Roy Ogle is the owner of the Local Hobby Shop (LHS) that is located nearest to my house. Roy has a very nice backyard G gauge model railroad layout and I never miss an opportunity to run trains at Roy’s.
Roy’s layout works so well, I think, due in a large part to his many years in the business which have taught Roy the basic features that make for interesting layout and a great train running experience. These features are not hugely difficult or costly but are not always incorporated into a layout.
Roy has a single mainline since, like so many of us, he is working with a limited amount of yard space. Still, it’s not always how much room you have but what you do with the amount you’ve got. The track at the bottom of the picture to the right is the mainline. But a simple loop around the town area and some sidings give the impression of much larger train yard.
The single main line travels an out and back dog bone route. Because the layout is track powered Roy can accommodate both track powered and battery powered sparkies so it is not uncommon to run multiple trains. The length of the mainline and the fact that it parallels itself makes it look like a double mainline with trains going by each other in what appears opposite directions.
In the picture to the right you see two engines on the sidings. Sidings should be able to have track power cut off so you can park track powered trains or you can just park battery powered trains as Roy has done here.
Roy has made good use of weathering and props on this little LGB 0-4-0. Note the use of Bachmann accessories on top of the saddle tank shown at the left as well as the barrel on the front and the shovels on the back of the engine. Attention to these types of details make for a very interesting visual setting for your layout.
Here a consist is coming around the town on the mainline. The switch ahead lets you choose the inner siding or continue on the mainline. The cars parked on the innermost siding provide a great visual backdrop. A key thing to remember is that your trains look better when they pass in front of, or behind, other equipment whether that equipment is in motion itself or not. Sidings and a few cars can add a lot of visual eye candy.
Roy has quite a main street with a number of buildings. But note how the figures he has populated main street with really bring the scene to life along with the motorcycles and automobiles. The pigeons on the roof are a nice detail touch as well.
I really like the telephone lineman working on the poles on this bashed platform truck in front of the blacksmith shop. A few unique items like this make for outstanding visuals.
Roy has a small pond towards the back of his layout. Now, a water feature is not for everyone, they are a relatively high maintenance thing but can add a lot of interest to your track plan. Note the bait shop in the picture to the left. Roy has also placed some wildlife up at the water’s edge which draws your eye from the bait shop right to the pond.
When running trains on Roy’s layout I get the impression that it’s a much larger layout than it actually is. It shows what you can do with a little careful thought and knowhow over having acres of free space.
Let me know what tips and tricks you used on your layout! – TJ
(Originally posted 5/25/2012)