Model Railroad Trains: Most Popular Articles
Model train track curves may seem like a simple issue, but there can be much more to track curves than meets the eye. Track curves on model railroad layouts require some planning and knowledge of a few relevant issues.
Track grade is the slope of a railroad track. The track grade is expressed as the percentage of its rise for the length of its run. For example,if you have 100 inches of model railroad track, and the train climbs one inch, then the grade is 1%. So when 25 inches of track rise 1 inch the grade is 4%. Maximum grade is the steepest slope your trains can climb. Well planned grades can make a layout interesting. Badly planned ones can be a disaster.
What scale, or size, of model trains is best?
What's my old train worth? Learn where to find the answers to this common question.
Tips for choosing and installing electrical wiring busses and feeders for all types of model trains.
Assembly instructions, materials and tools lists for building a simple 4 foot by 8 foot model train table with storage shelf.
Product review of the NCE Power Cab DCC system.
Tips for finding the perfect train set to adorn your Christmas display, give to a young railroader, or get started on the hobby of a lifetime.
steps to take to troubleshoot and repair a model train that will not run
A tip about sculpting landscape on a model railroad layout using rigid foam insulation. Links to a series of YouTube videos demonstrating the sculpting of this kind of foam insulation.
Nothing impacts a track plan like the minimum radius of your curves. How sharp is too sharp? There are several answers to this simple question.
Troublshooting tips for correcting poor or sporadic operation of model trains
Track occupancy detectors allow you to know where you trains are even when you can't see them. They are also essential elements in prototypical signalling systems.
How do you choose the right transformer to power your model train layout? These tips will point you in the right direction.
A list of steam locomotive classes
Introduction to troubleshooting tips for model trains.
Hub of articles for various weathering techniques to age model trains.
Introduction for basic train set assembly instructions.
Building model railroad scenery from foam insulation boards.
Wiring a model railroad for multiple train operations with blocks.
A special toggle switch is all you need to add a reversing loop to your DC control model railroad. Page 2.
A primer on toy trains, electric trains and model railroading for parents. Topics include when to start children on electric trains, how available space is a primary concern in the selection of a train, and how to utilize electric trains as an educational tool.
Build your own static grass applicator to apply fine scenic ground cover to model railroads and other miniature scenes. This simple tool has many uses and can be built with only a few basic tools for around $10.
Beginners guide to understanding model train switches, terminology and uses.
Tips for finding the best place for your model railroad.
Minimum vertical clearances for different model train scales
Introduction to G gauge model trains.
A helix is the ultimate train elevator and always a center of attention on a model railroad. Although intimidating, even a large helix is a very manageable project.
Simple instructions for installing a DCC decoder.
Staging Yards have many uses, espescially if you choose to operate like the prototype.
Introduction to N scale model trains.
O scale trains and HO gauge track make a great combination for a variety of users.
Here is an overview of Digital Command Control (DCC), a system that utilizes digital computer technology for controlling model railroad trains. DCC in model railroading has been around for a decade now and, as the terms used in this technology have defined a new language for the model railroading community, this overview is intended to serve as a primer for beginners.
Everybody knows the railroads in the game Monopoly are the Pennsylvania, B&O, Reading, and Short Line. But how many people realize that three of the four were real railroads?
TT scale is defined as 1:120 or ten feet to the inch scale. TT gauge track has rails spaced 12mm. TT scale was introduced to American model railroading by H.P. Products in 1946. This article is an overview of TT scale, including the History of TT scale, modern German and other Eastern European TT scale manufacturers, and some thoughts on the future of the exotic TT scale.
An overview of model railroad track types and codes including an explanation of track code numbers and rail metal types.
Explains flex track and how it is used.
Integrated roadbed track is defined as any track attached to a roadbed. This track makes assembling a model railroad train layout much easier. Many people erroneously refer to this type of track as snaptrack, snap track, or snap-track. However, SnapTrack is a brand name for a track with no integrated roadbed. Today children's toy train sets benefit from the use of integrated roadbed track. Here is a list of brands, scales, and types of integrated roadbed track for your electric trains.
List of model train manufacturers offering complete sets in various scales.
Planning a helix for a model railroad takes time and patience, but good plans can avoid costly construction mistakes later.
