Model Train Newsletter Issue #101


model train newsletter

Hello all Model Railroaders and Welcome to another FREE issue of the popular Model Train Newsletter…

It’s been another fun and interesting week in the world of model railroads, as you will see in the articles below… Enjoy!

Note: If you have been sent this newsletter by a friend (or by some other means), and would like to be advised when the next FREE newsletter becomes available… Just click the newsletter image on the right or click here. You don’t want to miss the next free issue!.

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Which Model Train Scale Is Best?

A question I get constantly asked by people considering model trains as their new hobby is “Which model train scale (or gauge) is best?”

model train scale This is a great question, but, let’s clear up a common mistake model train beginners tend to make…

And that is to confuse scale and gauge. I’ll explain…

Scale is the proportion of your model to the real thing.

An example is a HO scale locomotive. This locomotive will be 1/87 the size of the real locomotive.

Gauge in model trains is the width between the inside running edge of the track as shown in the drawing.

model train gaugeSo How Does Someone Considering Model Trains Decide Which Scale To Start With?

This comes down to 3 deciding factors –

  1. How much space you have available for your model train layout,.
  2. The physical size of model train equipment you prefer working with,
  3. And the accessories available for that model train scale…

Let me explain these 3 points in detail…

1. How Much Space Do You Have Available?

Building a model railroad layout in HO scale will be about 1/2 the size of a similar model train layout in O scale.

The turning radius’ in HO scale will be tighter, the structures will be smaller, the detail will be less important and it is easier to hide mistakes in a smaller scale like HO scale.

It can be very hard to create a realistic looking layout in a large scale.

HO scale has become very popular because it is a “middle-of-the-road” scale and easier to make look realistic.

A HO scale continuous loop model railroad will need a 3 feet 6 inch x 4 foot table, while a HO scale switching model railroad can be created on a 4 x 1 foot table.

A model train layout space of 6 feet x 4 feet would be enough to have an interesting HO scale layout with a continuous loop.

If you don’t have that much room available, then you should consider a N scale layout which can be built in less than 1/3 of the area required by a similar HO scale model train layout. .

2. Which Scale Do You Prefer Working With?

It can get very frustrating trying to work with a locomotive or car that you struggle to hold, or struggle to see the small fiddly pieces.

A big magnifying glass, bright lighting and tools to work with your trains can solve many of these problems, but often it’s easier to just model a bigger scale.

This hobby should be fun, so there is no need for frustration searching for the lost magnifier or your glasses…

Children will also find it easier operating and manipulating the bigger scales, from HO scale upwards.

Bigger scale rolling stock tends to be heavier and less likely to derail.

3. What Accessories Are Available For The Scale You Are Considering?

At this stage HO scale is the most popular model railroad scale. Because of this the manufacturers have responded and are constantly creating a huge amount of accessories and rolling stock for HO scale.

The popularity has come from HO scale being just the right size for most people to appreciate the detail, the amazingly good running performance and the price.

Check with your local hobby shop to see which scale they have the most accessories for. It is often easier to buy from your local hobby shop initially… or at least until you know exactly what you want.

What are your thoughts? Click here to comment.

The Largest Model Railroad?Click the image to play the video… Turn up your speakers

What are your thoughts on the largest model railroad?

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The Best G-Scale Layout?

Click the image to play the video… Turn up your speakers

What are your thoughts on the best g-scale layout?

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The Latest Model Train Community Conversations…

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Using Homasote for Your Layout Base – Most of us in the US probably know this but there are always new people that only hear part of the story. Homasote is a material that is often recommended for use as a base board for a layout. It is a fiber type material pressed in a rigid form in 4′ X 8′ sheets. It is more flexable than plywood and also lighter. But it does have its down side, highly subject to absorbing moisture… read more


Run a Shelf Around the Room – some must haves for shelf type layouts are to install track rerailers after every turn. This helps to rerail the rolling stock which tend to derail on curves. Install a flexi glass or wire rail guard. A derailed train smashing on the floor can be very expensive. Use a track cleaning car more often. High level tracks tend to get dustier and rust quicker. Paint your baseboard black. This will highlight everything on the black baseboard…. read more

Choice of Correct Analogue Equipment – I recently visited a well known dealer in the Bedfordshire area of UK, and explained that I need a basic control system i.e. a Transformer and a Controller. I was advised to purchase an LGB Transformer Model 50110, ( I will be running an “Aristocraft Mallet G scale loco & rolling stock ), and a Controller ( again, a Lehmann product, ) made in the form of a building, with the control dial inside it…. read more

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Complete Model Railroader How To System“Would You Like To Learn All The “Closely Guarded”

Model Train Tips, Tricks And Secrets… To Finally

Create The Model Train Layout of Your Dreams?”


>> Discover how to quickly and easily get started with your dream model train layout…

>> Discover how to avoid the common beginner mistakes and what to look for…

>> Discover how to plan to save time, money and frustration.

>> Discover how to create a realistic, but functional layout…

>> Discover how to quickly and easily repair minor problems yourself…

Click Here To Find Out More…

7 Costly Model Train MistakesHi, my name is Dan Morgan, and I am about to reveal the top 7 model train mistakes almost all beginners make.

I surveyed more than 5,000 readers and was astounded to hear how some of these mistakes had cost the beginners hundreds of dollars and hours of wasted time.

Here they are…

Mistake # 1 – Too much eagerness and too little patience

Mistake # 2 – Trying to grow a model train starter set into your dream model train layout

Mistake # 3 – Confusing scale and gauge

Mistake # 4 – Choosing the wrong scale

Mistake # 5 – Steep gradients and tight curves

Mistake # 6 – Going too big too quickly

Mistake # 7 – Electrically underrating your layout

I had no idea so many people made these mistakes and how much wasted money and time was involved.

So, to avoid this happening to you I have written a downloadable report which goes into great detail.

Click here to get your free copy of my special report “7 model train mistakes that almost every beginner makes and how to avoid them!”

Model railroading has been branded as an expensive hobby and now I see why.

These mistakes are the main reason and by me providing this free report to you, my hope is that you can avoid them.

I would love to hear your thoughts… Click here to comment.

Photos Submitted by Subscribers 

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model train layout John Kitchen’s model train layout.Click here to view the full gallery.
Perth Model Railroad Expo Perth, Australia Model Railroad Expo.Click here to view the full gallery.
model railroad with great detail Mr. Jan Nielsen’s model railroad.Click here to view the full gallery.
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