Whether your trains are O Scale or any other scale, one of the most important things you can do for your railway layout, apart from the initial design, is your attention to detail.

Think about some of the fantastic displays you have seen. What is it that gives them so much appeal? It is the detail. You want a layout that makes people wish they lived there.

Yes, the trains are fantastic. But a great deal of importance is placed on where the train is going and where it has been. Try to create some realism in your display. Look at pictures of real train lines, cutting their way through the countryside, ambling up to bustling platforms, travelling past homes and cattle, winding their way through tunnels, over bridges, across rivers.

You can create all of this in your own miniature world. And it is not really that hard.

Your layout can be a replica of a town you know, or it can be purely fictitious. I prefer the fictitious kind. It's easier. You can ideas from here and there and put them all together in one layout.

Hobby shops are mostly staffed by train enthusiasts, ever helpful with pointing you in the right direction. Strike up a conversation with the staff and you'll have plenty of information and products to keep you busy for a long time.

One thing that always adds a new dimension to your layout is lighting. Once a layout is lit, it really comes to life. The town-folk suddenly have a purpose, going about their business. There is a romantic feel to lighting up your layout. It really draws you in. Suddenly you are peering into the windows of buildings to see what's going on inside.

Another aspect that can make or break a railway layout is the scale. It doesn't matter what scale you choose as long as you are consistent. Make sure your trains, your animals, your people, your buildings, your vehicles, are roughly the same scale. You can get away with slight variations that will not notice to the naked eye. But a G Scale person standing next to an N Scale train is going to look out of place. You don't want that kind of oddity detracting from all your hard work.

Model railroading is a never-ending passion. It takes time to perfect your landscape. Your miniature world will not magically appear overnight. And even when you think it is finished, you will think of something extra you can add. When you see the wonderful model train layouts on YouTube, they hardly ever tell you how long it took to make.

One thing is for sure. No matter how long it takes to put together and to get it just right, it is definitely worth the effort. It is a wonderful feeling to stand back and take pride in your work. A true sense of achievement.

So get started today. Plan a new layout, add something extra to your existing layout, improve your scenery, add some buildings, do some landscaping. Chip away at it, one step at a time. Every little thing helps to make it the perfect miniature world - somewhere where you want to spend your spare time.

Most importantly - enjoy your trains.