RAILWAYS

Some people think that an adult is “playing with his toys” when he is using a model way.  For the hobbyist, this couldn’t be further from the truth about what is going on.  Many model railroad enthusiasts consider this a hobby where they can be truly creative and they might even consider many layouts a form of art.  The really serious hobbyists will even develop an itinerary and schedule for multiple trains within the layout and attempt to coordinate the entire scene to keep everything to the listed schedule.

Many model railway layouts have been carefully planned to convey a sense of the area where an old line once stood.  Structures typically have been kitbashed together to recreate specific buildings from certain towns for more realism.  Especially in a historic recreation, certain elements need to be built into any layout referring to them.  If the hobbyist does his research, the results can be spectacular and exciting to see.  

Some model railroad operators will create a fictional railroad to achieve a desired series of events.  Then the operator will develop a schedule for as many trains as he can control on the layout.  This gives the added benefit of making the operator constantly adjust the controls throughout the many zones within the track design.  These layouts are truly complex and take an active hand to keep everything on schedule and to prevent any accidents between different pieces of equipment on the line.  

The amount of detail that goes into a typical model railway display is truly an impressive sight to look over.  Each tree, bush, building and piece of track is hand laid and crafted to impart a level of realism that gives the viewer a sense of surveying a larger area from above.  The placement of every object needs to be thought out and worked into the complete picture.  If this is done correctly the landscaping of the layout can easily become the focal point of the whole scene placing the railroad line suddenly into the background.  The line then becomes a support item to add to the scenery, not the other way around.

Some enthusiasts have worked their chosen hobby into other areas.  Not only are there indoor railroad yards in many houses around the world, some have even taken their “play toys” to a new level where they create an outdoor scene with a working rail line weaving its way throughout a garden.  This gives a totally new look that could include more than just the hobbyist.  This is where their partner could help if they have a love of gardening and the whole effect, again, becomes much more than a model railroad.  If you have a chance to see one of these layouts, please visit.  The view will be amazing.

This hobby quickly becomes much more than a time to play.  The thought that often is placed into creating one of these scenes can become a bit obsessive, but there is much more going into one of these projects than play and the successful model train engineers should be applauded for their creations.  Visiting a display is often a unique experience, and if you return and see that it’s been changed don’t worry.  One of the best parts of this hobby is that there’s always something new to see and make.

Want to learn more about building a model railway? Go to http://www.topmodeltrains.com for model train tips and advice from beginner to expert level.

Find More Model Train Articles

Most of us start out with a ‘Train-set’ of one form or another. Indeed I can still vividly recall the joy of my first 00 layout on a single 8×4 base board hinged from my bedroom wall that my father kindly set up and mostly built for me.

Many hours were spent working on this layout and a huge amount of practical modelling experience was gained. As the years passed the ‘Train-set’ became less and less satisfying. Sure the detail increased, and more loco’s were purchased but it lacked, that undefinable ‘something’ that set Train-sets apart from Model railways. Personally I was dissatisfied with the look of 00 (4mm to the foot running on 16.5mm track some 2.33mm or over six scale inches to narrow), so I was left with the question what do I do next? I still wanted to continue with this wonderful hobby, what could I do?

(Now the following may or may not have really happened, so please bear with me…)

A family picnic in a field, nearby a stream gently burbles its way into a wood. The light is that unusual light that you never seem to have enough of these days, lovely warm light that imparts a warm creamy glow to everything. Bumble bee’s buzz gently about annoying the scientist by literally flying in the face of the laws of physics. Well fed, the family settle down for a bit of an after lunch snooze, but not the little boy, he is much more interested in exploring.

With his parents permission he sets off to explore the stream and follows it down to the woods. The woods are old, well established and mature, their thick canopies blocking most of the light making the wood cool and inviting. The boy walks deeper into the wood, following a path next to the stream. The path winds a fair way into the wood, and then disappears into a small tunnel mouth. Climbing up the embankment which the tunnel is cut into the boy comes across a fence blocking further exploration.

Why is this here? He thinks. The wire is in good condition, the fence posts are all upright. It can’t be a field boundary here in the woods what is it doing? Looking across to the other side the boy can see another fence, just a few feet away, possibly only the width of a minor road. Looking at the scrubby grassy ground the boy realizes there are train tracks there, like nothing he has ever seen before; they look so close together, how can anything run on that without falling off!? The track is almost buried in the grass so only the shiny tops of the rail, but, yes, he can make out a few sleepers lurking down in the herbage.

