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Model Railroad Projects and Techniques


A model railroad is really a string of diverse projects and techniques. From benchwork to scenery, laying track to wiring for control, each project has its own character. Whether you're looking for tips to build a model railroad from start to finish, or just some inspiration for a good evening's modeling project, you'll find it all here.
  1. Planning and Design
  2. Benchwork
  3. Get on Track
  4. Wiring and Electronics
  5. Detailing Model Train Locomotives and Cars
  1. Scenery
  2. Operations
  3. Modeler's Toolbox
  4. Project Layout - Denver and Rio Grande Narrow Gauge

Planning and Design

K27 radius test

Layout planning and design can be a hobby unto itself. A good plan can also be the launching pad for a great model railroad. And the planning doesn't stop just because construction begins.


A good model railroad starts with a strong foundation. From simple train tables to multiple level engineering, sturdy benchwork is a base for a lasting and enjoyable layout.

Get on Track

Good track is the key to reliable operations on any model railroad. Careful attention to detail here can pay big dividends for years to come.

Wiring and Electronics

Block control, DCC, lighting, sound...electricity brings a model railroad to life. Electronic projects can be very intimidating for beginners, but you don't need an advanced degree to apply the technologies you need to your model railroad.

Detailing Model Train Locomotives and Cars

Even with the plethora of beautiful models available today, many modelers take great pride in making their models unique. Something as simple as weathering to show age can make a dramatic difference in the look of a model. More ambitious projects include adding details, painting and decaling, or even building a model entirely from scratch.


Nothing gives a model railroad personality like scenery. Whether you prefer towering mountain peaks or skyscrapers, high plains or coastal seaports, convincing scenery is within anyone's reach.


yard office

You've made your trains and your layout look like the real world - now let's make it work like a real railroad. Prototypical-based operations can make any layout more interesting and can become a hobby within the hobby. Learn how to make your operations more realistic with waybills, interchanges, yards and more!

Modeler's Toolbox

motor tool

The right tools can make all the difference. Get the tools you'll need to tackle any project.

Project Layout - Denver and Rio Grande Narrow Gauge

track plan

Build this HOn3 layout based on the narrow gauge Denver and Rio Grande Western from start to finish!

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