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Correct Flange Distance?

Online Model Train Club member Roger S asks readers:

“What would be the right distance between truck flanges in N scale?”

Submit your answer, or view the answers to Rogers question on flange distances by clicking the COMMENTS link underneath.

Submit your own question to the Blog Moderator for publication by using one of the many ASK A QUESTION links.

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Adding A Residential Street Scene To Your Layout

The modelbuildings.org site has a range of plans for making a residential street scene including 3D UK and USA style houses as well as a range of space saving scale model houses in low relief for positioning against your backdrop.

The feedback on these 8 scale model houses has been excellent with many readers telling their friends about them. The designer of these 8 plans certainly spent considerable time perfecting the accurate and intricate details… and it shows.

The 8 scale model house plans are available now for 70% off the individual listed price.

Verandas and posts can easily be made using balsa wood and then be painted. You can print out extra windows and doors and glue then behind cut out doors and windows to give an added 3D effect, or you can cut out 3 sides of a door or window and leave it slightly open… again adding to the 3D realism. Ground cover is obviously not included, but most in the hobby will want to do this themselves anyway.

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LED Electronic Resistors

LED Electronic Resistors

Andy G asks this:

“I have a few 3 volt street lights (LED) that came with separate resistors. Does anyone know how to wire resistors to lights? Thanks in advance.”

Send in your question by clicking on the ASK A QUESTION tag below.

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Using LED as Indicator if DC Control is On

Koot models in HO and queries:

“Do I install the LED in series or across the two power leads going to the track to indicate power on?”

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Isolating Heisler Drive Line 

John has thus question:

“I have an HO brass Heisler and need to isolate the drive line. It consists of a square brass tube and a square rod smaller than the inside of the tube. I can’t seem to find anything to allow the slide and keep it insulated. Any suggestions please?”

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Removing Shells From Engine For Repairing Inside

Micky sent in this query:

“Is there an easy way or are there any clever tricks for removing engine shells. I want to do some repairs on two locomotives? The shells are only plastic and I want to avoid any damage.”

Submit your question for publication to the Blog Moderator by using any one of the many ASK A QUESTION links on this blog.

To comment on Micky’s question about removing engine shells, simply click the COMMENTS link below.

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Chassis for Shell

John has this question:

“I have just purchased a nicely detailed new (old stock) HO Athearn GP7 GP9 shell. I would like to pair it with a powered dual flywheel chassis. Does anyone have advice on a brand and model that will work? I have not received it yet so I don’t know the dimensions. Thanks.”

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Fitting HP0587 Undercarriage to Engine Chassis

Model-Train-ho-scale-diy-Universal-Train-Undercarriage-accessories-HP0587 Ranjay models HO scale and asks:

“Hi, I purchased HP0587 from aliexpress. Now, clueless how to fix it to engine chassis as the undercarriage does not have any screw/nut or slot to do this. Plese help me on this if someone has got any ideas/experience”

Add your comments below.

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Kato Double Track Girder Bridge to Atlas Track

John asks:

“Hi, Will an N gauge Kato double track girder bridge successfully mate to Atlas Code 80 track? Will I need to make any modifications to either bridge or track? Any help appreciated.”
Kato girder bridge

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Will all HO tracks connect to each other?

Kevin is a beginner to the hobby and is looking for some guidance on mixing HO scale track brands:

“I have seen tracks under different names/sellers/makers, but do all tracks connect with each other?”

If you want to assist Kevin with his HO track connection question, just add your comment using the COMMENTS link below. The Blog Moderator approves most answers within a few hours depending on the time zones around the world.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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?”

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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.


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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?”

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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.”

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