton says:

    Nicely done, everything shows patience and skill for the finer details.

  2. david says:

    Very Impresive, well done

  3. Roger says:

    Such a shame to dismantle all that lovely work. Why not sell it (less the engines and stock) and use the funds to finance your new layout? It’s portable and you would certainly get a buyer. Then someone else would get to enjoy it and you would have the pleasure of knowing that. As Al says, a small layout can be a little treasure.

  4. Robert Elsass says:

    Very nice! What scale?

  5. Max Sarazin says:

    And what is his minimum radius to get all that into a 4×8?

  6. fordyce blake says:

    love the layout and the detail – it seems a shame to take it down. I am starting a layout that is about 5 x 8. Anyway you could email me your track plan? I could not figure it out from these photos – great job!

    Fordyce Blake

  7. Bob Carter says:

    I would say at a guess N scale and the new layout looks interesting,pictures please

  8. Simon Zeoli says:

    Great looking detailed layout,a lot of talent put into it.I`m sure your new one will show even more talent.Enjoy!

  9. Barry Palmer says:

    Frank I agree with Roger why not at least try to sell it first to make some money and also to let someone else enjoy your hard work. Many less talented modelers would be interested. The hard part is finding the buyers.
    Another option that I took was to donate it to a museum that has some model railroads and get the tax write-off as a gift donation. You would be surprised how much that might amount to. Anyway it’s a very detailed and well done layout so good luck.


  10. Jim Johnsstone says:

    Like Fordyce I am very impressed and would also appreciate a copy of the track plan = also scale. Agree you should sell as it seems such a waste to dismantle this work of art. Unfortunately shipping costs prohibit purchase from here in Scotland. Best of luck with new project

  11. ru55 says:

    I agree 100% Try and sell or auction it.. must be a way of keeping it as is..
    very nice work shame for it to be deleted :{

  12. ru55 says:

    Oh yes would be good to get and keep video footage for your archive so to speak.. also would be interesting to watch as well..

  13. Joshua Curtis says:

    That is a very nice detailed layout. Keep doing a good job

  14. Rod says:

    Great looking layout. two thumgs up.

  15. dread says:

    There is only one way to get a modelrailroad and that is to build your own even if it takes a lifetime, this looks like ho to me going by the windows in background, just started a layout ,have converted my loft 21x16ft, track on 2 to 3ft wide benchwork, have laid 420ft of track just about to add the power, it’s ho USA mining, mountains, farm land, and a town. With 2 tracks around the room a quarry area then the mining area of 18ft by 2ft that is it so far no photo;s yet but may make time to do that in the near future. good to have this kind of forum easy reading no crap just honest views and help, keep up the hardwork it is apprieciated at this end.

  16. Mike says:

    I think it’s super, don’t fancy coming and helping with some track laying do you?

  17. Peter says:

    Very nice layout.

  18. Gene "Hat" Hatfield says:

    Please do not dismantle. Ten + years of hard work should not be distroyed in my view.

  19. paul starr says:

    very good detail excellent

  20. Bernie says:

    Great looking layout and the effort you put into really shows. I agree with the earlier comments that it is a shame to dismantle it when someone else shoule be able to appreciate it.


  21. Chris Hall says:

    Very nice layout, lots of detail and neat workmanship! It looks bigger than 4×8 to me, Is it? Thanks for shareing, Chris

  22. Dugan Frank says:

    Thanks for all the nice compliments. The scale is HO and most of teh radius is 18 but the two turns on the mountain are probably more like 15. I run mostly short trains as I model the 1950’s so I havent had very many problems running this tight radius but as I move into the new larger layout I will be running longer passengers and probably not long freights but those tight curves will be giving me problems along with getting in and out of this layout is almost impossible as I didnt plan on expanding well. I have thought about selling and also giving it away through the club I belong to during a show, but I’ve decided I would rather save the structures that I have built some scratch some kits and keep them for the new layout. I told Al that I would share as I get started on the new layout not only to share but for idea feedback also.
    My email is dfrank7076@wildblue.net if anyone wants the plans of the current layout let me know. Again thanks for the compliments Ive never thought my work was that great but they say your best critic is yourself.
    Dugan Frank

  23. Phil Thomas says:

    Brilliant layout – but which gauge??

