Model Railroad Basics
Below are some of the very basics of Model Railroad/Railway. In so many of the following areas there is more information available, so we have just touched on the basics, to give you an idea on how to start up. Please feel free to pop in and see us, flick an email or call, we will try and help you out as best as we can.
CHOOSING A RAILROAD
Some Model Railroaders like to pick a specific railroad and stick to just that type, while others choose to have many different Railroads running.
It could be a British Railroad, a modern day American railroad like BNSF, Union Pacific or Canadian National or it could be a Fallen Flag, a railroad that has been taken over by a larger company.
AREA OF YOUR LAYOUT
A model railroad can take as much or as little space as you want. Whether you build a module or buy a free-mo kit set which can easily be transported to a club or event. Maybe you want something permanent and devote an entire garage or room to your model railroad hobby, then you need to decide how much space is needed for your hobby.
SELECTING A SCALE
A model trains scale, is its size compared to the size of a real train. Your choice of scale will have a big impact on the type of railroad you will be able to build in your space. (So scale refers to the model and gauge refers to the track)
G = 1:22.5 OO= 1:76.2 On30=1:48
S = 1:64 N = 1.160 US Fn3=1:20.3
O = 1:34 N = 1:148 UK Z = 1:220
WHAT IS A GAUGE?
The definition of gauge is the distance between the inside edge of the rails. Standard US Gauge is 4ft 8.5inch, where as narrow gauge refers to track which (again the space between the rails) is less than 4ft 8.5in.
Okay so you have selected your railroad, scale, and know how much space is available, now you can finally plan your layout! There are plenty of books/magazines available from Bay Hobby Supplies with layout plans and landscaping ideas, often enough your local model railroad clubs will have a selection, or you can design your own.
There are different types of track and sizes to suit your railroad. There is Integrated track made by Bachman called E-Z track, which is easier to put together, so can be suitable for a beginner or children.