Jeff Hartmann, from Long Beach, California, made this tiny HO diorama to perch above the whiteboard in his office cubicle. It depicts a small town station named “Yensid” circa 1900. It was built on a 1″x4″ plank, three feet long. In addition to the station, there’s a spur to a brick warehouse. Jeff also penned the drawing covering the whiteboard, working over several days’ worth of lunch hours. Great way to bring your hobby along into your daytime hours! For more info, see Jeff’s website.




The Scrapbook for June 2002 displayed some photos I took of a delightful pizza layout in Sn2 scale, made by Russ Haigh, of Willoughby, Ohio. The layout featured a circle of Sn2 trackage (9 mm gauge), with an elevated length of Sn3 trackage up above (9/16″ gauge). Several alert readers noticed that, in my eagerness to show off the pizza layout down below, I had cut off the display at the top. They asked, “What’s up there, doc?” Russ has obligingly provided photographic evidence of the facts in the case. It’s the top part of the Cavorite mine depicted on the layout.

cavorite1 cavorite2









Note that several of the buildings on the layout — most notably the numerous privies — are made from Russ’s cardboard cutout kits, available in several scales under the brand name, “Spiffy Biffy’s©”.


John Hubbard from Lynn Haven, Florida, writes:

“I have been inspired by your website and the HOn30 Yahoo group to dust off my old AHM Minitrains equipment and build a micro layout. The track plan (dare I call it that) is a simple oval — just a three foot length of N gauge flextrack joined end to end. The layout measures 11″ x 17”, so it is a true micro (probably a pizza).

“I am basing the scenery and scenes on the Monte Sano Railroad, which carried passengers from the Huntsville, Alabama, main depot to a resort hotel located on top of the mountain beside the town. The prototype was a standard gauge line, built in the late 1800s, and it never prospered. Its only locomotive was a small Porter steam dummy and the line was about 17 miles long. All that remains today is a part of the old roadbed called O’Brien’s Buttonhole that was nearly a complete circle, which gives me the excuse to model a loop.”




These two work-in-progress pictures are filched from John’s good-looking website, where he is documenting construction of this little HOn30 railroad. Be sure to visit if you want to see it grow toward completeness.


From Italy, Ivan Furlanis sent this idea for extending my layout, Les Peupliers. The original line, built for a micro layout competition, was the size of two A4 sheets of paper end to end — about 8″x23″. It’s a 1/32 scale, dual-gauge railroad, crammed into a very small space and featuring both meter gauge (32mm) and extra narrow gauge (16.5mm) trackage.


Ivan suggested, on the right-hand extension, modeling some farm buildings where the meter-gauge line can disappear, creating a fiddle area. Meantime, the dual-gauge track serves a farm warehouse. Then just the narrow-gauge rails enter another building, where there is a second fiddle area and storage for the electric switcher that serves the narrow-gauge industrial line.

On the left-hand extension there’s an interesting and unusual dual gauge turnout (replacing the original sector plate) to extend the dual-gauge track over to a loading dock, where the narrow gauge switcher can deliver its freight loads. A small passenger station on the left end of the layout provides a second fiddle area for the meter gauge line. In this way, the meter gauge train can run from left to right and back with the engine always pulling the car. As there is now a small passenger station, we can add a small passenger railcar to the meter gauge line’s service.

And all of this can be obtained in a space of about 47″x8″ (119×21 cm)! Ivan has lots of other interesting ideas and information, especially about trolleys (trams) and trolley buses at his website.


Carl Arendt

Webmaster Carl Arendt died on March 4, 2011 in Olympia, Washington. Carl came to Pittsburgh to attend Carnegie Mellon where he graduated with a degree in physics and met Sheila, his wife of 49 years. Carl started work for Westinghouse Electric Corporation where he spent his entire career. During this time, he and Sheila raised their three sons. Following retirement from Westinghouse, Carl threw himself into the world of micro-railroading. In 2002 he started this web site, and authored three books on the subject. This web site attracted a large worldwide following, and Carl built up a collection of friends who came to know and respect him even though most had never met him in person. Such was his personality that it shone through across the ether. He and Sheila moved to Olympia in 2009 to be close to their son Giles and his family, where Carl enjoyed time with his three grandchildren. His wit, erudition, and creativity made this true gentleman a joy to be with, in both the real and the virtual world. This site is a trove of microlayout ideas and examples, and so long as it continues will keep Carl's memory alive and further the hobby he loved.

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