Everything on model trains, model railroads, model railways, locomotives, model train layouts, scenery, wiring, DCC and more. Enjoy the world's best hobby... model railroading!

  

What Size Should Mountains and Hill Be?

Graham from Australia models N scale and sent in this question for those in the know:

“Please help as I am in process of designing a mountain to scale which is a highlight of my area the trains run in both directions. One goes around the other goes through the mountain. I am having trouble getting my layout to be as the real thing with the gradients. I operate in N scale so any ideas of the best way to address the above would be appreciative. “

Click To Add A Comment  Ask A Question

Fitting Different Brands of Track Together

Jim has this question for others in the hobby:

“I just got into HO trains, My late brother’s set is now mine. He has a lot of different track, and trains. I want to put his set back together but some of this track is in bad shape, he had Atlas, Power loc, and Bachmann and it does not fit together. Is there any adapters to make this work? Which brand is best for a beginner? Should I just buy all new track? If so which?”

1 comment  Ask A Question

Running Long Trains on Super Elevated Curves

Online Train Club Member Stanley models HO and asks readers:

“I enjoy running trains of about 40 to 45 cars long. I weight them to the recommended NMRA standards, or heavier. When I build super-elevated curves would they cause any problems with the long trains I like running? I’ll be keeping my gradients to 2 percent or less.”

Use the ‘Ask a Question’ link below any posting to post a question for our 10,000 readers weekly.

15 comments  Ask A Question

It’s My Track… No It’s Mine! Who Got There First?

Photo credit: http://lefunny.net

With so many railroads around the world it’s not surprising the strangest things happen at times. Sometimes with tragic consequences and often with just damage to track/trains and inconvenience, not to mention the financial cost of putting things right. This photo is one such example…not an easy problem to fix.

Perhaps readers could suggest how this collision might have happened, and/or the likely process for rectifying the problem. Also if you just want to add a funny caption then go ahead.

Add your comment and view contributions from others by using the COMMENTS link.

 

8 comments  Ask A Question

Track Cleaning Solved with Automatic Transmission Fluid

Phillip sent in this piece of advice to share –

I read sometime back that someone used automatic transmission fluid to clean their tracks. Well, after problems with power connectivity after cleaning with the rail cleaning rubber and/or metho, I tried the automatic transmission fluid (ATF) that I had in the shed. I rigged up a track cleaning wagon with cut to size pieces of sponge touching the track with the ATF on it and cleaned my whole dual track layout and my diesels/locos run perfectly now. My 4.5 x 1.7m OO layout is in the garage with no ceiling and any dust does not affect the track as yet.

 

3 comments  Ask A Question

Write A Caption For This Strange Photo

train crash photoThe Bay of Quinte Railway was a small regional rail line located in Hastings County, ON, Canada. This unusual photo shows a collision between two engines back in 1892.

How you you think it happened? Add your comments below.

Our readers like funny captions so, if you are feeling creative, you are welcome share one for everyone to enjoy.

62 comments  Ask A Question

What Height Should A Telegraph Pole Be?

telegraph pole n scale

 

Pradyot from the UK models in N Scale and has this question for readers:

“What is the correct height of a telegraph pole in N scale? The height of signal post please? ”

Add your comments or answers using the COMMENTS link, or if you have a question you would like considered for publication on this blog, simply use the ASK A QUESTION link.

6 comments  Ask A Question

Which DCC Decoders are the Best?

“What do people think is the best all round DCC decoder to cover different British model engines mostly Hornby made?”

6 comments  Ask A Question

Bachmann ALCO S-2

Tim models Ho scale and has this question:

“I have a Bachmann ALCO S-2 which is Sound Value Equipped. I would like to know where to connect the Keep-Alive on the decoder?”

Click To Add A Comment  Ask A Question

DCC and Turnouts – What Will Work?

unitrack nec power cab

Ed sent in this question for readers to tackle:

“I’m in the process of building my first N Scale layout. I’m using Kato Unitrack and an NCE PowerCab. I have yet to figure out the best way to operate my #6 Kato turnouts. Can a Digitrax DS64 be used with the NCE PowerCab for this purpose? If not, is there any other “turnkey” product that a non-electrical savvy person use?”

Add your answer, or view the answers, in the COMMENTS below.

Submit your question to the Blog Moderator using the ASK A QUESTION LINK.

 

9 comments  Ask A Question

Train Set To Run Around Ceiling

Alan would like help from readers with planning his O scale layout:

“I am about to build a model railroad helix in o-scale. I have found a woodworking house to cut the segments employing something called a c in C machine. I am opting to use a full sheet of plywood and since I need 10 segments to raise the train four feet, between the purchase of the plywood and the cutting, it is quite costly, so before proceeding I thought I would ask for your insight. Additionally, I request you provide me with an opinion on what O-scale track to use? I intend to run this along my ceiling and need approximately 200 linear feet plus the curved track for the helix. Lastly what radius of curved track would you use? Any assistance/insight you provide will be most appreciated!”

