Building model railroads is a fun and versatile hobby.
It involves many areas of study including history, civil and mechanic engineering, carpentry, electrical wiring and circuitry, art, etc.
The model train hobbyist who has a love for model railroading has no choice but to become a jack of all trades.
If you are a beginner, you should understand the basics to build a model railroad which include the theme, scale and display – all essential to the planning and design aspect.
Model Railway Theme
The very first thing to do is to decide on a theme to build a model railroad. You should consider what the purpose is, the setting, the type of model trains and equipment you plan on running and the type of service your model will provide.
Consider where you want your trains to be heading and coming from and for what reason.
- Are they passenger carriers?
- Will they be hauling timber or other goods?
- Where will they be going?
- Towns or local ports?
- Also, what era are you representing and where?
You can either be general or particular about the era. You can select the era based on the type of trains you prefer.
Steam engines represent the time period 1945 to 1955. This is a popular era because the steam locomotives of this time have a distinctive sound and imitation steam which people tend to enjoy.
These are all important considerations which will help you to design and build your layout.
Model Train Scale
The scale is the next aspect to think about. It is dependent on:
- The amount of space you have to dedicate to your model,
- The amount of money you can put into the hobby,
- Whether you would like to focus on the trains themselves or the scenery,
- Whether you are willing and able to handle small engines on small tracks and
- If you like long running trains or shorter ones.
Model Railway Displays
The display is how you choose to present and use the trains. Your options include a large wall-to-wall empire or a little switching layout on a shelf and anything in between.
Another important factor is, if you are building a model railroad for your own use, will you have other people operating your model trains when it’s finished.
You may want your model railway to become part of a bigger club layout, or you may want to build a small railway scene to sell. Space, time and being able to finance it will also be factors.
As you can tell, there are many deciding factors when building a model railroad. Once you make your decisions, you will be able to move on.
However, you shouldn’t let making these decisions keep you back from actually getting started on building your model railroad.
After making the decisions related to location, era, scale and how to display your model, the next step is to visit your local hobby shop to select your starter train set. You can expand your set into a realistic track plan, build benchwork for it and complete it with scenery, mountains lights for your buildings and passenger cars.
Have fun and enjoy building your model railroad.
Want more information on how to build a model railroad? 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 dream model railroad and achieve this within the time, space and budget you have available. More at www.modeltrainsforbeginners.com/go