Model Railroad Articles

Why Model Railroading is “The Worlds Greatest Hobby”

If you ask a model railroader what appeals about the hobby you will get a variety of answers. For some, it is a way of re-creating a fond childhood memory around trains and railroad (railway in UK) tracks. Other model railroaders simply enjoy building a world in miniature with all its detail and realism. Then there are those in the hobby who love solving the technical problems of building and operating an electronic control system.
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Train Scales Explained – Which Are Most Suitable?

It goes without saying that model railroads are not the same size as the real thing. Model train layouts are scaled down replicas of their real world counterparts. As a handy reference here is a list of the main scales from largest to the smallest: O scale is 1:48, OO scale is 1:76, HO scale is 1:87, N scale is 1:160, Z scale is 1:220.

When getting started in the hobby, do not get put off by all the different train scales on offer. It is really very simple. Read the rest of this entry »

How To Create A Perfect Model Railroad Without Making Too Many Bad Mistakes

We all make mistakes when making a model railroad layout, but the big thing is to learn from your mistakes or steer clear of making mistakes at all (although that’s not always possible).

One of the most usual mistakes is choosing the wrong scale when starting off in the hobby. Talk with other people in the hobby – we all have our preferences on scales.

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Deciding Your Track Plan Before Building Your Model Railroad Layout

When planning construction of a model railroad there are all sorts of possible track configurations and plans to consider. It really depends on the space you have at your disposal and what type of train operation you would most enjoy.

Real railroads (prototype) run from one destination to another rather than go around in a circle. In reality, real railroads usually have hundreds, if not thousands, of miles of track to work with. Even in a scaled down form, most model railroads lack the space to fully replicate this, so a degree of adaptation and compromise is usually required. Read the rest of this entry »

The 6 Point Checklist For Choosing The Right Locomotive

A good quality locomotive is the key to avoiding frequent derailments and many other problems when operating a model railroad.

No one wants a locomotive that you have to push to get it going. They do not want a locomotive that suddenly speeds up and falls off he tracks.

A locomotive runs by drawing electricity from the track through its wheels. The wheels transfer the electricity to the motor, which then turns the gears to drive the engine. Read the rest of this entry »

Weathering Techniques Explained

Throughout this post I will give you several tips on weathering, which is basically the art of taking something new and making it look like something old. It could be a locomotive, caboose, a building, a bridge, a tunnel, a road, a fence, or any element of scenery for that matter. Almost anything ages and changes over time.

Cars Before Weathering

For example; when you buy some rolling stock it comes packaged all shiny, plastic and new. Read the rest of this entry »

Why Model Train Layout Plans Need To Be Realistic and Achievable

You probably recall the old saying, “never bite off more than you can chew.”

Well, no more so than when planning a model train layout.

Despite your best intentions, construction costs can go through the roof and the whole building process can become major and very complex. Read the rest of this entry »