Model Railroading as a Beginner in N-Scale

n-scale model railroad

Thanks to Paul Scalisi for providing photos and information about his brand new N-scale model railroad. This is what Paul had to say about his N-scale model railroad

“This is the start of my N scale version of the Atlas HO Granite Gorge and Northern. I’m located in Venice Florida. It will be in DCC and the ends will be in mountains. Layout is 8 feet x 32″ and is mobile, on wheels, so that I may store it in my garage. We have no attics or basements here”.

Enjoy Paul’s photos and please comment below…

N-Scale model railroad

N-Scale model railroad

N-Scale model railroad


Paul has just sent in the latest photos of his model train layout.

Check them out and please comment below and share them with your friends and family…

Please leave your comments belowThey are always appreciated.

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Dan Morgan

Dan Morgan fell in love with model trains at the age of six when he visited an NMRA Convention in Seattle with his father. Forty two years later, his passion remains just as strong. After achieving a successful career in architecture, Dan’s particular interest is within layouts and buildings. With a wealth of knowledge on the subject, Dan loves nothing more than sharing this with others and is delighted in the forum of members who are brought together over the hobby they have in common. Dan lives with his wife Helen in Washington. As a professional painter, Helen has learnt through Dan about Model Trains and they now enjoy working on projects together. The only member of the family who isn’t allowed to join in is their over-enthusiastic Labrador called William who has been strictly banned from the workshop! You can find Dan on Google here!


Leave A Reply (58 comments so far)


  1. david j howarth
    5 years ago

    That is a great trackplan

  2. Alan Fambrini
    5 years ago


    That is one awesome amount of trackage you’ve managed to fit onto what is basically the area of a large doorskin. Congratulations.

    RGDS, -alf.

  3. Martin Heurkens
    5 years ago

    Very nice, will look awesome when completed. Good luck and have fun with it!

  4. Les Ellen
    5 years ago

    Inspirational.. You are at about the same stage as I am on my DCC HO layout which is on a 12 ft by 7 ft base (3 boards) in my garage too, as we don’t have basements in Australia either. I currently winch my layout up into the ceiling when the car needs a home. Keep up the good work. At least there is less scenery, etc. in n scale!

  5. John
    5 years ago

    Neat.Would like to see it after completion and how to dissemble the layout for storage. Good luck.

  6. Andy Moynihan
    5 years ago

    VERY Nice I love the amount of track on such a small space. A great track plan.

  7. Randy Blain
    5 years ago

    I liked the layout and it gave me some great ideas to add to my sytem.

  8. Ted MacDonald
    5 years ago

    I am an old model rail who sold my old layout when I moved to a new home. Now I am
    rebuilding in my attic (grumble). I have decided to go to DCC, so everything is now super
    expensive. When I broke in the old Athern kits were $1.99 each. Now everything is r.t.r.
    and the models are good but $30.00? each Plus flex rail and turnouts from England is
    horrendous. $25.00= $30.00 for turnouts and like that. Steam is my passion as I model the
    Old B&M. I have my own private line The South Porcupine Tionaga and Winnipegosis. Runs
    in Vermont and New Hampshire as a subsidiary of the B&M. They have not bought me out
    yet. Can’t find me. The headquarters is in Moncton N.B. where I live. (top secret) I love this
    hobby as I am a retired railroad employee on Can. National. Carman for the Gordon yard
    here in Moncton.


  9. bob
    5 years ago

    Looking grreat. I can tell a lot of thought has been given to the planning.

  10. mike
    5 years ago

    Awesome start. Keep sending photo updates

  11. Paul G
    5 years ago

    A tip that is on you tube is to use a propane torch on the riverbed. by carfully using the heat of the torch flame you can smooth out the sides of the riverbed to make them look more gradual and rounded / slopeing vs the hard-cut edge of the foam. Looks great. Good luck.

