Model Railroad Trains: Most Popular Articles
What scale, or size, of model trains is best?
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.
Steps to take to troubleshoot and repair a model train that will not run.
What's my old train worth? Learn where to find the answers to this common question.
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?
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.
Assembly instructions, materials and tools lists for building a simple 4 foot by 8 foot model train table with storage shelf.
Tips for choosing and installing electrical wiring busses and feeders for all types of model trains.
Millimetre Based Model Railroading Scales and Gauges in the UK
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.
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.
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.
Introduction for basic train set assembly instructions.
How do you choose the right transformer to power your model train layout? These tips will point you in the right direction.
Product review of the NCE Power Cab DCC system.
Introduction to G gauge model trains.
Troublshooting tips for correcting poor or sporadic operation of model trains
A list of steam locomotive classes
Introduction to HO and OO scale model trains.
Explains flex track and how it is used.
Introduction to N scale model trains.
Freight car photos compliled from the weekly Freight Car Friday blog, grouped by car type. Get the inspiration for your next modeling project here!
Trackplans for a 4x8' sized model railroad.
Introduction to Z scale model trains.
Prototype history the Mogul type of steam locomotive and a list of available scale models.
Wiring a model railroad for multiple train operations with blocks.
For all of their power, speed and emotional appeal, if the steam locomotive has one fundimental flaw
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.
There's more to making a night sky than black paint.
Beginners guide to understanding model train switches, terminology and uses.
Hub of articles for various weathering techniques to age model trains.
Introduction to O scale model trains.
Answers to common questions about model trains and railroads.
Introduction to troubleshooting tips for model trains.
Minimum vertical clearances for different model train scales
Tips and ideas for good gifts for model railroaders and toy train collectors.
Simple techiniques to improve model train operation by easing the transition from straight to curve tracks with easements and superelevation. Page 2.
List of model train manufacturers offering complete sets in various scales.
Building model railroad scenery from foam insulation boards.
A special toggle switch is all you need to add a reversing loop to your DC control model railroad.
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.
Tips for finding the best place for your model railroad.
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.
Tools needed for soldering on model trains.
Choosing the right bulb is essential to getting the most out of any lighting project.
Standards for the steepest grades your model trains can climb.
How to clean model trains. Model Railroad Trains.
Planning a helix for a model railroad takes time and patience, but good plans can avoid costly construction mistakes later.
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.
No matter what scale you choose, what railroad you model, or how large your railroad, these design tips will never steer you wrong. Page 5 of 6.
Thomas the Tank Engine delights children everywhere. Here are Thomas toy trains that are real electric trains instead of push toys.
Starting with inexpensive Christmas garland,cut the cornstalks to length.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Prototype history of EMD's AEM7 diesel locomotive and a list of available scale models.
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.
A simple trackplan for a 4 foot by 8 foot model railroad depicting the narrow gauge Denver and Rio Grande Western in HO scale.
A simple signal circuit for bi-diectional signals for model trains.
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.
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.
Standards and guidelines for selecting the right wire for your model railroad.
L-girder benchwork can be built with a variety of common building materials.
Choosing the right DCC system for your layout.
: As with prototype trains, gauge is the measure of the distance between the rails. Standard Gauge has
O scale trains and HO gauge track make a great combination for a variety of users.
Simple instructions for installing a DCC decoder.
Materials and tools to add scenery to model train layouts and dioramas.
G Gauge trains are actually made in different scales. See how each manufacturer sizes up.
Tips for weathering diesel locomotives with an airbrush.
Materials needed and reasons for laying cork roadbed beneath model trains track.
Add some extra color and variety to your locomotive roster in a prototypical way with demonstrator, lease and pooled power equipment.
Tips for selling used model trains.
Introduction and materials lists for modeling paved roads.
Tips on improving the look of pre-painted or even pre-assembled model buildings.
Prototype history of GE's 44 ton diesel locomotive and a list of available scale models.
An overview of model railroad track types and codes including an explanation of track code numbers and rail metal types.
Techniques for aging models with powdered chalks.
Modeling common corrugated metal roofs and sidings in any condition using plastic and aluminum foil.
An easy tip for speeding your yard switching operations on a model railroad by using pushpins.
