Some Things You Should Know About Model Railways

Have you seen model railways? A lot of children are really amazed by these model railways. It is basically a hobby wherein the railway systems are reduced and modeled at a certain ratio or scale. Scale models usually include canyons, hills, streams, lights, model figures, vehicles, buildings, roads, signaling, tracks, streetcars, rolling stock, and locomotives.

The very first model railways were created way back in the 1840’s and was called ‘carpet railways’. The model trains were not very detailed but today’s model trains are quite realistic. Modelers these days can create railroad layouts or model railways based on certain history periods and even real locations.

Hobbyists can spend many hours and even large sums of money on the model railways. Their possessions are not limited to train sets only since it includes the scenery or landscape. Some models are even big enough for a person to ride. The older models are pricier but hobbyists don’t hesitate to spend their money.

The layouts are also very attractive. It’s typical to see oval and circle tracks. Since a scale is followed, the model railways are very realistic. Two of the most popular models are the Miniature Wunderland and Train Mountain.

The trains have engines and sizes that can vary. The largest and ridable trains are around 28″ tall and the smallest is the 1:220 (Z-scale). Last 2007, a new scale was introduced – 1:450 in a 3 millimeter gauge track. Among the popular scales are Gauge 1, G Scale, S Scale, O Scale, N Scale, TT Scale, and the HO Scale. A lot of hobbyists prefer the T Gauge and the Z Scale but the HO Scale remains on top. You can also find narrow-gauge scales like HOn3, Sn3, and Nn3 Scale.

Most modelers give much attention to the layout or landscaping. It’s like creating a dream world based in historical and actual locations. In model railways, the landscape is called scenicking or scenery building. The scenery is often prepared using cardboard strips, screen wire, Styrofoam sheets, casting plaster, paper pulp, lightweight foam, plaster of Paris, colored sawdust, scatter materials, natural lichen, balsa wood, caspia, candytuft, sagebrush, and many others.

The model engines are powered by DC electricity but only low voltage is required. Some models use AC power like the Lionel Corporation and Marklin. You can also find gasoline-electric engine models which are based on the diesel-electric locomotives. Pricier engines are the large scale ones like the petrol-hydraulic and petrol-mechanical models


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 Railway Layout

There are as many model railway layouts as there are model railway enthusiasts, and then some! There are model railway builders who create replicas of real world track layouts that are perfect down to the tiniest detail. And there are others who make a model railway layout that only exists on the train table. Both ways are fine: there’s enough room for every design when it comes to model railroads.

There are a number of retailers selling accessories for every scale train layout. You can buy trees, buildings, automobiles, even people that are made for a certain scale model railway layout. You can even order custom made accessories built to your exact specifications.

But you can also build your own landscaping for your model railway layout, and there are some model railway hobbyists who wouldn’t have it any other way. You can, for instance, build your own berm on either side of the tracks using Styrofoam, a grater, glue, paint, and pieces of board to put it on. Did you know that you can create a realistic pond by cutting out wax paper and painting it? The smooth surface gives it a realistic look.

A pebble makes a fine mountainside boulder, and you can imitate cultivated fields with dry coffee grounds (smells nice, too!). You can even make your own trees using steel wool for the canopies and bits of wire for the trunk and branches. Realistic snow is not always easy to make. Some people use talc, and some people make snow that looks realistic, but actually forms a solid layer on the scenery. This, of course, produces less of a mess. To do this, you mist the scenery you want snow on with water, then sift small amounts of white gypsum cement over it. If you keep doing this in thin layers: mist/sprinkle/let dry several times, you can get a realistic looking snow scene.

The most important thing when building your model railway layout is not to be afraid to try something new. You may not be great at making papier mache mountains yet, but with practice you could become an expert.

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.

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.