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BYMRR Newsletter:

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  • Jul 24, MRC Model Railroad Digital Command Control System

    MRC Digital Control System with the $78 price tag for my purchase. Will take $40. Email: ray.hatch@ymail.com Text: (713) 884-5248

  • Jul 24, Bachmann Model Railroad Command Control System

    The system is pictured in the attached photos. The box is still wrapped in its original cellophane with the $92 purchase receipt attached. Will take $45.

  • Jul 7, Tinplate Model Railroad Books 5 piece set

    FREE preview sampler, in PDF format for easy reading on pad or computer, can be delivered by internet. Send request and email address to cindersam37@gmail.com.

  • Jul 3, Using Servos on Your Train Layout

    How to use servos for automation on your train layout

  • Jul 1, Model Railroading Questions and Answers

    Answers to questions about model railroading submitted by our readers

  • Jul 1, Tracks: July-Aug 2021

    Now a bimonthly newsletter for all those who enjoy the art and craft of model railroading with new tips, techniques and videos

  • Jun 26, Model Railroading Video Solutions

    A lot of us model railroaders have been trying to create videos of our layouts from the engineer's cab perspective using small security mini-cameras that are difficult to mount onto our locomotives and are very non-prototypical in appearance. So I was excited to discover a new tiny, micro-sized WiFi camera that has been made specifically for us model railroaders with the following features: ~ This camera can fit right in the cab of the locomotive (HO scale or larger), or inside boxcars, or it can operate as a flatcar load. It can be also be hidden inside buildings or in scenery anywhere on your layout. ~ The camera can be powered either from DCC track power or from an onboard backup battery. ~ It can stream live video directly to your web browser or mobile device. ~ You can stream real-time video from your engine cab to remote viewers anywhere in the world with no more than a 1-second delay. ~ Run remote operating sessions. ~ Share layout videos and photos with family, friends, and other model railroaders. ~ Magnetic On/Off - Swipe a magnetic wand over the camera to turn it on or off. Click the link below to learn more...

  • Jun 17, Thunder and Lightning

    I live in Rawlings, VA and just found your website. I am looking for some information about incorporating lightning and thunderstorms in a background setting for an S gauge layout I am starting now. Any assistance would be appreciated. Carlton. <b>Ed.: Thanks for your question! An article in the next issue of <i>Tracks</i> should help answer your question about this and lots of other sound effects that you can use for your layout. Look for it on this blog on July 1, 2021.</b>

  • Jun 17, Comment on Switchbacks Article

    Thanks so much for providing the articles and information about switchbacks and zig zags used in earlier standard and narrow gauge railroads. It may be well worth your while and our fellow readers' interest to speak to the folks at the Great Northern Historical Society and learn more about the Great Northern Railway switchbacks between Skykomish, Washington and Wenatchee, Washington. The water stops and GNRR company towns on Windy mountain and Cowboy mountain at the time were; Skykomish, Scenic, Elba, Nippon, Alpine, Wellington and Cascade Tunnel Station. I think that is the full list of GN company towns on this part of the old route now, but I do not have my map in front of me-its still rolled up in a tube haha. The folks at the Skykomish historical society would be a great source of information too. The 100th anniversary of the Wellington Avalanche 1, march 2010 was commemorated by the descendants of the GN employees and passengers that were on the passenger train that was buried in the avalanche on 1, March 1910. I would like to forward more information to you if possible as quite a debate was created by a retired BNSF executive describing how the old route could still be used for rail traffic with reconstruction of the old route. This would would eliminate the issues of ventilation and tunnel flushing required in the new cascade tunnel since 1956 when the pantograph power for the electric locomotives was ripped out. This was a huge mistake by the Great Northern at the time as all they needed to do was upgrade to larger electric locomotives and sell the old Baldwin electrics to the Pennsylvania RR(which they did) The switches there were used between 1892 and 1929 during the coal and oil-fired steam era with GN company towns that were water stops and the coal stop and upper switching yard at Wellington, Washington The folks at the Skykomish, Washingtom Historical Society would also be a great source of information and help as well. Please keep up the great work you are doing. Leon Edward Zaharis

  • Jun 17, Question about Curved Viaduct Kits

    Question from Jeff:<br> I'm trying to create a portion of the Glenfinnan viaduct in my layout. I've seen the Faller Curved viaduct kit. Does anyone know if the roadbed that that comes with is detachable? Or does anyone know of another curved viaduct kit for sale, preferably one with smooth concrete instead of bricks? Send in your answer on the Comments Page and I will forward it to Jeff...

