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March 2015

Model Railroader has been the leading model train magazine for the past 75 years.  Each month, we bring you step-by-step modeling projects, fascinating photo tours of model train layouts, unbiased product reviews, new product announcements, tips from the experts and much more!

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A dream layout in a depot

The Apple Valley Model RR Club models superdetailed Appalachian scenes in 18 x 100 feet. The club's freelanced HO scale layout is inspired by the Southern Ry., Yancey RR, and the Carolina & Northwestern. One of the largest model railroads in the western Carolinas, the Apple Valley Model RR club is housed inside a restored Southern Ry. passenger train depot in Hendersonville, N.C.

Touch-screen control for a club layout

New control systems in model railroads don't come around often, but this one works at the touch of a button. Learn how the Elmhurst Model Railroad Club in Elmhurst, Ill., uses "smart house" technology to run trains.

Getting the most out of a wood kit

Most wood craftsman kits will build up into superb models. This article provides a some ideas for ensuring your next structure project is a success. The author shows how he made a few modifications to a Bar Mills Scale Model Works Fenster's Farm Fresh kit to better suit a specific location on his model railroad.

Rebuild an old N scale locomotive to match a prototype

The author shows how he modified an old N scale Pennsylvania RR E6 4-4-2 steam locomotive to model a Spokane, Portland & Seattle Class C-1. He describes rebuilding the locomotive model from the ground up, including repowering the mechanism and adding brass detail parts.

Build the 3 x7 Red Oak part 3: Terrain and scenery

The Model Railroader staff's N scale Red Oak project railroad is set in the heart of Iowa farm country, which doesn't provide a lot of opportunity for dramatic vertical scenery as do the Appalachians or the Rockies. But central Iowa isn't as table-flat or treeless as you might think. Learn all about the terrain and scenery of this 3 x 7 project layout including weathering track, layering the foam scenery base, and more!

Scenery for a diorama

Author Steve Buchanan built a compact Rocky Mountain scene as a diorama to display his various contest model entries. Learn how steam built this model railroad diorama using foam board, plaster, and various model railroad scenery techniques.

Make ground goop for ground cover

For many years Model Railroader author Lou Sassi has been using a concotion called "ground goop" for all his model railroad scenery projects. Learn how to mix and apply this versatile ground cover material.

The Great Northwest in Z scale

It's a common misconception that small scale equates to a small layout. David Miller expanded his 4 x 8-foot Z scale model railroad with the addition of three layout modules. The 12 x 13-foot Cascade Mountain RR features a rolling landscape with spectacular bridges, industrial scenes, and more.


On the Web
From the Editor
Information Desk

Easy conversions keep former revenue cars working

N Scale Insight

How to keep piggybacks on track


How to use extruded-foam insulation board for scenery and modeling projects

Step by Step

How to model a railroad maintenance yard

DCC Corner

Installing the SoundTraxx SoundCar decoder

Trackside Photos

Featured layout photos from your fellow model railroaders

Trains of Thought

Being too experienced

Index of Advertisers
The Operators

Extra train questions and answers



Add more operational possibilities to your layout.

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