Model Railroad Buildings

4 "Eye-Catching" Buildings To Add Interest & Realism To Model Railroad Backdrops & Background Scenery

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Rail yards can provide a huge amount of operational enjoyment (and frustration), and are generally a great addition to any model railroad. To ensure there's room for enough track space, a sensible compromise is to use low relief industrial buildings against the background. This is instead of trying to recreate huge 3D industrial structures which take up an enormous amount of space (that could be used for more track).

Industrial backdrops (like the one's featured in these downloadable plans) will look incredibly realistic without eating up track space. As most experienced model railroaders have already discovered; industrial backdrop scenery is all about creating the illusion of a model railroad scene being bigger and busier than it actually is.

You can get the designs and plans for these low-relief backdrop buildings deliveried straight to your computer by instant download... well, almost instant... it takes only a few seconds to a few minutes depending on the speed of your internet connection.

You can these save the PDF's on your hard-drive or to a USB memory stick for future use.

These backdrop buildings take up considerably less space than 3D buildings allowing more room for additional track, trains etc.

corflute construction materials for model railroads buildings

You can even scale the plans to a different size if you want (anywhere between S scale and Z scale). Here is a guide -

scaling backdrop buildings

It is then just a case of printing out the design and adhering it to corflute (you can also use card or foam sheets). I personally prefer corflute for backdrop buildings, because it is especially strong, not to mention the low price of buying it from a DIY store. I paid less than $5 for a big sheet 3ft (900mm) long x 2ft (600mm) wide. They had bigger sheets too.

Follow the diagrams that come with the designs... they are very straightforward, and a more detailed instructional manual is supplied at no extra charge (in case you want some extra direction or more tips). With these model railroad buildings you will become a master of scenic backdrops, because they'll look so real positioned against your background

tall backdrop background paper cardstock warehouse structures model railroads

You can add little finishing touches like making steps from scraps of balsa wood or positioning signs above a building with a balsa wood support, so there is still room for some extra creativity if you want to do that.

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How to design and plan model railroad yards and staging yards to maximize space and operational efficiency

Moving cars to and from industries and staging yards is a key function on most model railroads, but for operational efficiently, it is necessary to move cars in a logical and organized manner ...the same as would happen on a real (prototypical) railroad. This takes some careful thought when planning the layout's design to ensure the right train tracks are positioned in the right place.

How to maximize rail yard efficiency

An efficient rail yard is all about efficient loading and unloading of cars, sorting of cars, and storage of cars and locomotives. Planning considerations include:

Common types of freight trains

It's likely a large rail yard will see a variety of trains performing a variety of functions and moving in different ways:

The location of staging yards will be a factor in smooth operations. A staging yard could be as basic as a single track or complex enough to store and sort 50, 100 or even more cars. The right configuration and size will vary from railroad to railroad. Having effective looking model railroad backdrops in place behind the rail yard can add to the drama and realism, making the yard and tracks look busy and exciting.

What is a railroad staging yard used for?

To prevent delays on the mainline, the staging yards will typically have multiple tracks in parallel to park rolling stock off the mainline. This is necessary to avoid obstructing the flow of mainline traffic. Staging tracks can serve a multitude of functions:

So, when planning model railroad yard track design also plan for some spectacular and convincing model railroad industrial backdrop scenery. Industries are an important aspect of any real railroad, so it is logical that factories, warehouses, silos, loading docks, and other industrial structures to be a feature on the model railroad, or at least form part of the backdrop scenery against a background wall.