Archive for May, 2011

Charles Ro Supply Co, “America’s Largest Train Store”: Model of an A-10 Warthog plane

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

Charles Ro Supply Co, “America’s Largest Train Store”: Model of an A-10 Warthog plane
model railroader
Image by Chris Devers
Charles Ro Supply Co, "America’s Largest Train Store". Pasting from Wikipedia:

Charles Ro Supply Company
USA Trains started out as part of Charles Ro Supply Company, the biggest train store, as well as America’s largest Lionel dealer. USA Trains is a family-run business, started by father and son Charles Ro senior and junior.

Charles Ro Supply Company was established in and it started out as a beauty shop business of 4 salons with sixty hairdressers but moved into the hobby business when Charles Ro, Sr. began selling used Lionel trains at one of the storefronts in Everett, Massachusetts. In 1972 Ro started purchasing directly from Lionel to sell them mail-order. By 1980, Ro had completed Lionel’s first million dollar order. Also at this time, the company moved to a new location in Malden, Massachusetts into an old supermarket building. [4]

Garden trains
In 1982, Lionel moved production to Mexico, not producing model trains for 9 months. To make up for this, Ro began selling German-made large-scale model trains that were suitable for outdoor use. Realizing their popularity, Ro began making his own large scale model trains under the name Charles Ro Manufacturing Company. In 1989, business was moved into a new building, it’s current location, in Malden, Massachusetts with 3 storeys and over 50,000 square feet of area. Until 1995, when manufactuuring was moved offshore, USA Trains were manufactured at this new location which also served as the store.


In 1998, the GP 7/9 locomotive won Model Railroader‘s Reader’s Choice Award
The Ultimate Series line introduced in 1999 won four Reader’s Choice Awards
In 2003 , USA Train’s Jle Hudson won the 2003 Reader’s Choice Award
USA Trains claims to have the world’s largest selection of G scale rolling stock

model train set

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

model train set

Image by yewenyi
SPB Day Trip V.

Model Railroad Scenery using Extruded Foam: Part 1

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

My Web Site: This is the first part of a multi- part tutorial of doing Model Railroad Scenery using extruded construction foam. This video contains an intro and discussion on the materials you will need to get started.

Adventurous Model Railway Plans

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

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Bachmann Whoville Special Grinch train set unboxing

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

The holiday season has come and what better describes it than trains! Today I am unboxing my new HO scale Bachmann Whoville Special train set. This set comes with an 8-wheel drive diesel locomotive, A coal hopper loaded with blue coal, a plug door box car, and a red Max the dog off-center caboose. It also comes with a circle of EZ track, a wall plug in power supply, a connection wire and a Bachmann speed controller. This set is perfect for setting up around the Christmas tree, which is what i am doing with it this year. Happy holidays!
Video Rating: 5 / 5

Quality Model Railroads – Complete 4 x 8 ft. HO Layout

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

Take a trip with the Santa Fe! This HO SCALE 4 x 8 foot Model Railroad empire was built from scratch with the highest quality materials available from the model hobby. COMPLETE with Train, Track, Scenery, Sound System and Digital Command Control! Relive the glory of early diesel engines on steel rails thundering down the line! Major Products to create this Layout include: NCE PowerCab DCC System, Kato HO Unitrack, Athearn Genesis Rolling stock, Woodland Scenics Scenery. Contact Me with for More Info on Layout Construction!

S Scale Model Trains – A Bit of History

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

The S scale is an interchangeable description of a model train size with the American Flyer brand name of model trains and railroads.  S scale model trains are a sixty fourth of the size of a real train, putting them between the HO and O sizes of train models.  S scale model trains are available in both AC and DC power types.  The S scale uses a two rail track instead of the classic three rail track which uses the middle rail to provide electricity.  There has been an S scale train renaissance in the past twenty years or so, and even people who are not normally interested in model trains are impressed by these exotic models.

The S scale model trains were given the letter S in 1943 by the Model Railroading Association.  The one sixty fourth size scale was specified to be exactly one half of the already available one thirty second size.  The scale system is used to let people know about the relation in size between the model train and the train it is based on.  

S scale model trains are sometimes referred to as S gauge trains because of the space between the rails on the track.  Before the S scale came about, all the trains used three rail track, while the S scale model trains use only two.  While newcomers to the model train world will use “S scale” and “S gauge” interchangeably, the main difference between the two is that “scale” is used in the states, while “gauge” is used in the United Kingdom.  Ironically, the National Association of S Gaugers is located in America, while the S Scale Model Railway Society can be found in the UK.  The S scale model trains were created almost simultaneously in the United States and the United Kingdom in the 1930s, and no one is really sure who to point to as the creators of the S scale trains.

The renaissance of S scale model trains began in the 1980s when American model trains started to appear with an S scale on the market again.  Newcomers and long time model train enthusiasts began buying out the stores of the S train models, causing companies to start mass producing the particular scale of model train.  Ever since they started to make a comeback in the early 1980s, more and more S scale trains are produced by American based model train companies.

