If you’re of a Certain Age, perhaps you had a train set as a child. An oval of track, a loco, and some rolling stock; it matters not whether it was Thomas the Tank Engine or a large express train — they were at the time a pretty cool toy. Move forward a few decades, and model railways have become either super-expensive room-filler layouts, or have sunk low as novelty Christmas ornaments, so that the basic loop of track is in dire need of rescue. Perhaps [Peter Waldraff] can help, with a beautifully-constructed N gauge circular layout concealed in an end table. Even better, when you examine it closely, it becomes apparent that this is no ordinary train set, it’s a scene from Close Encounters Of The Third Kind.
This is a project of two equally well-made parts, the piece of furniture and the train. The former is entirely scratch-built, with a cylindrical outside made from carefully cut rings of plywood and a sliding riser mechanism in the centre with a concrete counterweight. Slide the cylinder upwards, and the layout is revealed — a scratch-built hill in the centre of the ring of track and the lit-up underside of the UFO above it. As the train goes round the track, it even triggers a set of crossing lights and sounds for extra realism. The full story can be seen in the video below the break, and is well worth a watch.
We’ve covered more than one concealed model railway layout in the past, and it comes as no surprise when browsing to find that [Peter]’s work has featured here before.