Choosing Your Model Railroad Supplies

Model railroads can be complicated things, and for this reason it would be a good idea to take stock of the model railroad supplies that you might need before you actually get started. But what supplies do you need exactly? You probably know that there are plenty out there, and some of them might even be constructed by you at some point, but to be sure you are in the know, the following is a list of the more important and commonly used articles in model train construction:

-The Train:You will of course need to choose the best train for your purposes and this might not always be the easiest part of the process. Something to remember is that there are several different types of trains and the one you select will depend on your preferences as well as the amount of room you have in your home. The Z gauge is the smallest but may be hard to work with, and the N gauge is one of the more common. Not many people will choose the G scale simply because it would require the deck of an aircraft carrier to properly display.

Ultimately it will be up to you, but it is very important that you weigh your options and choose the right train. In the end, you are sure to have a beautiful display so long as you remember to stick with what you want and not just the popular option. There are many choices-it’s time to make yours.

-Scenery:Model trains will require some type of scenery and you can actually build it from paper mache if you wish. One of the best parts you model railroad scenery is that you can create virtually anything you want! You can have winding rivers, rolling hills, and even elaborate scenery of everyday life. It’s amazing what you can do when creating model railroad scenery!

-Track:The track is yet another very important part of the model railroading process. It is critical that you choose the track that fits your scenery the best. Many people will choose to go with a flexible track because it allows them to bend the track around their scenery. The problem with standard track is that it must be laid out in a very specific pattern and if you fail to do it properly the train will most likely derail at some point. If you do not want this to happen then you will need to conform your scenery accordingly, or you will need to use flexible track.

-Benchwork:This can be purchased or it can be built. It is very important to choose a benchwork that can be disassembled and transported elsewhere. This will be very helpful for train shows or even moving the setup to different rooms in your home.

By this point it is pretty clear that there are a number of different railroad supplies to take into account, sow hen you are looking for your model railroad supplies, take your time. You never know what you might find.

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Model Railroad Trains

Many people who want to build a model train tend to believe that diving into the project, without much planning, is the thing to do. However, this is not necessarily the case. Before you start such a large project it is recommend that you create a plan first. Creating a plan may take a while, but it is well worth it.

Draw the railroad layout as you want to be when it is completed. You can even draw it to scale if you want. Once you have finished the layout plan, create a working list of supplies that you need. “Working list” means is that you should be ready to modify it at any given moment, as the needs of your layout change. For example, as you start building your layout, you may have a great idea that requires changes to your supply list.

If you are an advanced model railroader you may be ordering custom parts. These custom parts can take nearly half a year to be created and delivered. This is another reason to create a comprehensive layout plan from the start, so that you can order the parts in advance. This way you will not create a bottleneck and have to stop working on your layout for months while you wait for custom pieces.

Model railroad trains come in many shapes and sizes and pretty much every famous train has a model replica that you can buy. Some of the most popular brands are Altas, Lionel and Homby. Something that many railroad modelers enjoy is recreating real life historical railroad lines; for example, sections of the CN Rail or the old European routes through England or the Alps. It takes a lot of research to recreate these lines in exact detail, but it is very rewarding.

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Guide to Couplers For Model Railroad Trains Toys

Couplers are used to connect various model railroad train cars together. Couplers are typically either hook or knuckle type. Couplers have three distinct criteria. First, they must join the cars when the cars are pushed against each other. Second, the coupler needs to be able to be uncoupled. Third, from the manufacturer’s perspective, the coupler must be inexpensive to produce. Additionally, model railroad train enthusiasts prefer a coupler that looks realistic.

Horn hook couplers are the “standard” couplers usually included with a purchased model railroad train set. Horn hooks are typically included on trains toys. The horn-hook looks like a hook or the handle end of a cane, which joins the cars together. As the model railroad train cars are pushed together, the spring-action of the hooks connects them. The couplers rely on side-to-side pressure to hold the cars together. This can create problems when backing up the train as the pressure is loosened, possibly causing derailment. To uncouple a car, you can either lift it off the track and release the hook or use a device (such as a toothpick) to pop the train cars apart. For the casual model railroad train fan, horn hook couplers are usually sufficient.

Knuckle couplers resemble a person’s knuckles and look more realistic when compared to real-life trains. The knuckle couplers join together much as two hands are joined together fingers-to-fingers. This creates a fairly tight fit that will hold the train cars together around curves and in reverse. To uncouple the train cars, you can install magnetic un-couplers. They work by separating train cars as they pass over a magnet mounted under the track. The couplers contain one or two magnetized pins that sit just above track level. When the train is stopped over the magnet and then reversed, the cars become uncoupled. Alternatively, you can disconnect the cars by using a disconnect tool such as the “Switchman.” This tool is inserted in the knuckle couplers and rotated to pop the train cars apart. With this tool, you can uncouple train cars from anywhere on the track.