Looking first one way then the other nothing seems to be happening, the air is still and the sun shines down into this slice cut out of the woods. A little while later the unmistakable sound of a steam whistle can be heard, but from which direction? The boy stands up and peers both ways hoping for a glimpse of the train promised by the whistle. Nothing happens, the bee’s buzz and the sun shines. Then, can that be anything else? A definite ‘chuff’ of a steam loco. The boy strains his ears hoping for another clue, will anything ever appear? Again another ‘chuff’-it sounds closer, the boy leans on the fence desperate for a sight of that magical beast; a steam train. Another two follow, defiantly closer, then the whistle! His heart beats faster at the approach, still with nothing in sight he strains for a hint, some clue. Where is the train? Then he hears the thing he dreads most. His name being called, his parents want him back, time to go. What to do? What to do? The train… his parents… not a choice he wants to make. He hears his name again, louder, more urgent. Then a long whistle. His name is called now he knows to stay would be trouble. He turns away from the track and runs fast towards the voice calling his name. He almost runs straight into his father and grabs his hand. Full of enthusiasm he tries to drag his father back towards the track, but his father is tired, the rest of them are in the car waiting. Then he too hears the ‘chuff’ of the train and he knows he can’t miss this! They both rush back to the fence.

Looking down they see clearly a plume of smoke heralding the arrival of the loco. The rails sing to announce the train as it crests a small rise finally bringing the loco into sight. And what a sight! It is like nothing else he has seen. Painted in a rich dark green, the loco makes steady progress towards them, the chimney seems much taller than normal, and the loco is much smaller. The bright red buffer beam with the number four painted boldly upon it seems mere inches from the top of the rail, and where are the buffers!? There is just one in the middle, how odd. Agog, the boy watches this little steam monster approach. The driver stands on the edge of the footplate looking ahead to see all is well, he sees the boy and his father and waves to them, a huge smile on his face, maybe he is remembering his own similar introduction to the narrow gauge. The train approaches them, the boy waving madly at the joy of it all. As the loco approaches the driver blows the whistle, just for them. Then the train is upon them rolling past the passengers waving to them as they pass. Finally the guard adds his cheery greeting as the train passes. The boy and his father watch the train recede into the distance. Then taking the boys hand they turn and walk back to the family. Both thinking how friendly the little loco seemed.

Narrow gauge modelling has a huge amount to recommend it. For one there is the possibility of having a model of every single item of rolling stock, I can think of several examples of lines which had between one and three loco’s three or four coaches and a few dozen wagons, including the world famous Talylyn Railway and the Plynlimon and Hafan Tramway. Not only that but with selective compression you could model both ends of the line, so your trains could actually go from A-B for real!

Stacey Baker has been building model railways and models in general, for more years than he cares to remember, many of his models and articles about their construction can be found at http://www.wfvr.webs.com/

Railroading is the best way you can express your ideas and make your entire rail and train dreams see the light of day. It is very possible for you to make a complete system using stations, oil fields, farms, logging camps, signals, freight yards, joining and diverging as well as crossing lines that serve different cities and villages among others.

Making your model railway will give you the opportunity to be the signalman, the president, engineer and foreman as well as the dispatcher and track crew. Apart from creating your wonderful empire, you can also rule over the rivers, mountains, highways, houses and factories. This will feel like a great achievement, especially for those who have been holding onto their dreams wishing there was a way they could make them become a reality.

When starting with your creation, do not compare it with the beautiful perfect ones you saw in magazines, stores or even pictures. Instead, you should try to come up with as many unique ideas as possible to make your creation stand out and be impressive. Actually, the main joy of most hobbies is the building process and not necessarily completing it or running it, although achieving all these is quite something.

Get all the accessories you need and make your model railway as perfect as you want it to be. Space should not limit you in making it as big as you feel fit or as small as you want it to be. It helps a great deal to have a layout before embarking on creating the railway. This way, you will manage to get all the required accessories and know exactly what is going where. It is also possible to make changes and improvements on your model as you continue.

When creating your railway model, remember to bring in beautiful mountains, hills and even cities and villages. Differing landscapes will give some beautiful contrast to your model, making it a pleasure for the eyes. You should try to make the scenes and setting as interesting and realistic as possible.

Railway models depicting a particular time in history or modern times are the best. It is therefore important to ensure that all accessories go with the time you are targeting. There are people who would rather go for ancient times of the railway industry while others prefer modern ones.

CustomTrainLayouts, a professional model railroad layouts, brings to you a complete O-gauge model railway layouts platform, with some features you can select. Our platforms are great for kids and adults alike. They fit in just fine at home or at the office.

More Model Train Articles

Categories

Join With Us