Model Train Layout: Construction Photos

Conceptual sketch from early 2000

The O-scale train layout project was completed in four steps in 2000:

1. In January, detailed sketches of this hi-rail layout were made; from these sketches, CAD drawings were generated.

2. In April, the upper mountain section of the layout was finished with an operating oval of track for HO-scale trains or trolleys.

3. On May 19th, the plywood space frame (for the main section) was completed and was subsequently painted. All bridges and viaducts were scratch-built and installed the following week. By June 3rd, all O-gauge track (Gargraves Phantom Rail) was laid and ballasted with ground rubber ballast.

By June 30th, all tunnels, stone retaining walls, city streets and sidewalks were completed. All of the grass and ground cover work was completed by the end of July.

4. On August 18th, the under-platform train wiring (from track to the transformers) was completed. All of the trees and other decorative accessories were placed the following week.

All lights, accessories, lighted billboards, crossing signals, bells and accessories were installed and wired up during the same period. The layout was completed on August 26, 2000.

"Tests" of all operating components were conducted by my (then) three-and-one-half year-old grandson, who supervised and approved everything about the trains and this layout. By 2012, he was taller than the tip of the mountain - and taller than me:

How To Build A Layout
In Four Steps:
train platform
O-gauge model train layout
1. Build a wood space frame.
2. Paint the wood.
O scale train layout
3. Lay the roadbed and track, then apply ballast.
4. Wire it up, add scenery, buildings, grass, dirt, trees, shrubs, working accessories, people and cars - and you're all done! Click here to see larger photos.

More Train Info & Photos

Main Page - Introduction
Overview - General description
Aerial photo - Large overview of layout
Photorama - Several pages of photos
Layout storage - How we move and store this train layout
Inventory list - It continues to grow
Frequently asked questions - And answers to them
Tips for a better layout - Ten helpful suggestions
My grandson's layout - A simple model railroad for kids
GM Aerotrain - 1950s Train of the Future
Hiawatha - The first streamlined steam loco
PRR Consolidation - Pennsy's steam freight workhorse
PRR GG1 - The most famous electric locomotive on earth
PRR Mallet - Pennsy's big, powerful steam freight hauler
PRR MP54 - Serving commuters for over 50 years
PRR T1 - Sleek and massive Pennsy steam power

copyright Joseph M. Sherlock - 2000-12