A model train railroad enthusiast might consider converting from a hook-style to a knuckle-style coupler to provide a more realistic and easier-to-operate system. The conversion could be costly as you might need to build shims to keep the pins and couplers at the correct train-to-track height. This is especially important when lining up knuckle-style couplers with magnetic de-couplers. If you have an extra train car, you might consider leaving it with one hook-style end and one knuckle-style end for ease of moving train cars around your track.

For a trains toy, the standard coupler is usually the best choice as children are often not as careful with their toys as a true model railroad fan. However, if your child’s interest in his trains toy is growing, you might consider upgrading him to a railroad train model set and teach him how to convert the couplers.

Visiting your local hobby shop will provide you with a large amount of model railroad train sets, couplers, tracks, and all accessories to create your own railroad world. Additionally, the staff will be able to assist you by answering questions or concerns.

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HO Model Railroad

Most commonly found and sold in model trains retailer’s shop are the HO model railroad. The promising would be hobbyist will definitely be amazed and enjoy this toy feeding on his inquisitive and creative mind. It is basically designed for beginners and most manufacturers produce the HO model railroad with their “Ready to Run” kits. With the kit, the hobbyist learns to assemble with minimal supervision from the parents keeping his enthusiasm aflame.

The HO model railroad is small and very convenient. With its long tracks, it can easily be set up in any considerable space in one’s living room. It is heavier and could hold tracks and negotiate the tight corners and curves. The small long track is flexible with clear tie spacing at the end of each track section. For the beginner, the HO model trains are easy to operate and their tracks are readily available along with the kit offering a varied selection of HO scales, buildings and structures for large and small layouts fit for all popular American prototypes and eras.

Undeniably, the HO model train is the choice of children when it comes to model train system. A lot of experts believe that a child given the proper tools and guidance that comes along with the kit, one can design, build, detail and operate a makeshift freight or passenger terminal. Due to its durability and performance, its realistic design and easy to maneuver operations, it has become very popular to hobbyist railroaders. Added to its convenience and availability, one can have a choice of layouts where a well defined point of origin and destination are detailed with planned stops for crew changes, refueling, locomotive changes, passenger terminal and inspections.

The HO railroad train sets, various collections, scales, tools and supplies are readily available made by manufacturers and retailers such as Bachmann, Atlas O, Walthers, Lionel, LGB, and MTH. With quality and value enhanced, the cost that one pays would cover all what the serious hobbyist ever dream of achieving. Avoid the rush, and get your very own HO model railroad. Experience the dream and pass it on to generations to come.

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N Scale Model Railroads – Layouts and Benchwork

When deciding how to build your N scale model railroad, there are many options, but there really aren’t any rules. Every layout becomes the creative expression of the builder, and layout styles vary greatly, from a traditional “green flatland” layout to layouts with complex natural formations, water, or scaled cities replete with buildings and monuments. Before the creative choices are fully underway, however, there is a basic benchwork that needs to be built to support your N scale model railroad, so let’s look at some tips on building this structure.

Building Benchwork for a Model Railroad

The term “benchwork” refers to the totality of the structure that is built to support your N scale model railroad and its accessories. For an elevated layout you should use wooden beams big enough for the size and weight of the layout they will support. For a very large layout, keep in mind that it will need to support your own weight as you will probably have to step and climb on it occasionally. You can use 1″ x 4″ beams, but usually 2″ x 4″ beams are preferred for maximum support.

Arrange your beams and connect them into a rectangle the same size as your planned surface area to form a basic framework. Use supporting beams across the framework parallel to the short side of the rectangle, about one or 2 feet apart.

For an elevated layout, you can attach legs to the framework, but bolt them with braces attached diagonally to both the leg and the framework. Once the legs are in place you can attach the surface and you are well on your way towards your N scale model railroad layout. Note: for surfaces, you should definitely use plywood instead of particle board or other softer material that could warp over time.

Size and Height Recommendations

In terms of layout size, if you are a beginner a 3′ x 5′ layout is recommended, as this is a great starter size for your N scale model railroad, and can be easily stored under a bed, obviously without legs attached. Actually, anything up to 6′ x 4′ will fit under a queen-size bed, so build accordingly if storage is an issue.

If you are building your benchwork with legs, most layouts are somewhere between 2 feet and 4 feet in height. You may want to establish the height based on your own height, to spare yourself a lot of stooping, or you may want to consider a height which allows children to participate more closely with the railroad.

