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model scale railroad houses to construct ho scale n scale oo gauge

A Solution for Athearn Diesel Short Circuits

Robert M shares this tip:

“I have a couple of DC Athearn HO scale diesels that periodically stop while running around a bend. The ‘?’ shaped contact on the truck under these conditions will make contact with the metal plate of the other polarity on the truck. I found by bending it slightly at the base away from the metal plate solves the problem.”

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NEM Pocket Kadee Couplers Problem

Phillip models OO and asks readers:

“I converted my Bachmann locos and rolling stock with Kadee couplers that plug into the NEM pockets. I find that when shunting in reverse, some of the rolling stock will get forced off the track and detail. They do not get caught between the buffers. It is frustrating and I was thinking to converting back to the hook and bar couplers that came with the locos and rolling stock. Any one had this problem. Note. I had to do a lot of adjustments with shims to get the right height but checking with the coupler guide, all okay.”

Please add your comments or answers below if you are able to help Phillip.

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Adding Telephone Poles To A Layout

Glenn who models in N scale asks:

“My layout is set before the days of mobile phones or underground electrical wiring to houses, so I thought that adding some telephone phones and wires would help authenticate the scene. But then I started to think about the practicality of stringing wires along roads and how they could become a problem if they get snagged. What should I use to replicate the wires? Also, I wondered how far apart to position the poles? Has anyone else worked through these issues? Any guidance in advance would be appreciated. Thank you guys!”

Please add any suggestions to assist Glenn below.

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Which scale of model trains do you operate or prefer?

Here are the results of the lastest poll which sought to confirm the popularity of the various scales of model railroads.

Blog readers voted as follows:

HO (41%)
N (25%)
O (9%)
OO (9%)
G (4%)
S (3%)
TT (3%)
Other (2%)
Z (2%)
HOn3 (1%)

Total Voters: 314

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Authentic Looking Scale Model Railroad Warehouse – Easy To Make – WATCH THIS QUICK DEMO

You can download the plan to make this Gainsborough Group Industrial Equipment Building for display against a backdrop on a OO, HO scale, or N scale model railroad here


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Triang OO Engines Stalling

Alph writes:

“As an absolute first starter,the basic layout I’m trying to operate uses modern Hornby track. However, the locos are all 60s-early 70s Triang. When I fix 2 Hornby r8201 connectors from the main line to the siding track the locos run for a few secs then become inoperative. I’m concerned I may damage them. What causes this and how do I fix it?”

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Running Problems Track Cross Overs

Stuart model in OO and asks readers:

“Hi, has anyone experienced problems with Track Cross Overs (diamond crossings)and short circuit issues?
I operate my layout using DCC Control which works well except that two new locomotives that I’ve recently purchased (Hornby class 90 and a class 92) when crossing the crossovers create a short circuit, none of my other locomotive experience this issue. I’m at a bit of a loss to be honest so any ideas and hints would be welcome. Thanks in advance Stuart”

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Proto 2000 Engines Manufacture

Jim poses this question for readers:

“Another of those questions that was sparked previous to a purchase. I saw a number of HO Scale Proto 2000 engines (different types in original boxes) and when looking at the guts of a few of the engines, I saw wires to a PCB. The question becomes; are all Proto 2000 engines DCC? If not, why is there a PCB on the top of the weight in any of the engines?”

Please comment below if you can assist Jim.

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Weathering Old Cars and Rolling Stock

Randall asks:

“I have several dusty 30 year old HO cars with the original factory finish I want to repaint and weather. What should I use to clean and prepare them?”

Write and submit your COMMENTS below for publication.

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Genesis MP15AC and RTR SW1500 Switchers

Jesse asks:

“I have been looking at HO Athearn switchers online but the Genesis MP15AC and RTR SW1500 both seem pricey. It might be just me but they seem to have got more expensive? Anything comparable that’s cheaper?”

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Old Dilapidated Industrial Building Brand New To Make in HO Scale, S, OO, or N Scale. WATCH THE QUICK VIDEO TUTORIAL πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

You can download the plans for the DERELICT BUILDING SERIES #1 here


Plans for the SERIES #2 DERELICT BUILDINGS can be downloaded here


You can explore many other background building plans here


Enjoy! πŸ˜„

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Model Railroaders – Where Do You live?

The results of our latest reader poll are in. The question – Where Do You live?

Results were as follows:

USA (51%)
Australia/New Zealand (16%)
United Kingdom (11%)
Canada (11%)
Somewhere else in Europe (6%)
South Africa (4%)
Asia (1%)

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Metal Wheels For Model Trains

Ralph asks readers:

“Can someone tell me he differences between a 33″ and a 36″ HO wheel and how to measure these wheels?”

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Loco Wheels Trying to Run…But The Loco Stays Still – Why?

David writes:

“I have an HO Scale KATO 37-6110 Amtrak Phase V Late GE P42 Genesis Diesel #19 Standard DC. I have had this engine since Apr. 18, 2023 and purchased it online. It stopped running after about 5 months and passed the warranty date. I didn’t know how to fix the problem.

Is it possible my layout, is causing the issue as it has a grade % of a 3-inch drop and a run out of 10 foot? Could the problem have been caused by the engine running faster downhill and laboring going up? The wheels look clean.

Can that damage the engine in some way? If we cannot find the problem should I replace the truck motors front and back? I can do that because I have found the truck motors online. Thank You much!”

If you can assist David, please add your comments under this post.

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Soldering Track

Max asks:

“I’ve chosen to go N scale and am finding the small size good but challenging in some ways. What are the downsides if I don’t solder or wire each rail section?”

Please post your comments under this question if you can assist Max.

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Car Weights

Terry model HO scale and asks:

“I have a variety of car types on my layout and wondered if there’s a proper weight for each different car type?”

You can add your comments/thoughts below.

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Model Train Poll Results – How long have you been a model railroader?

The results of our readers poll are in. The question –

How long have you been a model railroader?

30 to 50 years (23 Votes)

50+ years (18 Votes)

5 to 10 years (11 Votes)

20 to 30 years (9 Votes)

10 to 20 years (8 Votes)

2 to 5 years (5 Votes)

Under 2 years (4 Votes)

I have not yet started in the hobby (3 Votes)

Thanks to everyone who took part.

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This Quick 3 Minute Tutorial Shows How This Scale Model Creamery Milk Factory Was Constructed Step-By-Step

You can download this plans for this scale model and/or the other models in the series at


These background buildings are perfect for displaying behind track and against backdrops on HO scale, N scale, or S scale model railroads.

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