The Model Railroad Business

It’s exciting to think about developing your own empire right in your own home, it is an artistic, working and operating masterpiece that you created. You can ask your friends or family to help you, or you can create the whole thing on your own and then invite them in for an operating session.

The following are steps of building a model railroad

1. Design

The layout of your track is very important and there are a few things you need to consider before you start purchasing items and building:

· Gauge: Gauge is the distance between rails. Includes z (smallest), N, HO, OO or G (largest).

· Track: There are many things to consider when laying a track from the initial design route to the construction of tunnels and inclines. You can also choose layouts that are possible to make with special wiring.

· Length of train or carriage: The length and type of the carriages should be considered so that the station or sidings are long enough to fit them.

· Station: If you are planning to have a large station you may want to position it on the board at the same time that you start positioning the track. You may need to make room for it at the edge of the base board or take out a siding to make room for it or make a garden railway

· Points: These should be placed along the sides or at the front of the board. Use point motors if they are placed at the back.

· Number of running trains: use all the three standard radius to make ovals if you want to run as many trains as you can at the same time.

Roads: Position a road crossing as it is a space which is usually wasted.

2. Build your basements

With design made you should know what type of board you will be construction along with its ruff dimensions. Design a support frame your base material will be on and make sure you don’t scrimp on stability.

3. Choose your ballast

This needs to be done before you can start laying the track. Also the method used needs to fit with both the functional needs of the layout as well as the visual aspects. There are several ways of fixing ballast around the track. Cover the baseboard with foam to get a dampening effect and since it is easier and quicker. Draw out the track plan on the foam and be careful around curves and switches. Use aggregate in between and around the track to make a more realistic ballast bed.

4. Laying the track

Drill holes for track power cables, signals and for point motors before fixing the track down. This process involves nailing of track to the board with track pins. Put together a full oval of track before you start to pin it down adjustments can be made without unpinning the track. Do not pin every hole as it is unnecessary and time consuming.

5. Signals and point motors

Power source

If you decide to use point motors or to have operating signals you will need an independent power source to operate them. Most of the design equipments you will buy will have a built in accessory power supply outlet of 16 volts.

Point motors

Point motors have a built in switch that allows one switch to control both point motor and signal or anything else you would like it to control.


The two types of signals, the light and the arm signal, need to be placed appropriately the light signals need a power source and the arm signals need to be within arm length as they are operated manually. Decide where you need them the most and only place them there.

6. Testing

Test your railroad once you’ve installed track and the electronics. Everything needs to work reliably. Fix any problems at this stage when the adjustments will be hidden from view. It is also a good time to see if the layout you decided on lives up to your expectations

7. Scenery

Once all track and all the electronics are working well, it’s time to decorate it. This part of modelling either fills a modeler with excitement or dread. No matter what your craft skills are, you should be able to produce a nice looking layout, whether building from scratch or from buying ready-made.

8. Enjoy and expand

When your scenery is finished its time to sit back and enjoy running your trains. Clean your track regularly to ensure that the trains run well. You can continue building by adding an add-on or building a set of sidings so that you can’t get tired taking the trains on and off.

Model railroading is the most versatile hobby in the world. It incorporates multiple disciplines including history, electrical wiring and circuitry, civil and mechanical engineering, carpentry, sound and lightning, digital command control, various kinds of artistry, painting, airbrushing, and using multiple types of material to create structures, terrain and scenery.

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