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Operating Model Railroad Trains

Okay, your trains are on the layout. Where are they going? What are they going to do? Operators simulate real train operations. They send locomotives around to industrial sites to pick up cars laden with goods, they assemble the cars they've collected into long trains, and run them from one city to the next... usually on the other side of the basement or den. Of course, to do all this they have to know their equipment.

Model Railroad Waybills
Samples of simple model railroad waybills and how they can be used to simulate prototype operations on your layout.

Setting Up Model Railroad Track
How to lay model railroad track and connect its DC power pack.

Model Railroad Waybills in Operation
Follow a freight car on a trip across a model railroad to see how a simple waybill routing system can make operations more interesting.

Running Model Railroad Trains
A tutorial on how to operate model railroad trains.

Setting Up Three-Rail Model Railroad Track
How to lay three-rail model railroad track and connect its transformer.

Running Three-Rail Model Railroad Trains
A tutorial on how to operate a three-rail AC powered model railroad train.

Designing Model Railroad Operations
A guide to realistic simulation of railroad operations using popular scale models. Website hosted by the National Model Railroad Association (NMRA)

Link and Pin Couplers
History and modeling ideas for using link and pin style couplers.

Modeling an Interchange
Modeling a railroad interchage and its operation.

Model a Clean-out Track
Clean-out tracks and how to model one.

Switching with Thumbtacks: A Quick Tip for Faster Yard Operations
An easy tip for speeding your yard switching operations on a model railroad by using pushpins.

Team Tracks - An Easy Industry for Your Layout
A team track is an easy industry to add to any model railroad that can do a lot for your operations in a very small space.

Leasers, Demonstrators and Pools - Add Color to Your Roster Like the Prototype
Add some extra color and variety to your locomotive roster in a prototypical way with demonstrator, lease and pooled power equipment.

Fixing Model Railroad Wheel Gauge
Fixing out-of-gauge and derailing model train wheels.

Fixing High Couplers
How to fix a coupler that sits too high.

Planning Passing Sidings
Planning the length of passing sidings and blocks on a model railroad.

Simple Wheel Cleaners for Model Trains
Simple wheel cleaners you can install on your model train layout to keep your wheels clean while you run your trains.

Modeling Maintenance - Using Blue Flags to Enhance Operations
Railroads protect workers with a simple warning - the blue flag. These same practices can make operations on your own model railroad more interesting and realistic.

Oiling and Cleaning a Model Steam Locomotive
Basic steps to cleaning and lubricating a model steam locomotive.

Scale Speed for Model Trains
Tables for determining the scale speed of your model trains for various scales in both miles and kilometers per hour.

Working a Trailing Point Switch / Siding
Step-by-step switching moves for working a simple "trailing point" siding.

Run Around Tracks for Model Railroads
Run around tracks and how to use them.

Facing Point Switches
"Facing Point" switches and how to work them on a model railroad.

Railroad Switching Made Easy
Any railroad switching arrangement comes down to just three track combinations - trailing point switches, facing point switches and run around tracks. See how all three can be combined in your track plans to get the most out of your operations.

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