Having had so much fun with our first micro layout, Nick wanted to move on to something more ambitious. After pouring over my 30 year stack of Narrow Gauge & Shortline Gazettes, Nick wanted to do a small lumber layout and we chose On30.

Bachmann On30 Porter 0-4-0s can negotiate a 12″ minimum radius and Nick wants a large trestle.

I had an idea but was having a hard time describing it to Nick so I made a quick planning model in 1/8″ = 1″ scale. The footprint is 30″ x 4 feet long and about 4 feet tall.

Nick's micro layout planning model

I made a pencil sketch to show how the bridge would look.


The lower back will have room for a separate small town/logging camp area. We may do this in HO scale.

Nick's micro layout planning model

We labeled lots of the construction dimensions on the planning model so it’s acting as kind of a 3D blueprint.

The frame is made of 3/8″ x 4″ plywood planks ripped on the table saw and connected with 2×2 blocks glued and screwed. We added casters so it is easy to roll around.

Nick Fitting the Pieces Together

Nick with the Power Drill

Next we built up the sides and made an oval of plywood as the roadway.

Nick Drilling

We’ll cut away the portion that will be spanned by the bridge.

Nick Drilling

2 Responses to “Nick’s next railroad part 1”

  1. Mike Says:

    Dan, a couple questions for you. I recently got back into model rr after only doing it as a kid…and those were the days when we’d run them like racecars to see if we could get train cars to tip off the track around corners!

    Anyway, I re-entered the hobby world putting my layout on a 4X8 sheet of plywood, but felt it was too cumbersome to get around it, and didn’t leave much room to decorate scenery on it.

    So, I started from scratch and made a L-shape layout in a corner so far. It’s about 6 feet long on one wall and 8 feet on the adjacent wall.

    Here’s my question.

    I see that you use cork roadbed under your track. But What do you use for scenery ground? What I mean is this: do you glue the scenery to the plywood base, or do you use a styrofoam, or that puddy compound?

    If you use sytrofoam or something else, does it completely cover the plywood base, or do you use it only to attach certain scenery like a peg board?

    Do these make sense? Please help…any helpful hints would be great!!!

  2. Daniel Swearingen Says:

    Hi Mike,

    I’m going to answer in a long-winded way in a series of blog posts.