    Would appreciate knowing what gauge and would love the track plan.

  24. Your size of a layout would suit me fine. I’ve been looking everwhere for this type of layout.

    I have to give you 5*****,

    Thanking you in advance,


  25. Bill Markey says:

    Excellent attention to detail. Shows what you can do in a 4 x 8 space.

    Thanks for sharing both photos and info.


  26. Paul Otway says:

    Very realistic

  27. Marv Bolton says:

    Very Impresive layout and good use of space…

    Would also appreciate having a copy of the plans


  28. michael says:

    Fantastic layouts,but always shown are layouts that are very large.

    Why is it,surely not everyone has a very large layout is it not possible to

    see much smaller layouts occasionally.

    I myself have a smaller layout 13 x 8 foot by 23ins all the way round, I

    would love to see a smaller layout build to see whats possible. Mike

  29. Tom Nichols says:

    Very nice layout..great detailed work!!!!!!!

  30. Luke Kelly says:

    I agree that you should sell it as it is amazzzing!!!!!!!!!!!

  31. Larnel says:

    Your layout is quite impressive, and detailed. I’m currently
    putting together three O scale trains on fast track, and
    need some ideas about layouts. Platform is 4X6. Thanks.

  32. Charlie says:

    I think that it is an outstanding setup and the detail is real great I’m just
    getting started and this has given me great inspiration. Now if I can only get the garage cleaned out I’ll be set.

  33. Bill Crumrine says:

    Great layout, really impressive!!!

  34. Chuck Dugnolle says:

    Amazing what can be done in a small area. Very nice detailing on the landscaping. Have you checked the Abilene and Smoky Valley Rail Road over in Abilene?

    Charles Dugnolle

  35. seth says:

    Where did you find the ford dealership building?
    seth independence, ks

  36. Steven says:

    I would be extremely interested in obtaining this piece. Please let me know. Thanks. Steven

  37. Dennis says:

    you got a lot in just a 4 x 8.

  38. Richard says:

    It seems, from reading the responses, that unless those buildings are absolutely a must in removing, that selling the whole setup would be advantageous for you, and it would appear that there are quite a few eager buyers on hand. Put a minimum on it and see what happens, you might be surprised. I would say $5,000.00 as top with $3,000.00 min.

  39. kimo says:

    this is a really well done layout,thank you for sharing it with us, Kimo

  40. Lee Barry CEO LZPMRR says:

    Love the picture of the “Green” colored truck stopped before the tracks. Almost would make a nice “desk wallpaper”.

  41. John Coffey says:

    a realy nice layout i plan making one before long real good to read these replys

    John C. Junction city ,Ks

  42. Ken Pinckney says:

    I would sell it not destroy it, these are going for a few thousand on EBAy…Beautiful work.

  43. bob myles says:

    Is 4 x 8 + 4feet by 8 feet, if so can I have an idea of your layout as I am new to model railroad and about to set up a 4 foot x 8 foot.

  44. fordyce blake says:

    would still love to have a rough idea of the layout you put together. It looks very complete for such a small area – great job

  45. Keith says:

    I, too am just starting out and would like to see a line drawing of your track layout. It looks amazing for a 4 X 8 space! Thanks!

  46. tadheath says:

    That is a really sweet layout!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOVE IT!!!!!!

  47. Jim Hillcoat says:

    Great job on the layout. I tried to email you at “dfrank7076@wildblue.net”
    but got a message that the email address does not exist. I would really like a track plan.

  48. charles h says:

    I can only hope my 10×12 will look half as good. you have done a very good job. I can’t wait to see what your new one will look like. please keep us up dated as you go.

  49. Jimmy Weeks says:

    Add my name to the list of people who want a drawing of your layout. I had done several 4X8’s.but nothing to the scale of your artwork.

