3 Secrets to Building an Accurate Industrial Railroad Model

3 Secrets to Building an Accurate Industrial Railroad Model

Historical accuracy is often one of the things model railroaders strive for in their layouts. However, if you’re new to railroading, it might not be obvious what makes one layout look more accurate than another. In this post, we’ll let you in on three secrets to building an accurate industrial railroad model.

Research Real Railroads

When you’re first planning a new model railroad, we recommend doing as much research as you can. For example, if you want to make a railroad based on a Colorado town in the 1940s, you should:

  • Look for photos of the town;
  • Look up maps of the railroad you’re modeling;
  • Find pictures of specific engines and freight cars you’re using; and
  • Research the industries popular in that region.

All of this information can help you make your railroad more accurate. For instance, you might decide to base your layout on a certain industry that was common in that region.

Don’t Make It Too Pretty

The industrial sections of towns aren’t known for being pretty. In fact, you typically see a lot of junk lying around, like spare rail ties, crates and boxes, and maybe a few antique oil barrels. The point is, an accurate industrial railroad will have some wear and tear and probably not a lot of landscaping.

With the trains themselves, you should consider using weathering techniques to make them look older. Weathering includes things like grease spots, rust, and mismatched paint colors from touch-ups.

Connect Tracks to Industries

When you create a new model railroad, it’s important to think about the overall story you’re telling. Where do the trains pick up their cargo? Where do they take it? Make sure you connect things like switching yards to specific industries so you can perform realistic operations on your track. Having a layout that makes sense will greatly deepen the sense of accuracy.

Make Your Dream Model Railroad

Midwest Model Railroad can help you build an accurate industrial railroad model. We carry a huge variety of HO scale freight cars and locomotives so you can model exactly the kind of train you want. We also have thousands of scenery pieces, industrial buildings, wiring parts, and track pieces to make your railroad modeling dream a reality.

1st May 2023

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