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Model Railroader March 2019

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!

United States
Kalmbach Publishing Co. - Magazines
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12 Issues


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video plus

Learn the secrets of realistic scenery!With its focus on railfanning, the Canadian Canyons project layout demanded an emphasis on realistic scenery. Turn to page 46 of this issue to get an overview of how the Model Railroader Video Plus and Model Railroader magazine staffs built the scenery for the N scale railroad. For a step-by-step look at the techniques used throughout the project, be sure to visit The dozens of videos in the Canadian Canyons series include valuable information on modeling mountains, rivers, and more!Don’t miss the other exclusive content available to MR Video Plus subscribers. You’ll find valuable information covering all aspects of the hobby. Some recent highlights include:Canadian Canyons: Learn how David used Woodland Scenics Deep Pour Water to realistically model the Thompson River on the N…

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on the web

Layout video: The Rock Island LinesMike Armstrong’s HO scale Rock Island Lines does an impeccable job re-creating the Mid-Continent Route in the 1960s. His 30 x 40-foot layout fills two decks and features a variety of freight and passenger traffic. In this video, available at, viewers can follow trains along the main line.FREE E-NEWSLETTERMR in your inboxGet links to the latest videos, hobby news, articles, and online extras at When you join our online community, you’ll get a free weekly newsletter, access to our popular user forums, photo galleries, and more! Signing up is quick, easy, and free! Click on the Log in link on the Model Railroader magazine home page for more information.Inside Cody’s OfficeDon’t miss the popular Modeler’s Spotlight Video – Inside Cody’s Office series. In…

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the first instinct was the correct one

Most of us have heard the saying, “Your first instinct or answer is usually the right one.” I think that applies to model railroading, too.Recall your first railroad, more than likely built on a 4 x 8 sheet of plywood. You might have started with a train set – an engine, a caboose, and a few cars.Then to the plywood you added a roll of sawdust grass, a depot, a few fairly simple businesses on some sidings, and maybe a house here and there to give your layout that “lived-in” look.Ignore the clutter, see the scene. The flat at right has to go.A few roads connected the dwellings and businesses and trees sprouted to break up the rather bare horizon.The trains ran; they had a place to go, and reasons…

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news & products

HO scale locomotives• General Electric C44-9W diesel locomotive. Southern Pacific and Union Pacific. Two road numbers each. Late hi-adhesion trucks, deck-mounted ditch lights, and illuminated number boxes. With motor and headlight control only Digital Command Control decoder, $260; with dual-mode ESU LokSound sound decoder (special order only), $295. Kato USA Inc., 847-781-9500, www.katousa.comHO scale freight cars• Assorted freight cars. Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern American Car & Foundry 4,600-cubic-foot-capacity three-bay Center Flow covered hopper, $19.98. Central RR of New Jersey 40-foot double-sheathed refrigerator car, $19.98. Lake Shore & Michigan Southern 36-foot double-sheathed boxcar with wood ends and fish-belly underframe, $18.98. Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis 40-foot single-sheathed boxcar, $18.98. Toledo, Peoria & Western Pullman-Standard 4,750-cubic-foot-capacity three-bay covered hopper, $20.98. Wabash 36-foot Fowler boxcar, $18.98. Injection-molded plastic kits with plastic wheelsets and…

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ask mr

Though a stone arch bridge like this one on the HO scale Milwaukee, Racine & Troy can be built on a curve, other curved railroad bridges are actually made up of a series of straight segments. (Steven Otte photo)How do I build a bridge on a curve?Q My new HO layout will require several curved bridges. How does the prototype accomplish this? Is there an easy way to modify bridges to work on curved track?Paul Buckley, South Windsor, Conn.AWhen building a curved bridge, it’s important to avoid placing uneven stresses on the supporting structure. Except for a stone viaduct, which could be built with a continuous curve, what looks like a curved bridge is really a series of short straight segments. This means that as the track curves, the weight…

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reader tip

An inexpensive light switch shield like this one can protect your layout’s master power switch from being accidentally turned off. (Robert Manna photos)Shield your master switchWhen working on the main control panel for my new layout, where my power supplies and boosters would be, I wanted to incorporate a master power switch so I could turn everything on and off easily. But with two little ones running around, this switch had to be protected so it couldn’t be accidentally tripped. My relatively cheap solution was a light switch protector cover. You can pick one up at your local home improvement store and install it over a standard wall switch plate. Now I’ve got a fully rated, protected switch for not much money. ■…