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