  12. Jim Storer
    5 years ago

    U are doing an ausom job on the layout. I have started an ncsale myself, but not as elaborate as yours. Want to go with dccf, have Digitrack Sumpire Set. To me this complicated. Good Job.

  13. Athasnasios
    5 years ago

    I like it keep up the good work Paul.Looks like it’s well thuoght out.

  14. Roy
    5 years ago


  15. vinny indelicato
    5 years ago

    hi love the layout will work perfect in my apt,how can i get a copy of the layout to duplicate this?thanks vinny.

  16. Bob
    5 years ago

    No HO?

  17. Tom Bondurant
    5 years ago

    Great job, Paul. Really like ‘N’ scale. Will start a project of my own soon. Thanks for the inspiration.

  18. Glenn Roach
    5 years ago

    Way to go Mr. Scalisi!!! Can’t wait to see the finished layout. Hope a hurricane doesn’t ruin it for you.

  19. Carlos Czymoch
    5 years ago

    Congratulations Paul Scalisi liked your project scale N.
    I’m from Brazil I live in an apartment, I think one day to mount something on a scale N.
    KATO wonder products are good?
    And keep posting the progress of your project and I have difficulties to understand your actions: Layout is 8 feet x 32 “, could do a favor and translate these measures in meters and
    how many inches between the rails for free from under the bridges.
    You have shooting conditions and the electrical connections and inform DCC commands
    that you will be using.
    Hugs and congratulations again.
    Carlos Czymoch
    Sao Paulo – Capital – Center – Brazil

    ps. How many centimeters is free under the Bridge and Tunnel.

    I’m using Google Translate. Portuguese to English.

  20. Cary Hewitt
    5 years ago

    That is a very nice looking layout! Can’t wait to see the finished product.

  21. Graham
    5 years ago

    Looks like a great trackplan, hopefully you’ll post pics as you build

  22. Pete Frigola
    5 years ago

    The pictures help me try to layout my first major setup. I was wondering how did you make your elevation:
    What materials
    How did you measure out the elevation specifically the incline and decent…

  23. Norm Shechner
    5 years ago

    I just love it!

  24. Tom
    5 years ago


    A great start! I agree with Dave, a great trackplan. Looking forward to updates.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Thanks again Dan the opportunity to be a part of this.



  25. Bob Slusser
    5 years ago

    I built a layout similar to this 5 years ago, much simplified as I did it in G scale 1 in 22.5. The track plan took a space of 17′ wide by 29′ long. with a single run of 138′.

    Bob S

  26. john
    5 years ago

    It looks like a very good start. Please keep updating the photos. It would be very interesting to see it thru the stages to completion.

  27. Walter Horne
    5 years ago

    What a great layout Paul. I too am starting an N scale layout but mine looks ameturish by comparison. Mine is on a table that’s 9 ft X both 3′ & 4′ (mostly 3′ & wider at the one end). I find it interesting that you’e in Venice. I lived there for 15 yrs and then move to north GA about 6 yrs ago. I got into this because my son gave me most everything as an Xmas presant. I’d like to say I’m planning on DCC but I’ll start out with a simple DC for now. My layout doesn’t have the problem of reverse loops so I’ll be OK. Keep up the impressive work and I look forward to seeing more.

  28. Dave
    5 years ago

    That looks like it will keep you busy for a while. Great start!

  29. PukPuk
    5 years ago

    Interesting layout and look forward to seing it operating.

    Just one curious thing. There is on line that crosses lines at various points but does not join into any of the loops. Just wondering what the plan is for that line.

  30. Jim McCall
    5 years ago

    Hard to imagine my being able to do something like this…but this proves the old adage: “Where there’s a will…etc.,” right? I’m presuming there was a crew of folks to help with this…and perhaps a pro laid it out to begin with, eh? We’re reading where there is/are Professional[s] who will develop a layout to your specs…is that right? What challenges must lie in businesses like those/them! Keep Up The Good Cheer…and The Good Work[s] !N Scale is my second favorite scale! Zs drive me crazy!

