Building a N-Scale Layout

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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 (25 comments so far)


  1. Honor
    7 years ago

    I just wanted to thank you for the videos and all the information that I have been enjoying and taking advantage of. It’s a love of mine and I have yet to finish my “dream” but now that the kids are married and moved out, I MIGHT have the opportunity. But, again, THANKS!

  2. Keith
    7 years ago

    Great video, very informative on the steps to building a nice layout. would have liked to have seen more from a distance to see all the trains running at the same time. thanks for taking the time to do this.

  3. Tony
    7 years ago

    I think this is a beautiful layout, and showing the progression of how it was built was educational to me. The sound effects were steam engines and all I saw were diesels. Maybe you could change over to diesel sound effects. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  4. stephen dickinson
    7 years ago

    really enjoyed this n-scale video from start to finish details….give me some more ideas for mine.

  5. bigdon1a1
    7 years ago

    Nice layout good use of track would be nice add auto switching for trade out of extra trains rocks or boulders (Rock Slides) rocks should be of same color as surrounding walls of stone

  6. Richard
    7 years ago

    Thanks for the video progression from start to finish. I noticed only diesels with steam engine sounds. Hopefully in the future the two will match! Also, it would be nice to follow one train around the layout to see more detail such as sidings, turnouts and landscape. Thanks for a job well done though.

  7. Mitch
    7 years ago

    Hi: Layout looks great! Detail in the senery needs more detail,however. And I got a lot of ideas for my “N” gauge layout. Last but not least tell whoever is operating the trains to slow them down to a more realistic speed. Nice job “mitch”

  8. Laurie
    7 years ago

    Great layout and keeps me inspired to continue on with my “ho” scale. Don’t worry about the comments on sounds. Its a model train set to be proud of.

  9. Paul
    6 years ago

    Thanks for the great video. yes -don’t worry about which sounds but do slow the trains to a more realistic speed. Good use of the camera. Again my thanks. its a great layout and you should make a longer video (if you have saved the files) showing the adding of buildings and industries, etc. great work – wish I had one like yours – I have both ho and n in various stages of “undress” cause I just don’t spend the time needed to finalize but also because I can’t get a final layout design I will be happy with if finalized. I’ve been using trainplayer/tracklayer for design and running the designs on my computer. If you can download the free sample from the site – it’s a great program and you can run all the layouts from the famous 101 layouts book

  10. Tooter
    6 years ago

    Great! Only one suggestion, slow down and use a tripod to focus better. Again, great.

  11. Geoff
    6 years ago

    Please slow the trains down – and give us some verbal info about the scenery process. Otherwise “tres interessant”. Thanks

  12. Michael Sneed
    6 years ago

    Didnt see any Steam Loco’s Great lay out tho

  13. Bill
    6 years ago

    Great layout…Nice use of camera with “stills” and “video” combined. Very nice track layout and building placement. Loved the ski area… Great all around job…

  14. Monty
    6 years ago

    Hello, It is a great layout, great scenery, wrong sound, and looks like a lot of work went into it.

    When you make your next video, slow down the panning action, the camera is moving too fast
    to really see what you are filming.

    Good job !

  15. Myyrdn
    6 years ago

    Impressive layout although a little busy. Not to much dedicated to method of getting the desired effects ie::::: more plaster paper;Newspaper mountains( self explanatory to a degree) experimenting with painting.
    A big thank you for the builder for sharing

  16. Richard Moses
    6 years ago

    Not bad, all things considered. I did wonder if there was access to the back corner though. I think the builder deserves a fine congrats for all the work put into the layout, but I wonder if there is a plan for more trees.
    All in all, I give this video a sound 4.5 star rating.

  17. Walter Horne
    5 years ago

    Layout looked great. But–I heard a lot of steam chugging for a lot of diesels. The trains were running unrealistically fast. And the camera work was sadly wanting. The whistle sounds didn’t fit the trains–one sounded more like a steam ship than a train.
    I was hoping to learn something but it just didn’t happen.
    Sorry, I know you’re probably very proud of your layout and you should be. But you have a long way to go in the movie making department.

  18. richard dearden
    5 years ago

    That is one of the best, I hope that my setup will come close. I am saving this down load so I can pickup some ideas. I am building a setup on a 30 x 50 that when it goes into the mountain it will climb 6″ where it will pull into a station / ski resort where off of a siding will be another rail running to the top , height to be determinded. whish I had the room you have. Again Great Job.

  19. Bud
    5 years ago

    Good video but where is the ground cover its all paint, lay out looks very unfinished. Not enough trees etc. Trains are running far to fast looks a bit like a race track.

  20. Norman Carnow
    5 years ago

    I liked the video except that he moved too fast to really see the details. I would have like to have more time at each stage of the building of the layout. I found it very informing. I am just getting started on an N scale layout that is involved. I picked 1 out of an Atlas catalog of layouts. They call it N-17.

  21. Norm Carnow
    4 years ago

    I watch the N scale video. I liked it but the camera moved to fast and it didn’t show enough detail and how it was done. It needed more closeups.

  22. NYC Engineer
    4 years ago

    Great job! I was a little disappointed in the trains moving so fast and then I realized that the
    camera was speeded up to cover the time it really took to complete everything. I loved the sounds in the background. You should be proud of yourself (and your helpers)!
    Bob in Georgia USA

  23. Jeff
    4 years ago

    Looks like alot of work, but the end product looks very cool

    enjoy your layout

  24. Captain George
    2 years ago

    Great videos. I would like to put a video on your site showing a CP passenger train going around most of my layout. Where and how can I upload it?



  25. Dan Morgan
    2 years ago

    Hi George,

    If you email it to us at, we can see about getting it up as a blog post.


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