Building Model Railroads Designs by NKP Layout Services of Southern California for Design, Planning, Building and Maintenance , a division of NKP Creative Services, Inc.



Using the construction plan, schedules can be set and basic material costs estimated along with production milestones.


Sometimes contractors are needed, particularly for extended house wiring and sometimes for overhead lighting, floor prep and initial drywall finish. Ideally the trainroom is finished first, including flooring and perhaps air control. Most of this is structural so should done correctly, although unless actually adding a room, rarely requires permitting.

Layout Building

This process extends from the basic wood framing through roadbed. Here long-established techniques are used with the emphasis on strength and longevity. The basic frame uses dimensional lumber and plywoods, glued and screwed, strong enough to walk on. The roadbed is plotted from the actual trackwork elements. Depending on the situation, sections can be prefabbed or made unitized to be removeable or salvageable.


Quality commercial elements are used but finished professionally. All work is tested and perfected in place as constructed. There are several cost levels of trackwork, but everything installed must meet the goal of long-term operational reliability. Handlaying is available on a minimal cameo basis, but overall hand-laying would typically be done by the owner, or could be arranged by separate contract.


The control systems for the railroad. Installed along with trackwork to insure consistent reliability. Special considerations given for trouble-shooting and expansion. May be extended to include signalling, crossing guards and special control features like stopping blocks and occupancy indications.


This is one of the largest variables. Using classic hardshell and modern foam-based techniques, general scenery can be brought to a basic "earth" level. After that comes detailing. Ground cover, foiliage, man-made features, ROW details... all come in different levels of detail. The detail in nature is infinite and so can yours be. To get started we try to get to "stage" level, the level of finish like on a stage or movie set, acceptable to the eye, stand-off scale. Then more can be added, literally forever.


Elements like fascia, under-layout storage, car-card systems, signage, printed materials, all miscellaneous elements.



Showing lower deck of a double-decker and the connecting spiral with electrical and hardware installed.

The same area as above at the initial framing stage, and yes, spiral penetrates sidewall in a non-destructive manner.

Sturdy framing using conventional model RR construction methods is essential for long-term trackwork support.

Where appropriate, cork is used for all bas eroadbed, here is seen prepped for tracklaying.

Tracklaying has progressed to wiring, after circuit checks will then be ballasted.

Scenery follows completed trackwork using conventional hardshell and modern foam techniques, first rough finished so set the stage for finer finishing later..

A wiring patch panel. Wiring is installed following the wiring diagram, ensuring proper corrspondence between the two.

Finished control panels with LED indications and car-card sorting.


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