Large Scale Central

Your first outdoor layout pics.

Lets show the new people how we all stared out.

Post pics or your very first outdoor layout .

I’ll go first.

Hmmm … I’m trying a new thing posting from my freight shed .



Sorry about the stumbling… You get the idea … lets see your pics…

Thanks Mike …you beat Joe…(

I had a hard night! (

Fun Idea Sean and timely, I just ran across these pictures a few days ago.

Starting construction, Summer 1997?

About 100 foot of track in a loop, all hand laid aluminum rail on Redwood ties, with one spur.

These next pictures are from the Summer of 1999. Edit-- the yellow caboose in the picture below is sitting on the bridge in the above picture.

That was a long time ago


Here is my first pics. A lot of the RR has changed over the years.

About 8 years ago

Here is my first outdoor layout being built with my two youngest sons back around 1993 when we lived in southern California. The boy in the blue is now 30 and the baby in red is now 26.

Joe Zullo said:

I had a hard night! (

That can be a good thing at our age (

You guys have some pretty fine looking first railroads. Mine wasn’t pretty, but got the juices flowing. 16 years ago on the other side of the house. All sectional track, 2x4 bridge and the ballast was winter grit swept up from the road out front…

This area was to be the site of the layout and lots of time went into prepping it and building retaining walls. Before any permanent track went down I had built an indoor loop an my son discovered a window escape route…

And the rest, as they say, is history!

Hehe …the cigar store is not visible behind the boy…“back in the day in the hood”

love these throwbacks!

Great thread idea and great stuff guys!

I can play this game. Here is the first track I had down. It was great for letting my ruby and single flatcar run around. Lasted about a year and a half. The one end is tore up so that I could get the wall in the background built and build layout number 2.

PLRW Renaissance

Here is was the next step. I never got it fully finished before we had to pick up and move. Currently accumulating clutter, dreaming, and planning for 3.0 at our new house.

" Rooster " said:

Hehe …the cigar store is not visible behind the boy…“back in the day in the hood”

I had to go digging, but I found a few. My first large scale layout is my current layout, but it has evolved some since these vintage pictures were taken.

The trestle was made from PVC pipe and redwood plant stakes. It has been replaced, as has the bridge.

Those little trees are now much bigger. The line is now rather well forrested.

My neighbor and good friend, Leslee, had moved away several years ago.

This switch and curve has been reworked a few times so the track now crosses over the rock wall, instead of passing trough it on an S curve.

Hmm. Let’s see. This first (and last) layout was built in our Maryland garden in 1998-2003. Before that it was in the attic in NJ. Then hurricane Isabel came through and we had 1’ of saltwater all over it, plus the remains of the dock next door. It never recovered, as we had to move and we bought a condo. Now I am at the mercy of my friends for train running. [These are recent scans of real photos.]

Here’s the overall view. That’s a wye in the middle and the main line goes behind that tree (in a tunnel made from chimney liner) and back to the yard top left.

Here’s the first photo of a train on the layout. This side (the side away from the house) was laid with 1/32nd ties, so a std gauge train looked right.

In the summer it looked quite lush. (The concrete block at the top left was the cover for the new septic tank).

I had a lot of B’mann hoppers in those days, all suitably re-numbered. And some dual- and triple-gauge track.

And here’s my first steam-up. Roger brought his almost-complete Accucraft C-16, which was their first big engine.

Ah, nostalgia. (

Here’s my first layout. Basic oval with a few sidings branching off for switching. On one side, a proposed town development was in the works, but never got past the track laying stage. Layout survived from 2005-2011 when we rented our house out while we lived out of state. Haven’t had a chance to develop a new layout since we’ve been back. But with closing on a new house at the end of the month, layout planning will begin in earnest this winter. I have a basic outline in mind.

All handlayed ties on code 250 rail. Next layout will be Port Orford style.

Not to get too far off topic, but the new layout plan will have a similar track layout, but different size. This was for the current house if we had been able to remodel and add on.

Tortoise & Lizard Bash at our first open house Nov 20, 1997. I began construction in April 1997 and built what you see in 6 months by myself without help. All track has soldered jumpers! (I also built a successful, independant consulting business at the same time.) George Schreyer took/maintains these photos.

It’s all grey now.