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Special Issues



45 Years on the Milwaukee, Racine & Troy

You have heard and read a lot about the Milwaukee, Racine & Troy over the last 45 years. Now for the first time ever, you can go behind the scenes! Get the inside story of one of the best-known layouts ever built.
Featuring the work of Model Railroader staff, past and present, including David Popp, Cody Grivno, Steve Otte, Dana Kawala, and Eric White, this special issue provides decades of projects, tips, and even the original track plan.


Model Railroad Planning 2021

Model Railroad Planning 2021 offers creative solutions for making the most of your hobby. With 13 all-new planning stories featuring N, HO, S, On30 and O scale layouts, you’ll plan a layout designed for realistic operation. From track planning and model railroad operation, to prototypical modeling, there’s valuable information on every page for all skill levels.


Great Model Railroads 2021

Great Model Railroads returns with an extraordinary 2021 edition! From the editors of Model Railroader, the latest collection includes 10 spectacular layouts from the hobby’s top modelers. You’ll find 100 pages of inspiring railroads featuring realistic modeling, scenery, expert tips, and detailed track plans.


Model Railroader's Best of Scenery

Model Railroader has compiled all the scenery techniques you’ve been asking for in one place! This comprehensive collection includes 33 detailed projects to make your layout more realistic, plus profiles of three exceptional layouts.


Model Railroading: The Ultimate Guide 2020

Model Railroading: The Ultimate Guide 2020 features all-new content covering 12 of the latest projects created exclusively from Model Railroader Video Plus accompanied with 15+ videos, track plans and layouts to enhance the experience. Discover how-to stories, behind the scenes information and timely modeling techniques all in this 84-page special issue.


Realistic Railroads You Can Model

Realistic Railroads You Can Model showcases 20 track plans based on real railroads across the U.S. and Canada. This one-of-a-kind collection offers prototype photos and railroad information for short lines and main lines, as well as planning tips for your layout space.

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Model Railroad Planning 2020

Model Railroad Planning 2020 is one of those unique special issues that mixes track, layout, and scenery planning into one outstanding publication. Published by Model Railroader magazine, the popular annual covers a lot of information in 100 pages with all-new planning stories by expert contributors like Tony Koester and David Popp.

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Great Model Railroads 2020

Great Model Railroads returns with an extraordinary 2020 edition! From the editors of Model Railroader, the latest collection includes 10 spectacular layouts from hobby's top modelers. You'll find a variety of scales, sizes and locations that will inspire you to create your own layout.


102 Realistic Track Plans

Back by popular demand! 

102 Realistic Track Plans organizes more than 100 of the magazine’s best layout designs into one spectacular collection. It showcases easy-to-use plans in a variety of scales, shapes, and sizes — from very small and compact, to medium and large layouts that fit in rec rooms and basements.

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Model Railroading: The Ultimate Guide 2019

Model Railroading: The Ultimate Guide 2019 is 84 pages and 18 FREE companion videos packed with all the know-how (and fun!) you find at MR Video Plus! This special issue is full of cool projects and tons of tips and techniques that modelers of all skill levels will find useful.

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Model Railroad Planning 2019

This 2019 issue features more small and mid-size layouts along with doable how-to projects. Year after year, Model Railroading Planning is the go-to source for the latest tips on design, construction, and operation.

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Model Railroad Scenery, Step by Step

Ideal for beginner, intermediate, and advanced modelers, Model Railroad Scenery, Step by Step includes 20 step‑by‑step projects on different aspects of creating realistic scenery.

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Great Model Railroads 2019

Each year Great Model Railroads brings you some of the best layouts you’ll ever see – and this year is no exception. Inside this special issue you’ll find our favorite new layouts in a variety of scales, locations, sizes, and eras. Plus, the 100-page edition is chock-full of how-to advice and operating tips for model railroaders of all skill levels!

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Model Railroading: The Ultimate Guide

Model Railroading: The Ultimate Guide is 84 pages, 15 all-new projects, and 18 free companion videos packed with helpful features and inspiration you can use when building your layout! In this special issue, our experts show you tons of modeling tips, share track plans for HO, N, and On30 layouts, and take you along on some amazing, and inspiring railfan trips.

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Build a Small Model Railroad

Build a Small Model Railroad offers step-by-step advice and instruction on constructing small railroads for compact spaces!

The 84-page special issue includes HO and N scale railroads and an in-depth look at the staff-built Virginian layout - one of the most popular and versatile construction series of the past decade.

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Great Model Railroads 2018

Great Model Railroads 2018 includes a variety of scales (HO, N, and O), locations, and eras – from an O scale depiction of the Colorado Midland Railway in 1897, to a captivating mountain-railroading layout in present-day Europe. Each story features a completed layout, detailed track plan, how‑to tips, and stunning photographs. Whether you're just beginning your layout, or almost finished, you're sure to find inspiration on every page!

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Model Railroad Planning 2017

Inside this edition you'll find 100 pages of model railroads in the planning and construction phases. Model Railroad Planning 2017 features 14 stories covering layout advice, expert tips, and detailed instructions from the best in the field. An essential tool for all skill levels, you'll learn everything from track planning and yard construction, to scenery tricks and creating photogenic layouts. Includes layouts in HO, N, and O scales.

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How to Model Today's Railroads

How to Model Today's Railroads is an 84-page special issue from Model Railroader magazine that focuses on modeling today's railroads in any scale. You'll find expert advice from some of the magazine's best authors such as Pelle Søeborg, Lance Mindheim, Matt Snell, and Cody Grivno.

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How to Build Small Model Railroads digital

If you need creative solutions for building a layout in a small space, How to Build Small Model Railroads is the right fit for you. This special issue from Model Railroader demonstrates how to build a manageable layout that can be built in a short amount of time. If you’re looking to downsize your house or modeling area, this is the perfect guidebook to help you make the most of your space.

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103 Realistic Track Plans

You'll find the largest collection of track plans ever assembled by Model Railraoder in 103 Realistic Track Plans!

Loads of inspiring small, medium, and large track plans offer great options for your model railroad layout - all in one convenient special issue.

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How to Build a Model Railroad

Follow the expert advice in How to Build a Model Railroad and you’ll be able to complete any of the 12 inspiring layouts in this special issue from start to finish! Useful articles offer you:

• SIX basic lessons for beginners that cover the facts on track, modeling scales, control systems, scenery techniques, and rolling stock maintenance
• THREE in-depth start-to-finish how-to’s for N, HO, and O scale railroads
• NINE additional layouts, including one for G scale, with a wealth of useful tips and inspiration for track plans, setting, scenery, and more

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How To Operate Your Model Railroad

How to Operate Your Model Railroad gives you 34 operator-focused stories from Model Railroader magazine compiled into one convenient issue. You’ll learn to

• Route your freight cars
• Develop realistic freight yard operation
• Replicate passenger terminal operations (also includes a great track plan!)
• Understand the roles of the engineer, dispatcher, yardmaster and more
• Create instructional paperwork and prototypical timetables to dictate train movement

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How to Model Railroads of the 1950s

How to Model Railroads of the 1950s

With How to Model Railroads of the 1950s, you’ll have the expert insight you need to recreate an accurate re-creation of a bustling 1950s railroad.

  • Go back to when steam was departing and diesel arriving
  • See an N-scale Rock Island layout in all of its bustling glory
  • Get the lowdown on delivery trucks that competed with railroads 
  • Understand ‘50s rail operations 
  • And much more!

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Freight yard design and operation.

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