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Portable Model Railroads
trolley street

This narrow module shows just what can be done in a small space. Each of these sections is only a few inches wide, but when coupled together an impressive model railroad takes shape.

©2012 Ryan C Kunkle, licensed to About.com, Inc.

When it comes to finding the perfect place to build your model railroad, sometimes the best place isn't a single location at all!

Portable model railroads offer a lot of unique advantages and opportunities that a fixed layout simply can't provide. Even if your model railroad doesn't travel often or at all, building for portability has advantages at home as well.

Why build portable?

  1. Social Interaction: By having a portable layout or module, you can take your layout to shows and club conventions and interact with other modelers. Modular layouts, built to compatible standards, can make your project part of a larger layout.
  2. Space: If you don't have room for a large layout at home, a small portable design may be the answer. "Micro Layouts" can be a complete operation in less than one square foot. Even a typical club module can usually be stored in a closet when not in use.
  3. On the Move: Anybody who has ever built a model railroad only to be relocated knows the anguish of tearing apart years of hard work. By designing your railroad to be moved from the beginning, you can save a lot of heartache - and set up time at the new place!
  4. Flexibility: When modular layouts are set up at conventions, they are seldom the same way twice. Building your home layout in modules can afford you the same easy modifications whenever you need a change of pace.
  5. Time Management: Whether you build one small module or railroad or fifteen, concentrating on small sections allows you to really focus your attention, see a project through to completion, and learn as you go without getting overwhelmed by a larger project.
  6. Try Something New: A small portable project can also be a great way to simply practice a new skill or explore a different prototype or type of scenery without making a huge commitment.
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