Here’s some video I filmed of various trains operating on my 2018 O scale layout around the Christmas tree. It’s been four years since I last uploaded a video of my Christmas setup (see this video: and as can be expected, it’s a lot bigger now! I’ve received a lot more equipment and accessories, and my Christmas layout for the past few years has been almost twice the size of my 2014 version. This year’s layout proved to be one of my favorites. Although just one track for running trains, there’s a 3-track yard, and a long siding for parking whole trains. I use Lionel’s FasTrack system. The mainline features O60 curves, with the siding featuring a mix of O48 and O36. All switches are manual O36. I powered all the track from a single Lionel 180-watt power brick with three power connections around the layout, along with some simple jumper wires.
If you’re familiar with the happenings in the O gauge world, you may know that Menards (a midwestern home-improvement chain) has been producing a huge amount of O scale accessories and freight cars for the past several years. Their freight cars are pretty inexpensive compared to Lionel and MTH counterparts, but still have a decent amount of quality. As a result I’ve amassed a giant collection of Menards equipment. I’ve also received several of their buildings, many of which are on this year’s layout. The Red Owl grocery store, Morton Salt factory, fire station, town block (Red Owl/JR Watkins), Dave’s gas station, and feed store are all Menards buildings. They light up using a wall adapter. The Menards store building that you may see in a few scenes was one of the first Menards buildings, built by Lemax in 2011. The rest of the buildings on the layout are Bachmann Plasticville, and the Union Pacific switch tower is an MTH model. Many of the accessories such as the yard lights, crossing signals, and billboards are Lemax Christmas village accessories, as are most of the trees.
As for the trains, I have a collection featuring several brands, but they mainly comprise of models built by Lionel, MTH, and Menards. The video opens with Lionel’s first version of The Polar Express (from 2004-2005) circling the layout. Then I bring out a train of traditional/O27 freight equipment, pulled by my Lionel BNSF SD70ACe from 2008. Most of this train is Menards freight cars, with one Lionel freight car (the yellow UP gondola) and a K-Line Chicago & North Western caboose. Next up, one of my recent acquisitions, an Atlas O Trainman Norfolk Southern GP15-1, pulls a train of scale freight cars clockwise around the layout. This train features a mix of Lionel, MTH, Weaver, and Atlas O cars. Two of the cars, the CP boxcar at the front of the train, and the BN boxcar, were cars I custom built last year. They are built from scratch out of paper, with a wood frame and added Lionel rotating bearing cap trucks. Expect to see more of my custom-built trains in the future … 🙂 Last but not least, I run a series of Amtrak trains, pulled by my MTH RailKing Amtrak Genesis locomotive. Hard to believe, but this engine is almost 20 years old, one of MTH’s first runs of this model, featuring the conventionally-controlled Proto-Sound 1. I’ve had the engine for over 15 years, and since coming back from some slight repairs in 2005, it’s been a very reliable locomotive. The cars on this train are a mix of MTH RailKing, with Lionel Amfleet coaches from 2011. Near the end of the video, I put my Lionel Amfleet cab car on one end of the train to take the lead in “push-pull” mode.
I hope you enjoyed this video! To see more videos of my O scale collection, and other layouts I’ve been to, plus all my videos of real trains, subscribe to my YouTube channel:
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