Materials and tools to add scenery to model train layouts and dioramas.
Protect your trains when they go out of sight with these low-cost solutions to a potentially expensive derailment.
How to clean model trains. Model Railroad Trains.
A simple signal circuit for bi-diectional signals for model trains.
Standards for the steepest grades your model trains can climb.
Make your track as realistic as the trains you run on it.
There's more to making a night sky than black paint. Page 2.
Model railroad switches, just like real-life railroad switches are used to route rail traffic. In model
Most real railroads aren't flat, our models don't have to be either. Adding a grade to a model railroad takes a little planning but offers big rewards in operation and appearance when done correctly.
Instructions for replacing wheels on model trains.
Choosing the right DCC system for your layout.
Choosing the right bulb is essential to getting the most out of any lighting project.
Couplers are an important consideration when buying N scale model railroad trains. You need to make sure the couplers on your locomotives and cars are compatible.
Tips for selling used model trains.
Introduction to Z scale model trains.
Introduction and materials lists for modeling paved roads.
Thomas the Tank Engine delights children everywhere. Here are Thomas toy trains that are real electric trains instead of push toys.
These best practices will improve any design. Page 5.
Listing of HO knuckle coupler manufacturers and products.
Tools needed for soldering on model trains.
Introduction to HO and OO scale model trains.
Ideas for modeling TOFC (Trailer on Flatcar) trains, equipment and operations.
L-girder benchwork can be built with a variety of common building materials.
Introduction to O scale model trains.
Lighting model train layout levels with holiday lights.
Are you confused about the sizes of toy trains? Here's a guide to choosing the scale, or size, of an electric train set for a child. This article focuses on cost and available space as the primary concerns and proposes smaller electric train scales, resulting in more track layout options for your available space, as a method of maintaining a child's interest in their train sets. When starting a child in model railroading the size of trains can make all the difference.
Understanding waybills and how they make model rsilroading more interesting and realistic.
Track plan for a 8x8' O Gauge model railroad featuring three independent running loops, a yard and plenty of room for accessories, industries and scenery.
Regardless of the scale you are working in, individual model railroad track components fall into six
Easements can be simulated using segmented model railroad track pieces. A true easement is a parabolic curve. This means its radius is different at any point along it's path. Unless you are using flex-track, model railroad track curves have fixed radii. But you can simulate an easement by placing segments of smaller radii inside of segments with greater radii when building your curves.
Tips and instructions for model buildings - from different types of kits to scratchbuilding and lighting, details and interiors.
Here are some children's train table and train board space planning ideas. A toy train table or train board can be used to keep a child's toy train track layout intact between play-sessions. This helps avert the tedium of having to put away track between uses, which may detract from a child's enjoyment of their electric trains.
Install a working railroad crossing signal with flashing lights to protect a road on your layout.
Tables for determining the scale speed of your model trains for various scales in both miles and kilometers per hour.
A simple trackplan for a 4 foot by 8 foot model railroad depicting the narrow gauge Denver and Rio Grande Western in HO scale.
Techniques for aging models with powdered chalks.
Modeling common corrugated metal roofs and sidings in any condition using plastic and aluminum foil.
An overview of space planning for model railroad train layouts and types of space allocation for model train layouts.
Answers to common questions about model trains and railroads.
What every beginner needs to know about model railroading.
: A spur is a railroad track on which cars are left for loading and unloading. Spurs are also used sometimes
How to build and wire a wye to turn locomotives or trains on a model railroad.
How to make informed choices when buying your first model railroad equipment.
Advice for planning a more efficient and prototypical freight classification yard for a model railroad.
Choosing the right prototype and design for a model railroad as seen in the Rio Grande Narrow Gauge project layout.
Applying the weathering wash to model trains.
A somewhat technical overview of how a DCC decoder works in a model railroad train locomotive. DCC (Digital Command Control) decoders are tiny, complex electronic devices that not only contain computer control systems, but power management as well.
Diagram for a basic open grid train platform.
Tips on improving the look of pre-painted or even pre-assembled model buildings.
G Gauge trains are actually made in different scales. See how each manufacturer sizes up.
Installing the bus wires for the Rio Grande Project Layout.
Tips on building a wood model structure kit and adding details to make it unique.
Modeling chain link fencing - tips on enhancing kits.
