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Brand New! Just Released! 15 Background City Buildings To Download and Build

HOT! JUST RELEASED! 15 Scale Model City Background Buildings Complete With Ground Floor Retail Stores. Very Realistic, Easy To Construct, and Very Sturdy

Plans now available at https://www.modelbuildings.org/city-office-plans-background-scale-models

Download, print, and build these plans to OO, HO, or N scale. Plans can be purchased separately, or grab one of 4 discount packs currently available. Pack D is the best buy and includes all 15 buildings.

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Amtrak Genesis P42

Newbie to the hobby Peter has started with HO scale and asks:

“I just got an Amtrak Genesis P42 loco. I run it on address 03 all good. The loco address on the engine is 77. My question is, do I program it with address 2? Or, should I set it as 0077 using the? Kindly a newbie. Thanks.”

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Opening up a Pennsylvania Coach 6001

Jeff models G scale and has this question:

“Hi all – I need to change the lights in my old G Scale Pennsylvania Coach #6000. There are no screws anywhere. I think I need to pull the roof off but I can’t get it out of the body. Any help would be great. Thanks a bunch.”

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Digitrax DT602 Connection Problems

“I just connected a Digitrax DT602 (not duplex) with no batteries. As per manual on page 4 item 6: press power key and soft key A in order to toggle track power, LED indicator on command module, on and off. This doesn’t happen. Please provide any info if I am doing anything wrong. Thank you.”

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Digitrax Controller

Peter T models in HO and asks:

“I am presently using the Digitrax DCS52 controller and would like to add a Digitrax UT6 utility throttle via the loco net of the DCS52. The question is: does the address of the UT6 have to be changed so that it is different than the DCS52? And, how do you do that? Thanks for any assistance.”

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Roco Steam Engine with a 5 Pole Motor

Rudy asks:

“I’m planning to buy a newly released HO Roco Steam Engine with a 5 pole motor but no flywheel. Can I count on it running slow and smoothly, with realistic starts and stops with no jerking motion without a flywheel? All thoughts would be helpful.”

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Inner and Outer Helix Tracks

Graeme asks:

“I am looking at a double-track HELIX, is there a way to have some indication of the outer track and inner tracks? I am using the following Numbers for A=31.6, B=3.75, C=19.5, (was using D=6, but now D= 7, to accommodate, some special POINTs/Switches E=8. I am looking at having 3/8th threaded rod for supports. I am also looking at the 8 Sections, (1/2 inch thick) per ring to be of a special shape, having the JOINING portions at an ANGLE and to be grooved on these Ends and have an INSERT (3ply) for each join, to be screwed only.”

Add your thoughts below if you can assist Graeme.

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Engine Stalls On Straights

Lester sent in this question:

“I bought a Bachmann engine that must be more than 30 years old and tried it out on my basic oval test track which has a straight piece on each side. It runs ok on the curves but is starts to stall on the straights. My voltmeter showed no power loss. I then cleaned the track, but it still runs ok on the curves and slows a stall on the straights. It baffles me. Any thoughts?”

To add a suggestion or comments to assist Lester, please use the COMMENTS link under this post. No login required.

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Rail Spacing and Distorted Track

Owen sent in this tip to share:

“This might help someone with the same problem I had. My Baldwin 4-6-0 loco was derailing after exiting a turnout onto my straight track section. No problem with my other 3 locos. I eventually checked the rail spacing widths and found the rails narrowed just enough causing the front wheels on my 4-6-0 to ride up and come off the track. It was hard to spot because by the time the loco stopped part of the 6 wheels would already be off the track. I think I might have accidentally narrowed and slightly bent the track when laying it. Apart from being careful handling track, this experience taught me to measure track and check rail spacing using a gauge, and to run the locos very slowly through troublesome areas to hopefully identify any problems. I hope my experience with this problem saves other people some time and frustration.”

You can submit your question or tip to the Blog Moderator for publication. Use the ASK A QUESTION link below. No login is required.

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Athearn Iron Horse HO Starter Train Set

Wayne asks this question:

“I acquired an Athearn Iron Horse HO starter train set which I understand is DCC ready but I haven’t got a decoder yet. When I use the dial to start the loco there is some sound but it doesn’t move until the dial hits 25. Is this to be expected or is there a power distribution issue? I have no problems with it because it is taking off smoothly.”

You can view the answers or have your comments or suggestions published by using the link below.

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Numbers or Letters On Switches and How?

Ross writes:

“I plan around 24 switches and want to know the best system or order to number or letter them.”

Add your answer, or view the answers below – click on the COMMENTS link below this post.

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More Buildings That John Downloaded and Made

In these two photos, John shows some of the first builds of the downloadable plans for his HO switching layout. Pictured left to right is the Distributors Co-Op background building (plan 541), Rail & Road Transport Forwarders (plan 542); the bottom photo shows the Freight & Storage Transport Warehouse (plan 495), and the 3 door warehouse (plan 540). John has done a great job on these first buildings. The plans can be downloaded here https://www.modelbuildings.org/background-buildings

model building plans scale

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Sidings and Spurs

Newbie to the hobby Darren asks:

“Is track that branches out from a mainline a siding or spur. Is there a difference?”

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Replacing E 7 Trucks

Rick B asks:

“I am at a LOSS as to how to replace (swap out) new trucks for my HO Like Like, Proto 2000 locomotive. I bought it on the web, and the trucks were totally dissembled. The gent at Walthers sent me some replacements, but the instructions he gave me, ….well clear as mud. Help wanted.”

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DCC – Using a Circuit Breaker for the Program Track

Geoff writes:

“My scale is 009 – UK version of HO narrow gauge and my question, for those of you using DCC, do you have a circuit breaker or other sort of overload protection for the program track?

I’m thinking it would be a good idea because the command station is putting out full power until you select program mode, and I understand you are supposed to have the engine on the track when you switch the power on. Also, I’m planning on converting some DC chassis and it’s possible I could wire something up wrong!”

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Bowser C-626 Locomotive

John writes:

“I have HO, DC only and I just added a new Alco C-628 from Bowser. Beautiful engine, ran perfect for 2 days, but then all of a sudden I lost forward mode, lights function in front only when in reverse, no lights in front. Still ran perfect in reverse. Next day, reverse worked again, but now, only the back lights work, and no front lights at all. I noticed that the motor felt warm, and possible slight odor. Could this be an out of the box lubrication issue? Operation is still smooth in forward and reverse, not warm, no odor, but no lights in front. Appreciate any insight.”

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Atlas # 6 Turnouts and Intermittent Stalling at Different Points

Dave B asks:

“I do have stall problems on my Atlas # 6 turnouts. I do understand that shot wheelbase shifters have issues sometimes but my 2 truck GP’s have issues with them also. I RUN DCC, DIGITRAX.

Additionally, I started to have intermittent stalling at different points on my layout with my GP’s and not all at the same place. Sometimes it happens after they stalled at the turnouts. I’ll take on any suggestions!”

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DCC With Existing Block Wiring

Grantley asks:

“I’m old school and my layout is already wired in a block system so I’m curious about changing to DCC with regards power and running buss wires under the tracks etc. Advice please before I take the plunge?”

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