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!
Scott models HO scale and has this question for readers:
“I’m venturing back in to model railroading after a 50+ year absence, and I’m stymied with a very basic problem. I’m using Atlas Tru-Track for my layout, which is a simple double oval with DC control. My turnouts are Atlas Tru-Track Remote Snap-switches. The wiring from the switch machine seems to be smaller than 22 AWG (that’s as small as my wire stripper will grip). The amount of stripped wire that comes on the switch is not much more than 1/8″. So far I’ve used up about an inch worth of wire on one of the turnouts trying to connect it to a longer wire running to it’s controller. I need suggestions as to how I can get such a small wire stripped so I can make connections to my controllers.”
End Date: Saturday May-6-2017 10:57:29 BST
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End Date: Sunday May-7-2017 15:28:19 BST
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End Date: Monday May-1-2017 11:51:06 BST
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For those who have never heard the term ‘Cab Forward’, it basically refers to various rail designs that place the driver’s compartment further forward towards the front than is usual practice.
Peter is building a loco and asks readers:
“Does anyone know where I can purchase a cab for an HO/OO ‘cab forward loco’ as I am building a cab forward loco depot.”
As I’m sure Peter understands, we don’t do Buy, Sell, Or Swap on this blog, but readers might be know of some online or local stockists who could supply the item.
In 2013 The Daily Mail in the UK ran this story “End of the line for model railway fan as housing association demands he dismantle £10,000 train set in attic on health and safety grounds”
Retired builder and father-of-three, Robert Burdock (61 at the time), had been into model railroading for 40 years. His model railway which had been in the same location for 15 years had 70ft of track with 63 locos.
Whether Robert Burdock was right or wrong, it does highlight the importance of safety when constructing layouts in roof cavities. Obviously the weight of the finished project including benchwork, scenic features, rolling stock, structures, electrics, accessories etc. as well as the weight of the engineer and any visitors all needs to be taken into consideration.
Results of a recent poll I ran showed that 5% of layouts were to be located in roofs/attics/lofts. When space is limited in the family home, model railroaders of try and think outside the square when locating layouts. A lot of people decide that a loft is a great ‘out of the way’ place to set up a model train set.
Yes, a loft can be a good solution, but be careful and do your homework first. Unless the loft has been properly converted there is a danger that you may overload the ceiling joists (resulting in cracked ceilings in the room below). There could also be the possibility of overloading the entire roof trusses resulting in a collapse… far worse scenario. Always seek professional advice, because some roofs cannot be modified safely to accommodate a load bearing down from “inside” the roof. If in doubt consult an engineer before locating your train set in a loft.
Randall, a reader to this blog also sent in this advice:
1. Consult a structural engineer, not an architect. The architect is about use of space and how humans and buildings interact, but knows very little about structural loads.
2. If you use a loft or “attic”, make sure it’s inside the insulated envelope of the home. If it isn’t, two things can happen:
A. In the summer it can get hot enough to deform plastic parts (shells, couplers, track ties, etc.)
B. In the winter it can get cold. The problem isn’t the cold itself, but what happens when the warm air of spring (or that comes through the trap door) comes up against cold materials: condensation. The water will condense wherever the warmer air can get to, not just on the outside of the model or box. This can happen in unheated garages, as well.
“Has anyone completed a model of the historic pier train from Hythe in Hampshire? We are hoping to put together an exhibition to celebrate the engines manufacture in 1917 and would like to borrow a model if possible. Alternatively does anyone have any suggestions as to which kits could be used to form the basis of creating such a static model? Any advice would be much appreciated.”
We’re all in this hobby because we enjoy it, but each of us probably enjoys different aspects of the hobby more than others. With that in mind, I thought it would be interesting to get some feedback on what it is that readers most enjoy about model railroading. It will be interesting to see where the common ground is.
Post you thoughts using the COMMENTS link below.
John sent in this request hoping a reader might be able to help:
“I was at the Amherst show several years back and there was a lady selling this scenery material. I believe it was made out of shredded cloth but I am not sure about that. All you had do was mix with water and apply.
It was nice material, if you wanted to re-work an area all you had to do was wet again and you could work it. I am hoping somebody is familiar with this product as I can not remember the name, I have tried searching the web for it but no luck.”
Aaron models HO scale and asks readers this:
“I am currently building a layout about 5 -6 pieces of plywood (standard size) formed in a horse shoe shape.. with a under ground staging yard to park the locomotives.. my question is how would I wire my system up? How many boosters? What about circuit breakers? Etc”
The feedback from the crossword puzzle on the blog a couple of weeks ago has been very encouraging with many requests for more puzzles. Here’s our first Word Search puzzle with some words that model railroaders might use.
If you would like to download the puzzle and print it out you can do so HERE. There is also a link to view or print out the solutions on the same web page.
AIR BRUSH, CAB, DECODER, FREIGHTYARD, JUNCTION, SCALE, SNAP SAW, TANK DOME
AMMETER, CONSOLIDATION, FLEXTRACK, FROG, MARKER, SCHEDULE, STYRENE, TRACTION
BALLAST, CROSSING, FLYWHEEL, HOMASOTE, REEFER, SLIDE, SUBROADBED, TRANSFORMER
BENCHWORK, CROWS NEST, FOREMAN, INTERCHANGE, ROADBED, FENCE, TAMPER
Print out puzzle and answers at http://www.modelbuildings.org/Puzzle-4-word-search.html
If you would like to see more puzzles like this on the blog, please let me know by commenting under this post.
Marshall models N scale and asks readers:
“I have laid ATLAS TURNOUTS and a lot of my rolling stock jump track when they get to the actual switch housing, so I changed to PECO. Now, my problem is that the power switch extension arm is too far away. Q) How do I make the extension rod longer?”
Tom models O gauge and asks readers:
“I picked up a Lionel Pennsylvania M1a mountain 4-8-2 steam loco at an estate sale last year. It seems to work fine. The problem is it did not come with a tender. I thought no big deal I’ll get one from Lionel. Well they don’t have any. It was made in 2003. I’ve called all kinds of places with no luck. Does anyone know where I can get the correct tetherless tender for it? The tender has all the sound system in it.Hope someone can help!”
Delford sent in this question to readers:
“I am trying to plan a layout and was planning to start with a 4×8. I would like a few tracks and a tunnel and bridge and some turn outs. I have a NCE controller so want to go DCC. Would anyone give me some ideas? I know there are many experts out there.”
Delford… the same advice I’d give to anyone in the hobby, is to learn as much as you can… and never stop learning. There are plenty of excellent resources available including several featured on this blog including the Beginners Blueprint and this one on DCC http://www.dccmodeltrains.org.