  50. John Kucyn says:

    Hi Al: Thank u for sharing this 4×8 layout. I dont know how it was achieved to fit into this size, but I think its an absolute beautiful work oif art.
    I enjoy looking at it and just goes to show what can be done.
    Congratulations to the designer … brilliant
    Keep them coming. regards

  51. Alex says:

    You did a superb Job with your display and after reading all the comments fr=
    om all these guys, which I share, who sound so enthusiastic about it, I have=
    a suggestion for you:
    why don’t you send Al a picture or drawing of the layout so he could show it=
    in this blog so that everybody can use it?
    Thank you,

  52. Paul D says:

    Great layout. Please send me a copy of your track plan. (I tried sending an email request to the address in your comment above, but it bounced.)


    Paul D

  53. Tony W says:

    Love what you have done there. I am just starting out with an 8 x 4 layout and would like a copy of your track plan if that is possible.

    Kind regards


  54. Chuck C says:

    Real nice. Detail done well!

  55. Ed Macomber says:

    Just keep humiliating me folks! Just kidding. I am awed by the attention to detail and the wonderful use of landscaping techniques I see here. Wonderful “never-ending story!”

  56. Bob Smith says:

    Very well landscaped, articulate detail to suburban theme, and am particularly impressed with ‘era’ car dealership..Great Job!

  57. GOPAL DAGA says:

    Hi Dugan,
    Your layout is commandable. You have collected few items, which are not easily available. Viz: FORD show shop? Similarly, I wonder if models of gas station, bus stands ect are available. They add value to the work. Keep letting us know of your new additions. Regards, GOPAL DAGA, INDIA,

  58. Ray Suckling says:

    Hi Dugan,

    A great layout. I tried to send you an email for a copy of your track plan but could not get through, maybe you could post them on this site.
    Keep up the great work, I look forward to seeing your next effort.

  59. allen says:

    I have a baseboard 2.4 metres by 1.8 metres am thinking of building a zizg zag down a mountain not sure how to do it and dont have any track plan to base it on any help, ideas or plans would be appreciated as my 4 yr old grandson wants to see thomas etc coming down the mountain
    regards and thanks allen australia

  60. Michael C says:

    You do have a real gem of small layout. I would say that you could kindly share your layout plan, and maybe a list of structures used, and where placed. I would say a real disgrace to your talents,patience,and effort to design a beautiful small layout such as yours,and to destroy it. Please dont. Share track plan and sell it or donate it to an orphanage. You never know what kid now might just get intrestered in this wonderful hobby,of model railroading.

  61. Michael C says:

    The above reply. From. Michael C. USA.

  62. Jimmy STORRIE says:

    Would love track plan going to make a 8×4 layout. Jimmy edinburgh

  63. John says:

    Great layout! I especially like the muted tones of the scenery. It seems to me that way too many layouts have way-to-bright cartoon-like colouring, unlike your most realistic effects. Thanks for sharing it. I too would like to see the track plan:)

    John, Saskatchewan, Canada

  64. john andrew says:

    great layout ,i think you should have another look at incorporating this one into your new layout you certainly have the ability to, a few years ago a bloke over your way his name was Allen did and it turned out great John A

  65. Jim says:

    Love this forum. Great work.
    I have collected 1:24 scale Diacast model cars and trucks for 20 years or more. My wife needed more sewing and quilting space so I had to put them away. I have a collection of 200 prime models and several scale local building of my home town here in the Adirondack Mtns.
    I have returned to my first hobby hobby of O scale train collecting. I have a large amount of track, many passenger cars and half dozen good engines. After this past summer season I set up the whole thing trying out different layouts on the floor of the family room. The room is 15×30 so plenty of room to experiment. I had a couple of trolleys running daydreaming short runs out to a beach area complete with tent and RV sites, piers, boats and a nice beach and water area. In the center was a residential area and further out was a paper mill scaled after the IP plant in our area.
    With Christmas and company coming to stay I had to dismantle the outfit. I wish I took some pictures as I will never be able to duplicate a real neat layout. In the meantime I have purchases a dozen Dept. 56 Snow Village buildings for my setup.
    I have decided, at 72, now is not the time to get fancy. I could build an addition on my heated garage but not now. I am going to set aside a 12×15 ares for my toys to be setup on a 3’x15 length with spaced enlarged areas for a beach area, a small village modeled after a town here in the Adirondacks and a business area not necessarily industry. My problem which this has all been leading up to is: how do I blend g scale card and accessories with an 0 scale train set and make it work. It is getting beyond me to keep swapping setups. I also am a hobby woodworker with a full woodworking shop and have been retired for twenty years. Being partly disabled I have had nothing but time on my hands for years and do enjoy my hobby. Very good for chronic depression. When I first became disabled and home the hight point was to count heads of everyone going by the house to their jobs each day. I use to assemble and manufacture parts for nuclear steam turbine generators. J