    “Jolly” Jim – The Orofino Oaf!

  31. Delbert
    5 years ago

    I like your lay out

  32. Robert
    5 years ago

    What a great start you have, a great track plan. Cann’t wait to see it done.

  33. Richard Moses
    5 years ago

    Lookig real good. Can’t wait for the “Finished” photos, though.

  34. RAY SEAY
    5 years ago

    Beginners rarely see the mid stage for model layouts. These pics are among the few I’ve seen of the road bed and track build up that the eye candy is applied too.

  35. Bob O
    5 years ago

    Nice Paul!! Not being familiar with the GG&N, what is the circa and theme you are creating? I like all the different levels, too.

  36. james
    5 years ago

    looks like one heckuva good start to me! great job.

  37. Kumar Vartak
    5 years ago

    I liked the photos , am in the process of building a Hornby Dublo and Marklin HO Gauge layout would appreciate suggestions from you.
    Good Wishes

  38. Allan Kennewell
    5 years ago

    I like the way that foam is used these days, it would save a lot of headaces.

    5 years ago


  40. Paul
    5 years ago

    This is wonderful. I am getting back into the hobby and like you have little room for storage (Arizona). My old layout was HO and I have not been able to find as much info on “N” as I would like so it is great to see the smaller gauge layouts for ideas. I have a bunch of old DC stuff but will go to DCC if I can afford it during my retirement.


  41. dylan
    5 years ago

    great looking layout
    looks like something that will give you and others alot of enjoyment

  42. Brinley
    5 years ago

    Wow Paul! This is looking great!

  43. Dean Hayes
    5 years ago

    Why did you go with Atlas track products? Not that they aren’t great; just curious.

  44. martin
    5 years ago

    Great job Paul
    This is the layout I have been looking for, I would like to build it in o scale would you be willing to share the layout plan? It is the best plan I have ever seen, great use of space would love to build it.

  45. Roger Morris
    5 years ago

    Awesome train layout, wish mine looked as good. Roger

  46. John
    5 years ago

    Excellant job! I’m glad you are showing it in it’s early stages. Keep us informed as you progress. Thanks for sharing…

  47. John W.
    5 years ago

    Good looking layout! Thanks for sharing.I’ll be watching for more develoopments.

  48. Albert Weir
    4 years ago

    Great layout N scale is not easy to set up neither is Ho for that matter but this is wonderful good luck with the progress regards Albert

  49. James LaRose
    3 years ago

    Very impressive-gives me some great ideas.

  50. Robert
    3 years ago

    We love you mobile n scale layout. One question though we have the n scale track that is the roadbed style how would we fasten it down on a platform/layout without gluing it and destroying the track? Any helpful information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.


  51. R.J.Biss
    3 years ago

    Great looking layout,due to an upcoming move I will be changing over to “N” scale and its good to see what can be built.

  52. Jim
    2 years ago

    Love it. How about an overhead view so we see how the tracks were laid out?

  53. Victor Heffren
    1 year ago

    Beautiful layout You have given me a lot of ideas.. Thank you Vic

  54. Victor Heffren
    1 year ago

    Did a great job—looks beautiful!!!!

  55. Victor Heffren
    1 year ago


  56. Victor Heffren
    1 year ago

    Beautiful job!!!!!

  57. Paul Raider
    3 months ago

    What a great track plan. Have moved and have to rebuild my layout. Would like to copy this one if possible.

  58. Roger Barclay-Edwards
    2 months ago

    O.K. My website might be of Bali, but I am based in the U.K. and over 70 years old, am just returning to N Gauge modelling. You have really thought this through so well and love the way you sketched everything out on your baseboard first and then proceeded to gradually build. The mountain scenery etc., is absolutely fantastic – how did you make these.
    Great photos as well !!