Building your Model Railroad
New or updated pages, additions, pictures, comments, article reviews and new techniques relating to building model railroads.
Updated: 1 hour 2 min ago
MOW, or maintenance of way, equipment is an important part of any prototypical railroad, and can be incorporated into any model railroad layout to enhance realism and operations.
Building a trolley layout is another facet of this wonderful hobby that can provide loads of enjoyment for the young and old alike. Here's how to get started.
The February 2021 issue of Tracks contains a ton of useful information all about building and managing your model railroad.
Two new Digitrax DS64 stationary decoders. I bought these about 5 years ago for a project that was delayed. Upon restarting the project I decided not to
Q: I am planning a 4X6ft. N scale RR. I plan to use a 4X6ft. piece of plywood. I want to nail the track to a cork sub roadbed. What advantage does foam have? Thanks. A: The main reason I like to use foam pads as a layout surface is that if you want to dig out a creek, a lake or a ravine, it is much easier to do that if the surface is foam rather than plywood. It’s also helpful if you want to put a magnet under your track to use for uncoupling. A third reason is that it is easier to manage wiring. You can run wires easily through the middle of a foam pad to the side of your layout where your turnout switches or control panel might be located, or to run wires for an new light fixture that you want to put in the middle of your layout. Fourth, you can more easily embed a structure into foam so that you don’t have the foundation of your structure hovering over the surface of the layout. It’s also easier to plant trees in foam than in plywood. Foam is quieter than plywood when running trains. I also think that nailing the track down to plywood doesn’t allow for expansion and/or contraction of the track as the temperature and humidity change throughout the different seasons. So after a few years, you might find your track buckling a little. You still need the plywood under the foam pad for a good, steady layout surface, but for all the reasons above, I like foam pads on the top.
Step-by-step creation of a small N Scale model train layout - A great way to get started, or if you just want to take a break from the big layout.
Custom Train Table Solid Wood 8x10' 2x3' (removable middle) In northern Cincinnati area, pick up only. $100 OBO
Question about How to Get Sound on DC Layouts: I have an analog layout... If I buy an N scale loco with onboard sound will the sound work on the track? Answer: The answer is YES, but not with a regular DC transformer. You will have to purchase a special DC transformer that has this capability. It is made by Model Rectifier Corp, called MRC Tech 6. It can operate DCC sound-decoder-equipped locomotives on analog track with all the usual DCC functions including the ability to change CVs and programming of the decoders. Here is a video explaining its capabilities. https://youtu.be/NW6ZAA02-Qc Another option would be to just switch over to DCC with a Digitrax Zephyr or NCE starter system. These can operate both DC (using “00” as the code) and DCC locomotives.
Tracks - a model railroad newsletter with lots of great tips and tricks on how to build your own model railroad.
Tracks is a monthly newsletter containing short articles, videos, tips and techniques of interest to model railroaders of all ages and all scales.
We just received a large shipment of mostly brand new and mostly N scale items from a collector on consignment to sell. All the items are gradually being cataloged and added to the storefront. However, if you have any interest in obtaining any particular brand or road-name at markedly discounted prices, let us know and we'll send you some pictures and prices. firstname.lastname@example.org
Answers to questions about model railroading submitted by our readers
I am just entering the world of N gauge and would like to start with a somewhat basic and small track setup. I have reviewed some scenes/layouts, but
The San Diego Model Railroad Museum in sunny Southern California is not only home to award-winning layouts, but boasts an Online Gift Shop, full of apparel, mementos, and books for any train lover. Little ones will love sporting an engineer's cap, playing with a changeable trains-former, or reading classic stories like The Little Engine That Could. Grown-ups can sip their morning cup of Joe out of a Rosie the Riveter mug, show their love of the railroad with a fun t-shirt, or put some steam in their holiday baking with a locomotive cookie cutter! The best part? Every purchase you make directly supports the museum, helping to preserve the heritage and practice of model railroading for future generations! Visit https://www.sdmrm.org/shop to see the full selection and place your order. If you have any questions, contact email@example.com. Happy Holidays!