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!

O Scale Railroader Not An N Scale Fan

William writes:

“Good grief! I just bought my first N scale train, (and my last). I’m a Lionel guy and this is ridiculous! The only saving grace is my Bachmann train came with an extra set of Rapido couplers. Why do they make things so difficult?”

You are welcome to share your thoughts and personal experiences below.

6 comments  Ask A Question

Track Ballast Tones

Daniel models O scale and writes:

“I need some guidance on what color ballast to use on different areas of the layout. Thanks for all comments.”

You can contribute your thoughts below.

2 comments  Ask A Question

Mainline Direction of Travel

Rich asks:

“I’m designing a 6 X 12 layout (HO). I’m liking the idea of multiple long mainline loops with cross-overs of some variety. I’ll have a yard and an industry (coal mine), too. My question is are most layouts designed with a primary direction in mind? How is that established? Thanks.”

You can share your thoughts below.

5 comments  Ask A Question

DC Wiring Turntable Roads and Spurs

Ben writes:

“I have the Peco unmotorised turntable on my HO DC layout and am looking for any suggestions on how to wire up the turntable’s spurs/roads so that each track can be turned on as required.

The table itself is connected to the main layout/feeder siding by dropped connecting wires; so one idea I had was doing a similar dropped connection to each spur (almost like a bus wire) with a switch to turn each spur on, however, I figure this would be the best place to get some advice/other ideas. Thanks in advance!”

Share your thoughts below.

2 comments  Ask A Question

Mixing Turnouts

Patrick asks:

“Can I mix turnout brands eg. Walthers with Peco?”

Share your thoughts below this post.

10 comments  Ask A Question

Why Add Foam Insulation on Top of Plywood?

Roger models in N scale and asks:

“I am going to use cork under my track, but have noticed that foam insulation is commonly added on top of the plywood base. I know it adds some height but why not just place the scenery/landscape directly on top of the plywood? Why not just attach (glue or nails is a whole different topic ) the track and landscape directly to the plywood? What’s the advantage of adding the layer of insulation?”

Share your comments for everyone to see below.

9 comments  Ask A Question

Young Model Maker Attempts His First Model

https://www.modelbuildings.org/industries-structures-industrial-scale-models-for-trains/

Click To Add A Comment  Ask A Question

Liliput 4-6-4 Tank Locomotive

Barry asks:

“I have just acquired an HO s/h Liliput 4-6-4 Tank loco and need to replace the bogie and pony wheels and the driving wheels. I am in Australia and so far I have not been able to locate a local source so I am hoping that someone on this blog can help or point me in the right direction.”

Click To Add A Comment  Ask A Question

Non-Powered Deisel Locomotive for Display

Gary asks:

“How interchangeable are locomotive shells? I would like to set up a small O gauge train for display only and I really hate to use and pay for, a working locomotive. I would prefer using a nonpowered locomotive. If I get a nonpowered locomotive, can I use a shell from a powered locomotive?”

Contribute your comments below.

3 comments  Ask A Question

Lighting To Indicate Switching

Henry writes:

“My HO layout is 30 ft long with some turnouts at the far end going to a staging yard. Can I set up some type of lights that can tell me what way the switch is turned? I am using Digitrax DCC My turnouts are controlled with Atlas turnout switches. Or is there some other way that I can tell the direction of the turnout from distance?”

You are welcome to comment (and view answers) below.

4 comments  Ask A Question

Turnouts and Track Feeder Wires

Juergen models N scale and asks:

“My turnouts when thrown kill the power to tracks past that turnout and when I throw it back power on to tracks feeder wires on both sides of the turnout is strange. What is going on?”

Please add your thoughts below if you are able to help Juergen.

3 comments  Ask A Question

Displaying Locos With Lights and Sounds

Steve asks:

“I don’t have space for a staging yard, so I thought I will display some locomotives on shelves directly above my layout. Then I had a brainwave to lay some track on each shelf and wire each so that I can demonstrate the working lights and sounds without having the locos move. Is there an easy way to do this? Appreciate your input thank you.”

To add a comment (or view all comments) simply click on the ADD A COMMENT link under this post.

4 comments  Ask A Question

Watch How To Make Bus and Trackside Shelters

The plans for these bus/trackside shelters can be purchased separately or as part of a package deal. You can construct as many shelters as you require from just one download… there is no need to buy a separate download for each shelter you build. https://www.modelbuildings.org/more-building-plans-pack-deal

Click To Add A Comment  Ask A Question

Conversion To RC

Ben asks readers:

“I want to convert my O scale locos to RC. What am I up against? I have a G scale that loco was just converted.”

You are welcome to submit your thoughts below.

3 comments  Ask A Question

Loco Stopping and Starting at Slow Speeds

Rex models HO and writes:

“I just put a new Walthers Mainline F7B unit with a Sound Value Diesel Walthers Mainline Decoder on the track. It works fine going forward. In reverse at slow speeds, it will lose power (no sound) and stop but, in most cases, immediately start up again. This can happen 2 or 3 times while moving 12 inches. It does not stop while running at mid-range speeds and higher. Nothing changed after cleaning the track. I tried jiggling the wires but could not find a cause and effect. Usually, I don’t have time to reach the engine. Any ideas?”

6 comments  Ask A Question

Peter Reveals New Extension To His Old Layout

Regular contributor Peter Field from South Africa shares these photos and writes –

In October/November 2021, I noticed that the original board on my layout was starting to warp due to its age being +-25years old. A decision was made to replace the old board with a new one and duly stripped off all buildings and track work from the original board and stored everything in boxes.

I duly bought a new board (shutter board) which was 244 x 200cm and had it cut to 2.0 x 2.0m which was mounted diagonally to the existing boards and was duly mounted to the steel frame once that was done I was ready to start the rebuild of the board.

First I measured the size of the town on the board and then marked out the roads and then replaced the buildings as I had planned on the board. As each building went up I duly electrified each building.

Last but not least I started to lay down the trackwork and the points. Once everything was completed, I checked the layout for problems concerning the operation of the trains to make sure they ran smoothly. This new layout took me 2 months to build and assemble and electrify.

As previously mentioned this layout represents the South African railways in the early 1960s to the late 2000s when steam diesel and electric all worked in tandem with each other.

These three photographs show the layout under construction and as it is now.

If you have a photo or story to share with readers, you can make contact with the Blog Moderator by sending details using the Ask A Question link below.

1 comment  Ask A Question

How To Post Comments On This Blog

Click To Add A Comment  Ask A Question

Toxicity of Model Making Paints and Products

Murph writes:

“I am a 70 yr old man who has multiple health issues including COPD, Lupas. I have a real desire to model a portion of the LTV Steel mill in Cleveland, Ohio, where I worked for 40+ years. Two problems. I haven’t modeled anything since I was 15. I bought a small paint booth and plan on other precautions but would like comments from those who have already used model-making products, adhesives, and paints.”

Obviously, Murph will need to make his own decisions based on his personal medical condition and circumstances, but readers might like to add details from their own experiences below.

5 comments  Ask A Question

Model Train DCC HELP

N Scale Track Plans

Watch Video

Use Tiny Railroad Micro Controllers

SUBMIT YOUR QUESTION

Download Your Free Catalog

Model Train Help Ebook

NEW TO MODEL TRAINS?

FREE Tour Inside Club

Take a FREE tour inside the club.

Scenery Techniques Explained

Scenery & Layout Ideas

Model Railroading Blog Archive

Reader Poll

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.