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How to a Wire K-Line Crossing Gate

Charles asks readers:

“I forgot how to wire my crossing gate. It has two bolts with nuts in front of the gate. K-line made it. Everything I try it only does two things.

1. It goes without a train going pass.
2. It doesn’t go down at all.

I even tried to insulate the track outer rail as well as the center rail. Still did the same two things. I lost the paper on them how to wire them when we moved three years ago. Please can I get some help on wiring the O gauge crossing gates – thank you.”

If you have a question you would like to have considered for publication, send it to the Blog Moderator by using one of the “ASK A QUESTION” links on this blog.

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Making a Mining Chute and Old Mining Town

7 Plans for a Mining Town

13 Plans for a Wild Western Town

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Resetting Cab, Decoders

Bryant models Ho and asks readers:

“Every few days my NCE cab quits working (the display is still lit but the buttons don’t work except the Prog/escape) so I can reset it. When I reset the cab and decoder it is back to normal. Why do I continue to need to do this so often?”

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F-45 Engine

David asks:

“Does any company make a F-45 engine? I have one in HO DC, and like to get one for DCC.”

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Switch Tracks Side To Side

Eric models N Scale and asks:

“I was watching a video and I saw a layout that instead of a round table had a table that moved side to side to switch tracks. Does anyone know what this is called and if I can get one somewhere for my layout?”

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Model Train Slide Puzzles #1 to #3

slide puzzles trainsSomething a little different for you this week…

Below is a link to 3 slide puzzles featuring model train layouts. They look simple but will take a few minutes to solve. When you click on a picture square next to a blank square it will move across to fill the blank square. Keep moving the squares until a picture is formed with each square of the puzzle in its right place.

Click HERE to solve the three model train slide puzzles.

Please post feedback using the COMMENTS link. If you think the puzzle idea is stupid, then say so. If you enjoyed having a bit of fun, then that feedback would be welcomed too. Depending on the feedback, there might be some more slide puzzles in coming weeks.

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Shaping People Figures to Fit Different Railroad Scenes

Rick who models N scale has this question for others in the hobby:

“I was wondering if there was an easy way to shape arms, legs and bodies to suite different scenes.  Such as a camp fire sit, or bending to pick something up, etc.”

Add your COMMENT below.

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DC vs DCC? Shelf Layout with One Operator

Wayne has this question:

“I have an HO shelf layout, equivalent a little bigger than 4×8 sheet of plywood. I am using manual controlled switches. One operator. I plan on adding an engine or two, have some inherited old engines would like to run too on occcasion. DC vs DCC?? Which way to go, space limited, don’t plan on bigger layout.”

Add your answer or comment below.

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Laying Flex Track On Incline Risers

Nigel asks readers:

“I am into British 00 gauge-1:76 scale and want to know if you can help me out laying flex-track,on the ‘Woodland Scenics’ incline/riser set. Joining the fishplates to each of the rails, also the best way to open the fishplates wider to fit on the rails. Can some advise please?”

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Track for DCC – What’s Needed?

Steve models HO and asks:

“I am thinking of converting to DCC and was wondering if I needed to change track to be able to run?”

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Track Clean Car – What’s Best?

Francis has this question:

“I need a track cleaning car for my HOn3 layout…if necessary I can easily swap HOn3 trucks on an HO car. What’s best?”

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NCE Power Cab and Turnouts

Jerry models HO and asks readers this question:

“When I started in model railroading I used ez track. I have NCE powercab controller. I was wondering if my turn outs can work with my controller, and if so, how do I do it?”

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G Scale Trains Confusion

Aura posted this question:

“I have an outdoor G scale train. I am trying to organize a nice layout but I find the g scale category all over the place. I would like the buildings the same size and to put cars with it. Would 1:24 scale cars look best or 1:18. Also the train only goes with the engine and it often falls off the track. I would like cars too. I am discouraged as I don’t know all I am doing wrong.”

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3 Way Electro Points Conversion

N gauger Frank asks:

“Can I convert 3 way electro points to run as a insulfrog?”

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American Flyer Track Underlay

Ronald has this question:

“I can’t find where to buy American flyer track underlay. I need it for round track only. Thank you for any help”

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N Scale Kato Decoder Install

Hanks asks readers:

“I’m looking for pictures of how to install an EM13 (Kato mobile decoder) and a FL12 (Kato interior light decoder) in a Kato N700A (item# 10-1174) bullet train. Google searches haven’t found anything!”

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Only 2 of 3 Engines Will Run?

Steve models 027 and has this question for readers:

“I have found a Lionel engine that runs by remote control however, my problem is that of the three engines, I have only two of them running with one of the remotes and the other one won’t.  Where can I find what frequency that one runs on?”

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Locomotive Operational Problems

Frank has HO and asks readers:

“I purchased a used loco that moves reluctantly: on powering the lights go on, it makes realistic idling sounds and then cuts off. It had moved slowly previously. What may be the problem here? Thank you.”

If you have a question you would like to have considered for publication (10,000 readers weekly), then submit it using one of the “ASK A QUESTION” links on this blog.

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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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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).

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Preference will be given to articles that help others progress in the hobby, maybe suggesting an idea for their layout, a quick tip or two... or perhaps a little bit of good advice based on your model railroading experiences.

We are all in this hobby together, so the more we can do to share ideas and help each other, the better.

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It’s YOUR Railroad!

Your rolling stock and locomotives might actually be the center of attention on your layout, but the scenic features that surround and envelop your layout is what's likely to make your train setup stand proud of the rest. Your selection of scenery and structures will add an element of customization that will make your railroad truly unique.



Scenery, structures, and fine detailing is a fundamental aspect of any good model railroad, particularly if it is intended to replicate a true-to-life railroading scene. How realistic or authentic you make your railroad is entirely up to you... and you alone.

Some enthusiasts like to replicate every tiny detail so as to accurately depict, in every aspect, a miniaturized version of a real life scene.

Others in this hobby adopt a more "free-style" approach and choose to mix and match accessories and features they personally prefer. Even though the purist will possibly be unimpressed with unrealistic or out of context elements, it is YOUR railroad layout so you can make it anything you personally want!

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