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N Scale Trestle Install Bachmann # 42523

John asks readers:

“I have installed one trestle at the junction of each track. When I run the trains they hit the upright portion of the trestle that sticks above the track. Any suggestions?”

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Will the Curves be a Problem?

Ron asks readers for help:

“My n scale lay out is 24in x 48in. I am using Atlas N scale code 80 track. The curves are Atlas code 80 11 in radius. I would like to run Bachmann 2-6-2 prairie standard dc -union pacific # 1838-n-160-51571 steam locomotive. Will there a problem with the curves? Thanks.”

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Resolving DCC Booster Problems

Tom is into HO scale and asks this question:

“I bought an MRC booster to attach to my expanding railroad. It does not seem work. How can I test it to see if my connections or throttle are bad?”

Add your comments or answer below.

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How to Wire A Turntable

Not a lot of detail provided, but just a simple question from Paul who models HO. Hopefully someone can assist.

“How do I wire up a dc turntable to use on dcc layout?”

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A Double Crossover or a Double Crossover Switch?

Liam sent in this question:

“My question is similar to one Anthony asked. My confusion is between a double crossover and a double slip switch. What’s the actual difference between them, and where would I use each of them?”

Add your comments below.

If you would like to have your question on this blog (10,000 readers weekly), use the ‘Ask A Question’ link below each posting.

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What’s the Correct Dimension for a Helix?

Regular contributor Kevin has helped so many others with their model railroading problems, and now he is hoping someone can help him out:

“I usually model in HO but I have been given an N gauge layout with 2 engines, 3 passenger cars, and 9 freight cars, about 30 meters of new track, plus some set track curves. Now having never had anything to do with N gauge, so I am asking N scalers what is the best diameter for a Helix? I want two and I have a meter at each side of the doorway into a rook 3m X 4.2m. I was thinking about a 2% rise? Also, the cars have Rapido couplers and the engines have knuckle couplers. It looks like I will have to change the couplers on the various cars? If so what are the best knuckle couplers to use? Thanks.”

If you can advise Kevin, please use the COMMENTS link below to add your comment or answer. If you just want to view the comments and answers as they roll in, you can see them by using the same link.

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Free Catalog – Download it Now

free catalog scale models


If you haven’t already downloaded and printed out your copy of the Model Buildings Catalog – now’s the time to do it. It’s a handy resource to keep alongside your layout.

This catalog not only includes photos of 160+ plans to download, but also includes some useful construction tips and links to some excellent resources. It’s available now from http://www.modelbuildings.org/Free-Catalog.html

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What Size Should Mountains and Hills Be?

Graham from Australia models N scale and sent in this question for those in the know:

“Please help as I am in process of designing a mountain to scale which is a highlight of my area the trains run in both directions. One goes around the other goes through the mountain. I am having trouble getting my layout to be as the real thing with the gradients. I operate in N scale so any ideas of the best way to address the above would be appreciative. “

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Fitting Different Brands of Track Together

Jim has this question for others in the hobby:

“I just got into HO trains, My late brother’s set is now mine. He has a lot of different track, and trains. I want to put his set back together but some of this track is in bad shape, he had Atlas, Power loc, and Bachmann and it does not fit together. Is there any adapters to make this work? Which brand is best for a beginner? Should I just buy all new track? If so which?”

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Running Long Trains on Super Elevated Curves

Online Train Club Member Stanley models HO and asks readers:

“I enjoy running trains of about 40 to 45 cars long. I weight them to the recommended NMRA standards, or heavier. When I build super-elevated curves would they cause any problems with the long trains I like running? I’ll be keeping my gradients to 2 percent or less.”

Use the ‘Ask a Question’ link below any posting to post a question for our 10,000 readers weekly.

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It’s My Track… No It’s Mine! Who Got There First?

Photo credit: http://lefunny.net

With so many railroads around the world it’s not surprising the strangest things happen at times. Sometimes with tragic consequences and often with just damage to track/trains and inconvenience, not to mention the financial cost of putting things right. This photo is one such example…not an easy problem to fix.

Perhaps readers could suggest how this collision might have happened, and/or the likely process for rectifying the problem. Also if you just want to add a funny caption then go ahead.

Add your comment and view contributions from others by using the COMMENTS link.


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Track Cleaning Solved with Automatic Transmission Fluid

Phillip sent in this piece of advice to share –

I read sometime back that someone used automatic transmission fluid to clean their tracks. Well, after problems with power connectivity after cleaning with the rail cleaning rubber and/or metho, I tried the automatic transmission fluid (ATF) that I had in the shed. I rigged up a track cleaning wagon with cut to size pieces of sponge touching the track with the ATF on it and cleaned my whole dual track layout and my diesels/locos run perfectly now. My 4.5 x 1.7m OO layout is in the garage with no ceiling and any dust does not affect the track as yet.


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Write A Caption For This Strange Photo

train crash photoThe Bay of Quinte Railway was a small regional rail line located in Hastings County, ON, Canada. This unusual photo shows a collision between two engines back in 1892.

How you you think it happened? Add your comments below.

Our readers like funny captions so, if you are feeling creative, you are welcome share one for everyone to enjoy.

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What Height Should A Telegraph Pole Be?

telegraph pole n scale


Pradyot from the UK models in N Scale and has this question for readers:

“What is the correct height of a telegraph pole in N scale? The height of signal post please? ”

Add your comments or answers using the COMMENTS link, or if you have a question you would like considered for publication on this blog, simply use the ASK A QUESTION link.

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Which DCC Decoders are the Best?

“What do people think is the best all round DCC decoder to cover different British model engines mostly Hornby made?”

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Bachmann ALCO S-2

Tim models Ho scale and has this question:

“I have a Bachmann ALCO S-2 which is Sound Value Equipped. I would like to know where to connect the Keep-Alive on the decoder?”

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DCC and Turnouts – What Will Work?

unitrack nec power cab

Ed sent in this question for readers to tackle:

“I’m in the process of building my first N Scale layout. I’m using Kato Unitrack and an NCE PowerCab. I have yet to figure out the best way to operate my #6 Kato turnouts. Can a Digitrax DS64 be used with the NCE PowerCab for this purpose? If not, is there any other “turnkey” product that a non-electrical savvy person use?”

Add your answer, or view the answers, in the COMMENTS below.

Submit your question to the Blog Moderator using the ASK A QUESTION LINK.


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Train Set To Run Around Ceiling

Alan would like help from readers with planning his O scale layout:

“I am about to build a model railroad helix in o-scale. I have found a woodworking house to cut the segments employing something called a c in C machine. I am opting to use a full sheet of plywood and since I need 10 segments to raise the train four feet, between the purchase of the plywood and the cutting, it is quite costly, so before proceeding I thought I would ask for your insight. Additionally, I request you provide me with an opinion on what O-scale track to use? I intend to run this along my ceiling and need approximately 200 linear feet plus the curved track for the helix. Lastly what radius of curved track would you use? Any assistance/insight you provide will be most appreciated!”

Add your comment below.

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Mining Town Plans

scale model mining town models

N Scale Track Plans

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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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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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Club members access helpful new resources each month: diagrams, video tutorials, articles, track plans and more. Watch the tour videos here.

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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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