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!

Have a look at some of the new 2020 designs

022 Lionel Switches

Gary who models O scale asks:

“You have probably answered this before. I have an 022 Lionel switch that the track arm will not fully move to the left or right. I have checked and serviced it three times. Any suggestions? I hate to just dump it. Thanks.”

1 comment  Ask A Question

Wire and Layout Software

Ed who models in HO asks:

“I have lots of wire from my old well pump (over 80 feet). Can I use it for my main wiring on my layout? I am also looking for software for Marklin K track. Any ideas?”

5 comments  Ask A Question

Heisler Drive-Line Short

John asks readers:

“I have an HO brass Heisler with a square rod and tube for the driveline. I think it was insulated at one time but I can’t figure out what to use as it must slide freely. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.”

4 comments  Ask A Question

Weighting Wagons to Represent Prototypical Weights. A Good Idea or Not?

Garry asks:

“I’m not sure if I am wasting my time trying to replicate prototype weights of loaded/unloaded wagons. It might be best to weight them based on feel, the curves, turnouts, and engines I operate? I thought I was being clever trying to make things an accurate representation, but I’m finding this has its problems? Someone with experience advise please?”

Add a comment and view comments below.

7 comments  Ask A Question

Bridge Piers Might Not Line Up

Tim W seeks advice:

“I need bridge piers nearly 4 inches high but whatever I buy I might need to adjust to make them align right. Before I buy any piers is there a right or wrong way to go about adjusting them?”

3 comments  Ask A Question

TUTORIAL – How To Make Scale Model Sheds That Look Real

Select more than 200 Downloadable Plans. Construct them to OO gauge, N scale or HO scale.

Click To Add A Comment  Ask A Question

Reed detector

Daniel asks:

“Dear all model train guys, I’ve decided to built up my Marklin HO layout by myself. Big challenge! I am trying to understand digital and electronics, would you please give me an explanation about a Reed detector, how it works and how is connected to the CS 3 or K84? Deeply appreciate your suggestions.”

3 comments  Ask A Question

Z Scale Battery Controller

Phil a Z scale enthusiast asks:

“Is there a way to utilize a Rokuhan Z gauge battery train controller (RC03) to power non-Rokuhan accessories such as street lights and scratch built carnival rides, as well as power the train? Rokuhan does not sell the sockets separately that fit into their accessory power terminal (A016) which links to their RC03 controller…. Alternatively, I require a battery controller for a Z scale suitcase layout I am currently constructing. Is there any other battery controller that would do the job (power train and accessories) that anyone is aware of?”

9 comments  Ask A Question

Building a Display Case for Trains

Ed models HO and asks readers:

“I have a shelf to use for display case? What should I make it out of? I have about 10 foot shelf, and I will display a single train on the entire shelf length. It’s an H O Marklin peat train, Peat locomotive and peat wagons.”

3 comments  Ask A Question

S Scale American Flyer Engine Repairs

John asks readers:

“Do you know someone who works on American flyer older engines? Let me know one way or the other. The trains are late 1940sor early 50’s. Thanks.”

3 comments  Ask A Question

Magnet Wire or Stranded Wire For Rewiring Locomotives?

Bradon asks:

“I was going to use an old roll of magnet wire to rewire locomotives, but a friend said I should use stranded teflon coated wire instead. Thoughts?”

Post your comment (and view comments) below.

4 comments  Ask A Question

Dimensions For Mountains and Hills

Ron models HO and asks:

“I want to add a small hill in the foreground and some mountains for my trains to pass through further back on the layout. I’m more concerned about the mountains because I will need probably two tunnels and am not sure of the correct dimensions to make the mountains so they don’t overly dominate the scene or take up too much space. I don’t have tall superliners, so working on an average height of 2 inches I thought the tunnel clearances should be another inch. I’m just not sure how tall, wide, and deep to make the mountains bearing in mind I’ll have a bridge crossing a canyon between the mountain tunnels as a feature. What would your readers suggest? I know I will need a couple of hatches to get to train derailments.”

