Model Train Information

Model trains have captured hobbyists for so long. It is a magnificent way to spend time and to express your artistic talent. There are many several aspect of model trains other then just collecting the locomotives. The model train hobby also includes building scenery as well as learning all the knowledge that goes along with model trains like scales and gauges.

The scale of a model train refers to the size of a model train to the large real prototype. The four most popular scales of model trains are G, O, HO, and N. G scale which has a ratio of 1:22 and the O scale which has a ratio of 1:48 are grouped together into the larger-scale trains category. They run on a No. 1 track. HO scale has a ratio of 1:87 and ot is half the size smaller then the O scale. HO literally stands for half an O. The N scale has a ratio of 1:160 and is a half a size smaller then the HO scale. They all have their purposes and good points. Other less popular scales are the S scale, the TT scale and the Z scale. The S scale has a ratio of 1:64. TT scale has a ratio of 1:120 which is slightly larger the N scale. And the Z scale has a ratio of 1:220 which is even smaller the n the N scale.

When model train enthusiasts talk about gauge, they are referring to the size of the track between the two rails of track. With so many different manufacturers making trains and tracks, they all had to agree upon certain sizes that would make so that trains and tracks were interchangeable. A standard gauge is usually four feet and eight and a half inches. A narrow gauge is a term used for rails that are closer together than the standard gauge. It is usually around three feet to three and a half feet.

Another large aspect of model trains is the sceneries. Train hobbyist place and run their trains through landscape layouts. These layouts can be designed and created to fit the vision of the hobbyist. They are free to include mountains, trees, rock formations, valleys hills or fields and meadows. A dramatic effect can include bodies of water like ponds, lakes, rivers, streams or even waterfalls. Figuring out where to pay your track with in your landscape is fun as well as creative. Your track can be laid in a way that enables your train to be continuously running in a loop. It can be laid in a basic oval shape, a figure eight, twice around which is two loops or in a dogbone shape. It is a good idea to lay your track in a wide curve so that the train does not derail.

Building model trains is such a large part of the world of hobbies. People young and old have gotten caught up in its thrill and excitement. One of the most exciting parts of building model trains is being able to share the experience with your kids or your grand kids.


Model Train Layouts

Model train layouts can mean anything from simple ‘found’ pieces like Matchbox cars set up to surround a Lego toy train to amazingly realistic landscape and built-to-scale buildings in elaborate, complex designs. The great thing about model train layouts is that you can make them a little at a time, changing and modifying as you go.

The most popular scale model railroads, O, HO, N, and OO (in the UK) have accessories that are widely available and don’t have to be custom made. In addition, there is a growing cottage industry of software used for designing model train layouts and printing simple fold-together building designs onto card stock. For those who go for the most realism, there are custom model railroad artists who make very realistic, perfectly scaled architectural and landscape features for the most demanding model railway enthusiasts.

This is not to say that Lego model train layouts are in any way inferior. Now that an entire generation of Lego train enthusiasts has grown up and has more disposable income for such pursuits, Lego trains are very popular among adult model train hobbyists. The beauty of Lego train sets is that the bucket of Legos that a child has grown ‘too old for’ is suddenly a source of building materials for model train layouts. The fact that Lego model trains are sturdy enough to stand up to years of use is one real advantage to choosing such a set for a child who is a beginning model train enthusiast.

Whether a model train lover wants perfect scale and realism, or whether he or she wants the fun of running trains, with scenery ranking less importantly, there are plenty of other like-minded train enthusiasts all over the world. Because when you get down to it, one of the most fun things about having model trains is sharing them with other people who appreciate them.