Everything for your collection at S Scale Model Trains

Caroline Michaels’ blogs and articles focus on product reviews, news, and consumer education. In addition to authoring and publishing, Caroline is an Internet Marketing entrepreneur and business consultant.

S Scale Model Trains


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What’s the difference between scales on model trains?

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

Question by Desty_1: What’s the difference between scales on model trains?
What’s the difference between what’s called HO scale model trains and N scale model trains? Which is easier to find? Which is more popular?

My oldest son is almost at the age where we can start doing projects and I remember playing with model trains with my grandfather. He had a HUGE setup in his house, but I can’t remember any details about it.

Any help would be appreciated.


Best answer:

Answer by mariner31
Morning Shawn. The BASIC difference is that HO scale trains are larger (almost twice as large)… and easier to handle for YOUNG hands and OLD eyes !! HO is also the more popular and easier to obtain in most hobby stores.

HO scale (1:87) means that 1 foot on your railroad is 87 feet and N scale (1:160) is such that 1 foot = 160 feet. So an 8 foot long “layout” is 696 feet in HO scale and 1,280 feet in N scale

NOW, my personal opinion is that N-scale is better… you can fit a larger “world” into a smaller space, you can get buy with “lighter” construction materials, and there is a GROWING amount of equipment and material out there FOR the N-Scale modeller.

I have an N-scale layout in my bedroom… a 2 foot wide shelf that runs around the 10′ x 12′ room (with a “bridge” across my doorway). It’s built on 1/8″ plywood with 1″x3″ framing, and rests on standard shelving brackets.

With EITHER scale you choose… I STRONGLY suggest you stop at your local hobby-shop and buy several of the books by Kalmbach Publishing (Model Railroading magazine)… regarding basic railroading design, scenery and wiring, realistic operations, and trackwork. Here’s the link to Model Railroading magazine:

The BEST way to get a GOOD layout is to do HUNDREDS of drawings of your plans !! There is also some good software out there for planning… it’s easier and CHEAPER to correct mistakes in design and construction on PAPER or a computer screen !!

More than happy to provide further information, links, and contacts. GOOD LUCK !!

What do you think? Answer below!

Standard Guide to Athearn Model Trains

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

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Why Lionel Trains Continue to Grow

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

Despite Joshua Lion Cowen’s belief in the value of his Lionel toy trains and the success that it will eventually enjoy, he most certainly would not have imagined that the popularity of his products continue to be strong today, especially given the revival in model train collecting in recent years. Lionel model trains were a pioneer in the model train and railroad business, and gained a strong foothold in the industry due to its impeccable attention to detail and quality, partly because of the large group of skilled toy train craftsmen that Cowen employed for his business. This attention to detail spawned countless Lionel trains set which were incredibly realistic and provided fans with endless hours of fun and pure joy. The popularity at its height resulted in a high percentage of Americans that owned at least one set of these toys. They were also a top choice for gifts for every occasion, from Christmas to the New Year.

An amazing fact that is not commonly known about the creator of Lionel trains is that Joshua Lionel Cowen was not originally an American. He moved to the country and settled down with his family, before falling in love with trains as well. These large locomotives were growing in popularity as a mode of transport at that time, and Cowen decided to translate his love for them into model toys which could be enjoyed by people all over the world. He also wanted Lionel trains to be a source of inspiration and learning for locomotive fans worldwide, and knew that they would become popular and sell like hot cakes due to their importance in many countries as a source of transport and a strong economic factor. Within a few years of starting his toy train business, Lionel trains quickly became successful, evidently through his move to bigger offices and the growing number of employees to cope with rising demand and popularity.

The durability of toy trains and model railways has proven itself over the last few decades. When Lionel trains first came out, they were a huge hit and many were fascinated by the detail and quality afforded to each train set. Building and setting up a railroad set with live trains were also a sight to behold, and they still are today. Despite the advent of cars and subsequently, planes, trains were also a necessary mode of transport in many countries, especially in those where financially it was more affordable to use these to transport various products within the country or across neighboring countries. Till today, trains can sometimes be more cost effective than using airborne transport, even if the cost of fuel for locomotives has risen considerably due to its increasing scarcity. With trains having an enduring presence even in the modern world, it is hard to imagine a dwindling interest in model Lionel trains.

While it is more difficult to get hold of a Lionel train model set nowadays due to decreasing production and the fact that other toy train producers are coming out with cheaper alternatives, there are still plenty of options for model train set collectors and aficionados. The Internet is definitely an option, with many fans and collectors going online to trade in their favorite sets and models, especially with Lionel prewar trains. If you look hard enough, there are bound to be bargains and a few gems to be found, with collectors all over the world. In fact, with a more specialized production of the train sets, Lionel trains have increased in value, especially for older vintage models which have become increasingly difficult to locate. There are many individuals who have grown rich as a result of their hobby and love for collecting toy trains, and Lionel trains are often a major factor in their success.

Greg Howard is a collector of Lionel trains set and often provides insights on making your Lionel trains purchase. For more info on Lionel model train sets, please visit Greg’s site.

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