Model Train Track Layouts

Making and planning model train track layouts is one of the most fun aspects of train collecting, and is one of the reasons this hobby often lasts for a lifetime. You could never run out of changes to make to a train layout! There are numerous websites devoted to train lovers who write about and post pictures of their model trains. Video upload sites like YouTube have countless videos of model trains in action. These sites are not only entertaining, but they can also serve to inspire, and they’re great places to find people who can answer just about any question concerning model trains and model train track layouts.

For some model train enthusiasts, one scale of model train just isn’t enough! Some may have a little N scale or HO scale indoor layout, but also have a large G scale layout running through their garden outdoors. While most train hobbyists have one or two scales to which they are more devoted, they can appreciate the beauty and functionality of the other scales, too. There is nearly infinite scope for model train lovers to indulge in the great fun of making model train track layouts.

While some enthusiasts have entire rooms devoted to model trains, others may only have a table-top display that has to be put away when company comes over. There is room for every level of train collecting in the world of model train hobbyists. It is a passion that transcends nationality, geography, race, or gender, and sharing model train track layouts is a big part of the experience.

There are dozens of websites where people can share model train track layouts through pictures, videos, and text. These sites are great sources of information and help for things like designing for the sharpest curve your particular model can make without derailing. Collecting, designing, and running model train tracks are very enjoyable aspects of the hobby for most people, second only to the fun of sharing the experience with others.

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H0 Model Trains

H0 model trains are the most popular size/gauge in the world. The scale and gauge used in H0 trains are have the most real scale gauge ratio possible.

H0 model train specifications

  • mm = 16.5
  • scale = 1: 87
  • Scale foot = 3.5ft
  • Preferred radius = 6ft

H0 scale models have the exact size gauge as the UK only OO gauge. This means it is possible to use stock from each gauge on the same track.

The main advantage of H0 model trains is that ready made track and rolling stock is readily available. For beginners H0 model kits are the easiest way to get started with model railway trains.

I would recommend that beginners choose H0 scale model trains and then just ignore the rest. When looking for new trains or track, just look for ‘H0 scale’ as the plethora of scales and gauges can be easily confusing for any beginner.

H0 scale model trains are the most likely gauge that will be stocked by your local shop. Before deciding on a gauge, it’s worth visiting your local model railway shop to find what gauge is the most common.

Having a choice of equipment locally is certainly helpful in the opening phase.

As discussed H0 is model train gauge that is favored in the United States so if you live elsewhere it might be worth checking out OO or N gauge.

If you wish to learn more, its worth checking out our model railway guide:

N Scale Model Trains

it was during the early 1930s that the first sub HO gauges were tested out. N scale models trains were not operational or available commercially until around the early 1970s.

n guage model train size

  • mm = 9
  • scale = 1:160
  • preferred radius = 3ft

The main advantage of using n-scale model train is when you have very limited space. At first most model train enthusiasts would see n-scale model trains as a plan b.

The past decade has seen a revival of n-scale trains with the production of many ready-to-run models.

Now n-scale model trains are used to create layouts that are complex with several stations that allow for different routes.

If your are interested in hand building trains and coaches then this is not the scale for you. N-scale model trains and far too small for the average modeler to create. the benefit for many modelers of n-scale is the ability to create large architectural effects. N-scale model guage is perfect for a rail enthusiasts who enjoys the scenic modeling aspect of model railways.

if you have limited space or want to create a complex layout the n-scale model trains is the option for you.

For more information about n-scale model railway layout creation check out our guide.