These tips are given with N scale model railroads in mind, but can certainly work for any other scale of model railroad. Realize that your benchwork is vital to the long-term resilience and stability of your model train layout, so commit to making something well built, level, and durable, and you won’t regret the time spent on this step.

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How to Put Up Model Railroad Tracks

Building and planning the layout of the model train in such a way that includes all of its features, is one of the most exciting things about owning a model miniature train. With the current broad assortment of accessories and tracks, it’s simple to duplicate any large road operation. Model railroading is a slow developing hobby. Your initial investment in a layout can be modest and then expanded upon as years go by.

There are various track layouts for large working train scales; it really depends on what your property is like. The more land you have to work with the greater the possibility for different layouts. You might have a train pick up guests at the front of your property, load their entire luggage and off you all go!

Once you’ve chosen an overall theme, you can look at different model railroad track layouts. In reality, building model railroad layouts is a fine artistic ability. Some of the task that it includes are painting, building models, sculpting, and a little electronic engineering. You need photos to emulate an actual place for the model. Prior to starting construction, track layouts are made with templates or special CAD software. Computer graphics may be used to design miniature billboards and signs.

Especially when it comes to creating and working model trains, being able to design layout plans for model trains and then controlling them with a PC would be really awesome. It all comes down to what you have in mind in building your model railroad.

On line picture are readily available and fun to look at, but aside from that they are not going to give you a whole lot of information. Several fans of trains utilize design books for layout ideas. They include total instructions for all of the layouts, in addition to detailed diagrams for every one of them. And your list of what you will need is at the ready so you’ll know precisely what is necessary to put together your layout.

You can find a good layout manual on the internet, at a retail outlet or at the library. If you plan to buy one, you don’t have to worry about having to return it, and risking the possibility of it not being available. You can simply set it aside until you need it again.

A powerful foundation is needed for the layout, and in the industry this is known as bench work. Several prefabricated modular units exist, such as units which lock into place, and are simple to pull apart if they must be moved.

“Smooth” is the operative word when it comes to making flexible tracks work for you. Allow your track to smoothly perform it all. Refrain from taking it into any rapid bends or twists. And to continue on the same subject, don’t put any valleys or rises in where they really don’t go.

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Model Railroad Clubs

More people than ever before enjoy building and creating their own model railways, you would be surprised to see how many people are passionate about building their own model trains. Model train collecting as a hobby hasn’t changed much over the last 60 years, the trains and railroads are incredibly similar to those that enthusiasts collect today.

As a result of this massive popularity a demand for model train clubs and societies has been formed and now more people than ever before are joining model railroad clubs. More individuals are joining railroad clubs both online and off. Online forums are an easy way for model railroad enthusiasts to join up and talk with likeminded people who have a similar interest as they do. The internet has made model railroad clubs more popular online than offline meet-ups.

Model railroads have recently become quite popular with the younger generation, 23-27 year olds in particular. With this new generation on railroaders comes more and more people interested in joining model railroad clubs and communities. In clubs like this not only can you talk with people who have the same interests as you but you can also swap tips and advice with professional modelers.

There is a lot to be learned about model railroading in general, novices and experts alike can all improve. Chats with likeminded people, reading posts they have written on forums or even articles that have been written by fellow modelers is a great way to become an expert in your own right.

You will be pleasantly surprised at the amount of model railways clubs that you can join. There will almost certainly be a place in your local model railroaders meet up regularly to talk about model trains and scenery. There are also a number of online model railroaders clubs and communities that you can join and participate in for free. So, of course, there are railroading clubs that you can join no matter where you live.

There are usually a number of railroad clubs in most large cities, some are large and formed by big companies or individuals who share an interest in the same hobby. I prefer the small clubs than the larger ones run by model train companies. The most well known model railroad club is called the ‘Tech Model Railroad Club’ and is known by enthusiasts worldwide.

If you are interested in model railroading I highly recommend that you join a club, it’s a great place to get practical tips and advice as well as learn more about railroading.

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Model Train Show – Model Railroad Shows

Model train collecting is becoming more and more popular and with this new found popularity comes a whole new range of model trains that are better, more exiting and more expensive than the basic traditional model trains. Over the past few years a number of professional railroaders have built collections of model trains that other railroaders envy. This is why model train shows started popping up around the country so people can show there model trains and talk about them with likeminded people.

In these fascinating shows you will find that there are a whole range of trains that are so accurate it would be almost impossible to find a difference between the model train and the original train. In fact, some model railroad collectors have exact replicas of trains and the scenery that surrounds them – this is quite amazing!

