For many people, model trains and model railroads bring back wonderful childhood memories of family and carefree fun. Recreating those special moments for your family is just one of the reasons for setting up a model train platform. These miniature railroads can be a wonderful way to wile away the hours, and a fascinating hobby for train enthusiasts and non-enthusiasts alike.
One of the great things about the model train hobby is that the initial train layout can be as simple or as elaborate as desired. From a simple set of train tracks running around the Christmas tree to an ultra-realistic model railroad complete with trees, towns and people, the only limit is your imagination.
Choosing the right model train can be quite a challenge as well, and it is a good idea for the budding train enthusiast to do plenty of research on the various gauges, brands and styles of model trains on the market. There are plenty of choices, from train sets costing only a few dollars to elaborate setups costing hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
No matter what type of train set you choose, there are some basic steps needed to set it up and start enjoying it. Those train setup steps include:
- Select the area of the home, garage or basement where the train set will be located. You may want to measure the area to ensure there will be sufficient room for the train set and tracks you select.
- Determine how the tracks will be laid out. A sketch or drawing may be helpful.
- Test the track design by laying out the tracks end to end before attaching them.
- Lay the tracks out on the floor next to the area being built. This will help ensure the tracks are installed in the proper order.
- Decide whether the tracks will be glued or pinned into place. Glue will be more stable, but pins will provide a more authentic look and feel.
- Clip the sections of the track together. Keep in mind that some tracks are designed to be laid end to end, while others are designed to slide onto one another using a tab and groove design.
- Press each section of track into the glue, or pin the section down securely. Even when glue is used, a few pins will add additional security and stability. When using glue, be sure to wipe away any excess with a damp paper towel.
- Continue to attach the sections of the track until the entire route has been laid out. After the track is in place, it should be allowed to sit overnight until the glue has set.