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If You Want Truly Photo-Realistic Plans – You Won’t Find Better!

Southern New England Model Railroad Club

Jason shared this photo from the Southern New England Model Railroad Club display. The man seems very relaxed with the diesel loco passing by.

Southern New England Model Railroad Club

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Using LED Loco Headlights

Led loco lightsRon posted this suggestion:

“Just to let everyone else know I used LED lights to upgrade diesel engine headlights. They are brilliantly bright white on my diesel engines. If you haven’t tried LED’s I recommend you give them a go. They even light up details on my structures and scenery when the room lights are switched off or dimmed. Just so you know they’re miles better than regular lights, and heaps more realistic. Well that’s my opinion anyway.”

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Mixing HO Code 100 Brass and Nickel Silver Track

Terry’s question for fellow model railroaders is:

“I have been a keen observer of model train exhibits for many years and have finally decided to give it a go. I was given some brass track and wondered if I could mix brass track with nickel silver track? Thanks.”

Include your comments below.

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Walthers Cornerstone Motorized 130′ Turntable Not Working

Walthers Cornerstone Motorized 130' TurntableWayne would like help with this problem:

“I have a fault issue, when I try to turn my non DCC 130ft Walthers turntable, it only moves about an inch then stops. I can then move it about an inch in the opposite direction. This happens when the turntable is placed on the pit in any position. It doesn’t appear to be jamming and I have cleaned the terminals. There doesn’t appear to be any broken wires.  The turntable worked okay the previous day.  Can you please help me?   Regards  Wayne”

Comment below.

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Tell Us What Buildings You Would Like Added To The ModelBuildings.org Website

There are already more than 160 downloadable scale model plans available on the www.modelbuildings.org website, and soon another 10 new plans will be added. The question is; what plans would you like to see that are not currently available on the site? Add your suggestions in the comments section below and add a photo if want to.

scale model building plans paper models to construct
Above are some the plans currently available. What else would you like to see on the site? Add your suggestion below. Include a photo if you have one.

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Corn Growing On Model Train Layout

Ray sent in another interesting photo from the Derby Model Railway Exhibition.

model train layout farm

Have your say using the COMMENTS tag below.

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Why Do My Loco Wheels Get Dirty So Quickly?

Aaron posted this question:

“I run two Atlas GP38s that can operate on DC or DCC according to the jumper setting. I have no problems with the engines but the wheels get dirty quick after about 5 minutes of running so they then start to run erratically. I share the track with others but haven’t heard of similar problems with their locos. When I clean the wheels I use a disposable tissue and mineral spirits. Feedback appreciated.”

Submit your suggestions on keeping Atlas wheels clean by pressing the COMMENTS link.

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Derby Model Railway Exhibition Photos

Ray sent in these interesting photos from the Derby Model Railway Exhibition.

Derby Model Railway ExhibitionDerby Model Railway Exhibition

Add a comment below.

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Maintaining Track for Smooth Trouble-Free Operations

Russell asks readers:

“My trains (HO) run pretty good but wobble a bit in places. They don’t stall much. I have rubbed the track gently with very fine grade sand paper and I think this has helped. A mate of mine here in Australia said I would be better off using rubbing alcohol. Now I don’t know what to do? Should I try both, or just stick with what seems to work already?”

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Trains Grind to a Halt a Few Days after Completing Track Work

Daniel is desperate for suggestions:

“Last week I was proud of myself for the job I did unaided on my track work. My layout is HO and I’m using Digitrax Zepher by the way. I wired everything myself (I thought I was really clever!!), and ran a couple of locos on the different routes and tested different turnout combinations. I powered things down and went to visit my daughter for the weekend.

frustrationYesterday I powered everything up again and NOTHING! I thought maybe a short when the track status blinked. I then searched for a stray track nail and double checked each connection, but couldn’t see any issues. I just don’t understand how everything was working perfectly one day and not working a few days later?

I disconnected and reconnected the track wires from different sections, but I still have the same problem. I just can’t understand why it worked then it didn’t. I’m almost tempted to go visit my daughter again for the weekend and try powering up again next week. Maybe it will magically work again? Help please?”

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Reserve Loop Wiring Advice

Ron Bailey sent in this question:

digitrak auto reverse“I am working on my OO gauge layout in my garage and will have a reverse loop. I have been told about the Digitrax AR1 automatic loop. I am wondering how to wire things as there are a couple of dead end sidings in the loop? A portion of the loop is the main line so I was curious how the reverse loop would operate with these sidings?”

Drawing credit: digitrax.com

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Guess The Model Train Show

steam locomotive engine at model train showBen sent in this photo he took at a model train show he visited.

As a bit of fun, readers might like to have a guess as to the location of the show.

