Model Railroading Today and Tomorrow

Discovering the new arts and sciences

How we model today, answered!

Freight cars with every underbody detail, diesels specific to a railroad, structures already assembled and more. You ask for it and before you know, it is coming into your local hobby shop. The hobby has never seen such a bounty of prototypical models.

Fifty years ago, scratchbuilders ruled this hobby. Kit assembly was a required skill. Railroads were smaller and scenery more basic. Much time was spent building and fine tuning engines. Steam engines were built from castings.

Some have taken ‘outsourcing’ to the extreme, and hired professionals to build some or all ot their railroad. The model railroad magazines have ads of custom builders.

DCC improves the train control experience and beats DC in most applications. Computer skills are useful, if you wish to tweak your system and this is something most modelers have. No longer are modelers raised learning to operate a metal lathe. The new steam engines are spectacular. Yet if they break, I think most will move to the shelf and not to the work bench for repair.

Zip texturing and chicken wire? No need to raid the garden shed when scenery vendors provide thousands of specific products -- trees, road material, backdrops, more.

Modelers have adopted modern technology. This might not make model railroading better but no one can stop progress. Embrace the new ways and enjoy your trains.