Model trains are a hobby that fascinates enthusiasts and attracts admirers from all over the world. When taking up this exciting hobby, some thought should go into what type of model railway you wish to build as model trains for beginners can be overwhelming if you just dive in. This creative past time is the perfect way to display skill, imagination, and capture the wonderful essence of historical railways and trains with nostalgic memories of the past.
Whatever your vision is, spend some time planning your model railway and join a local enthusiasts club where you will find plenty of helpful tips and hints to get you started. Many small model railway projects start small and expand into complex systems capable of operating several trains at once in all kinds of different terrain. The tips in this article will help you plan and think about how to commence your own model railway.
Theme and Era
Are you looking for the days of luxury trains like The Flying Scotsman or Orient Express, or looking to the great Trans continental railways like the Trans Siberian Express or the Indian Pacific, which ran on the world’s longest straight stretch of track across Australia? You need to decide on the year, the country and the rolling stock and trains you require. This is a very exciting task, and your project will evolve from these ideas.
Model trains for beginners should not be over ambitious and should allow enough space to show off the layout without overwhelming the room for a first time model. You can always expand or start a new project that is wall to wall. All model railways are a labour of love, and it is best to start small because of all the detail involved.
If you have a small display space, then a smaller scale model railway will work better although more impact is needed from the scenery and setting. Larger scale models are easier to work with, but are more expensive.
Plan of the Track
Your track design has several options, and it is best to draw some different configurations on graph paper. Once you are satisfied with the layout of your track, you can use your sketch to build it into your setting.
Which Track Type to Use
There are many different brands of track on the market with varying rail sizes, roadbed attached track pieces and track only. Custom curves can be made from a flex track product. Review and try different types to see what suits you.
Display Table or Bench
Before deciding on the size of display area for your model railway, you can do a dummy run with your track on the floor. This will give you an idea of overall size required. Estimate how much extra will be needed for scenery and extras. This will give you the size of board, bench, or table for your display.
Electronics and Wiring
The operation of your model railway can be very sophisticated with digital command control (DCC) that enables you to operate two or three trains at once. Locomotives are electronic, but many other components and accessories are also electronic which will give you an authentic replica of a real railway with lights, switching of tracks, steam and smoke, whistles and other sounds. You can even buy tiny video cameras to record your train’s journey around your personal layout, which is great fun to watch.
Starting a model railroad can turn into a life long experience with something new and different to be added every day as your imagination updates your vision. Model trains for beginners are a rewarding and interesting hobby that not only gives satisfaction to the modeller, but also to people who see it. Just remember to plan carefully for a layout you will have for life.