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Many years ago I was a model train beginner, just like you may be now, or may have been in the past.
I had seen the amazing layouts at a model railroad expo and I wanted to build my own model railroad.
There was so much different advice, that it almost seemed too hard to start model railroading. Eventually I started with a small ho scale model train set from the local hobby store… My decision was based on what I could afford at the time. Over the years I bought more track, cars and accessories to expand it, and like most model railroaders that start this way, I found it became an unwieldy mess. I had wasted money, time and effort and often would build something only to start again because it didn’t look good.
I want the beginner to be able to have access to all the information they require to help them build a model railroad of their dreams… even though they may not be creative, have limited space and a limited budget. Please could you tell me what problems or challenges you are having, or have had, with your model railroading?
Or, you could be a well experienced model railroader that would like to provide some tips or hints of how you got around some of your model railroading problems.
Even if you see someone else has mentioned the same problem as you, please also submit your comment.
Please tell me what problems or challenges you are having, or have had, with your model railroading? I have seen all the literature offerings, but do they really address the needs of a BEGINNER or are the addressing an experienced user.
What about a small layout and tracks crossing – what is the minimum height needed here?
Why do some “books” identify angle tracks on curves and others just run them flat? As most people have commented here, I to have played with trains decades ago, and I have attended local model railroad shows and open house(s).
I read a piece the other day with a simple answer to this that I had not previously thought of. For more than 70 years I have wanted to build a model railroad, but due to job requirements, frequent moves, lack of space and lack of free time I have had to postpone time after time. Use Testors in the orange and white tube or, at the model railroad shop get Walther’s GOO or if they have superglue. On the paint side, one twelve ounce can of Krylon will do eight box cars (be sure to lightly under coat first with a neutral color – gray for example or white) One cat of black did three SD40-2 diesel engines.
Hi Arnold, You said that you were having problems, you said that you would need boosters and reversing circuits, I do not know why to think you need these, II got into to trains about 2 years ago and knew nothing about then, I use DCC As far as i know you do no require reversing circuits for a layout of your size, mine is 10 foot by 4 foot, I wired every piece of track and have had no problem with my layout. Hi, I am looking for a display coffee table where I can build a either a z scale or a N scale train layout. I am starting over again and all of my equipment is DC and am worried that some damage will occur if I mix them with the newer one. Working in HO scale, want to go from main level to a second level without using a helix loop.
As a small child, my dad used to build layouts for himself mainly, but my brother and I were encouraged to get involved. This I bolted to the table for stability, countersinking the bolts so they were flush with the top of the plywood. I had a fairly simple layout – a couple of ovals with a viaduct spur that ran down into a station in the middle of the board.
Now, the room where my layout was has been temporarily reclaimed as a bedroom for a family member who is living with us for a few months, so the track was packed away, the baseboard unbolted, and stored in the garage – until the new year when I get the room back!!!
I find blogs such as this are an immense source of encouragement, support and non-judgmental comment. If any of you belong to model clubs make a point of chatting to the new person, not everyone is confident and comfortable going into a situation where your handiwork is going to be viewed and comment on by well meaning but thoughtless comments. I have found that by going to a wal-mart or k-mart I can find a number of items to use for scratch building like.square and round stock for bridge building also fireplace matches work really well as well. Remember, 2’x4’ HO model train layout is small and does not provide the flexibility to grow your layout. One of the main reasons why model train beginners tend to start off with a 4’x8’ HO train layout is because building it is very easy and it also provides enough flexibility to grow your layout. Some model train enthusiasts prefer to use a single model train on their layout that serves multiple purposes from picking up passengers on their way to work, all the way up to being used a freight train for supplies for the town.
N gauge track and components are also used with larger scales, in particular HOe and OO9 scale for modelling narrow gauge railways.
Standards useful to both manufacturers and modellers are maintained by MOROP in Europe and the NMRA in North America.
The initial agreed-to standard coupling was known as a 'Rapido' coupler from the manufacturer (Arnold); this coupler had been produced under a license from TT-manufacturer Rokal.
The Rapido coupler system works well but is difficult to use for automatic uncoupling and also relatively large.
European modellers have the option to convert the couplings on their rolling stock to the Fleischmann Profi-Coupler system for more reliable operation should they wish to do so, but most N scale rolling stock continues to be manufactured with Rapido couplers - a design which is fairly robust and easy to mold. In Britain, some N scale models are built to "2 mm scale" for "2 mm to the foot" which calculates to a 1:152 proportion.
A number of modellers in the United Kingdom use 2 mm scale, a closer-to-scale standard than N scale. In 1961 Lone Star introduced some of the very first (1:160) N scale models branded as Treble-0-Lectric (OOO) into the United Kingdom.
Since former Japanese National Railway and other major private railways adopted track gauge of 1067mm(3'6"), Major Japanese N scale models adopted 1:150 with 9mm gauge. German Wolfgang Frey started to build an N-scale layout of the Stuttgart main railway station in 1978. One of the largest N scale layouts in the world is located at the San Diego Model Railroad Museum.

