Contributor Paul Henry
said to be the most important element in a model train layout. However, a lonely
train running along an oval track is not going to captivate the viewers. To add
life to a train layout it is necessary that you add certain elements and
details. This article discusses in detail five important things to have with
your model railroad layout.
1. Model Train
A train without a
train station makes no sense. In the real world trains typically start and end
their journey at train stations and likewise model trains need stations to mark
the start and end of their journey. Stations are sometimes the place where the
trains are parked when they are not moving.
Besides having one
large train station on your railroad you can have several small ones in remote
areas. If you are trying to depict different scenes in your layout like a mine
or a forest then placing a small station building in that area will add depth
and realism in the scene that you are creating.
In most cases,
adding at least one train station model is absolutely necessary to make your
railroad resemble the real world.
You can add depth
and dimensions to your layout by adding a realistic landscape to your model
setup. Start with laying down the trackand ballast. Then you can start designing
the landscape around the tracks.
Instead of a flat
track, try using a circle or an oval track, and maybe include some sidings where
trains pass each other, or load and unload goods, or change wagons and
locomotives. You can do a lot with your railroad to keep your viewers
interested in your setup.
Adding a mountain
in the middle of the layout and watch the train disappear behind it and then
reappear is often a good technique to keep the viewers interested in the
activities on your layout.
3. Model Railroad
Apart from the
trains and train stations; having buildings in your layout is also very
important. This will add a lot to the depth of realism that you are trying to
capture in your scale railroad.
The building kits
you add in you train layout should be according to the scene that you are trying
to depict. For instance if you show a city in your layout then you can add
skyscrapers, but if the train is in a remote place then adding a farm or a log
cabin kit will make it look more real.
If you want to
capture a scene from the past then make sure that you add the weathering effects
on the structures that you add in your railroad. This will help age them and
make them look as if they have been there for a long time exposed to the
Buy model train
buildings from this website and you'll discover the difficult weathering is
actually pre-done for you. Many of the structures include cracks, flaky and
peeling paitwork, scratches, rust marks, mold stains etc. to add to the realism.
The model railroad kits are easily downloaded ready for printing using a home
People and Animals
Adding people in
your train layout is absolutely necessary because wherever there are trains
there will usually be animals or people in the area. When you add people or
animals in your layout make sure that they are part of a scene and not just
randomly placed around. You can buy model kits with groups of people or animals.
Here are some ideas that you can use to add people in your
• A boy
finding his dog around the train track.
• People waiting to get on the train.
• Families seeing off their loved ones at the model train station.
• A man and a women taking stroll in the station.
• People putting luggage on the train.
• A sports ground with players.
• A street scene with pedestrians.
• A fire scene with firemen and onlookers.
Lighting and Signs
No railroad model
is complete without the addition of the minor details such as stop lights,
signs, and intersections. These things not only make your layout look real, but
they also make it a lot more interesting.
Add these elements in your
layout and watch it come to life in front of your eyes. It
will not only mesmerize you but it will also captivate the viewers of your
Buildings and train structures