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Model Railroading Basics

Gauges

N Guage - N Gauge is about 1:148 scale, making it one of the smallest gauges for model railroading.

HO Guage - HO Gauge is 1:87 scale or "Half of O Scale", and is the most popular scale with model railroaders.

O Guage - O Gauge is 1:43 scale, made popular in the United States with trains made by the Lionel Corporation.

G Guage - G Gauge is 1:22.5 scale, and is the largest scale widely available for model railroading.

Rolling Stock

Engine - The engine or locomotive is a powered car that makes the train move.

Freight Car - A freight car is meant to carry different types of freight, including liquids, bulk materials, and containers.

Passenger Car - A passenger car carries humans, usually with some kind of seating.

Caboose - A caboose houses the crew on freight trains.

Track

Track - Track are the parallel rails (usually metal) that both model and actual train cars roll on. Track are held steady by railroad ties.

Straight Track - Track without any bends.

Straight Model Train Track

ABOVE: Straight Track

Curved Track - Track with a uniform bend, where a certain number of sections will form a half circle and twice as many will form a full circle.

Curved Model Train Track

ABOVE: Curved Track

Switch - A switch is usually shaped something like the letter y and can direct a train onto one of two sections of rail.

Rerailer - A rerailer is a special piece of track, which if you carefully roll a train car over will ensure that the car is riding properly on the rails. Rerailers are especially useful in smaller gauges such as N where getting the cars on the track can be a challenge.

ETC

Transformer - A transformer converts household AC power to a lower DC voltage to power a model train.

Model Train Transformer

ABOVE: A Model Train Transformer

Scenery - Decorations for a model trains layout meant to make the layout more closely resemble the real world. Examples are model houses, trees, bridges, and even hills.

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Fantastic Videos of N Scale Model Train Layouts
Fantastic Videos of O Scale Model Train Layouts
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HO Paper Model No 2 - Train Station
HO Paper Model No 3 - Unfinished Train Station
HO Paper Model No 4 - the Spooky Junction Train Station
HO Paper Model No 5 - Spruce Trees
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I Love HO Scale Model Railroading
I Love HO Scale Model Trains
I've Been Working On My Railroad
James May's Toy Stories and the Longest Model Railway in the World
Model Railroading Nut
National Clubs and Organizations
Slightly Deranged Videos of HO Scale Model Train Disasters
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Copyright 2014 by Larry Truett