Building a model train layout is actually a bit of an art. It involves planning, preparation, building, sculpting, painting and some wiring.
Most of these skills can be learned as you go and there is a huge amount of help online.
If you are building your model railroad layout based on a real location, photographs of the location are essential and will be a big help in your planning.
Most beginners build their own custom model railway layout. Usually, one that suits the space they have available.
You will need to start by designing your track plan using a template or custom software.
A quick search online for “model train layout software” will give you many different free and paid versions of software. Some of them are better than others and you tend to get what you pay for.
All of them will allow you to design your model railroad layout online, in the scale you prefer.
Most of these software programs will provide a parts list when you have finished creating your desired model train layout.
These parts list can then be used to request quotes from local hobby shops or online suppliers to purchase the track sections required.
Some of the better software programs are a full CAD system that offer some amazing features. Buildings and landscape can be added. You can experiment with ideas, find the compromises and check the operating characteristics until you create the model train layout that suits your requirements exactly.
Building a model train layout is great fun and these amazing software programs have just made the planning and designing stage so much easier.
Dan B Morgan is the editor of the popular and 100% FREE Model Train Layout Newsletter. This is compulsory reading for any model train beginner. It contains valuable information on the right way to build your model railroad and how to achieve this within the time, space and budget you have available.
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