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DCC Narrow Gauge Trains

John writes:

“Please help me. I have just started with DCC narrow gauge. What type of controller should I get? I have just turned 66, and computers are not my strong point but I can get by. What is the best way to start? I have had OO gauge in the past. The reason I have to go smaller s a lack of space. I live in Halesowen. Is there a club near me ? Can any one help me? Regards”

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ECOS Detection of Trains

“Can someone give me a good explanation on how to wire up ECOS and detection of trains to have total automation using the system. I have all the hardware but the manual is not explaining it well enough for me.”

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2-6-4T Locomotive Wheel Size

Bert writes:

“I am planning to purchase a 2-6-4T locomotive. The flanges look out of proportion and could cause future problems on track and turnouts. I see two (2) options: 1. don’t purchase, or 2. change wheelsets. A third option is to purchase and ‘go with the flow’. Any and all comments are welcome.”

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Marshall 111 DC Train Controller

Kenneth asks:

“What is the purpose of the slide controller in the top left-hand corner of the Marshall 111 DC Train Controller unit housing which is marked with F on the left end and P on the right hand end? Hornby has advised that due to the age of the unit they cannot assist.”

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LED Light Strips

Alex asks:

“I am putting in carriage lights in my DC layout and have purchased LED light strips but what size capacitors is required to stop flickering while the car runs?”

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O Scale Railroader Not An N Scale Fan

William writes:

“Good grief! I just bought my first N scale train, (and my last). I’m a Lionel guy and this is ridiculous! The only saving grace is my Bachmann train came with an extra set of Rapido couplers. Why do they make things so difficult?”

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Track Ballast Tones

Daniel models O scale and writes:

“I need some guidance on what color ballast to use on different areas of the layout. Thanks for all comments.”

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Mainline Direction of Travel

Rich asks:

“I’m designing a 6 X 12 layout (HO). I’m liking the idea of multiple long mainline loops with cross-overs of some variety. I’ll have a yard and an industry (coal mine), too. My question is are most layouts designed with a primary direction in mind? How is that established? Thanks.”

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DC Wiring Turntable Roads and Spurs

Ben writes:

“I have the Peco unmotorised turntable on my HO DC layout and am looking for any suggestions on how to wire up the turntable’s spurs/roads so that each track can be turned on as required.

The table itself is connected to the main layout/feeder siding by dropped connecting wires; so one idea I had was doing a similar dropped connection to each spur (almost like a bus wire) with a switch to turn each spur on, however, I figure this would be the best place to get some advice/other ideas. Thanks in advance!”

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Mixing Turnouts

Patrick asks:

“Can I mix turnout brands eg. Walthers with Peco?”

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Why Add Foam Insulation on Top of Plywood?

Roger models in N scale and asks:

“I am going to use cork under my track, but have noticed that foam insulation is commonly added on top of the plywood base. I know it adds some height but why not just place the scenery/landscape directly on top of the plywood? Why not just attach (glue or nails is a whole different topic ) the track and landscape directly to the plywood? What’s the advantage of adding the layer of insulation?”

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Young Model Maker Attempts His First Model


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Liliput 4-6-4 Tank Locomotive

Barry asks:

“I have just acquired an HO s/h Liliput 4-6-4 Tank loco and need to replace the bogie and pony wheels and the driving wheels. I am in Australia and so far I have not been able to locate a local source so I am hoping that someone on this blog can help or point me in the right direction.”

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Non-Powered Deisel Locomotive for Display

Gary asks:

“How interchangeable are locomotive shells? I would like to set up a small O gauge train for display only and I really hate to use and pay for, a working locomotive. I would prefer using a nonpowered locomotive. If I get a nonpowered locomotive, can I use a shell from a powered locomotive?”

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Lighting To Indicate Switching

Henry writes:

“My HO layout is 30 ft long with some turnouts at the far end going to a staging yard. Can I set up some type of lights that can tell me what way the switch is turned? I am using Digitrax DCC My turnouts are controlled with Atlas turnout switches. Or is there some other way that I can tell the direction of the turnout from distance?”

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Turnouts and Track Feeder Wires

Juergen models N scale and asks:

“My turnouts when thrown kill the power to tracks past that turnout and when I throw it back power on to tracks feeder wires on both sides of the turnout is strange. What is going on?”

Please add your thoughts below if you are able to help Juergen.

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Displaying Locos With Lights and Sounds

Steve asks:

“I don’t have space for a staging yard, so I thought I will display some locomotives on shelves directly above my layout. Then I had a brainwave to lay some track on each shelf and wire each so that I can demonstrate the working lights and sounds without having the locos move. Is there an easy way to do this? Appreciate your input thank you.”

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Watch How To Make Bus and Trackside Shelters

The plans for these bus/trackside shelters can be purchased separately or as part of a package deal. You can construct as many shelters as you require from just one download… there is no need to buy a separate download for each shelter you build. https://www.modelbuildings.org/more-building-plans-pack-deal

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