BRIO Wooden Railway Blog

September '14 Layout

I just finished making a layout that incorporates a large number of my newer BRIO pieces, dating from about 2007 and on, as well as a fairly large double track layout. The central theme was to create an airport around the #33306 Airplane Boarding Set and a mass transit loop with multiple stops to connect to it. Sadly, this particular set is not currently available in the U.S., but you can either buy it from an international seller or get it's larger brother, the Monorail Airport Set, from Amazon to get a plane in white and red instead of blue and white.


The runway was something I built myself. It's a 4" x 24" x 3/16" sheet of basswood which I sprayed with several coats of Rust-Oleum black lacquer paint to build up a nice surface. Once it had cured for several days, I created a plastic stencil for the runway markings and applied them with Rust-Oleum's white lacquer spray in about five or six light passes. I let that cure for several days, as well. To make the rest of the airport I simply reappropriated existing BRIO accessories. The late-90's vintage #33564 Signal House looks so much like a control tower that some people on eBay mistake it for an airport, so that was an obvious choice. For the terminal building, I chose the 90's vintage #33663 Railway Station only without the decorative window on top.

The water that forms the main lake, ponds, and the sea port is light blue cardstock that has been hot laminated for durability (this also had the side effect of making the water slightly reflective, which is a nice effect). This is something I discussed in an earlier blog post and you can see the final look in the rest of the layout photos.

View the album directy on flickr if you don't have Flash or if you're on a mobile device.

Here's the track plan (click to enlarge):

This was arranged on my two 8' x 3' laminated plywood sheets which I use as table tops. This layout does make use of two pieces of A3 track at the crossover, though that is easily changed if you don't have A3 or an equivalent straight.

Posted in Layout.3 comments

Reader Comments

  • Rob Alexander

    Hi John, just discovered your site & I'm hooked (see my comment on the rollercoaster). I've been giving a lot of thought to buying the plane or full monorail set & integrating it with my harbour/metro/city setup. I've collected a few of the buildings above, safely tucked away so the kids can't rip the boxes but an airport would be a great way to use them, especially since I'm swaying towards buying the plane by itself instead of another full set. Many thanks, Rob
  • John M

    Hello, Rob, and welcome! Glad you like the site. I went back and forth between getting just the Airplane Boarding Set and the full Monorail Airport Set. It was a tough call. The former is not available in the U.S., so that meant finding an overseas seller (I used roxy*media* on eBay) and that brought the price close enough to the full monorail set to make me seriously consider the latter. In the end it was the blue plane vs. the white & red plane that sold it for me, though. I just wanted more color, and didn't realy need the other stuff in the Monorail set. It's a great little set. The plane is well made, heavy, and nicely styled. You won't be disappointed.
  • Ethan

    Aaaaah,BRIO.Such nostalgia.I used to play with them all day with my cousin.We made so big layouts sometimes the rails climbed on the cofee table.We generally used it as a mini harbour and a ramp.I even remember the day i couldn't stop our battery operated train pulling an extra long train and it fell on the boats below.This even reminds me of the first time i watched Thomas&Friends.It was Special Attraction and my cousin décidée to reproduce what happened in the episode.We did this until beginning of season 10,when we found out we should grow up a little bit.And he moved from UK to Amazonia in 2007.He rescued a few ocelots and i still have his phone number,but since i moved to France well a trip costs me a lot. However,i want to test out your skills to see if you can use a few 2010-2011 items.I would appreciate to see this indeed.

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