About Jim’s Model Trains

This website is a collection of articles and media about my railroading efforts over the years, from my early pre-teen railway modelling years starting in the 1970’s, through the surreal realm of teenage-dom, into adulthood and through many years of married life, right up to the current time.

Most of the layouts I have built have been HO scale, with the rare exception, and have had a wide variety of…

  • Scenery style.
  • Layout size from small to medium to almost large, and more recently micro layouts (that is, less than 4 square feet in size).
  • Track plan type including small continuous run / oval, point to point, “pizza”, track plans employing sector plates and / or transfer tables.

In more recent times the emphasis of this website has changed from my model railroading efforts in general to be more about smaller layouts for the space-challenged. Particularly micro layouts, which was something I explored mainly due to us not owning our own home but relying on what is available in the rental housing market. The micro layouts I have built and that are featured on this website were inspired in large part by the website of the late Carl Arendt, a resource for those wishing to build small or micro layouts that is well known in the model railroad community. If you would like to build a model railway and think you don’t have space, check out his site, now maintained by others who saw the benefit of his work.

Although this website is mostly about model trains, there are also a number of pages, photo galleries and blog posts about the real thing, including journeys I have taken by train, various cycling holidays I have undertaken along disused railways now converted to rail trails, and photos of various types of trains and light rail / tramways I have seen over the years.

The majority of the content on this website is my own. Where it isn’t I have attributed content to it’s creator, and included it with their permission.

There is also a railroad and model railroad themed blog on the site.

I hope you enjoy my website! Feel free to leave a comment on pages where comments are allowed if you have questions or comments about the content.





I started model railroading when I was about 7, when I purchased my first model train set, a Lima set. Since then I have built various layouts representing various regions, sometimes with a mixture of regions. Since the mid 1990's, my focus has been on modelling American railroading, and in the early 2000's I narrowed that down to mostly the Chicago region. Since 2019 I have built and operated a number of micro layouts. I have been happily married since 1995 to a woman who is very tolerant of my constant need to build a new layout or expand an existing one. We have 3 children, although 2 of them are now adult and are following their own career path. Since 2008 I have been a Software Engineer / Web designer / Programmer / Full Stack Developer.




My darling wife. Even though she doesn't actually engage in the hobby of model railroading, and hasn't really been actively involved in this website, without her support and encouragement and tolerance throughout our married life many of the layouts I have built would not have eventuated, and this website probably wouldn't have either. She is a Domestic Engineer, Financial Controller, Human Resources Manager and Spacial Co-Ordinator of the highest order - in other words, she is a mother and housewife. She also works part time in the area of Customer Service.