Model Railroad Building Services

Building a custom model railroad is a very labor intensive process and it takes planning and commitment from both the client and myself as the builder. Not only is there a monetary commitment but just as important is the client's commitment of trust that they've placed in me to deliver what we've set out to build. When it comes down to it, I may only charge for only 8 hours a day, but your project gets my undivided 24/7 attention. I also pride myself in building each project as if I was building it for myself.

It's very rewarding for me as a builder to see trains running on a custom model railroad project that I've built for a client or even just building a model kit they’ve sent. To keep a client in the loop along the way, I provide weekly and sometimes daily photo updates during the building process. Video updates are provided as needed during a layout project when trains start to run, or as needed to highlight something specific. I like every client to feel like they are informed and involved with the process along the way and as often as possible as the project evolves.

Custom model railroads, or any building projects for that matter, take time and financial commitment that not everyone is prepared to deal with. I completely understand that my services may not fit everyone's budget, but if you want someone to build something for you, then yes, it's going to have some costs involved but I’m more than happy to try to work within your budget.

This building page is in depth and focuses on all major elements typically encountered in building model railroads.

These services naturally are all elements are encountered while building a custom model railroad. These typically include, but not limited to:

The array of building services that I provide to clients have been expanded upon below for your enjoyment and to further showcase what I have done for others, myself and what I can do for you. Follow the links under each service element to see more examples of my work.


Solid benchwork is the foundation upon which a great model railroad is built. My goal is to build your benchwork with the attention and craftsmanship necessary for smooth train operation, handling during delivery, ease of set up, and durability. Whether your custom layout calls for a basic four leg table, a complex multi-deck configuration, hanging from the ceiling, or a shelf layout, I offer most any style or level of custom work.

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All trains need well laid track for reliable operation. Properly installed track will ensure smooth operation and years of enjoyment. Whether your new layout plan includes a complex arrangement or a simple oval with only a few spurs or sidings, care is taken with every step to lay track for reliability and ease of maintenance.

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DCC Systems

If you are deciding to go with DCC, you certainly are heading in the direction of total train control. DCC typically is what most folks are requesting these days for custom projects, but if you're planning on having a new custom model railroad built make sure your locomotive fleet and applicable rolling stock is ready for it. If you're not quite ready yet for DCC or have a special need to stay with DC, I can wire your custom layout for DC operation with DCC in mind for a future conversion.

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Signal Systems

Model railroad signals, once installed on a layout add not only visual animation, but actually become the rules that govern your train operations. Signals give you a clear visual indication of what is happening on the tracks ahead of or behind a train. As in prototypical railroading, a fully operational signal system on your layout operates much the same way utilizing train detection to automatically determine what aspect or colors a signal head should display.

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Accessory Wiring

Custom model railroad wiring is not only for running trains, but also for accessories. Whether using a DCC system or operating just using DC power to operate your accessories on your layout, my past project experience will be helpful. From interior lighting, street lights, signs, other lighting and sound effects, and more, all can be installed to give your layout that extra touch that will make your layout simply just plain old fun to be around.

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Great terrain and scenery starts with an interesting locale to model, a well thought out plan, and construction methods that allow for excellent results. During this creative process, a custom model railroad really starts to come to life.

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There are so many choices of structures to consider when planning a custom model railroad. All offer varying degrees of authenticity. It's an awesome time to be in the hobby since there are such a great variety of structures available and ready to include on your layout or diorama.

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Typically not overlooked on most model railroads due to their availability, vehicles are a very important part of any model railroad. After all, they are what we use and see every day, and are easy to include providing they are the correct scale you’re modeling.

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When I am including or making details, either from kits or from scratch, the primary focus is on authenticity. Each is nicely crafted, painted and weathered, and can be placed to achieve a highly authentic and realistic appearance.

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Kit Assembly

I enjoy building models as part of a layout project. Many options are available so that the models that are built look outstanding.

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Scratch Building

As modelers, sometimes what we need isn't available commercially. Scratch Building in this situation is typically the only way to re-create a structure or element for your layout or project that is either not been produced as a kit, or just so unique that it has to be built from scratch.

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Weathering & Painting

Nothing looks more realistic on a layout when each item has seen the appropriate level of weathering once painted. I can provide you with models with any level of finish you desire as it really all depends on how much work you would like me to leave for you to complete.

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