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Curved Track Rails Not Connecting

Online Model Train Club Member Warren submitted this question for blog readers on connecting curved track:

“Derailments are my worst nightmare so am concerned with two curved HO sections of track that don’t want to connect neatly. Would like views on how to improve the join on the two curved pieces please?”

Send in your question to the Blog Moderator to have it published on this Blog. The link is below.

Also, you can read the answers, or post an answer to Warren’s curved track question by using the COMMENTS link below.

13 comments  Ask A Question

Tools for Track Laying

Bobby has only started in the hobby and sent in his first question about laying track hoping for feedback from experienced pros:

“Hi, I’m not flush with cash and thinking ahead I know I’ll need to buy/borrow tools to put down my first sections of track. What will I need to do this?

Click on the COMMENTS tag below this posting to view the track laying comments, or to add a comment or answer to help Bobby.

6 comments  Ask A Question

Sudden DCC Section Power Failure 

Steven asks the following:

“I have an HO layout that is on 3 levels. Yesterday I had a derailment on a track joint in the start of a track segment where the middle level has a climbing segment to get to the upper level. Everything was fine up to that point but after the derailment the entire upper level is dead as a doornail. Prior to the joint where the derailment occurred, everything is normal.

There is no “clicking”, no flashing lights or other obvious signs on the track decoder board. I’ve pulled the plug and allowed time for an attempted system reset without success. I’ve swapped locomotives without success.

I am a complete idiot when it comes to electricity (the wiring was done for me). So forgive me for that.”

4 comments  Ask A Question

Advice on Building First Model Train Layout

Mark is starting out in N scale and asks:

“I’m new to the hobby and looking to build my first layout and it will be going in my spare room. I was wanting to run a double main line layout in two (2) different level and was going to do it in a L-shaped design. My dimensions will be 116 x 36 along one wall and 72 x 36 on the short side of the L. I have 2 questions what height of the levels is everybody using on their layouts and will 36” be too wide? Thanks for your help and opinions.”

If you would like to assist Mark, you can post a comment, photo, or drawing by using the comments link under his post. By clicking the link you can also see suggestions from others after they have been approved by the Blog Moderator.

4 comments  Ask A Question

Wiring the Tracks

Josh sent in this question:

“I have read quite a bit on how to wire track etc., but still don’t know exactly which wires to use. Could someone guide me please?”

11 comments  Ask A Question

DCC Wiring – Separate Bus Lines for Turnouts

HO railroader Dan posted this question:

“I’m new to DCC and I’m building a new layout 12’ x 12’ with 3 levels. I understand Bus Wiring and Track Feeders and how to run the feeder wires to the bus line. I will only be running 4 to 5 engines at most. I plan on using a MRC system (not sure which one yet, however wireless seems the way to go) want to put the track on the MRC system and power the turnouts on a separate system. With my DCC wiring do I need to run a separate bus line for the turn outs?”

If you would like to supply an answer to Dan’s DDC wiring question, or just view the answers, then click on the ‘comments’ link below.


8 comments  Ask A Question

240V 10amp Extension Cord Wire on Model Railways?

Phillip moderls OO gauge and asks:

What’ the correct wire thickness?

“I have plenty of 240V 10amp extension cords in my shed. I was therefore wondering if the wire could be used for bus wires on a OO/HO DC model railway? Or, would the wire be too thick for the power going from the controller to the track?”

12 comments  Ask A Question

1/72 Models on HO Train Track

Bob is hoping someone can help:

“I’m considering getting one of those really big 1/72 German WWII military railway gun models for the HO layout and putting it on some kind of track.

I’m thinking for a static display I could probably get by with just a few feet of track. I believe I could make the track to suit the model’s trucks using code 100 rail on plastic HO tie strips. Of course I would prefer to be able to pull the models like any other piece of rolling stock.

The only way I can see to set up the models to be pulled by a loco would be to use HO track and either modify the model’s trucks or replace them. I doubt if the model’s wheels and axles would be suitable for actually moving the model. The prospect of scratch building four or eight 5-axle or 6-axle trucks is a bit daunting.

Has anyone set up one or more of those big guns on a layout, or tried to do it? Thanks for sharing your experience.”

