The first few photos are of my HO layout. It’s a 13’ x 9’ “L” shaped layout with a staging yard on the upper level. In one of the pics you can see I built it around the loly column, I didn’t let it get in the way. I can have up to 4 trains running at once.
The benchwork is 1x4 pine with 1/2" plywood glued and screwed to the pine. The plywood is then covered with 1/2 Homosote that is glued and screwed to the plywood. Very solidly built, I can stand on it. The Homosote makes it easier to nail the track down plus acts as a sound deadner. The hills and embankments are plaster over aluminum screen. Here’s a tip: plaster likes to set up fast, substitute some of the water for white vinegar when mixing the plaster. This will retard the drying time increasing your working time. All outside edges of the board have 1/4" by 3" strips of polycarbonate (scraps from work) screwed to the edges. This saves any trains that derail from hitting the floor.
Most of the motive power is Athearn. I do have a few Proto 2000, Atlas and a single Stewart loco. I’m not modeling any particular roadname, I just buy what I like.
My rolling stock is also mostly Athearn including some custom painted Athearn by Bev-Bel and CM Shops (Rail Runner). There’s a few Walthers, Atlas, Accurail, and Roundhouse.
The track is all Atlas flex track which has been ballasted with Woodland scenics gray ballast. Dawn and Elmers white glue were used to get the ballast to stay.
I also have N gauge but I no longer have a layout for it. For now it’s safely packed away. Maybe someday I’ll take it out again. Most of my N gauge is Atlas.
I do have O scale but it’s only set up for the holidays, 2 loops around the tree and a point-to-point upper level. I have a mix of Lionel (postwar, MPC, and modern), MTH and Williams. I have no space or the funds to set up a permanent O scale layout. It’s the costliest of all the gauges and I only add a few pieces a year to my collection.
The 4th gauge that I own is G scale. I only have 3 pieces, an Erie Lackawanna RS-3, and 2 40’ boxcars, a NYC Pacemaker and a NH. I have never run them 'nor have I any way of running them. I only have them for display purposes above my tv.
The second set of pics are of my fathers O scale layout. It’s mostly Lionel from all 3 eras. 3 trains can run at once. There’s 2 outer loops and a yard in the center. The outermost loop has a siding that can hold a 4th train but it most stay there until you stop the other train running on that track. The construction of this layout is similar to mine.
Shortly after I was born in the mid 70s my parents set up a Lionel layout for me. I have been into them since then. I spent countless hours with my original 4x8 layout when I was little. LEGOs made great buildings and Matchbox and Hotwheels made great cars, although they were out of scale I didn’t notice or care. All I cared about was how many Hotwheels I could fit in that hopper and how fast I could get them around the layout.