You will also find that there are a range of accessories that you can buy from these model train shows, such as scenery items, new model trains, software, display cases and tools. There is everything available at these shows to get a beginner started or for an expert to take their model train collection to the next level. These shows are a delight for people interested in model trains.

Often these shows attract people who are not railroaders at all but just enjoy seeing and watching other peoples model trains, often these people are fascinated by complexity of these model trains. A lot of these people don’t understand how exiting model railroading is and how much time and effort has gone into making these model trains.

There will be a large collection of different people at these model train events including beginners, experts, retailers, authors and just about anyone else who is interested in model trains. These model train shows are a great place to meet new people and make new friends who have similar interested as you do. If you are looking for some advice or you just want to look around these shows and show of your model trains I highly recommend that you visit one of these model train shows.

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All About the O Model Railroad

If you’re looking for a great beginner’s model train set, an O model railroad set is an excellent choice. This larger scale is about one to forty-eight, and makes a good train for people with eye or coordination problems, or for kids. Remember that this kind of train is going to take up a little more space than an HO or smaller scale. You’ll need to plan accordingly. The O scale is a classic one – many of our favorite Christmas tree train sets were O scale.

O model railroad trains are large enough to feature a lot of detail, and to be made in a truly durable way. It’s easy to find accessories and parts for this popular scale, too. Unlike some of the less popular scales, O trains are readily available. It’s even easy to make your own scenery out of reused cans, boxes, and toys. It’s amazing how versatile O scale can be. Kids love it, too – this is one of the best ways for them to start getting into the model train hobby.

There are lots of different trains for the O model railroad sets out there. It all depends on how involved you want to get. For those who really love building things, there are engine and car kits that allow self assembly. Basic tools and skills, plus the ability to follow instructions closely, will get you some great trains. Of course, you can also buy ready to run trains. Just set up the track, plug the transformer in, and start running!

If you’re just getting into the model railroad hobby, or you’d like to involve the whole family, this is one of the better places to start. Don’t feel like you can’t add to your layout with items you made yourself. From pre-fab accessory kits that you snap together to E-Z track and homemade scenery, there are still plenty of creative opportunities. Look for track with a really realistic base if you’d like an attractive layout.

O model railroad sets are available in many different locations. The first place most of us look is in our local hobby stores. Many mass marketers sell basic sets, particularly around the holidays. If you don’t see what you want, try online. Specialty webshops offer a wider selection, so you’ll be sure to get what you want.

One popular option is the Lionel O-Gauge B&O Ready To Run set. This heirloom quality train set includes a 4-4-2 diecast metal locomotive that puffs smoke just like the real thing. It also has a functional headlight. The set includes a gondola car, a boxcar, and a red caboose – enough to get a short train started, plus enough track to create a forty by sixty inch oval. Add in a Sentinal boxcar, ten telephone poles and a bridge, and you’re looking at a great deal for two hundred dollars.

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Why Most Railroad Job Applicants Don’t Get Hired

Why is it that so many people go to railroad job interviews and don’t get hired? It’s easy to get carried away and just go to an interview thinking your going to ace it. However the cold hard reality is it takes proper preparation and the right answers to the interviewer’s questions.

Sometimes you will be interviewed by a female and sometimes a male. It makes a big difference to your answers as to who is asking them. Many times you will be interviewed by both.

Just because you’re interviewing for a blue collar job does not mean you want to show up with a baseball cap on and a five o’clock shadow on your face. You still need to dress respectful and clean cut.

Another mistake I see potential candidates make is not being prepared. If the railroad sends you a letter or email and asks you to bring certain items to the interview with you then make sure you bring exactly what they ask for.

I remember in my interview process two guys showed up without a copy of their application. The email they received from the railroad company said to bring a copy of your application. They did not. They were simply told to leave. No application… No job interview…

If you can’t follow simple instructions then they are not going to waste their time interviewing you.

The next thing is your application. Your application needs to be completely filled out in detail.

The railroad does not want to have to ask you questions to finish filling it out. If they ask for exact dates then get on the phone and start making phone calls to previous employers, references, etc…

Do what you need to do in order to get all the correct information they are seeking.

OK, so now you’re dressed appropriately, your application is filled out completely and properly, and you have brought everything to the interview process the railroad company asked you for… Now what?

The interview! Do you know what kinds of questions the railroad will be asking you? How about these three to name a few:

o Why should XYZ Railroad hire you?

o Why do you want to work for XYZ Railroad?

o Have you worked shift work before?

Being prepared is the key to getting hired. The better prepared you are then the better your chances of getting hired.

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