Add a comment and view the comments blow.

4 comments  Ask A Question

Constructing Super-Realistic Industrial Silos

Buying ready-made plastic scale model industrial silo kitsets can be very expensive before you even consider the cost and work involved in painting and weathering the kits with an airbrush to achieve a realistic representation of the real thing. The easier, and cheaper way is to download plans to make your own silos without having to do the painting or airbrushing. Plastic models when done well can look very impressive, as can models made from downloaded plans. It just comes down to which type you prefer, how skilled you are at weathering and airbrushing, and the extent of your budget. This video shows some silos you could make using downloaded plans.

Plans for realistic industrial silos – click here

Click To Add A Comment  Ask A Question

3 Switches Without Track?

Gary who models O scale asks:

“I have a situation where I need to put three switches in a row, with no track sections in between. Will this arrangement give me a problem? Due to the design of the layout, I need this setup. Appreciate any suggestions or comments.”

5 comments  Ask A Question

What Is The Correct Height For A Station Platform?

Max seeks help:

I am modelling German N gauge and wonder what height platforms should be as in Germany there seem to be varying heights?”

4 comments  Ask A Question

Plaster Crumbling on Rails Inside Tunnel

Glenn sent in this question:

“My late father built his railroad over about 20 years and it is sill set up in the garage and me and my 2 boys get to use it. I am trying to learn some technical stuff for when something goes wrong. When we visited last weekend we noticed some tiny flakes of plaster inside the tunnel. It is old and I think the problem will get worse. I can get my hand inside the tunnel thru the secret door thingy. What should I do to stop more plaster falling?”

View the comments below, or post your own comments or suggestions to help Glenn.

7 comments  Ask A Question

Confused Selecting Feeder and Buss Wires and Suitcase Connectors

Anthony needs help from experienced railroaders:

“I’m underway with my new HO setup. I will have a couple of runs of over 50ft. I don’t want to soldier direct to the rails unless I absolutely need too. I read that suitcase connectors are the way to go but I’m unsure what feeder and buss wires to use and the color connectors to use?”

Add your comments (or view comments) below.

7 comments  Ask A Question

Make 13 High-Quality, Super-Realistic Old West Town Structures That You Can Be Proud Of Displaying (Even If You Have Never Downloaded, Printed, And Constructed Your Own Model Buildings Before)

The old wild west US frontier conjures up all kinds of fantasies and wonderful memories of viewing cowboy movies starring the likes of Clint Eastwood and John Wayne, or watching memorable TV series including: Gunsmoke, Bonanza, The Virginian, The High Chaparral, Rawhide, Laramie, Little House on the Prairie, Walker Texas Ranger, The Big Valley, How the West Was Won, Maverick, Daniel Boone, The Lone Ranger, Alias Smith and Jones, F Troop, Hopalong Cassidy, The Roy Rogers Show, and even The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin to mention some of the many popular old western series on television viewed worldwide. Phew! That’s a long list and goes a long way to explaining why tales of gunslingers striding down the middle of a muddy or dusty street, dispatching rival outlaws with a bullet from their holstered side arm, encompasses the old wild western legend most of us “oldies” have come to remember. It is understandably a reason why choosing to model old wild western town structures on a scale model railroad has capivating appeal for baby-boomer model railroading enthusiasts.

Now, thanks to https://www.modelbuildings.org there is a expanding library of downloadable model plans displaying old wild western buildings such as a sheriffs office, saloons, Bank, telegraph office, blacksmiths, church, dry goods store, hotel, general store, gun smith, barbers shop, stage depot, and school house. The old wild west town models in this series nicely complement the interesting range of mining town structures also available as downloadable models.

Click To Add A Comment  Ask A Question

Model Train DCC HELP

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

Download Your Free Catalog

N Scale Track Plans

Watch Video

Model Train Help Ebook

NEW TO MODEL TRAINS?

FREE Tour Inside Club

Take a FREE tour inside the club.

Scenery Techniques Explained

Scenery & Layout Ideas

Model Railroading Blog Archive

Reader Poll

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.