von Haus zu Haus with Br 50

I was given some "Von Haus zu Haus" coaches which made up a nice train pulled by my Br 50

Thank you Hein!


Traps and pitfalls

As with any hobby, model train layout building has many possible 'mistakes' or things that are done that turn out not to work very well, either visually or functionally.

I thought I would create a list of things one often sees, that I would advise against doing unless you have considered it very carefully. Clearly this is a matter of personal taste, so if you have done, or plan on doing some of these, don't let me stop you, it is your layout, and you do what you like.


Superelevation of track

Train tracks are 'banked' through curves to reduce rail wear and to make travelling through the curve more comfortable for passengers. This is called superelevation.

The raising of the outer rail gives a train a twisting effect as it transitions into and out of curves, and this twisting can also be achieved on a model, by lifting the outer rail too. The trains look more realistic as they go through curves simply because they behave more like the real thing.

The European association of Modelrailroader and Railroad Friends have a standard (NEM 114) for the amount of superelevation that should be added at various scales and they suggest 1.5mm for HO scale. Personally, I find this too small and I prefer 2mm to see a more noticeable effect.

To give my tracks the tilt I wanted, I made a bunch of tiny wooden wedges that I could insert underneath the roadbed of the track.

In order to make such thin wedges, I placed the blade of my table saw slightly off vertical. I then pushed some pine lumber (2x4) through the blade. I then flipped the lumber over and made a second cut, producing a fine wedge. Every flip and cut produced another wedge.


Position of turntable in engine yard

When planning an engine yard with a turntable, it is easy to forget that the whole idea of a turntable in real life is to save space, by turning locomotives in a small area instead of running them through loops and turnouts.

One often sees turntables placed on a layout that tends to waste precious space, specifically one sees the roundhouses placed beyond the turntable like this:


Grape Harvesters

I have now installed a set of grape harvesters (Preiser 10608) in my vineyard.


Kaiserschlucht wine

Now that the terraced vineyard and the main winery vineyards are complete, it was time to create my own wine label for the layout...


Working HO scale platform signs

Since I constructed my underground S-Bahn station in 2003, new technology has enabled some exciting upgrades. After creating a miniature arrivals and departures sign for my HO scale main station, I decided to also make some platform specific signs for both platforms of my underground S-Bahn station. This enables the passengers to see what the next arrival or departure is.