David's HO scale
model trains

Update (June 2004): Since this page was written, I've stopped modeling in HO scale and I've sold and donated most of my equipment. Most of it can be seen running at Niles Depot.

I have quite a few HO scale engines and cars that I've been runing since 1996 on the TCSME layout located inside Niles Depot in Fremont. About a year ago I decided to build a test track on a small shelf on top of my workbench. That shelf happened to be at the same hight as my window's lower edge... So I added a 90 degree curve and extended my "empire" along the window. I then realized that it would be possible to build a module that would extend the track on the other side of the workbench.

Here are a few pictures showing the evolution of the layout (click on the pictures to see them in full size):

Here are a couple of pictures of cars that I recently sold as part of a re-focusing move: when I arrived in the USA, I bought quite a few big, modern engines and cars. Over the time I started enjoying more and more short lines and narrow gauge equipment, so I sold off my intermodal equipment to other members of the TCSME (my four Kato 44CW-9s just vanished in a few minutes, cars took more time...).

When you click on the second image, you'll see the TCSME's official mascot: Lolly...

One of biggest project in HO is my "crane train". It is so big that it has its own page...

These pictures show my second HO scale layout built in the basement of my parents' house in France. It is divided into two independent sections: the first one, a European themed Marklin layout and the second one, a USA themed DC two rails layout.

The layout is bi-level and "E" shapped. The Marklin section occupies the two outer legs of the lower level. It is a point to loop configuration (return loops are so easy to do with three rail systems!). The US section starts at the middle leg, on the lower level, where the modeled branch line comes off of a main line. The track layout (and maybe one day the scenery) is inspired from the tracks near Montpelier, Vt. From this point, the track enters a tunnel and climbs up a four loop helix to the upper level. The pictures below show the various part of the layout.

When it leaves "Montpelier" the train climbs up a very steep helix to the second level. This picture was taken by placing my ccamera on the ground, pointing up, inside the mountain. Note that some pieces of wook have left over scenery on their bottom: they have been recycled from my previous layout.
Once you exit the tunnel containing the helix, you first pass the "H. Simpson Beer Co." and then reaches the middle leg of the layout by way of a two foot long Brass bridge. On your left is the engine servicing facility (not fully sceniced yet) whitch features the first structure I ever scratch built: a platform with an adjustable loading dock for trucks. It is made of a mix of cardboard and styrene.
Here is a train crossing the metal bridge. Conrail has right of way on the sort line.
The next switch off the main leads to a small passenger station (also scratchbuilt) where tourists can board a narrow gauge, cog rail train. Although the track is laid, there is curently no equipment for the narrow gauge "Empire".
Here is another view of the passenger station. The narrow gauge track is on the right.
The Narrow gauge track goes strait up to a ski resort named Green Valley. This resort features a working ski lift (or rather a hicker lift, as the scene is modeled in the summer time).
The mountain houses the helix and extends all the way to the ceilling! Near the summit a group of climbers are hard at work...
If you don't stop at the passenger station, then the track takes you to Willy's Lumber Yard. This industry is one of the few things that was salvaged from my previous layout... Also visible in the background of this picture are the entrance of the helix and "H. Simpson Beer Co.".
Here is a closeup on part of the lumber yard. It features my first scratchbuilt, all wood model: this simple shed where the wood is set to dry was quite a challenge to build back then! Note that it is painted with the same paint that my father used on our house's wooden parts...
This is a few from the edge of the layout, literaly the end of the line! There is some room for a few feet of extension though...
Going back to the main line, we pass a small lake with some fishermen.
This hotel is located right next to the lake.
Also close to the lake, there is this small construction site.
The line now crosses a wooden threstle (a surviror of my previous layout). I built this bridge from memory, so the structure is all wrong! The pictures on the wall behind were taken during a trip to Vermont are meant as an inspiration.
This other shot of the same bridge shows its dimentions: over two feet long and a foot tall!
Once past the bridge, the main line arrives at a returning loop (shown as a triangle on the control panel, for operation purposes). This area has three main "attractions": first there is the trolley depot (featuring a modified Bachmann trolley and home made overhead wires). Eventually, the wire is supposed to be extended across the bridge and to the passenger station.
Here is a closer view of the trolley.
This view shows the home made overhead wire, which includes one switch.
The second industry in the area is "Joe's Auto Parts": it uses an old car on its building's roof as an advertisement.
Here is a view of the other side of the same building, showing the loading platforms. Note the home made bumper at the end of the track.
The last industry of this area is a quarry.
We are now looking at the Marklin section of the layout. This is a view of the main yard, showing some of my engines.
This is a view of the other side of the Marklin layout: the main line goes towards the return loop.
The loop goes around the town of "Vossine-Sempre": an anagram on Prevessin-Moens.
This town features several kitbashed buildings like this group, made of several Jouef kits.
Copyright 2000 David Wegmuller