Model Train Layouts – Where Do You Start?

model train

Model train layouts are not for everyone. It is a great hobby, but as with most things it requires work and it’s not for the person with no patience or dedication.

Some people prefer the simple train layouts, but the fun begins when you take the time to plan each and every small detail of your model railway.

The planning and designing stage is what tends to let most beginners down.

Beginners tend to buy an electric train set off the shelf of their local hobby shop, and then try and expand it into the model train layouts they have seen at a model railway show.

That can be a recipe for disaster. Planning is the most important step to having a model railroad that works well.

Imagination and vision play an important part in the planing of a model railroad. Do you want a city scene or heavy industry, a desert scene or thick forest, rivers or lakes? These are the decisions you need to make in the planning and design stage of your model railroad.

When you have the basic idea of your model railway layout, you then need to work out the terrain. Where will the hills be, how long will the tunnel be, do you need a bridge to cross the river and is there enough space to fit in the industry you are wanting.

These are some of the considerations, but others are how will access a derailed train or run your electrical cables.

Another consideration is to take into account how much this will cost.

Planning model train layouts can be limited by budget. However, you are not going to buy everything you need in one day. Model railroading is a hobby for life so you can spread the costs across many years.

>> Click here for One Hundred and One Track Plans for Model Railroaders

Want more information on model train layouts? Then check out the popular and 100% FREE Model Train Newsletter. This is compulsory reading for any model train beginner. It contains valuable information on the right way to build your model train table, build your dream model railway and achieve this within the time, space and budget you have available. More at http://www.buildmodelrailroad.com/

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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!

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Leave A Reply (2 comments So Far)


  1. Nevo
    3 years ago

    I have a very basic question. I am working in HO layout and the maximum diameter radius turn I can put in is 20”. I really like many of the 6 wheel locomotives. Will they work on my layout?


  2. Nevo
    3 years ago

    Will a 6 axle locomotive run on a 20″ radius curve layout?

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