Model Railroad In A Coffee Table

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“I’ve got no space for a model railroad” is no excuse… Just build one in a coffee table!

These pictures are of Ray Howard’s first ever model railroad which he started when he was 60 years of age…

It is N-scale and built into a coffee table which is 40 inches x 30 inches (1m x 0.75m for the metric people).

Here is what Ray (Dunston, Lincoln, England) had to say about his model railroad in a coffee table…

“These are a few photos of my first ever model railway layout, started when I was 60 years of age.

It is ‘N’ gauge built into a coffee table which measures 40 inches x 30 inches.

The raised areas, such as the tunnel entrances shown, are made from Polystyrene which has been painted in water based emulsion paint then covered in ‘sprinkle grass’.

It is a basic oval with a false straight running to the two tunnel entrances at either end. A 1950’s GWR (UK) rail-car runs around the oval.

I chose this because of the sharp turns and it helps to fill the track edges with some height as the coach overhang doesn’t come into play.

Most of the buildings are Metcalf and the rest Hornby Skeldale.

The streetlights all work and most of the buildings have lighting inside so it does look quite good in the evening. Only the oval is powered for train use.

I call it ‘Clapped Out Junction’.

It was a great project to start off with, and now that it is complete, I am turning my attention to an ’00’ gauge layout, DCC controlled but will have to wait until a move of house to start this, as it is to large for my current home.

Being a modern house the loft is not suitable for the 22 foot x 12 foot plan (6.6m x 3.6m).

As a beginner I found the coffee table project helped me to gain experience in track laying and wiring as well as building the houses etc.

It was inexpensive, so to speak, and fueled my new passion for model railways.” – Ray Howard

Thanks Ray for sharing your pictures and story. That is an exceptionally good effort for your first layout and will give many beginners the ideas and inspiration they need.

Got any questions for Ray or comments? Please leave them below

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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!
About The Author

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!