The Conductor on October 23rd, 2009

Backdrop
A painting or scenic photograph on the wall behind the layout.
Ballast
On real railroads, a layer of material – usually crushed rock, cinders, or gravel – on top of the roadbed that holds the ties in position and facilitates drainage. On a model railroad, ballast is simulated by fine gravel spread between the ties and alongside [...]

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The Conductor on October 20th, 2009

Howdy y’all.  I’ve decided to start a glossary of model railroading terms for all you model train enthusiasts to refer to.  I’ll add to it over time and would love to have your suggestions as well.  Here it is starting with “A”:
Access hatch
A hole in the benchwork and scenery, sometimes concealed with a lift out [...]

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The Conductor on October 17th, 2009

The first self-propelled steam locomotive had its maiden outing at Pen-y-Darren, Wales UK in 1804.  Since then, the steam locomotive has evolved with awe-inspiring  results.  Here are some of the astounding achievements of the steam locomotive, as chronicled by the Guinness Book of World Records.
Heaviest train pulled by a single locomotive
The heaviest train ever hauled by [...]

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The Conductor on October 15th, 2009

For all you beginner model railroaders out there looking to build a nice first track, the Tehachapi Loop is a great option.  It’s a wonderful section of track, and it is relatively easy to build.  Now the exact size of your layout will be dependant on how much space you have to build your track, [...]

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The National Model Railroad Association North Central Region Northeast Hoosier Division 3 2009 Annual Convention starts tomorrow, October 15, 2009 in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  This wonderful model railroading convention continues on through October 16, 17, 18 at the Fort Wayne Marriott.  If you’re in the Fort Wayne area be sure to check out this convention because [...]

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The Conductor on October 12th, 2009

Atlas has announced that it is releasing a few new model railroading locomotives in May 2010.  Specifically, Atlas is manufacturing a series of HO SD-24 and SD-26 locomotives, and here are the details.
With over 220 units produced by EMD between July 1958 and March 1963, the SD-24 locomotive generated a total of 2,400 hp with [...]

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The Conductor on October 11th, 2009

The Train Mountain Railroad is the longest steam powered model railroad in the world.  Located in Klamath County, Oregon, the Train Mountain Railroad is over 25 miles long!  Here’s the astounding track plan:

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The Conductor on October 8th, 2009

This is Athearn Trains new HO RTR SD40-2, due to be released in early March 2010.  Athearn Trains certainly has made some great locomotives in the past, and this beautiful locomotive looks like it’ll continue to build the reputation of Athearn Trains.  Here’s a closer look at the technical data of this prototype:
Key Features:
– Fully [...]

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The Conductor on October 4th, 2009

In railroad terminology, a whistle post is a sign that advises a locomotive engineer when to sound the train’s whistle.  Here are a couple examples of whistle posts:
Whistle posts are usually placed about 1/4 of a mile in advance of approaching railroad crossings in the United States.

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The Conductor on October 2nd, 2009

Carpet Railways were the first model trains in the world!  They started to be manufactured and sold in the 1840s and were typically made of brass with an oscillating cylinder powering the main driving wheels.  These were essentially boilers on wheels, and did not run on tracks, instead running directly on the floor.  These Carpet [...]

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