Tools and materials needed to get started making hardshell scenery for your model railroad or project.
Troubleshooting tips for derailing model trains.
Model a realistic cornfield in HO or larger scales.
S scale is defined as 1:64 or 3/16ths of an inch to one foot. S gauge track is an unusual 0.884 inches. This article is an overview of S scale and S gauge, including the History of S scale and modern S scale manufacturers in both three-rail AC and two-rail DC varieties. S scale is frequently regarded as synonymous with American Flyer trains, which were made by A.C. Gilbert who originated S scale and S gauge.
Kato Connectors: How to make extensions and adapters for Kato wiring using mini tamiya and koyosho connectors.
Installing ground throws for more reliable manual operation of turnouts (switches).
Manufacturer profile and history of Lionel trains.
Standards and guidelines for selecting the right wire for your model railroad.
Describes proper steps to assemble track in model train set
Understanding superelevation and easements for track curves.
Outlines steps to take to diagnose and fix troubles with derailing model train cars.
Make subtle additions to a model with this simple paint technique.
Three Reasons I Don't Recommend O Scale for Children's toy train sets.
When you need to put railroad where it might get in the way, moveable or removeable layout access sections are the answer. Lift or swing bridges, duck-unders and lift-outs can give you the railroad you want while conserving the space you need.
Lift bridges are one method of providing layout access while preserving operations.
Adding the base coat of lighter rust.
An easy tip for speeding your yard switching operations on a model railroad by using pushpins.
From precast to homemade, there are lots of options for realistic loads for gondola cars.
Profile of Athearn model trains.
Miniature lighting projects for model railroad layouts.
Materials needed and reasons for laying cork roadbed beneath model trains track.
Build a train platform that can roll under a bed for storage. This can be used for electric trains or wooden train toys.
A DCC primer and buyer's guide from Kalmbach Books.
A discussion of factors influencing a model railroader's choice of scale.
Making miniature forests - building the trunks
Things to look for when choosing a quality model train set for the first time.
Model train maintenance proceedures
Make your own groundcover of fallen leaves for forest floors or autumn scenes on model train layouts.
Add the excitement of a river and bridge to your model railroad layout step-by-step.
There are many varieties of lighting accessories available for model trains. Choose the right one for your layout.
Measuring and Marking styrene for cuts.
How to narrow Woodland Scenics incline foam for N and TT scale grading
No matter what scene you choose, there are some universal tips to better backdrops.
For all of their power, speed and emotional appeal, if the steam locomotive has one fundimental flaw
Outlines steps to hook up power supplies for model train sets.
Defines common rail as used in model trains for multiple train control wiring.
Tips for laying flex track on the Rio Grande narrow gauge layout.
Understand the subsets of O Gauge.
Removeable or lift-out benchwork sections allow access to portions of a model railroad without bending over.
Backdrops greatly improve the look of a model railroad. The first step is installing a smooth vertical surface for painting.
Want to change the paint on a model? Stripping old paint can be easier than you think.
How to buy and sell model railroad trains.
N scale Thomas the Tank Engine and friends are manufactured by the Japanese model train company Tomix. They offer Thomas, Henry, James, and Percy models in N scale.
A marketing debacle in the late 1950s, the Lionel Girls' Model Train Set is a sought-after collectors item today.
What is a switch motor and what can it do?
How to apply paint with an airbrush to fade the paint on model trains. Page 2.
Even an extreme construction like a helix is not without a prototype in railroading. Get inspiration for your model grades.
Create realistic scenery for your model railroad, diorama or other project using static grass floc.
The difference between an efficient classification yard and an operations nightmare is all in the planning. Learn the steps to design the right yard for your purpose.
Simple wheel cleaners you can install on your model train layout to keep your wheels clean while you run your trains.
: As with prototype trains, gauge is the measure of the distance between the rails. Standard Gauge has
O Scale in model railroading explained.
A brief history and modeling advice for adding Roadrailer trains to your model railroad.
Specific things parents need to think about when buying electric trains and other toy trains for children.
A helix can be a heavy construction. A strong foundation is critical for alignment and support.
History and modeling advice on container on flatcar (COFC) railroad operations.
Tips and ideas for good gifts for model railroaders and toy train collectors.