Model Train Beginners Need This…

Model of the CSXT4346.

Model train beginners need clarity!

Why do model railroaders need clarity?

Because the model train opportunities are endless!

You can build a layout in your basement, attic, shed, garage or garden.

You can run steam or diesel locomotives.

You can have multilevel railways with rivers, dams, mountains, snow… You get the idea!

The opportunities are truly endless in this wonderful hobby.

Some points to consider are:

Where are you going to build your layout?

In my case it’s “Where will my Wife let me?” 🙂

I find that I prefer being in the shed where I am out of the way and can enjoy lots of “me” time. I have a friend who has a large model train layout in his front lounge area.

How much space have you got available?

The entire layout needs to be easily reachable by the operator to correct derailed trains, line faults, etc. “Against the wall” layouts need to be restricted to 3 feet wide.

A layout size of at least 3 feet 6 inches x 4 feet would allow space for a continuous loop railroad in HO scale.

A layout space of at least 6 x 4 feet would be a better option. This would allow room to have a reasonably interesting model railroad.

Which scale are you going to use?

This is largely dependent on the space you have available and how much detail you want. Detail is easier to see and reproduce on larger models.

HO scale is the most common and has the widest variety of accessories available. But if space is at a premium then consider N scale.

You can build an N scale layout in an area about 30% of that area needed to build a similar layout in HO scale.

Will you model a real life layout or create your own?

Most model train enthusiasts will eventually create models of real life systems. It can be challenging to model real life systems, but is very rewarding.

Google Earth provides us with the perfect tool to check layouts, sizes, scenery, buildings and more. Being clear on what you want will make your life so much easier.

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Dan Morgan

Dan Morgan fell in love with model trains at the age of six when he visited an NMRA Convention in Seattle with his father. Forty two years later, his passion remains just as strong. After achieving a successful career in architecture, Dan’s particular interest is within layouts and buildings. With a wealth of knowledge on the subject, Dan loves nothing more than sharing this with others and is delighted in the forum of members who are brought together over the hobby they have in common. Dan lives with his wife Helen in Washington. As a professional painter, Helen has learnt through Dan about Model Trains and they now enjoy working on projects together. The only member of the family who isn’t allowed to join in is their over-enthusiastic Labrador called William who has been strictly banned from the workshop! You can find Dan on Google here!
About The Author

Dan Morgan

Dan Morgan fell in love with model trains at the age of six when he visited an NMRA Convention in Seattle with his father. Forty two years later, his passion remains just as strong. After achieving a successful career in architecture, Dan’s particular interest is within layouts and buildings. With a wealth of knowledge on the subject, Dan loves nothing more than sharing this with others and is delighted in the forum of members who are brought together over the hobby they have in common.
Dan lives with his wife Helen in Washington. As a professional painter, Helen has learnt through Dan about Model Trains and they now enjoy working on projects together. The only member of the family who isn’t allowed to join in is their over-enthusiastic Labrador called William who has been strictly banned from the workshop! You can find Dan on Google here!