In the United States, a landmark N scale project layout, the Clinchfield, was built in 1978 by the late Gordon Odegard and featured in a series of articles for Model Railroader magazine. Also in the United States, a massive N scale semi-public layout, entitled East valley Lines, is in Los Angeles, California. Australia-N Railways Quality Australian Locomotives, Carraiges, and line side structures in Australian Outline. N-Trak — ist ein Modellbahn Modulsystem der Spurweite N, das Anfang der 1970er Jahre in den USA entstand.
N (disambiguation) — For the Wikipedia guideline on notability requirements, see WP:N N is the fourteenth letter of the Latin alphabet.
Scale space — theory is a framework for multi scale signal representation developed by the computer vision, image processing and signal processing communities with complementary motivations from physics and biological vision.
Scale-space segmentation — or multi scale segmentation is a general framework for signal and image segmentation, based on the computation of image descriptors at multiple scales of smoothing. This is the most complete online database for free model train track plans and layouts of SCARM projects and designs. Model trains has provided me with a huge amount of skills that have benefited me throughout my life, and it has been so much fun. Its nice to see model railroading pictures (layouts, but these are really never quantified. This guy’s solution I thought was quite good he bought a couple of trestle tables and set his boards on those.
But now I have a barn with an internal layout space available of 5 m x 5 m with a fully insulated area.
So I’m researching, I see DCC vs DC and to me DCC is the way to go for what I want to do, but I have not found anything to let me know what I need for the sound and lights etc…along with the DCC, will the 1 DCC controller do all that? I also found that by getting a large bag of plaster and some cheese-cloth I have made my own plaster cloth.
According to my research you should be able to use Atlas or Kato track plans with EZ Track with little or no difficulty. 4’x8’ plywood sheets are readily available and do not take up an incredible amount of space. This is because after experience, they soon realize that it is too small for a proper model railroad layout. Set up the grid paper scale based on your own preference, I always find it better to use big sheets of paper that can be found at elementary schools. The most important aspect of HO train layouts that are customized for a single train is the switchers.
Unlike other scales and gauges, which were de facto standards at best, within two years N scale manufacturers defined the gauge, voltage, as well as the height and type of couplers. Modellers model mainly US, British and European prototypes because until recently the Australian market had no N scale models of local prototype. These standards are generally the same for such elements as track gauge, scale ratio, couplings, and electrical power and differ for clearances and other factors that are specific to the prototype being modelled. In traditional DC control, the speed of the train is determined by the amount of voltage supplied to the rails.
Most companies developed their own variants of this coupler to avoid Arnold patents on the spring system.
Modern N scale stock uses a standard NEM socket for couplers which allows different coupling designs to be used by simply pulling out the old coupler and fitting a new one of a different design. Early N scale was also known as "OOO" or "Treble-O" in reference to O and OO and was also 1:152, though for an entirely different reason. But, in the case of Shinkansen which adopted 1435mm of track gauge, so models of Shinkansen are scaled down to 1:160. The article series was also reprinted in the book Modelling the Clinchfield in N Scale by Kalmbach Publishing. Search it for railway layouts and railroad track plans by scale, size, tracks and other criteria. There are many people missing out because they don’t have the right step by step information.
You can request videos of how-too’s form there library and all you pay for is shipping. I’m unfortunate to live in an area where there are no local clubs, or exhibits, or even a hobby store, I have to go out of town to actually feel a train in my hand. In fact, it seems that some modelers have found that Bachmann EZ Track is compatible with Atlas or Kato track with only minor modifications.
One suggestion is to start with a 4’x8’ model train layout first and build it out the tracks small first and add to it accordingly. Some others reasons besides size include the fact that curves for tracks are too tight, which does not allow the model trains to turn properly as well.
If you currently have grandchildren or know teachers that work at elementary schools, try to ask them for larger grid paper. Road switchers such as diesel based RS3 and EMD GP series and smaller Mogul and Atlantic types for steam is a crucial decision for HO railroading. For example Arnold developed the now ubiquitous "Rapido" coupler to provide a simple and robust releasable coupler design. The creation of local prototypes is now a flourishing "cottage" industry, making Australia N scale modelling more popular each year. A small amount of 2' industrial narrow gauge modelling in N scale using custom track is done but there are few suppliers of parts.
The wheel and track standards are however slightly incompatible and most vendors follow neither standard in part because of this. Graham Farish initially adopted a plastic flexible U rather than a spring, Peco used a compatible weighted coupler system (Elsie) and Fleischmann cunningly sidestepped the problem by using a sprung plate.
The MT couplers (as they are known) are more delicate and closer to scale North American appearance than Rapido couplers.
In the United Kingdom vendors are increasingly shipping both NEM sockets for couplers and buckeye (knuckle) couplers.