  • May 28, My HO train layout

    I built an HO train layout on a 6x6 foot section of thick plywood. My layout includes a working silver mine, a southwestern U.S.A.village, a wharf with

  • May 28, My HO train layout

    I used a 6x6 foot section of thick plywood for the base supported by two sawhorses. I bought a cheapo Bachmann train set and an oval track layout. The

  • May 9, Tracks: May 2021

    Tracks Newsletter with information, photos and videos for model railroaders of all ages and all scales

  • Apr 27, Essential Considerations in Designing a Custom Model Railroad

    Things to consider when designing a custom model railroad

  • Apr 7, Tracks: April 2021

    The April issue of Tracks is once again full of model railroading information, pictures and videos for all ages and all scales.

  • Apr 1, Caboose Diorama

    I built a diorama (16 x 12) of a pond and an abandoned caboose entering a tunnel. I touched up the caboose with streaks of gray and rust-colored paint

  • Apr 1, Cape Cod Harbor Diorama

    I built a diorama of a Cape Cod harbor with a sand dune,piers,buildings,and various sized boats(hand carved kayaks,row boats,motor boats,and a fishing

  • Apr 1, Caboose Diorama

    Abandoned Caboose diorama with a pond and people camping out on the pond.

  • Mar 10, help with finding brand of building kit

    Hi Just getting back into Model Railroading after a long break. Digging out my old stuff I found this Service Station Model brand new, still with plastic

  • Mar 6, Traffic Signals for Your Model Railroad Layout

    How to install traffic signals on your model railroad layout.

  • Mar 3, 3D Printing

    3D printing is a great way to create unique 3D models or parts for your miniature model railroad in any scale.

  • Mar 1, Tracks: March 2021

    This issue of Tracks is once again chock full of news, information, tips and videos all about model railroading and railfanning.

  • Feb 28, Wiring Railroad Signals

    Wiring railroad signals is a somewhat mysterious aspect of model railroading. A simple wiring method is described here for manual operation. References provided for automatic operation.

  • Feb 24, Maintenance of Way (MOW) Railroad Equipment

    MOW, or maintenance of way, equipment is an important part of any prototypical railroad, and can be incorporated into any model railroad layout to enhance realism and operations.

  • Feb 17, Trolley Layout

    Building a trolley layout is another facet of this wonderful hobby that can provide loads of enjoyment for the young and old alike. Here's how to get started.

  • Feb 8, Tracks Model Railroad Newsletter

    The February 2021 issue of Tracks contains a ton of useful information all about building and managing your model railroad.

  • Jan 26, Digitrax DS64 Stationary Decoders

    Two new Digitrax DS64 stationary decoders. I bought these about 5 years ago for a project that was delayed. Upon restarting the project I decided not to

  • Jan 26, Layout Surface: Plywood or Foam?

    Q: I am planning a 4X6ft. N scale RR. I plan to use a 4X6ft. piece of plywood. I want to nail the track to a cork sub roadbed. What advantage does foam have? Thanks. A: The main reason I like to use foam pads as a layout surface is that if you want to dig out a creek, a lake or a ravine, it is much easier to do that if the surface is foam rather than plywood. It’s also helpful if you want to put a magnet under your track to use for uncoupling. A third reason is that it is easier to manage wiring. You can run wires easily through the middle of a foam pad to the side of your layout where your turnout switches or control panel might be located, or to run wires for an new light fixture that you want to put in the middle of your layout. Fourth, you can more easily embed a structure into foam so that you don’t have the foundation of your structure hovering over the surface of the layout. It’s also easier to plant trees in foam than in plywood. Foam is quieter than plywood when running trains. I also think that nailing the track down to plywood doesn’t allow for expansion and/or contraction of the track as the temperature and humidity change throughout the different seasons. So after a few years, you might find your track buckling a little. You still need the plywood under the foam pad for a good, steady layout surface, but for all the reasons above, I like foam pads on the top.

  • Jan 16, Small N Scale Train Layout

    Step-by-step creation of a small N Scale model train layout - A great way to get started, or if you just want to take a break from the big layout.

  • Jan 12, Custom Train Hobby Table

    Custom Train Table Solid Wood 8x10' 2x3' (removable middle) In northern Cincinnati area, pick up only. $100 OBO

  • Jan 11, How to Get Locomotive Sound on a DC Analog Layout

    Question about How to Get Sound on DC Layouts: I have an analog layout... If I buy an N scale loco with onboard sound will the sound work on the track? Answer: The answer is YES, but not with a regular DC transformer. You will have to purchase a special DC transformer that has this capability. It is made by Model Rectifier Corp, called MRC Tech 6. It can operate DCC sound-decoder-equipped locomotives on analog track with all the usual DCC functions including the ability to change CVs and programming of the decoders. Here is a video explaining its capabilities. https://youtu.be/NW6ZAA02-Qc Another option would be to just switch over to DCC with a Digitrax Zephyr or NCE starter system. These can operate both DC (using “00” as the code) and DCC locomotives.

