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Now that you are committed to starting a model train collection there are a number of areas for you to consider. These items are important so that your collection will be perfect for you and your budget.

The first thing is the scale. Scale is size of the model train with G being the largest and going down you will find O scale, S scale, HO scale, N scale and the smallest Z Scale with ratios starting at 1:8 and going down to 1:220. The most popular scales are the G, N, Z and HO model trains.

The larger the scale of the model trains the more detail you can get, however the scale that you choose to collect should take into consideration not only detail but also cost, budget and the amount of space that you have available to set up your model railroad.

When it comes to detail all the scales are well done and would make a nice collection. It really depends on your own taste. Be sure and check out a model train show in your area. There you will be able to see working models of each scale and get a feel for what will work best for you. Value really is based on your taste and your budget.

Besides considering scale you will need to take a look at gauge. I’m sure that you have heard of narrow gauge railroads. This is in reference to the size of the track. Most narrow gauge railways were through the mountains and used not only for carrying mining ore but also employees and supplies back and forth to the mines.

Gauge is the measurement of the width between the model railroad tracks in millimeters and these can generally be found in sizes of 6.5 mm all the way up to 148 mm. Depending on the size of your model train the supplier will outfit you with the appropriate gauge for your model railroad track.

Ok, now that you have decided on scale and gauge you can begin to work on the layout of your bench work. You can select different environments for the layout of your train tracks. This basically entails the creation of unique topography and cityscapes through which your model railway will plot its course.

This is the time to be creative and build realistic comprehensive environments by utilizing different materials; the scope of which will depend on the area you have available for laying out your master planned model railroad.

Be sure to use special finishes like weathering on your model trains. This will make your model train and model railway look like it has aged over time with the ravages of grease, smoke and oil which is a natural look due to emissions released from engines of the model trains. Your landscape will determine what type of look is best. If your landscape is based on a desert environment or mountainous area then the model train will want to be weathered to look like they’ve been ravaged by dust storms, etc.

Most model trains are valued for their historical background as well as technical prowess. You are getting into model train collecting because you understand and appreciates the mechanics of locomotives and the history of our railway system. When you friends look at the aesthetics of your well-planned model train and railway, they will be able to appreciate the craftsmanship and hard work you have put forth in your collection and building your model railroad.

Like any hobby you will want to establish a beginning budget and work within that budget. Collecting model trains and model railroads is not an inexpensive hobby. However, the joy of putting your plan in place, building your collection over time and running your model railroad is more than worth the expense. Hearing the sound of the horn, the model train running on the track and the light shinning as it comes out of the tunnel, smelling the smoke as the engines pulls a steep incline, what could be better than that?

Michael Weston is a model train expert. For more great information on model trains , visit http://www.modeltrainsexpert.com.

NMRA National Train Show 2014

Once every year the NMRA (National Model Railroad Association) hosts train conventions across the United States, this year, the city chosen was Cleveland. Rail and Bus Productions’ attended this spectacular event and is proud to present our footage!