Bush Terminals micro layout in HO

I feel like my N scale version of this layout has been a real success. I’ve operated it a few times now and think the layout concept has really proven itself. It is easy to set up quickly and challenging enough to switch cars on to be entertaining. It’s confession time though. I’ve packed the N scale version and the other N scale micro, Prince Street, away. I couldn’t resist the siren call of my HO scale tank engines and box cabs any longer. The Model Railway Warehouse still sell their steeplecab kit and I want one. Perhaps too it’s the regular exposure I get to HO during the great weekly operating sessions hosted by my friends.

Over the weekend I put together a foam baseboard and printed a HO scale version of the plan. In the six by thirty inch space I’m using things are tight. With some pleasurable compromise I can make it work, though I may need to give in and stretch the layout to thirty-six inches in length to really support the fiddle yard. Here’s some progress photos from today.

Once I have the fiddle yard sorted out I’ll start building track. I’ll be continuing with handlaid track. I’m really attracted to the Proto 87 finescale work and will try and move closer to that direction in attempting at least a finer scale approach. Track will use tiny code 55 rails which work out pretty close to the 76 pound rails the prototype railroads in and around the New York waterfront used.


  1. Sounds good – I must admit I’ve never really got along with N scale for switching. Maybe it’s my big clumsy fingers, but HO seems a lot more practical where coupling and uncoupling, especially by hand, is involved.

    1. I agree on switching. I’m embarrassed to confess that I feel like I’m re-railing my stock more when all I was trying to do was uncouple. I know it’s my fault though.

      I find in my micro layouts I’m paying a lot of time watching the trains up close. This becomes another place where HO and larger scales seem to have an advantage. I’ve worked in N for a very long time, most of my life, and really feel that N works best on a layout where “trains within the scene” is the theme for the layout.

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