  • Jan 3, Tracks: January 2021

    Tracks - a model railroad newsletter with lots of great tips and tricks on how to build your own model railroad.

  • Dec 27, Tracks December 2020

    Tracks is a monthly newsletter containing short articles, videos, tips and techniques of interest to model railroaders of all ages and all scales.

  • Dec 13, Collector's Items

    We just received a large shipment of mostly brand new and mostly N scale items from a collector on consignment to sell. All the items are gradually being cataloged and added to the storefront. However, if you have any interest in obtaining any particular brand or road-name at markedly discounted prices, let us know and we'll send you some pictures and prices. bymrr@building-your-model-railroad.com

  • Nov 17, Need help on track

    I am just entering the world of N gauge and would like to start with a somewhat basic and small track setup. I have reviewed some scenes/layouts, but

  • Nov 17, San Diego Model Railroad Museum

    The San Diego Model Railroad Museum in sunny Southern California is not only home to award-winning layouts, but boasts an Online Gift Shop, full of apparel, mementos, and books for any train lover. Little ones will love sporting an engineer's cap, playing with a changeable trains-former, or reading classic stories like The Little Engine That Could. Grown-ups can sip their morning cup of Joe out of a Rosie the Riveter mug, show their love of the railroad with a fun t-shirt, or put some steam in their holiday baking with a locomotive cookie cutter! The best part? Every purchase you make directly supports the museum, helping to preserve the heritage and practice of model railroading for future generations! Visit https://www.sdmrm.org/shop to see the full selection and place your order. If you have any questions, contact giftshop@sdmrm.org. Happy Holidays! <img src="https://www.building-your-model-railroad.com/images/Engineer_hat.jpg"> <img src="https://www.building-your-model-railroad.com/images/jumpinghobocar.png"> <img src="https://www.building-your-model-railroad.com/images/LocomotiveCookieCutter.jpg"> <img src="https://www.building-your-model-railroad.com/images/Trainsformer2.jpg">

  • Nov 4, Tracks: November 2020

    Tracks: a model railroad newsletter with lots of information on modeling tips and techniques, article and product reviews, layout tours and other great videos.

  • Oct 25, Model Railroad Story

    Here is a nice little story about railfanning in the mountains from MRH... <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/fgY3mGTCHUM" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>

  • Oct 3, Tracks: October 2020

    Tracks: A model railroad newsletter bringing new tips, techniques and interesting information to model railroaders of all ages and all gauges.

  • Sep 24, Tips on Model Railroad Tracks

    Tips on types of model railroad track to use, layout design, and how to lay the track

  • Sep 17, Halloween!

    <img src="https://www.building-your-model-railroad.com/images/Halloween-rail-station.jpg" Halloween is coming up soon! I know for a lot of people, Halloween is really the most fun holiday of the year for kids of all ages - Model Railroaders included. This is the time to start thinking about creating your own Halloween diorama or train scene so it will be ready by All Saints Day! There are some great Halloween train sets, structures, and figures that would be perfect for a temporary Halloween scene that you could put up, take down and have again for next year and for years to come. These items would be good for a lifetime of Halloween fun and could even be passed down from one generation to another. Click on the link below to find out more...

  • Sep 2, Tracks: September 2020

    Another great issue of Tracks, the newsletter for model railroaders of all ages and all scales.

  • Aug 22, Tracks: August 2020

    A monthly model railroad newsletter that's full of tips, photos and videos to keep model railroaders inspired.

  • Aug 22, Realistic Scenery from Aluminum Flashing

    This is an article by Goeff Green published on this site in 2015 that I thought was worth mentioning again. This would be a great way to develop mountains, cliffs, tunnels and other structures quickly and with less mess than using plaster. You could use it as a rocky cliff, or it could provide a base to which you could add ground cover, bushes and other vegetation. If you are in the terrain or structure-building phase of developing your layout, take a look. Also, read the many comments that follow the article..

  • Jul 15, Scratchbuilding Your Model Railroad Structures

    Scratchbuilding Tips for creating your own model railroad buildings

  • Jul 13, Train Photos / Gallery

    Gallery of prototypical and/or model train photos and model railroad layout photos

  • Jul 8, Layout Command Control

    First there was DC-Analog. Then there was DCC. And now there's LCC, which may be the future of layout command control.

  • Jul 5, Ads Minimized

    You Spoke, We Listened! The ads were interfering with content. (We didn't like them either.) It actually took a while to figure out how to stop them, but persistence paid off. So now you can actually read the pages without ads all over the place! Thanks for visiting!

  • Jul 1, Tracks Issue #10 - July 2020

    Model Railroad News: Lots of information, updates, tips, techniques, layout videos, photos and supply links for serious model railroaders.