Post your comments under his posting.


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Problem with Cars Derailing On Turnouts

Lana posted this question. To view the answers, or submit an answer, just click on ‘Comments’ under this post.

“My cars sometimes derail on my ez Bachmann track turnout. The problem doesn’t happen every time. Often the engine loco follows the set switch direction but a car behind travels up the switch curve. What’s causing this please?”

Have your question published. Send it to the Blog Moderator using the ‘Ask A Question’ link below any of the postings.

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Quick Model Railroading Tips Sent In By Readers

Gavin sent in this model railroading tip:

“I use small nails and heat them up and put them into the base of the trees. I can also change out my trees for different seasons as my layout changes from Spring to Fall and then winter.”

Dave contributed this tip:

“If the small part does make it to the floor, use a vacuum cleaner with a nylon stocking taped over the end to find it. The nylon will prevent the part from being eaten by the vacuum.”

You can post a comment on these model railroading tips by using the COMMENTS link below.

If you would like to post a question, or share a model railroading tip or two, just use the ASK A QUESTION link to send it to the Blog Moderator for publication.

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When You Need To Super-Elevate Track For Trains Moving Through A Curve At Speed

Super-elevation on real railroads is when the outer rail of the track is elevated so as to compensate the centrifugal forces that happen when a train passes through a curve at speed. Sound complicated? Let me explain it another way.

super-elevation train track

Super elevation is basically the difference in elevation (height) between the two edges of railway track (or a road). It is normally seen where the railroad (or road) has a curve; raising the outer rail (or the outer edge of the road) to provide a banked turn. This allows a train (or vehicle on a road) to traverse the curve at a higher speed than would otherwise be possible.


super elevation trains on curve tracks


Having such a system neutralizes the effect of lateral force. It provides better load distribution on the two rails and reduces wear and tear of rails and rolling stock. In addition it provides smooth running of trains (and more comfort for passengers), and if designed and operated correctly, should result in fewer derailments.

However, excessive elevation in curves can increase the risk of derailment. When running significantly under balance speed, or operating on over-elevated curves, a significant portion of the vertical weight of the car is transferred to the low rail. The wheels can lift off the higher rail.

The following diagram provides a good perspective on the process of super elevation on a real railroad. Super-elevation should happen gradually as the train proceeds over the length of the track entering the curve (entry easement). Maximum super elevation would be reached when the train is into the curve. The train would then ease back down to level as it comes out of the curve and proceeds along the length of track exiting the curve (exit easement). Following this process, the train is able to stay at speed whilst navigating the entire curve.

Superelevation should happen gradually

A smooth transition from a tangent to curve

super elevation trains model railroadsThat’s how the system works in the real world, so modeling the same process on a model railroad makes sense as it will add impressive realism to train operations.

Unfortunately it is something that is often over-looked at the planning stage, or put in the “too hard basket” during construction. Fact is; the process is not that difficult.

The way most hobbyists tackle it is to use strips of basswood, or something similar, and lay a series of splines along the outer curve edge. Sanding the transition into the super elevation can be somewhat time-consuming, so the following should help to simplify the process.

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How To Prevent Dull Solder

solder trackErin D asks readers:

“I am new to soldering and wondered why my solder finish is kinda dull and even a bit grainy in appearance. Is that how it should be or am I doing something wrong?”

Send in your question to our volunteer Blog Moderator and have it published on this Blog. The link is directly below.

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Adding Weight To Tank and Passenger Cars

Online Model Train Club Member Larry has this question:

“I saw somewhere something a while ago about the weight of HO cars and I can’t remember if they said they need extra weight added? That’s okay for flat cars or box cars because you can add a load and disguise the weights. I wondered how to weigh down a tank or passenger car? How much weight would I need to add?”

trackwork model railways

To submit a question for publication, simply use the ‘ASK A QUESTION’ link under any of the posts.

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Members Heartbroken By Loss Of Their Life’s Work on Club Layout Destroyed By Senseless Vandalism

Bill Sowerby, exhibition manager of the Market Deeping Model Railway Club in the UK is seen here clutching one of the damaged structures.Vandels destroy model railroad layoutModel railway wrecked by vandals

Four teenage boys have been arrested, and bailed, following the vandalism at the Market Deeping Model Railway Club. Well-wishers and fellow model train enthusiasts have already donated over £80,000 in just two days. Sir Rod Stewart who said he “feels the club’s pain” donated £10,000. Fellow model train enthusiast Pete Waterman who also generously donated said members’ had “lost their life’s work” and that they would be “heartbroken” by damage.

Read the full story at https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7052557/Police-arrest-four-teenage-boys-model-railway-wrecking-spree.html

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