Advice for planning a more efficient and prototypical freight classification yard for a model railroad.
Three Reasons I Don't Recommend O Scale for Children's toy train sets.
Prototype curves aren't measured by their radius but by degrees. How can you convert a prototypical curve to model proportions? A little math can shed some light on just how tight our model curves really are!`
: A model's prototype is the real-world locomotive, railcar or other object that it is a model of. The
Applying the weathering wash to model trains.
Review of the Master Airbrush paint booth.
An overview of space planning for model railroad train layouts and types of space allocation for model train layouts.
Simple wheel cleaners you can install on your model train layout to keep your wheels clean while you run your trains.
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.
How to make informed choices when buying your first model railroad equipment.
Making miniature forests - building the trunks
It's amazing what you can accomplish in just an hour - here are a few projects you can complete in 60 minutes or less.
Track plan for a 4x8' HO scale model railroad featuring multiple industries and a challenging track plan.
Miniature lighting projects for model railroad layouts.
Ideas for modeling TOFC (Trailer on Flatcar) trains, equipment and operations.
Make your track as realistic as the trains you run on it.
Listing of HO knuckle coupler manufacturers and products.
definition of scale. Model Railroad Trains.
Description of knuckle couplers available for model trains, including brief prototype history.
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.
Understanding waybills and how they make model rsilroading more interesting and realistic.
How to apply paint with an airbrush to fade the paint on model trains. Page 2.
A list of ways to identify Model Train Addiction
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Make subtle additions to a model with this simple paint technique.
Outlines steps to hook up power supplies for model train sets.
Prototype history the 0-8-0 switcher steam locomotive and a list of available scale models.
A guide to model railroading narrow gauges.
Instructions for replacing wheels on model trains.
Diagram for a basic open grid train platform.
What is a switch motor and what can it do?
Definition of HO and OO Scale Model Trains
Model railroad switches, just like real-life railroad switches are used to route rail traffic. In model
How to narrow Woodland Scenics incline foam for N and TT scale grading
Specific things parents need to think about when buying electric trains and other toy trains for children.
Athearn's brand new HO scale GP50 is a stellar model of a rarely reproduced locomotive.
How to build and wire a wye to turn locomotives or trains on a model railroad.
Tables for determining the scale speed of your model trains for various scales in both miles and kilometers per hour.
Definition of Gauge. Model Railroad Trains.
What every beginner needs to know about model railroading.
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.
Staging yards can be designed for a number of operating situations. Careful planning can maximize your time, space and fun. Page 2.
Easy to make tarp-covered loads for model train cars in any scale. Page 3.
Choosing the right prototype and design for a model railroad as seen in the Rio Grande Narrow Gauge project layout.
Troubleshooting tips for derailing model trains.
Using Wikipedia, a vital resource for railroad historians, railfans, and model railroaders.
Understand the subsets of O Gauge.
Prototype history of the E60C electric locomotive and a list of available scale models.
Add the excitement of a river and bridge to your model railroad layout step-by-step.
: A spur is a railroad track on which cars are left for loading and unloading. Spurs are also used sometimes
A marketing debacle in the late 1950s, the Lionel Girls' Model Train Set is a sought-after collectors item today.
Things to look for when choosing a quality model train set for the first time.
Track plan for a 2x12' HO scale model railroad featuring multiple industries and a challenging track plan.
Understanding the steps involved in servicing diesel locomotives makes modeling the process and facilities much easier. Page 3.
Lift bridges are one method of providing layout access while preserving operations.
Masking models to replicate data paint-outs. Page 2.
Adding Water begins with preparing the surface below. Page 6.
Can you mix model trains from different manufacturers? Yes, but there are some things you need to know.
A guide to model railroad switch (turnout) basics and sizes.
Potential uses for fiber optic lighting effects on model train layout layouts.
There are many varieties of lighting accessories available for model trains. Choose the right one for your layout.
Outlines steps to take to diagnose and fix troubles with derailing model train cars.
Measuring and Marking styrene for cuts.
List of coupler types and tips for modeling, operating and converting different couplers in multiple scales.
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 helix can be a heavy construction. A strong foundation is critical for alignment and support.
Simple track projects to enhance a model railroad
O Scale in model railroading explained.