Add your comment below.

6 comments  Ask A Question

US Freight Cars on UK Track?

Brock says he models HO/OO and asks:

“I Model Chester station in the U.K. but I live in the USA. I need advice to create prototypical operations and details. Also, has a USA freight car ever been in use in Britain?”

3 comments  Ask A Question

What’s the Maximum Length of Flex Track?

Mari models N scale and posted this question:

“Trains usually derail at rail joints on curves. If rails 10 feet long are used, we can avoid joints on curves. Is there any way to make rails 10 feet long? Are they sold sold? Are flex tracks 10 feet long sold?”

Add your COMMENTS below.

11 comments  Ask A Question

Using A Helix Design Tool

helix calculatorGary sent in this question for readers:

“I have now used a helix design tool, but need to know how to transfer it to a 4’x8′ sheet of plywood.
Any available conversion to a full size pattern?”

Here is a link to a free helix design tool.

1 comment  Ask A Question

Creating a Rail Yard

Brock sent in this question for others to comment on:

“I would like to have a goods yard on my British Railways OO/HO layout. Any Advice?”

Unfortunately this question is rather vague so it will be hard for readers to provide good answers. Perhaps Brock could add some more specific details in the COMMENTS under this post.

11 comments  Ask A Question

Early Photos From The Northeast Corridor

Fred P kindly supplied more great photos to share with readers –

Train photos The Northeast Corridor

2 comments  Ask A Question

VGN Electric EL-2B Locomotive

Here is a question from Roba who would like to know the value of a locomotive:

“I have an HO VGN RR EL-2B electric locomotive that is in mint condition still in the box. I used to live beside the VGN RR and remember the locomotive very well. It used to run from Elmore WV to Roanoke VA. until 1959 when it was discontinued after the VGN merged with the Norfolk & Southern RR. Anyone know what the value of this loco Is? I could be wrong on the date. They merged in 1959 but the Loco may have run a little while longer. Thanks in advance”

This blog doesn’t do buy/sell/or swap so contact details are not exchanged.

4 comments  Ask A Question

Amtrak Washington DC – Northeast Corridor

Fred P kindly sent in this amazing photo he shot and says, “I have this back in the day photo to share with you guys. This photo is on The Northeast Corridor.”

AMTRAK Washington D.C. Train

2 comments  Ask A Question

Download Your Free Catalog



















N Scale Track Plans

Watch Video

SUBMIT YOUR QUESTION

Submit Your Model Railroading Questions!

Before you submit your model railroading question please add some feedback, answers or comments to other postings on this model train blog. What goes around comes around... so if you can help others in the hobby, someone else may help you.

Important - Please add plenty of supporting details to any question you submit (eg. scale, solutions you have already tried etc.) , as the clearest and best questions usually get the best answers. Also, please check your spelling and punctuation as all questions need to be approved by the blog moderator prior to publication. Approved questions are normally published within a week (if not sooner).

Submit your model train questions here.

Use Tiny Railroad Micro Controllers



A micro controller is basically a small programmable computer device to help the model railroader “make things operate.” It is clever way to realistically replicate the movements, actions and functions you are likely to see on a full size railroad.

Watch These Club Videos

Club members access helpful new resources each month: diagrams, video tutorials, articles, track plans and more. Watch the tour videos here.

Scenery Techniques Explained

Everything DCC

NEW TO MODEL TRAINS?

HO TRACK PLANS

Model Train Help Ebook

Bringing Your Railroad To Life!

Scenery & Layout Ideas

Share With Friends

 

Submit Your Article

Would you like to write an article and have it published?

Preference will be given to articles that help others progress in the hobby, maybe suggesting an idea for their layout, a quick tip or two... or perhaps a little bit of good advice based on your model railroading experiences.

We are all in this hobby together, so the more we can do to share ideas and help each other, the better.

Submit Your Article Here

It’s YOUR Railroad!

Your rolling stock and locomotives might actually be the center of attention on your layout, but the scenic features that surround and envelop your layout is what's likely to make your train setup stand proud of the rest. Your selection of scenery and structures will add an element of customization that will make your railroad truly unique.



Scenery, structures, and fine detailing is a fundamental aspect of any good model railroad, particularly if it is intended to replicate a true-to-life railroading scene. How realistic or authentic you make your railroad is entirely up to you... and you alone.

Some enthusiasts like to replicate every tiny detail so as to accurately depict, in every aspect, a miniaturized version of a real life scene.

Others in this hobby adopt a more "free-style" approach and choose to mix and match accessories and features they personally prefer. Even though the purist will possibly be unimpressed with unrealistic or out of context elements, it is YOUR railroad layout so you can make it anything you personally want!

Model Railroading Blog Archive

Reader Poll

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.