5 comments  Ask A Question

Clever Idea – Making Corrugated Tin and Coal sacks

John T has kindly shared these ideas:

Here is a tip for who is interested tin and coal sacks.

I brought ready made corrugated plastic sheets then I made my own Iused the brought sheet an foil tray from a meat pie cut it to shape then placed the foil on top. I run a finger nail down the creases to make it very realistic.

Coal sacks

I brought three boxes of tips you uses for roll ups from a pound shop pressed them a little to the desired shape. I removed some filling from the top end and placed model coal in and painted the sacks.

Hope this is of interest to you.

Hopefully John can upload a photo in the comments section of his post.

5 comments  Ask A Question

00 Gauge 4mm Windows

John asks:

“Does any one know where I can purchase large quantities of model windows that wont cost an arm and leg? Thank.”

6 comments  Ask A Question

Locomotives and Tracks

“Hi everyone, I am Karthik from India, I’m new to this hobby of rail road models, my question is that, there are a large number of manufacturers in model railroads. Is it possible that an N Scale KATO or MICRO TRAINS made locomotives and rolling stock can run on ATLAS or BACHMANN made N scale tracks or a Flexitrack?”

13 comments  Ask A Question

Running Multiple Trains

Joel wants to learn more about the hobby and asks this question of more experienced model railroaders:

“Watching some vids I think I see multi trains on the sam mie line, but one is stopped while another is in motion. Is this possible or should I be using better ventilation as I paint? Thanks.”

It doesn’t matter if you are an experienced railroader or an absolute beginner, don’t be embarrassed to post a question no matter how simple or complex it might be. The best way to learn and progress in the hobby is to ask plenty of questions. Most model railroaders are more than happy to share their experience and particuarly encourage newcomers to the hobby. We all began with abdolutely no knowledge, so send in your questions if you need help with anything regardless of how simple or unusual your question might be. There are probably plenty of others reading this blog who will want to know the answers too.

6 comments  Ask A Question

Loss of Power on Points

Barry models in N scale and has this question for readers:

“Hi, I hope some one can help. Up till yesterday my track was running without any problems. After giving the track its weekly clean l found that the train run perfectly well until coming to one set of points it then stops dead. The trains run perfectly well ether side of the points. HELP PLEASE.”

6 comments  Ask A Question

Wheel Gauge Adjustment

Benj sent in this question:

“I want to alter the wheel gauge on my O-Scale 2-track truck. The wheels are actually too close together. Do any of your blog people know what to do?”

Add your comments by using the COMMENTS link under this posting.

2 comments  Ask A Question

Rail Joiners – What to Use

Allan W asked:

“Can anyone please explain the difference, advantages/disadvantages between metal and the plastic rail joiner type? Thanks very much in advance.”

14 comments  Ask A Question

I Need Info on Point Rodding

Barry W used the ASK A QUESTION link to submit this query:

“I am considering adding point rodding to my train layout after reading a little about it, but I don’t know where to source the right product? Thanks in anticipation.”

6 comments  Ask A Question

DCC READY Locomotives

Ed asks for comments:

“If a Locomotive is being sold as ‘DCC ready’ will it still perform normally in DC mode if the DCC circuitry is not installed?”

4 comments  Ask A Question

Ideas For Scenery and Structures

Morgan would like some ideas for his HO shelf layout from anyone who has any suggestions:

“My shelf layout is 12″/yes, one foot deep. To be 24′ long, currently finished only one 8′ board/left end. On that board I have barely enough track, and very little room for buildings, etc. Will probably need false fronts on the wall to “simulate” business for the railroad. 3″ at the most in depth. But can be 3′ wide, meaning more than one building. With this narrow a layout, I do not anticipate backdrop. Maybe just drawing paper painted pale blue on the wall. This is not to be a showplace. Mostly just for me. So I’m looking for ideas. Basic area is West TX, so it’s pretty barren. I have tons of cars, so the industries can be most anything. ?? An ice platform for refrigerator cars. ?? LOL But oil and stock pens are good. Ideas and suggestions, please.”


3 comments  Ask A Question

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.

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