Building Model Railroads Can Change Your Life!


If you’ve arrived at a point in your life where you’ve decided that something more needs to be added, in addition to family and work, building your own model railroad would be an excellent choice. The popularity of model trains and model railroading in the United States alone is amazing.

Each and every month more than three million searches are done by people trying to find information, or answers to their questions about this hobby. An even more interesting fact is that age doesn’t seem to be a restrictive factor. Both young and old are engaging in the creative hobby of building model railroads. What could be more rewarding than creating something that is intricate, complex, artistic, and an authentic representation of a an extremely important time in American history?

If your decision is to become involved in building a model railroad, there are a few things that must be considered first. Obviously, budget is an issue, and if your just beginning this hobby there isn’t any great need to become extravagant in your spending. There are a number of alternate ways to begin putting your railroad together, and plenty of good options for reducing your initial start up costs.

The following is a list of suggestions for reducing your initial start up expense:

1. Discounts on purchases can be found on internet auction sites where reputable vendors sell their products at reasonable prices and their quality is reliable. Ebay is a well known site of this type.

2. Estate sales can be an excellent source for vintage railroad supplies and train sets. Keep an eye out for announcements in your local paper or hobby shops.

3. Place an ad in your local newspaper, or better yet place a free ad on Craigslist.

4. Another solution to reducing costs is to build your railroad completely from scratch. At the very least, if you take this approach, your going to learn a great deal and develop new skillsets. Isn’t that what a hobby is all about in the first place?

If you’ve dealt with the issue of budget and can set that aside, there are a few other important decisions that have to be made as well.

Designing and constructing your benchwork for your layout is an important first step when building your model railroad. This should be followed by the layout itself, and with that deciding how your going to place your track layout would follow next. Will it be a figure eight, circular pattern, or are you going to decide on multiple tracks?

After you’ve extensively planned this aspect of your model railroad out, you can now decide on what type of scale you want your model trains to be, the type of software your going to use, and finally and this is what will create the final artistic touches for your layout, what type of scenery your going to use and how your going to place it.

Fortunately there are plenty of free resources that are available for you to use. Information can be found in forums, public libraries, through online hobbyist who offer free reports, and finally you can purchase books through your local model shops, Amazon, and Ebay. You will also benefit your knowledge immensely by attending model train shows when they appear in your town or city.

One thing you can be certain of when entering the world of model railroading as a hobby, is that you will never feel that the time you’ve invested was wasted. The satisfaction and reward, that comes from building something from scratch, and that you can share with friends, family, and possibly grandchildren is immeasurable!