Mr Frey's "Stuttgart Hbf" layout is an exact replica of the Stuttgart main railway station with its related railyards in the 1970s. If this helps when I built my layout I had in the shed a couple of old base kitchen units but because I wanted to be able to manoeuvre my set-up I cut six inches of the bottom of the units and attached wheels. I know many modelers prefer to hand lay their track for DCC, because of the wiring needs, instead of using EZ Track, but I’ve run across more than a few that have found EZ Track (or prefab Atlas or Kato track) works fine with DCC wiring.
2’x’4’ is not a bad size for a N or Z gauge starter layout but will not do an HO gauge justice.
It is just like getting your haircut, once its cut you cannot change it but if the barber starts off cutting it off slow, you can manage and customize it as you see fit. Although the original Arnold coupler has been joined by more functional and aesthetically pleasing designs (see discussion below), Arnold allowed use of the Rapido design by other manufacturers and so established a common standard to couple together rolling stock from different sources[citation needed]. In Japan, where space in homes is more limited, N scale is the most popular scale, and HO scale is considered large. Since the end of the 20th century, an increasing number of enthusiasts have started using digital train control systems to determine the speed and direction of their trains. The novelty of the "Lone Star Locos" line was such that they even found their way to the United States and were sold in the toys area of major department stores like J.J. The OOO couplings and specifications have long since been replaced by commercial N scale manufacturers.
Some very fine models are starting to emerge from various Australian manufacturers with many kits available and slip on bodies for existing mechanisms such as Kato and Bachmann. This is a different prototype gauge and scale to standard N scale with the narrower prototype gauge and called as TT-gauge. The Clinchfield layout is one of the most famous American N scale layouts ever constructed and was awarded as the grand prize in a 1984 sweepstakes.
Offers a line of structures under the "Cornerstone" name as well as a limited line of N scale freight cars.
I wanted my own personal RR so I did my own decals for both the freight cars and engines.) Be very careful with painting and do it in a well ventilated area. Keep us informed on how things go with your layout, and don’t hesitate to ask if you have other questions. Not all modellers select N because they have small spaces; some use N scale in order to build more complex or more visually expansive models. N scale trains and structures are often used on HO or larger layouts to create forced perspective, or the illusion that an object is further away than it actually is. This has in part been made possible by surface mount technology and new motors that draw very little current (typically 0.2amps). Other manufacturers, such as Atlas and Kato, are now making couplers that mate with Micro Trains couplers. This appears to be changing with the arrival of some new productions, one notably arriving from Australia-N Railways. The layout is computer controlled by 27 PCs running software developed by the owner of the layout and features very detailed and prototypical signalling systems.
Many models of local San Diego structures can be identified on the layout, including an intricate scale model of San Diego's Santa Fe Depot,[2] the Western Metal Supply Building, the Carriso Gorge's Goat Canyon Trestle,[3] Palomar Observatory, the American Agar building, and the Carlsbad, California flower fields and power plant. The layout was also displayed at a number of train shows and has traded ownership several times by private collectors.
I’m learning the ins and outs of building a layout to get ready for my permanent layout, if there is such a thing. You start feeling light headed and dizzy – get out of the area into fresh area for a while. An advantage of N scale is that it allows hobbyists to build layouts that take up less space than HO scale, or put longer track runs into the same amount of space, because the models are smaller (by nearly a half) than they are in HO scale (1:87). The most popular digital control systems used in N scale model railways are NMRA-DCC and Selectrix. The first of the models being an 81 Class locomotive that is designed and built from the ground up as a true scale model of the prototype. The model of the Santa Fe depot was constructed using the actual building's blueprints and has been featured on the cover of Model Railroader magazine. The prototype Clinchfield Railroad was an operating and holding company for the Carolina, Clinchfield and Ohio Railway.
I already have my idea for my layout, but in the mean time I can do lots of trail and error on the one I have. The Spanish revival architecture is reproduced using epoxy castings of scale model adobe roof tiles.
The layout has been refurbished, outfitted for DCC, and was shown at the 2008 N Scale Collectors National Convention in Louisville, KY. The Western Metal Supply Building (now part of the left field foul line in the San Diego Padres' Petco Park) was constructed using historic photographs and contains brick castings, brass-etched fire escapes, and computer-generated window panes.
The detail on the Goat Canyon Trestle includes the prototype's railings, catwalks, and fire suppression system. Plan is to use the set transformers to help on the switches , six or eight of them and to power the passengers runs, if they will handle the estimated 40 to 50 feet runs. Many buildings have detailed interiors, right down to the napkin dispenser and placemats on the tables at the corner cafe. I see that the wiring will need to be attached to each piece of track with two wires running the distance.
Trains can run completely unattended or a single operator can control the layout with the click of a mouse.

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  • Dj_EmO, 15.11.2013 at 19:29:35
    Relative to the track and the wheel flanges therefore tend to snag km.
  • Rashid, 15.11.2013 at 19:40:15
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