  66. john andrew says:

    J glad to hear from an olddy about how our thinking and what we want out of our model trains I did model HO /OO but changed to On30 some years back mainly because of sight and dexterity in the fingers , bundled into old age. Because I have buildings in both scales I now have a mixture the smaller buildings are straight out of the packet the larger are only semi roofed self built and this allows fitting out inside with whatever and easy perusal why hide anything on your model ,last year I visited a christmas shop and they had Lemax model buildings O scale if you use rule of the thumb they have lights and look good if you are standing at the correct distance away anyway it is my layout for once I am the boss best regards johnA

  67. john andrew says:

    allen australia,zig zag take a trip to the blue mountains and see first hand and working john A

  68. Fred Patterson says:

    This is a beautiful layout. Wish I could get a layout design of it. My granddaughter and I are getting ready to begin a layout and only have 4×8 to work with. Thanks for maybe sending the layout design.

  69. darrel wright says:

    Hey great layout, it kinda saddens me though. As a kid growing up i used to go with my dad to fairs etc. and he amassed a veritable treasure trove of locos and rolling stock buildings track and all kinds of other stuff, all for the purpose of something to do after retirement from the army, what happened? he retired and sold the lot.

  70. Gerell McCann says:

    I don’t think you would have any difficulty selling it. I, for one, would be interested in getting it for a group of neglected boys that I coach in soccer. They get excited when I talk about someday building a layout for them but to be honest I’m not sure where to start. Maybe this would be my start. Please don’t tear it down and especially don’t let it just sit and not be put to good use.
    As an individual, I have no website.

  71. larry says:

    Great job on your layout. I too had a nice layout and took it down to make the room into an extra bedroom. Then we added on to the house and I got plenty of space for the old layout and plenty of room to add on but I torn it apart. Try to move it to another location or sell it would be the way to go. Buildings and such cost more now then when you originally built but there are a lot of different buildings now, if you decide to update to a newer era along with some old just for nostalgia. Good luck on your new layout.


  73. Paul McFee says:

    About 8 months ago I was web surfing web sites for model train layouts and dioramas and came across a huge Walt Disney World layout that looked like at least 10 X 20 (in the picture anyways) mostly of Magic Kingdom with every store of main street USA, the princesses castle, the train depot, the train, etc, etc. plus if I remember, Animal Kingdom too. Everything was in exact detail. For the last 7 months, I’ve gone onto every train web sites known to man kind, Retail, wholesale, E-bay, Amazon (including Prime) Walthers, etc. To no avail. Except for the cheap plastic epcot sphere, monorail toy train and a very pricey train station plastic kit. Any body know a known web site for good quality, detailed Disney world N or HO scale buildings and scenery? Thanks Much.

  74. Ben says:

    Beautiful layout , but to get all that on there it has to be a z or n scale on a 4×8

  75. Derwin Emerson says:

    Tremendous layout! Makes me itch to return to my (grandsons too) layout. Working two scales on the same table – HO and O. Challenging but fun to teach grandsons that challenges are all part of the hobby. Thank you for posting and sharing your style and level of creativity. Trainman

  76. William Falstick says:

    Consider (if you don’t market the layout) — donating it to an orphanage or some other worthwhile organization (Boy Scouts, etc).. in this manner, you could possibly get a tax deduction and your work would be appreciated and enduring.

  77. pete says:

    gr8 layout what scale ?????

  78. Stan says:

    All I can say is WOW. Very nice. Will be Retiring in October and starting my own layout. Perhaps you can show us your 4X8 track layout. Very impressive. Thank You.

  79. Dave Gemmell says:

    Pretty cool…nice work!

  80. Jim McQuillen says:

    Turn off the Cap Lock!! This is the internet equivalent of shouting. We can hear you just fine in lower case.

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