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"Wow!" "Amazing!" "Awesome!"
These are always the words that come to mind when I see a model railroad. Always exciting to view, and even more so, to watch them operate - Trains carrying coal, logs, containers, tanks, going in and out of tunnels, weaving through the landscape - trees, mountains, bridges, rivers and waterfalls - interacting with people, industries, activities - while listening to the sounds of mighty locomotives carrying their long and heavy loads through cities and towns - stopping for pickups and deliveries - entering and leaving train yards. The possibilities are endless!
Railroads are about America. They tell us about the history of our country, about how we grew and thrived and about how all of us were brought together from New York to California and Alaska.
If you get as excited about railroads as I am, you are already a model railroader at heart. So you might as well go ahead and build one. It's not hard to do. You just need to know the right techniques. This website will show you how to do it - for free. Everything you need to know is right here - from designing, planning, laying track, building scenery and structures, wiring and operating trains and lots of special effects that make it even more fun and exciting than you ever thought possible.
The educational opportunities of building your own layout abound. It will help you become a master at carpentry - using multiple hand and power tools - electronics, mechanical and architectural techniques, and will enhance your creativity to no end. You may not be able to draw or paint a picture, but you will be able to create a very realistic 3 dimensional scenic diorama of fantastic landscapes and cityscapes that will be the admiration of the best of artists.
It's easy to get started. Just follow the Navigation Bar on the left, beginning with "Getting Started". If you are already an accomplished model railroader, you may want to skip to the "Special Effects" section right away. There's something here for all levels of model railroading.
If you enjoy the site and find it useful, let me know. I'm always happy to hear from you. If you think of something you want me to add to the site or if you have a tip that other model railroaders can use, please send it in and I will add it to the Blog page. I'm always looking for new photos, too. If you have some model railroad, or even rail-fanning, photos that you would like to have me show on this site, please send them in by email to email@example.com.
We get hundreds of visitors every day from all over the world, so if you want your tips or photos to get some exposure, you've come to the right spot.
Thank you for visiting! Tell all your friends so we can build a great community of model railroaders, all sharing photos and information that will help us become better and better - in lots of ways.
Enjoy life - you only get one!
* This site was last updated on July22, 2019. *
- Model Railroading Blog
- New site pages, additions, pictures, comments, article reviews and new techniques relating to building model railroads.
- Sitemap for Building Your Model Railroad
- Sitemap for Building Your Model Railroad - Navigate to any page on the site with one click.
- Search Page
- Search page to find anything on or off this site about model railroading.
- The Basics of Model Railroading: Getting Started
- The basics of model railroading, including descriptions of model train scales, types of model train displays, and how to get started in the "World's Greatest Hobby".
- Model Railroad Terms
- Definitions of model railroad terms
- The NMRA ( National Model Railroad Association) establishes standards for model railroading.
- Model Train Scales
- Description of the most popular model train scales. Helps in deciding which scale to use for your layout.
- Model Train Displays
- Model train displays: various ways of showing off and operating your trains
- Model Railroad Layout Design
- Model railroad layout design: establishing a theme and purpose for your railroad
- Train Layout Design Elements
- How to use train layout design elements (LDE's) to develop your own model railroad trackplan
- Model Railroad Software
- Various types of model railroad software are available which may be helpful for developing actual or virtual layouts.
- Model Railroad Track Plans
- Various types of model railroad track plans that could be incorporated into your layout.
- Model Railroad Yard
- This page contains all the ins and outs about building a basic model railroad yard for your train layout.
- Model Railroad Lighting
- Various aspects of model railroad lighting, including overhead lighting, sunset lighting, illuminating buildings, street lamps, etc.
- Model Railroad Benchwork
- Ideas for building model railroad benchwork
- Model Railroad Backdrop
- How to make a model railroad backdrop.
- Model Railroad Track
- How to lay model railroad track
- Model Railroad Wiring
- Overview of different types of model railroad wiring
- Model Train Scenery
- All aspects of building and developing model train scenery, including creating terrain and rock formations, tunnels, ground cover, trees, roads, water effects, etc.
- Model Trains
- Information and resources to help you in choosing appropriate model trains, including different types of locomotives and rail cars, for your model railroad layout.
- Weathering Your Model Trains and Structures
- Basic weathering techniques for model trains and model railroad buildings.
- Model Railroad Operation: A New Adventure!
- How to conduct sessions for model railroad operation.
- Advanced Model Railroading: Special Effects and New Ideas
- How to create special effects for model railroading and other new ideas. Tips on sound and lighting effects, animation, signal systems, mirrors, fire and smoke, automation and other details.
- Trolley Layout
- Building a trolley layout is another facet of this wonderful hobby that can provide loads of enjoyment for the young and old alike. Here's how to get started.
- Garden Trains
- Garden trains are a great way to involve your family in model railroading.
- Small N Scale Train Layout
- Step-by-step creation of a small N Scale model train layout - A great way to get started, or if you just want to take a break from the big layout.
- Railroad History
- Railroad history is an important part of model railroading that helps inspire us to do what we do. It also provides a reference for us whether we freelance or model the prototype.
- Train Photos / Gallery
- Gallery of prototypical and/or model train photos and model railroad layout photos
- Model Railroad Showcase
- This is a chance for you to showcase YOUR model railroad with a whole webpage on the internet dedicated to your layout, diorama, structure-building, kitbashing or other projects.
- My Train Layout
- My train layout represents an example of what you can do with the modeling techniques described on this site.
- Model Trains and Railroads: Resources and References
- Where to find more information about model trains and model railroad supplies, the best resources and references.
- Your Model Railroading Tips and Comments
- Share your own model railroading tips and comments to help other model railroaders improve.
- Model Railroad Stories
- We all have model railroad stories we could tell - some funny, some not-so-funny, but maybe educational. If you have a story to tell about your model railroad experience, let us know about it here.
- Blog- It
- Blog-It: Use this page to send in a model train story, picture or event or anything else related to model railroading. It will appear as a blog enty within the next few days.
- Model Railroading Tips / Newsletter
- Building a Website
- Describes the basic process of building a website for your model railroad club or to display your own train layout, and what's required to accomplish this.
- Model Train Supplies
- Many of the model train supplies that you will need to build your model railroad can be found on this page.