Setting Up the Best Model Train Layouts

There are many different types of model train layouts to choose from, and you may even have some ideas of your own. There are a number of websites that show photos and videos of different layouts, and if you aren’t sure, or haven’t decided what kind of layout you want to do, then these can be an ideal starting point for your own. The kind of layout really depends on the scale of train you are using because this can determine the size of your scenery as well as buildings and dimensions. It can also play a big part in the actual size of the layout itself and whether you are going to use a smaller benchwork for your design.

No matter what kind of model train layouts you decide on, the most important place to start is with a solid base. This is called the benchwork, and choosing the right one is important. There are benchwork kits available or you can create your own. Kits are good if you need to be able to move your model train set up around or if you are taking it to hobby shows, because they come apart and can be transported. Ones you make yourself can take more time, but you can also have a lot more flexibility when it comes to overall track design.

When building your own base, make sure you start with a solid foundation. Model train layouts are going to be heavy once they are all put together, and you don’t want some flimsy piece of plywood on a couple of stands because this is going to break and be totally unstable. You want to start with at least 3/8″ plywood and 2x4s for the frame and legs. You may also want to consider making storage areas under the table for extra supplies, and accessories. Before you do anything else, once the benchwork is complete, sit down and graph out your design layout including where your track is going to be as well as scenery, mountains, or water features.. This can give you a better idea of where you are going to need to drill holes to hide the power wiring, and any tubes for your water feature pumps.

In your excitement to try and set up your model train layouts, don’t get ahead of yourself. You want to put together your layout in layers, checking each level to make sure it is working properly before moving on the next layer. This way there aren’t any complications later making you have to start over. When setting up your track, make sure to run your train without cars to make sure the engine runs smoothly and the turns are not too sharp before securing it to the benchwork. It is also a good idea to have some kind of access to tunnels and mountain scenes so if there is a malfunction here you can retrieve your train.

You can build the best model train layouts imaginable if you just take your time and get it right the first time. Another thing to keep in mind is that if you are building a portable layout, that the track section breaks are over the places where your benchwork comes apart, and you set up your layout so you can take it apart without ruining the layout itself.

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