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Model Railroader

Model Railroader November 2020

The world’s most popular model railroading magazine publishes the information you need to build your own railroad. Get Model Railroader digital magazine subscription today for step-by-step how-to projects; great model train layouts; and realistic track plans. You'll also get reviews of the latest locomotives, rolling stock, and accessories in HO, N, O, and other scales, expert tips, and more!

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United States
Kalmbach Publishing Co. - Magazines
12 Issues

in this issue

5 min
build a long-span bridge

Bridges are a favorite scenic feature of model railroaders. The longer the bridge, the more dramatic, even spectacular, the visual impact becomes. As anyone who has attempted it can attest, installing even a simple, short, single-span bridge takes some forethought. But when a bridge or viaduct is lengthened beyond a span or two, construction and reliability issues start to arise. How do you keep all of the spans aligned as one continuous structure? How do you make them dimensionally stable? How do you install guardrails so they don’t buckle with changes in temperature and humidity? These were questions I faced when a project in my custom building shop called for an almost scale length representation of the iconic bridges crossing the Potomac River in Harpers Ferry, W.Va. There are two bridges,…

4 min
combining a century of experience

My friend Steve Miazga and I have been modeling in N scale for 100 years combined – and what a scary thought that is! We both have medium-sized layouts and run lots of trains, so often we find ourselves in the same quandaries. Lately we’ve been dealing with a problem that has crept up over the last couple years. Why do the drivers on some of our older diesel locomotives get so dirty, so fast? Here’s an example from my own layout: one consist of three Kato engines, two C30-7s and an SD40-2. They were released in the 1990s when Kato started building locomotives under its own brand name. The Dash 7s could make only 11 ⁄2 trips around the layout (about 7 scale miles) before the wheels would gunk up.…

1 min
find your next model railroad online!

Exclusive to Model Railroader subscribers, the Track Plan Database features hundreds of layout ideas. Search plans by scale, size, and type. Each plan also lists the issue where it originally appeared. With plans in all the major modeling scales and sizes ranging from micro layouts to basement-filling empires, the Track Plan Database is bound to have what you’re looking for. Non-subscribers can even check out a sample track plan located at the top of the page. Subscribers can download and save as many plans as they wish. Each track plan is available in a convenient, printable document format (PDF). The Track Plan Database encompasses plans from more than a decade of Model Railroader magazine and its special issues. New plans are added each month, so be sure to check back often! Find the…

2 min
trackside photos

Great Model Railroads 2021 is packed with articles, photos, tips, tricks, and track plans from 9 incredible layouts in HO, N, O, S, and large scales. This month, Trackside Photos features images from five of those model railroads. Great Model Railroads 2021 goes on sale in October at your local hobby store. You can also order directly from our Customer Service hotline at 877-246-4879 or from our website at KalmbachHobbyStore.com. MORE ON THE WEB Download free computer desktop wallpapers from all 9 GMR 2021 layouts at our website, ModelRailroader.com Send us your photos Trackside Photos is a showcase for the work of Model Railroader readers. Send your photos (digital images 5 megapixels or larger) to: Model Railroader, Trackside Photos, P.O. Box 1612, Waukesha, WI 53187-1612; or upload them to http://fileupload.kalmbach.com/contribute. For our photo submission…

3 min
menards ho scale shopping center

Two-story brick storefronts are fine for the transition era, but the modern day is the era of the strip mall. Menards is offering such a structure for HO scale layouts, a factory-assembled shopping plaza with five realistic storefront displays, almost a dozen figures, and more than 30 dazzling light-emitting diodes. Curb appeal. The structure is built of 1⁄8" medium density fiberboard (MDF) on an acrylic base. The simulated tar paper roof appears to be paper laminated on MDF. The white-painted cornices on the fascia are milled wood, which is rather rough in texture. The strip mall has five facades, each of which is labeled with a bright, colorful printed sign on the fascia over the sidewalk. Some are named for real businesses, including Chicago Burger Co. and the Whirlpool Appliance store; others…

6 min
kato n scale canadian national ‘transcontinental’ passenger train set

If you’ve been itching to relive the glory days at the end of Canadian National passenger service, Kato is here to help with its “Transcontinental” seven-car set and matching Electro-Motive Division (EMD) F7A and F7B locomotives. The prototype. Canadian National’s transcontinental train was the Super Continental. Its competition was Canadian Pacific’s Canadian. Of the two, the Super Continental was considered less luxurious. When the Super Continental debuted 1955, it hauled coaches from Canadian Car & Foundry, and sleepers, diners, parlor cars, and buffet-sleepers from Pullman Standard. In 1964, CN purchased six used Super Domes and six Skytop lounge-sleepers from the Milwaukee Road. This served to close the luxury gap with CP’s Canadian, which was dome-equipped from its inauguration in 1955. Despite investments in better equipment, passenger rail travel was declining in Canada due…