4 “Eye-Catching” Downloadable Model Train Buildings to
Add Interest & Realism to Model Railroad Backdrops
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The perfect background structures for your scale railway layout. Convincingly true to life.

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3 tall background model train yard buildings

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 industrial model train 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). That’s not to say you might not need a lager engine shed, or freight depot closer to the foreground.

Industrial backdrops (like the one’s featured in the printable plans for these downloadable paper buildings) will look incredibly realistic without eating up track space for your rolling stock and trains. 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. The model train buildings that are positioned in the background can still have plenty of fine detailing and still serve a functional purpose on the railway, such as a factory, a freight depot for loading and unloading goods in transit, or even a workshop.

You can access the download designs (PDF plans) for these low-relief backdrop model train buildings without waiting for the mail to arrive, because they are delivered 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. So, you be starting construction on your model train buildings within minutes.

You can these save the plans for the PDF paper buildings on your hard-drive or to a USB memory stick or keep them handy on a portable hard drive for future use.

It is then just a case of printing out the paper design and adhering it to corflute (you can also use card or foam sheets). I personally prefer corflute for backdrop model train 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. The store had bigger sheets too.

Follow the diagrams that come with the printable paper 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). After purchasing you simply log in to the MY ACCOUNT tab at the top of this website to access the instruction manual. There are also lots of helpful videos showing how to construct model train buildings on this website. The link is at the top of the page.

With these printable model train buildings you will become a master of scenic backdrops, because they’ll look so real positioned against your background You can add little finishing touches like making steps and posts 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. There’s definitely more to these paper models than appears at first glance… the real looking highly detailed weathered textures are something to be seen.

How to design and plan model railroad yards and staging yards to maximize space and operational efficiency around your model train buildings

Moving cars to and from industries and staging yards is a key function on most HO scale, N scale and OO gauge 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 and that the model train buildings are located in the perfect and practical position to as to be easy to access, yet not get in the way of operations. Having space-saving “low-relief” type industrial and warehouse buildings against the background scenery can be a very clever use of layout space.



How to maximize rail yard efficiency around the printable model train buildings you’ve constructed

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:

How busy the railroad will be and how many cars might be expected in the rail yards at any one time
How the model trains will move around the rail yards
The types of locos and rolling stock involved. The use of small switcher engines (switchers) for most yard movements
How the model trains will be sorted (assembled)
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:

Local freights will perform a lot of pick ups and drop offs. They will drop off and pick up cars at local stations along the route. Passenger trains will usually have priority on the track, as will fast freight trains and through freights. So, local freight trains will need to wait for other trains to pass.
Through freights will typically travel from yard to yard, dropping off cars at one yard, and taking ‘throughs’ to the next destination or yard.
Fast freights move cars and freight quickly. They usually move pre-arranged blocks of cars to their destinations quickly without being slowed up with yard switching (unless absolutely necessary). This form of transport is ideal for perishables goods like fruit and vegetables. When a fast freight train arrives, it should be moved on as quickly as possible so that it can keep to it tight schedule.

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