Track Tips

I have collected a number of model railroad track tips and techniques from various sources and am sharing them here. Do you have track tips or techniques you would like to share with Model Train Tips readers? You can send them in using the form on the Contact page.

Is it Wrong to Mix Types of Track on Your Model Railroad Layout?

Here’s a question from a recent Model Train Tips subscriber: Is it wrong to mix copper plated and steel tracks in a layout? The first thing I thought to myself was, “I don’t believe they make copper plated track.” Well, since I’m still learning, I figured I’d better check this first. I opened up my copy of Model Train Help by Robert Anderson and turned to the section titled What Are Tracks Made Of? Re-reading this section confirmed that model railroad track available today is made of brass, zinc-coated steel, nickel silver and steel. Based on this, I’m guessing the “copper plated” … [Read more...]

Boulders and Gravel for Your Model Train Layout

Josh sent in this tip for using common rocks to model boulders for your model train scenery: If you want to add boulders to your HO, N, O scale train set, go out to your yard or a street and find regular rocks and shave the bottoms flat and glue them to your layout. This way you can use the shavings for gravel and this process is one hundred percent free. How have you used rocks or similar material on your model train layout? Share your technique in the comments area below. Do you have a tip or technique you’d like to share with Model Train Tips readers? Use the contact form on the … [Read more...]

Model Railroad Layout Design – Some Basics

By Dave Staples For most model railroad enthusiasts, designing and building a model railroad layout is a wonderful part of the hobby. If you like letting your imagination fly, designing your own model railroad layout can be one of the most fun activities you'll ever do. Some layouts just "wow" you when you see their size and scope, such as multiple tracks and trains, or handmade scenery and environments. You know a lot of love and labor went into it. But a good layout doesn't necessarily have to be complicated, especially if you're just starting out. With a mixture of a little … [Read more...]

Model Train Tips To Help Keep Your Dream Railway Right On Track

By Timothy McCarthy If you search online you will be able to find all kinds of different hints and model train tips, from how to choose the right model train scale, to how to create realistic looking model train scenery. In this article I am going to bring some of the lesser known tips to your attention though. Now, in the introduction I mentioned model train scale and by typing those words into any search engine it's relatively simple to find tips as to how to determine model train scale and what the difference is between scale and model train gauges. However, do you know what … [Read more...]

8 Steps to Curing Model Railroad Derailments

By John Branden  It took me a long time to figure out the best way to stop derailment issues on my layouts. Because I use N gauge trains and track which is quite small and tricky the problem may be exaggerated but these rules apply to all gauges. I would fix one section of the track one day and the very next day I would get a derailment on a different section. This is frustrating because it make you nervous about the rest of the layout. When trains run smoothly on the rails you feel really good about the layout. When a model train derails it can be a nightmare but it is actually … [Read more...]