How to Bring Spring to Your Model Train Layout

If you love updating your model train layout with the seasons, it’s time to move away from your winter layout and get your railroad set up for springtime.

Whether you’ve yet to start updating your layout or you’re looking for ideas for final touches, this guide will help you bring the colors and sounds of springtime to your model train layout.

Let’s get started!

First things first, the snow must go!

If your winter train layout involved adding snow to your setup, the first thing to do is remove this and other elements, like ice.

Of course, how you do this will depend on how you introduced them in the first place.

  • If you added powder snow to your layout, be careful about how you remove it. The best approach is to carefully sweep the snow away from your setup (easy if you use a train table!) and then vacuum it up once done. Don’t use a vacuum over your model train layout, though. You don’t want to damage any elements of your layout or suck up something you shouldn’t!
  • If you have painted snow on your layout, you’ll need to remove most pieces of your layout and repaint your landscape to create your new spring scenery. Of course, you might have snow-capped hills in your layout year-round. If so, you can leave these alone. If you painted snow onto your landscape in the first place – or painted the base of your layout white – then you were probably prepared to do this anyway, so it shouldn’t be too much of a headache.

Alternatively, you could completely “re-base” your layout and, instead of painting, lay down some grass roll, lichen, or spring meadow for all or parts of your landscape around your train tracks that aren’t in an urban area or have buildings close by.

  • If you have ice elements in your layout, it’s time to replace them. If you included frozen ponds or lakes in your setup for the first time during winter, why not make springtime the first time you include water? Check out our railroading guides to incorporating water and adding a realistic-looking pond to your layout to help you get started. If you’ve added ice effects to buildings and other accessories like vehicles, you may need to look at repainting these, too.

Don’t forget any winter-themed trains, too.

Do you have a Polar Express train set or other locomotives and cars that you only use on your layout in the winter?

If it’s time for some of your collection to go back into storage until after Halloween, make sure you look after your model trains with these storage tips.

Adding accessories

The most exciting element of springtime for many of us is the changing world around us.

Trees are getting their leaves back, flowers are springing out of the ground, and birdsong delivers the morning chorus to start the day.

More on the noise later.

First, make sure you’re bringing that springtime feeling into your layout by adding accessories like trees to your setup scenery. If you’ve added grass roll or any of the options we mentioned earlier to your model train layout, trees will look fantastic alongside them.

If you have a hillside in your layout, simply refreshing the paint and adding dashes of yellow, orange, and red can give the effect of flowers growing on your hills. Check out our paints here to get what you need for these updates to your layout.

Don’t forget animals and people!

Another thing that makes springtime incredible is that we start seeing more animals back out in the fields and people doing the things they love.

And what are two of the things that make our layouts feel like authentic, real-life places?

You got it!

Depending on your budget and plans to update your layout again in the summer, you might opt for summer-inspired model figures right away. Our kids wading pool figures are great if your train layout includes residential property, while our beachgoers are a must-buy if you have a coastal scene.

You don’t have to have model figures specifically doing anything, either. We have numerous sets of people sitting on benches just enjoying each other’s company or eating outdoors.

And when it comes to animal figures, you can take your pick, too. We love this set of horse riders, but if you want the animals alone, this collection of horses will look amazing on your grass roll.

Check out all our figures here.

Adding the sounds of spring

If 2022 and springtime are also seeing you evolve from a beginner model train enthusiast to advanced railroader, or you’re starting to look more at your train layout’s realism, then enhancing the sounds is a fantastic place to start.

While you’ll already be used to the sounds of your model locomotives, adding ambient sounds to your train layout is a fantastic way to lift the realism of your landscape to another level. Birdsong, the sound of running water, and kids playing in the street are all incredible sounds that we hear more of in the springtime, so why not bring them to your landscape?

Check out our guide to sound systems here or dive straight into choosing a starter sound system.

New season, new trains?

After all the work you’re going to do updating your layout for the springtime, you deserve to treat yourself to a new locomotive or set of train cars. And what better way to mark a new layout than to have fresh additions to your model train collection running your tracks.

Check out the latest additions to our range here or see what else is coming during 2022.

Show us how you bring spring to your layout!

If your layout changed with the seasons from winter to spring, but no one saw it, did it ever really happen?

Don’t let this fate befall your layout!

Tag us on Instagram with your before and after photos of your landscape’s evolution from winter to spring, and don’t forget to mention what new Model Train Stuff products are bringing your layout to life!