Luke Towan
July 28, 2023
2 min read

Model Railroad Track Laying

Track laying is arguably the most important aspect of a well running model railroad, you can have dodgy baseboards, dogy lighting and even dodgy scenery but it the track results in derailments it will quickly ruin the fun of running your model railroad.

This video will take you through the steps I use to make the track as fool proof as I can. There is a really big focus with ensuring the track stays aligned between the modules, this in part goes back to the creation of the baseboards and using the alignment dowels to ensure each module lines up the same every time.

For the most part the video will step you through all the important items to consider. Things like minimum radius and avoiding sharp S turns that can cause derailments.

Some other things to consider include:

• Desired train length, this comes into effect when planning things like industry spots and lengths of train platforms.

• Max gradient, also ties into desired train length. This for the most part is decided at the planning stage however it’s worth doing some test runs with train lengths once your track is down to determine exactly how many pieces of rolling stock will work with you track arrangement.

• Scenery locations. Things change during construction. You original idea of what the layout will look like will almost certainly change during the construction. Once the track is laid you will want to consider how the topography will sit and where buildings will be placed taking into consideration the need to reach in to the layout for uncoupling and for things like unintended derailments.

Often we don’t think about these things until it’s too late and before long you might find yourself pulling up track or dismantling scenery.

So while the video is a reasonably good guide on all things about track laying, it’s still important to take a step back and try to think of other things that will effect the operation of your layout.


Download the files associated with the project. All files are included in a zip for convenience.


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