model train hobby shops


Downloadable Model Train Books are the Quick & Easy
Way to Have All The Help You Need At Your Fingertips

Below are some excellent model train videos to watch along with links to some of the best book downloads to help railroad modelers progress in this enthralling hobby. Buying e-books is easy and you get them almost instantly. They don't ramble on about therory, instead they focus on prodiving clear answers to problems, along with giving clever ideas for building an awesome model railroad.

Special discounts and/or FREE gifts apply when you buy through this website. Click the "More Info" buttons to watch the videos on each website as they can explain things much better than we can.

HO/OO Trains

by Tom Hobson

HO railroad book

See the excellent bonus offer at the website.

Scenery Construction Techniques

by Brian Miller

railroad scenery book

See the special bonus offer on the website.

Model Train Help

by Robert Anderson

buy model train help

Get the extra bonuses available at the website.

n scale book

Watch the video and see extra bonuses on the website.

buy n scale book for model trains layouts

View the video and see bonus extras on website.

DCC model trains books

See details of the special offer and enjoy the website video.

 trains-arduino-e book

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The Most Popular Scale Trains

The most popular scales are HO, OO (in the UK), and N scale. Other well-known scales include O scale, G scale for garden railroaders, and Z scale for anyone with only a small amount of room available for their hobby. There are also some other scales and variations.

HO model trains have the widest audience and largest use in the railroad modeling world. There are many reasons why so many people like these trains, ranging from their moderate size to their accessible parts and components on the market. Since HO scale trains are so popular, they can easily be found online at competitive prices.


Watch the next video and download the Model Railway Scenery Techniques e-book here

Click here to watch the next scenery techniques video

As mentioned previous, these trains are available nearly every place model trains are sold. Their popularity have boosted the production market making the price fall and the quantity increase. Due to the popularity, there is a wide selection of components.

These trains are available in all different types of kits. The simplest kits are what modelers term as “ready-to-run.” These are simplistic because you can practically take the train kit out of the box and run the train in a matter of minutes. This is great if you want a model train quick and without the hassle of building it on your own. The factory does the work for you. However, do understand that the quality of these “starter” train sets is not usually to the same standard of trains and parts sold individually. They are mass-produced for a price.

A more moderate kit is the “shake-the-box.” These kits require some assembly by the owner, but much less than putting the entire kit together from scratch. A kit like this is great to learn on, and develop a knowledge of the basics of model railways.

More difficult kits are for more experienced modelers, hence the name “craftsman kits.” These kits contain hundreds of parts and assembly is fairly difficult and challenging. As you get more experienced with modeling you may not want to use kits anymore, but rather build everything from scratch. However, the simplicity of kits and having a layout already organized for you to put together is appealing.

 model railway books

Keys to having a good HO train:

If you would rather pick and choose your own locomotive to use for your HO railway then you will need to know what to look for.

Locomotives are the most expensive purchase of the entire railway, unless you start getting involved in special effects and huge scenic areas. You will want to find a locomotive that has very conductive wheels. Cheap locomotives will only have a few conductive wheels on the front and end of the piece. You want to avoid these locomotives if you want the most functionality from your trains. Be sure to also select a locomotive with a good performing and sturdy engine. There are several good brands on the market and there are several not so good brands. To decipher between the two, I would do good research and reading of reviews.

Again, HO models are extremely popular and locomotive models are numerous and cheaper because there is a larger supply.

Finding good models:

You may be modeling a certain prototype that is not that well known or popular, but modeling in HO scale presents you with a wider range of possibilities. The model may not be available in any other scales, but HO may carry it simply because of the popularity of the scale. HO scale allows you to be more unique because more is readily available to you as the consumer. Use this advantage to be more creative with your HO trains.

Use eBay, one of the largest websites for selling goods, to help you locate different components for your HO train. If you can’t find it on eBay then I would recommend searching all over the web for hobby websites. Amazon is another great resource because it will help you locate individual sellers that have good trains at relatively low prices. And, not forgetting CraigsList or the many online model train stores. The web has made buying and selling of trains easier, so use it to its fullest potential.

DCC digital command control

In the past, train control systems largely worked by changing the electric current put to the tracks, the newest in model railroad controlling is DCC, or Digital Command Control.

Model railroad DCC uses computer technology to power and control people's model railroads. Using this system, the entire set-up is continuously under full current, and electronic commands are sent over the tracks in a similar way to how a satellite system might use the internet or signals are sent across telephone lines.

DCC model train systems require decoders to decode the information sent over the line. These tiny programmable electronic chips can be easily purchased to control each of the locomotives in the train system. Nowadays, some mid and high-level model locomotives can be purchased with the decoder already fitted by the factory, eliminating the need for the consumer to purchase and install their own.

Of all train control systems, digital command control allows the operator the most specific, individualized control of their model railroad. With model railroad DCC, the user operates a throttle that features several control buttons including a numeric keypad. Once the information leaves the throttle, sometimes called the cab, it travels to a central DCC command station, where it is fed to a booster, which is what creates the DCC signal that is fed to the tracks.

DCC model train systems are modular in design, meaning that there are several standardized parts that may or may not fit the needs of the individual consumer, so can be pieced together to create a truly customized system that best suits the model train engineer's needs.

When searching for train systems, there will be many factors for the consumer to consider. Model railroad DCC systems can be contrasted on the basis of design, display, ability to control speed, to select the locomotive to be controlled, the potential to operate certain accessories, the number of amperes used while the unit is in use, the number of throttles that come standard with the system, the ease of using the manual, and the availability of a warranty. Naturally, after all of these various factors are researched and compared, price will probably also be a consideration, so that should be included when comparing DCC model train control systems.

When it comes to control systems, there are many companies that offer excellent options and a good selection of features. If a model railroad engineer is looking for an especially economical digital command control system, both Lenz and Model Rectifier Corp. offer products that are easy on the pocketbook. The Lenz Atlas Commander, for example, has many sought after features and comes with a standard ten-year warranty, all for less than $200 for the entire system. The Prodigy Express by Model Rectifier Corp is similarly priced, and although it only comes with a one-year warranty, it has been rated significantly higher by independent consumers on several levels as compared with Lenz. Unfortunately at the time of writing, this model does not come equipped with computer interface, so it may not be the appropriate choice for high-level users.

Other companies that should be considered when shopping for train control systems include Digitrax, NCE Corporation, and Zimo. Of these three, Zimo offers the ultimate in digital command control technology, from top marks in all review areas, eight full amperes of electric current, and an automatically included computer interface, to the included two-year warranty, a consumer is sure to enjoy his or her model railroading experience with a model railroad DCC like this one. Naturally, there many excellent mid-range systems which fall between these two extremes that should certainly be taken into consideration before making such a truly important purchase.