O Scale Inspiration



It’s great to see the new A&O up on-line. I have admired your earlier layout and would check back often to see if there was any new developments. I’m sure this forum will become a popular place to check as well.

I’m also a convert to O standard gauge. My background has been the ATSF & SP in HO and recently spent the past 15+ years as a narrow gauge modeler and manufacturer. Now, my new layout is proto-freelance ATSF themed, and I’ve decided to do it in Proto:48. Nothing as large as your, as my available space is a 15’ x 30’ piece of the basement.

Great to see the new activity and best wishes!


Doug Heitkamp
Centennial, CO


Hi Doug,
Thanks for the kind comments. I’d love to see your layout sometime- you don’t live far.

When I switched from HO to O my first thought was also of Proto 48, in fact, I built a shelf switching layout with it before we built our last house. Neat stuff. I’ve been to Jim Harper’s in Reno and it’s amazing what he’s done in P48.
What is the geographic area of your free-lanced layout?



Thanks for writing back. Like you, I am in the early stages with my layout. I’m still finishing the room - walls, electrical, etc. But I do have benchwork up with roadbed and ties in place for about 30 feet of track on one end of the room. Just enough to keep me motivated. You are certainly welcome to come visit once there is something to make it worth the drive.

My layout is set in Southern California, circa 1964. I’ll post a track plan somewhere on the web and let you know. In my small space, it’s really just a loop around the walls with a dead end penninsula up the middle. Part of the loop goes through another room and is hidden from view. Day to day operation will be point to point, (penninsula to hidden area)but the loop is there for those time when I just want mindless running or train watching. The scenery on the “around the walls” section is based on Cajon Pass. The penninsula is 23’ long and represents the “town” area - typical of those small fruit packing towns outside of Los Angeles county. The structures here are all based on prototype buildings found along the Santa Fe or SP tracks.

Total trackage is 200’ so I figured I would do this layout in Proto:48. I’ve known Jim for a number of years but have not had a chance to get to his new place and see his layout. We met each other a few years back when he use to run High Sierra. They stocked my kits (Design-Tech, resin car kits and structures) and we would run into each other at O Scale West and the Narrow Gauge conventions.

Once again, thanks for making your website interactive and for these forums. This should be fun watching as you progress with your railroad.


Centennial, CO


Sounds like fun layout to watch these big trains roll.
We’ll keep in touch.