Electric Car Drag Racing | Oregon Field Guide | OPB

The Pacific Northwest may not have much NASCAR, but it’s the home of NEDRA: The National Electric Drag Racing Association. Come out to the drag strip at the Portland International Raceway for some racing gone green – without a drop of gas. www.opb.org
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Guide To Model Train Set Wheels – Plastic Vs Metal

A model train set can have either plastic or metal wheels. Understanding model train wheel-set construction is important when considering which type of wheels is best for you.

A train wheel consists of a flange and a tread. The flange is the inside part of the wheel and is deeper (or longer) than the other. The tread is the flat portion that actually rides on the rail. (Real trains have the same type flange and tread manufacture.) Some wheels are mounted on an adjustable axle, which allows for some rotation of the wheels. In actuality, this two-part design of the wheel and axle is called the wheel-set. Some trains have plastic wheel-sets and some have metal wheel-sets, while still others use a combination of plastic and metal to create the wheel-set.

Plastic wheel-sets pick up an electrical charge because they are nonconductive, creating a static charge, much like static electricity in a house. This static electricity causes the wheel-sets to Since the plastic wheel-sets do not conduct electricity, there is the potential for less shorting out during your model trains operation.


Plastic wheels may become pitted due to wear and tear, causing eventual replacement of the wheels. Plastic wheels are typically quieter than metal wheels, so your train set can operate with little external sound. Usually plastic wheels can be easily cleaned by wiping them with a facial tissue.

Oiling plastic wheels is tricky in that too much oil causes the train to drag and demands more cleaning. Too little oil prevents the wheels from rolling smoothly.

The black plastic metal wheel sets may provide a more authentic look, as real train wheels are usually black.

Metal wheel-sets weigh a bit more than a plastic wheel-set, which can provide added stability to the model train set on its track, especially around curves and on grades. This means the train could sit more steadily on the track. Metal wheels could increase the train’s pulling capacity due to the added weight.

Metal wheel-sets provide a more realistic sounding clickety-clack that you would hear on a real train.

Metal wheel-sets provide a smoother operation, according to some National Model Railroad Association (NMRA) enthusiasts. A model train with metal wheels generally keeps the track cleaner and doesn’t require cleaning as often as plastic wheel-sets.

The silver color on metal wheel-sets provides a brightness that can help make your train set look new, even if it’s many years old.

If you are unsure of your preference between plastic and metal, you should experiment with both. Keep a log of noise, cleaning frequency, and derailments; all of these items can help you determine the best choice of wheel-sets for your individual train set. You may find that some train cars perform better with plastic wheel-sets and others with metal wheel-sets. The main goal is your overall enjoyment and ease of caring for your train set.

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Ho model train basic guide

HO Model Train

One train enthusiast might want a model train that runs through a garden outside.  Another train enthusiast might have extensive space for spreading out a large set of train tracks and someone else might have a smaller space but wants to fill it with a couple of different train tracks.  To fulfill all of these different needs, model train makers have made several different sizes of trains.  

The most popular size of the large scale trains is size O.  The scale for O is 1/48th.  Meaning it is one 48th the size of a regular sized train.  The gauge for O is 1 ¼ inches.  Many of these larger sized trains are used outdoors in gardens.  Of course this does not fill the needs of everyone in the train world.

The HO gauge is half the size of the larger O scale.  HO stands for “Half of O”.  The HO scale is 1/87.  HO trains use the standard size track gauge of 16.5mm.  HO scale is a popular size to use in layouts.  They are small enough to be able to use creative scenery with well-designed track plans in a reasonable amount of space.  But they are also large enough to be able to accommodate a great deal of detail in finer models.  They are also large enough for children to handle without the risk of small parts or tiny components being damaged.  With the HO scale being able to provide the balance between the detail of larger scales and the lower space requirements of smaller scales, it is a highly sought after railroad line by train hobbyists compared to other scales.


HO scale model trains first appeared in the UK during the 1930’s.  They were introduced as an alternative to OO scale.  But OO scale was already established in the UK and therefore HO scale had a hard time making any real commercial headway.  Luckily, the hobbyists of the United States high demand of a realistic based toy during the late 1950’s allowed the HO scale model trains to really take off throughout the 1960’s and continued right up to today.  More then two thirds of train lovers have ranked HO scale as their favorite train scale.  
Due to the popularity of the HO scale, a huge array of locomotives, sets, accessories and rolling stock are made by many different companies.  Train lovers can find a large array of HO scale train sets with ready-to-run trains and modular track, craftsman grade kits, supplies for building models from scratch, and even high detailed limited-edition locomotive models made of brass.  Hobbyists will even go to the lengths of seeking out not only local hobby shop supplies, but look to global suppliers and foreign manufacturers to find that exact piece to complete their layout.

So if you have dreams of seeing a vast landscape with rolling hills or a small town and all of the things you think the towns people of your landscape will enjoy, the HO scale model trains are for you.  Awe your friends with watching your magnificent locomotive chugging down the track, winding through the hills and through a tunnel.  The HO scale model trains can make all of your dreams come true.

Jonah V. Zennith is a model train enthusiast and expert writer. For more information on successful model train guides visit http://www.modeltrainpros.com

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The Definitive Lionel Trains Collectors Guide- Everything You Need to Know about Lionel Trains

There are few hobbies more exciting that the collection of Lionel Trains. Lionel trains have been a trademark of quality and perfection in the model train world for many years. Collectors from all over have been adding new pieces and parts to their ongoing collections and the number of requests for catalogs is always increasing. If you are a collector and are looking for the best complete guide of all Lionel model trains, repair parts, toy trains and anything else related to the Lionel train collection, there is one guide that you simply must have.

The definitive Lionel trains collectors guide is your one stop place for everything that you ever need to know about collecting the model trains. It covers everything from the trains to the parts and where you can look for repairs and special models of the trains. It showcases some of the most popular collections of Lionel trains including the HO model and the pre-war model trains.

You can find this guide online at www.lionelmanuals.com. This catalog includes over 2000 pages of rare and exciting collections of Lionel trains and has everything that you need to replace the parts on your current collections and find new trains and parts to start another collection. This helpful guide not only highlights all of the wonderful train sets and collector items; it also includes old vintage color catalogs from years ago of the trains. If you have always been looking for the one guide that will give you all of the information that you would ever need when it comes to collecting Lionel trains, you need to check out the web site and order your guide.

Whether you are new to the collecting of trains, or if you have been doing it for years, you will be amazed at the variety of collections and train sets that are included in this guide. Not only will you be able to look through all of the different train sets that are made and manufactured, you will also be able to find rare parts and replacements for your current collection that are hard to find anywhere else. No matter how many Lionel train sets you collect, or how many new trains you would like to get, this guide can help you find the perfect pieces to make your collection complete.

Lionel trains are a wonderful train set to collect, and the value of this guide is priceless to add to your collection. It has all of the information that you will ever need to know about the train sets.

Lionel Model Trains Repair Guides For Antique Prewar Old Lionel Toy Train. For more info visit www.lionelmanuals.com

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