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



Here the rubber meets the road, or more precisely, the steel meets the rail! Nobody wants to pay too much and everybody wants fair value for monies spent. That said, one must realize that an adult-level working model railroad can be a very involved endeavor. Amateur or cheap construction compromises reliability and can quickly turn the most beautiful layout into a non-working piece of junk. My 50+ years of experience is applied to your project to balance cost and quality. I am uncompromising about reliability.


NKP creates railroads on a cost plus materials basis, this being the most economical for the buyer. Consider that in most cases if a flat bid is desired, the estimate must be increased substantially to cover the inevitable variables and the motivation will be to reduce costs for increased profit. There are not many variables in railroad construction so what must suffer is time for craftsmanship, not the way I like to do business. I have dealt with this all my life in the graphic arts business as well, so I am practised in delivering proper quality for dollar spent because I know how to be efficient and do not like to waste time. Time, after all, is really all we have!


First, there is a design fee agreed upon and paid for the planning stage.
Second, the basic construction costs are estimated from the overall plan.
Third, a payment schedule is linked to construction milestones.

Cost influences to consider:

Environmental area prep
Physical, dimensional size
Complexity of trackwork
Scenic Elements
Level of finish
Owner labor



Townhomes strip from kit of plaster castings, streets from styrene.

Unfinshed gas station scene fronts large industrial area behind wall, all contemporary plastic kits.

Large warehouse from a popular extendable kit and foreground DPM kit with custom roof hides control panel.

Small scene detailed to a medium level but with more to be done.


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