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The layout is brilliant! Your attention to detail is impeccable. The crisp demarcation between the painted sections and the grass are critical to capture the period feel of a dealer display/ catalog layout. It’s impressive how precise you were.

i love layouts like these that provide breathing room for the track itself as well as accessories and landscaping to share the limelight. As a Super O addict, I want the track to be the focus of attention and not be hidden by too many buildings or accessories. 

I’m sure others will have some good suggestions for the control panel.

Thanks  for sharing the photos; this is a real gem.




I'm with you on getting the controls off the layout surface. I used a simple pine shelf to hold my controls along with a hinged control panel supported by two pieces of pine, all painted a neutral color (left over from another home project).

Running TMCC, I elected to use switch controllers only for frequently used switches and run the rest through TMCC.

Your efforts are inspiring and I covet that beautiful Super "0" track. Keep up the good work!



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@Mike Espy posted:

I can also tell you that not all the accessories will not fit where they are shown in the catalog photos. There was a great article written in the TCA e-Magazine on this very layout that covers a lot of the issues of bringing this layout to life. 

I don't know if that original Lionel layout in the 1957 catalog was ever built. I think it was maybe just an artist's conception, which would explain scale issues. For example, it is the upper level track that goes through the mountain, but we don't really see the mountain going down to the table level. An optical illusion. And why would an elevated line on trestles go through a mountain? Sort of nonsensical when you think of it.

But it is a wonderful illustration, the whole scene, and I drooled over it as a kid too. I actually have the remains of a dealer display from 1961 packed away. The table, mountain ( which is cloth), and a lot of the track and bits of the accessories. A family friend bought it from the dealer after Christmas that year, and gave it to my Dad in the 1980s. But it had been pretty beat up by his boys, and my Dad took all the track off and decided to put another layout there. He didn't know they were collectible, I think.

Last edited by Will

Sorry for not posting more progress photos. It is springtime and farming seems to take up more of my hobby time!

Finished up some small details on the mountain and ready to add color to it. Wish me luck!!

Also got started on the control panel. Decided to put if in the inside corner of the layout.

Will post more photos soon!

 Thanks to everyone that is following this build and providing such great encouragement!!👍


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Last edited by Mike Espy

Thanks for following up with my progress Mack. I am at a standstill due to several issues with accessories that will not work. Got started wiring everything up and have ran into all kinds problems. Did finish up the mountain so i will get you some photos of it this weekend. Have been a little frustrated with the layout for the past week so just walked away for a bit.  

Hey Mike,

I look at this hobby as a source of escape and relaxation, so whenever something like you are experiencing happens, I do the same thing- step away. 
If the track work is complete, maybe just run some trains, watch plastic fish swim around inside an aquarium car, watch a giraffe bob up and down as it rides down the Super O rails, and inhale the delicious smell of Lionel Smoke Pellets.

It’s an impeccable job you have done and is no less so because some operating accessories have decided to be cranky. 

FWIW, you have inspired me to refresh my own Super O layout. It has re-ignited my enthusiasm and for that I am very grateful to you.

All the best,



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