Model Railroad Tips,
Questions and Answers
From Other Model Railroaders

I don't have all the answers. This site is built around my own personal experience over many years. My model railroad tips are sprinkled throughout the more than 300 pages.

That being said, there are still questions that go begging for lack of an answer.

There are lots of sources for model railroad tips and answers. We've come a long way from relying on friends in the hobby and a few model railroad magazines. This page is devoted to model railroad tips from other modellers.

I get all kinds of questions from modellers who contact me after visiting this site. I try to help as best I can. It struck me recently that others who visit my site may have the answers that I don't have. Therefore, I'm going to post questions here that have me baffled. If you have model railroad tips or an answer to these questions, use my Contact Me page to send me an email and I'll post your reply here.

So here we go...

Walter Yaegar asks: "I use Cadrail 9 on a Win xp system.  

Question: is there any way to divide a layout drawing and add approxamately 24 inches to the separated area, without having to redraw each and every item, other than to connect them and adjust elevation of given areas in question?"

I had this email from Norman Ramos:

"Dear Sir, I am a man of 88 years of age and, I have built models of all kinds from one of the first HO trains, a NYC 4-6-4 Hudson with plans in Popular Mechanics circa 1937... and Varney trains too, I built model ships, airplanes,and a complete N gauge outfit (Then my house burned to the ground in August 2003)... I now want to Build a G Scale Garden RR on the remains of my lost home (fill in perimeter foundation... Can you lead me to any sites that sell G Scale Rail and Spikes (not prefab track)so that I might hand lay and construct this RR... I have searched every where on the internet, and you seem to be my only hope... ."

I failed to find an answer for Walter.

This question came from Alex in the UK:

"do you know anywhere that I can find service sheets for many makes and models on the internet? The only service sheets I can find on the internet are on the Hornby site."

Can anyone help Walter?

I needed to add some footings to a signal bridge I was installing to increase clearance. One of my Wednesday night operators suggested using the plastic keys from a discarded computer keyboard. In a pinch they are approximately the right size and shape for HO scale.

Another idea I picked up from one of the magazines was to keep the white ties that are used to close plastic grocery bags for milk and such. They can be used to carve small parts like curved roof supports instead of wasting expensive styrene.

I'll add more questions as they come in. Hopefully, we, together, can answer some of these questions. I'll post one of my own: 

"I have some very old Microscale decal sheets that I want to use for a CN RS18 brass engine I'm reworking and painting.  Does anyone remember how to preserve dry, brittle decals before immersing them in water? Is it Dullcoat you use or a gloss finish or something else?"

Tom at the Credit Valley Railroad hobby shop in Toronto told me to put the decals under a table lamp for 20 to 30 minutes to let the heat soften them a little before spraying them with Dullcoat.This seemed to help but I still had some of them fall apart. Here's the result after painting and decaling.

My brass RS-18 engine at Utopia East yard
awaiting its first assignment
decaling rs-18

More model railroad tips

I have added some great tips from clinics at the 2012 Sudbury NFR convention at model building tips.

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