  • Jun 24, Model Railroad Craftsman Kit Structures

    Model Railroad Themed Craftsman Structure Kits: Ipswich Hobbies is a small company that focuses on delivering laser cut craftsman building kits that are based upon prototype structures. Kits are also available pre-built.

  • Jun 14, Model Railroading Product Reviews

    This page, Model Railroading Product Reviews, serves as a conduit for visitors to explore the pros and cons of tools and other products commonly used by model railroaders and other hobbyists.

  • Jun 12, Milling Machines - Honest Product Reviews

    I received an email recently from the Outreach Manager of The Saw Guy website who thought the many product reviews on his site might be helpful to our visitors. I agreed. In fact I liked it so much that I thought it would be helpful to others to create a new section on the BYMRR site specifically for model railroading product reviews, which you will see in the near future. In the meantime, check out the many reviews on The Saw Guy site starting with the page on milling machines...

  • Jun 10, Placing Buildings on Your Layout

    Placing buildings properly on your layout seems fairly simple, but if you think about it, where and how you put your structures on your layout have a lot to do with the esthetics and the realism of your model railroad. First, you may want to consider building a foundation for your structure. Most kits don’t contain this element of a building. You can make a foundation easily by using strips of styrene covered with paper or cardstock printed with a brick pattern using software like ”Brickyard” by Evans Software. If your building is on a hill, use the foundation to allow the structure to be level while the foundation follows the slant of the hill on the bottom. Second, make sure your groundcover comes right up to the edge of the structure and that your surrounding scenery (bushes and trees) are placed around your structures in a realistic way. Don’t leave big gaps between the bottom edge of the structure and the layout surface. Don’t always have your buildings lining up with the tracks. It’s much more interesting to have them set up unparallel to the tracks with roads leading to or alongside the buildings. Add interior lights to your buildings before you fasten them to the surface. Or leave the roof unglued so you can get at the interior to install or change lights. Hold your buildings in place without gluing them down by inserting wooden dowels into the layout surface precisely where the inside corners of the building would meet the surface. Then you can lift it up and put it back down in exactly the same place. Make sure you have a suggestion of adequate parking for your buildings or industries. Create walkways, driveways, fences around houses. Look at reference photos to help in creating the look you want. Don’t forget the details like people, dogs, trash cans, mailboxes, traffic lights, litter on the street, etc. [Reprinted and edited with permission from Building Your Model Railroad Newsletter, May 2011]

  • Jun 7, Blasts from the Pasts: Great Tips that Still Work Today...

    <img src="https://www.building-your-model-railroad.com/images/2x4waterfall.jpg"> Wavy Water One of the better products available for making water that we don’t talk about much is the matte and gloss medium called Mod Podge. This is great to use if you are modeling water that is wind-blown or moving. It is a fairly thick liquid that will hold it’s shape as you apply it with a brush, so it’s easy to make waves that stay where you want them. It goes on white and dries clear. After it dries, you should then apply a high-gloss acrylic wax like Pledge Future Shine to protect the surface, which is otherwise prone to get scratched. Thinned matte medium is also great to use as glue for laying roadbed, track or even ground cover and can serve as a fixing agent when sprayed over scenery to help hold everything in place. (It can also be used as a glue and sealer for picture puzzle surfaces prior to framing and hanging.) (“The Scenery Clinic: Pt XV: Modeling Water and Evergreens”, by Paul Scoles, Railroad Model Craftsman, April, 2011, p74) For more info on creating water effects, rapids and waterfalls, visit the BYMRR pages on Waterfalls and Water Scenes.

  • Jun 1, Tracks June 2020

    Tracks is a newsletter published monthly by Building Your Model Railroad containing tips, techniques, news, photos and videos of interest to model railroaders.

  • May 26, Small Projects

    <img src="https://www.building-your-model-railroad.com/images/2x4freight2.jpg"><br> Small projects - Sometimes working on a big layout can be overwhelming. You begin to think that you'll never get it looking decent. It starts becoming a chore rather than fun. If this happens to you, try breaking up the big project into little ones. Just work on one thing or one scene at a time. If you get that one scene done so that everything works well and looks good in that area, then you will feel like you've accomplished something, and you will be more encouraged to go on with the next scene. Or break away from the big layout altogether for a while and do a much smaller project like a simple coffee table layout or a seasonal diorama. You may want to try your hand at a micro-mini layout. Or go an a rail-fanning trip and take a bunch of pictures. This will stimulate you to get back to your layout and perhaps try to emulate what you've seen using your new pictures as reference photos. There are so many things to do as part of this hobby, it's mind-boggling. (Re-posted from BYMRR Newsletter, Feb. 2011.)

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