• Building Manual Turnout Controls

    Turnouts are essential mechanisms for a functional model railroad. Also referred to as points or switches, turnouts are responsible for guiding your trains onto another set of tracks than the main line. They are available in a range of sizes and configurations. Apart from the structure, the means of operating a turnout also varies, dependent…

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  • Techniques for Your Layout: Building a Turn-out Mechanism

    Turnouts are an essential component of a well functioning model railroad. Also known as switches or points, turnouts help guide your trains to a different set of tracks, and they come in a variety of shapes, sizes and configurations. The way you control a turnout can also vary, depending on whether you want to turn…

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  • 23:06

    Model railroad products have come a long way in the past few decades, making it easier to create a wider range of landscapes, layouts and scenes. One component of model railroading that has evolved drastically is the track itself; whereas modelers once had only two options for trackage–scratch-built and sectional–we now have many types of…

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  • Handlaying track with CV tie strips

    Many model railroaders opt to build their own tracks from scratch for a number of reasons. Maybe the landscape in their layout doesn’t warrant the use of commercial kit tracks or they want to have total control over the shape, structure and appearance of their model train track. Whatever the reason might be, it’s a…

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  • 9:36

    When building tracks for your model train layout, modelers have a few opportunities to add turnouts and siding into their trackage. Generally, you can either construct all of the straightaways first and leave space to come back and retroactively install the turnouts, or you can build them into the trackage as you go along. In…

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  • Upgrading your turnout

    Just because a piece of track is outdated doesn’t mean it’s useless. Model train tracks have evolved greatly over the last few decades, and so have the standards that govern their scale and implementation. Therefore, certain trackage that once worked perfectly on a model railroad can now cause your engine to short circuit when too…

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  • 8:39

    While improvisation can often yield surprising results for a scene, your best bet for creating a successful model railroad layout is to plan ahead. This is certainly true for landscapes and buildings, but planning is especially important for trackage. The last thing you want as a modeler is to map out all of your scenery…

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  • Making Track Templates for Curves/Laying Out Track With a Template

    Building a model railroad track from scratch can present some interesting challenges, especially when it comes to navigating tricky landscapes and wide curves. For curved regions of a layout, in particular, experienced modelers know the benefits of using model railroad track templates to take the unnecessary steps out of drawing the path of their tracks.…

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  • Considerations When Planning your Layout: Handlaying Turnouts and Crossings

    If you have limited space with which to plan your model train layout design, there’s no need to panic, you can still create an impressive scene that appears to cover more ground than it actually does. All it takes to make a railroad scene seem larger is to maximize your space with some creative model…

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