Home Guides Beginners Guide to Model Trains – Starting a Hobby in Model Railroading

Beginners Guide to Model Trains – Starting a Hobby in Model Railroading


As a child, trains must have fascinated you beyond belief. However, not many outgrow their love for trains, and eventually end up taking up model trains as a hobby.

They put in so much work into each and every single detail, starting from the tracks, on which their precious trains will travel, and all the way to the scenery the passengers will enjoy during their short (or long) ride.

If you want to enjoy one of the U.S.’s most popular hobbies around, then read on because this guide’s for you.

Before you can actually immerse in the world of model trains, you need to understand them. The following will help you do just that:

Types of Model Trains

For just about every train built, there is definitely a replica that you can buy. Whether it’s a locomotive or a modern diesel train, online and regular hobby stores will have what you seek. However, you should keep in mind that trains are classified by their scale and the gauge specifications of their tracks


There are many companies which create model trains, and each makes sure that its train looks a bit different than its competitor. Aside from the number of track rails, companies like offering rolling stock that perform different functions such as carrying cattle or unloading milk jars.

Tips to Start Your Hobby

So, now that you know the basics, here are some pointers that will help you start your new hobby:

  • G, O, HO, and N scale model trains are the most popular and commonly recommended kits for beginners, so try these before you move on to more complex models.
  • Always choose the train size depending on what you prefer to focus on the most. For example, if you want to unleash your artistic flair by designing scenery, then a smaller train will do.
    If you’re good with electronic wiring, you will easily be able to make your own DCC board. However, if you’re not, simply buy it rather than putting your train layout and house at risk.
  • Read online about model trains to learn more about them and how to build layouts. The more you know, the better your trains will be.

Constraints to the Hobby

As great as becoming a model train hobbyist may seem, you need to keep certain considerations in mind:

  • Model train kits may be small, but the minute you start evolving in the hobby, you will need more space for complex layouts and scenery.
  • Model trains aren’t toys, so don’t treat them that way. They are collector items that can bring you hundreds of dollars down the road.
  • Beginners’ train sets may be cheap, but once you start looking for better trains, you will have to pay more for the quality.

Now you can finally start your hobby, so head to the store and get your own model today.


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