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Insulated Track Connections

Gary has an O scale question:

I am using insulated track sections. What are the connections for crossing gate and lights? I hope you can offer advice.”

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How to Cut Fastrack

Mike models O scale and asks:

I am making a lift out bridge and would like to know the best way to cut fastrack please?”

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Can Couplers Be Used Universal Together?

Gavin is starting out in N scale and asks those in the know:

“Although I have enough space for a small HO layout I am going N scale instead. It will allow me to pack more train movements and scenery in the same space. I’m starting out with a Kato locomotive because they’re well detailed. My question… Will a Kato loco couple with other brand cars in particular Micro-Trains and Accurate, or will I need to stick with Kato?

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Car Capacity for Industries and Yards

Warren posted this question:

“I’m planning on extending the ‘L” part to my HO layout bringing the end size to 10ft x 6ft L shaped. The bulk of the extension will be for my new yard but I don’t want to have it bigger than it needs to be for efficient operation. I would be interested in feedback on suggested car capacity because I don’t want it too congested. I have about 25% capacity in my industries if that helps.”

Add a comment under this post if you can assist Warren.

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Painting Brass Bumpers

Michael C posted this question:

“Can I paint brass bumpers with acrylics or do I need oil-based paints or something else? Is there any special prep needed before painting?

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Hornby X9850 X9871 Instructions

Bill asks:

Does anyone know where to get instructions for the fitting of a Hornby X9850 X9871? HST lighting (Virgin) that Hornby supply. I have been unable to get help from Hornby and the supplier cannot help either. Help!!”

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Types of Flex Track

Mike M asks:

“Hello, I really hope you can help me with a couple of quick questions. Will a HO Marklin coal tipper fit on a flexible HO track? Also, is there a flexible HO track that is a little taller than what you usually get at hobby stores? I have a very old tin plate made in japan train that will not run on my HO tracks. The wheel flanges are a little too big so it hits the cross ties. Thanks for your time! I am not a model train expert and am having trouble finding answers for a HO train project I’m working on.”

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Joining Power Districts and Power Boosters

Keith has this electrical question:

I am planning an HO DCC layout.  It will have three (3) power districts with a control center and two (2) power boosters. I am planning a reverse loop joining to two (2) different power districts and thus different power boosters. Will this be a problem?”

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Removal of Rubber Traction Wheel Rim

Rudy asks:

Hi, if I remove the rubber traction wheel rim on my new HO Piko V60 DB Diesel, will doing that give ‘that’ axel, full electric contact on both wheels, as it crosses the frog, and prevent that slight hesitation? I’ve noticed that if I flip the engine around, it will cross the frog smoothly because the traction tire ‘now’ crosses the frog leaving the other wheel contacting the exposed rail. It’s a small shunting engine, and I only pull 2 or 3 cars with it, so I may not need the traction tire anyway. Any thoughts on this?

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Wiring Turnouts and Control Panel

Ray asks:

I want to switch my HO scale turnouts  with a single switch to also supply power the track and illuminate an LED on the control panel. I am using PECO motors on PECO track. I think that a continuous supply to PECO motors causes them to burn out.  I have a number of double pole double throw switches but I am unsure how to wire it to prevent motor burnout. Any thoughts would be appreciated.”

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Fitting New Section Of Track Into Gap

Ryan asks:

“We relocated house and moved my layout without any major damage except one section of Atlas Code 83 track. I have a new section to insert, but with joiners, it is longer than the gap it needs to fit. How do I cut the track and ties etc?”

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Best Road Switcher Engines?

Malcolm would like recommendations:

“In your opinion what are the best types of road switchers?”

Add your thoughts below.

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Coloring Woodland Scenics Hydrocal

Ben asks:

“I had thought of coloring Hydrocal instead of painting it. Is this possible and worth doing?”

Add your comments below.

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Hiding Joins Between Track Modules

Neil has started work on his HO railroad and posted his first question:

“I’ve built the first module on my planned 2ft x 12ft layout and have suddenly realized the problem of hiding the joins between each module. I hadn’t really given it much thought until now. I doubt I will need to move my layout much, but at some stage, I will most likely come up against the inevitable.

I’m interested in what others have done to disguise the joins between modules. Is it best to avoid a straight line join for separations between the modules… perhaps a bend, or jigsaw type join to make the lines between my modules less obvious? I know that would make the framework more complex, or should I just position scenery to disguise the joins? If so, any ideas? Also, any thoughts of correct procedure for accessories, track, signals and controls between modules? Much appreciate in advance.”

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Steep Inclines? Use This FREE Grade Calculator Tool

To use this FREE tool, simply click on the Railroad Resources tab in the top NAV BAR on the website. Then click on the “Get your FREE calculators here.” link. That will take you to several free calculators you can use including the FREE grade calculator. https://www.modelbuildings.org

You are welcome to share this link with your friends by email or post the link on your website or Facebook page.

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1st Radius Curves

Peter models OO and asks:

“Does anyone have a list of locomotives that will negotiate a 1st radius curve, either Hornby or Bachmann? I know all large steam locos will not work but are there any diesel or electric locos that will work. Thanks in advance for any help.”

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DCC Crossovers and Return Loops

Christopher asks:

“I have modified my Peco Electrofrog turnouts by cutting the factory connection and soldering one side of the main to one side of turnout and added an AR1 for the return loop, for the crossover I have a dual frog juicer. Both of these still short out. What did I do wrong? How can I solve these problems?”

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Schematic of a Kato SD40-2?

Gary models N scale and asks:

“Does anyone know where I can locate a schematic of a Kato SD40-2 early model?”

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