Five Basic Steps For Building Model Railroads

Selecting the hobby of building model railroads is one of the better choices that anyone can make for use of their time. Make no mistake about it, this is not a hobby that is only for the retired with plenty of time on their hands. In fact, model railroading has risen over the years to such a high level of popularity, that people from all walks of life, gender and age, have and are committing themselves to this amazing hobby.

Not only does this hobby provide it’s participants with an outlet to demonstrate their creative talents, it can potentially let you immerse yourself in a past era, rich with historical fact. Model railroading is a hobby that can also bring families together, with each member sharing in the planning and building of their model railroad layouts. With all of the various aspects involved in becoming a model railroader, time becomes something that most enthusiast tend to lose track of while working with this unique hobby, and considering all of the difficult challenges that we face in our day to day life, the therapeutic value this hobby offers is indispensable.


In starting out with model railroading, it is best as it is with any new venture to outline what it’s basic requirements are, and the following steps should help you:

1. The first and most important issue to consider the finances you have available to commit to this venture. Model railroading is not without it’s expense, and can become rather pricey. The good news is that you can begin very modestly and at any level, and gradually add to your train collection and layout as you can afford to.

2. After determining what your initial start up costs will be, the next step is to decide on what scale and gauge you’d like to use. If your new to building model railroads, the question of scale and gauge can be made a little easier by simply knowing exactly what these two terms mean.

Scale: The easiest way to describe scale is the comparable difference in size of the model train in relationship to the corresponding full size prototype. For example, the HO model train is 1/60th the size of it’s real life counterpart.

Gauge: Simply put, gauge is the distance or measurement between the two outside rails of track when referring to model trains. The measurement is taken from the center of the two outside rails when dealing with toy model trains.

3. The next step in the process is to actually choose which model scale train you’ll be adding to your railroad, and you have several to choose from. Your choice will involve the consideration of a number of factors, most of which are related to budget and the amount of space you have available for your layout.

4. Now it’s time to decide on the theme of your railroad, and this will require a little research. You may want to build a contemporary setting or you may decide to reach back in time and choose a historically rich era in railroading.

5. With all of the previously described choices made, the next step is to begin building your model railroad, and this will include constructing your bench work, dealing with all of the electrical aspects related to running your railroad, and finally the creation of your scenery.

Elliot Davenport is a model train enthusiast who is dedicated to helping others learn about this amazing hobby. If you would like more information about building model railroads you can visit his website at:

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