Get Started

Watch the video "Building Your First Model Railroad" below. Select the Channel button in the bottom right of the video player to navigate between different chapters.

Printable booklet -- Getting Started in Model Trains

The booklet is available to download as a PDF file. We've provided the booklet in one single file download, and we've also broken up the booklet into multiple files based on their respective sections. Download booklet sections Trackplan and mat...

Family Train Layout: episode 1 - building the frame

Ready to build a model railroad the entire family can enjoy? Starting with a basic train set, David guides you through the materials, tools, and step-by-step instructions needed to build a simple 40 x 60 inch base for a lightweight and family-friendl...

Build a family model train layout part 1

Learn how to build basic frame benchwork for your model railroad

Build a family model train layout part 2

How to build a foam scenery base for a model railroad

Build a family model train layout part 3

How to lay and wire sectional model railroad track

Build a family model train layout part 4

How to add buildings and roads to the model railroad

Build a family model train layout part 5

Add hills and trees to the model railroad scenery

Build a family model train layout bonus

How to build a plastic model railroad structure kit

Building Your First Model Railroad

In this video, hosted by television star Michael Gross, the World's Greatest Hobby program teaches you how to build your first model railroad. From benchwork to laying track to scenery to building structures, you'll learn everything you need to get ...

Model railroading 101

An introduction to basic model railroading terminology and concepts

Scenery basics for model railroaders

Make your model train layout look realistic with foam and plaster scenery, ground cover, rocks, and more

Guide to model railroading scales and gauges

Learn the basics about the most common modeling scales used by model railroaders

Build a table for a small model railroad

Learn how to build a solid foundation for your model train layout

The basics of model railroad track

Get tips for choosing and installing track on your model train layout

Basic flextrack tracklaying techniques

Going beyond the basic train set oval

Glossary of Terms

Are you new to the lingo of railroading and model railroading? Check out this handy glossary of some common terms used on model railroads and prototype railroads. Accessory: an item intended to complement a toy train set but generally not included ...

Timeline of Model Trains

At-a-glance facts about The World's Greatest Hobby. 1860s: Wooden and metal floor toys that resemble trains are first made. 1891: Pioneering toy company Marklin of Germany establishes a series of standard track gauges for its clockwork (wind-up) ...
beginner resource websites

Garden Railways magazine

Garden Railways has been the leading magazine devoted to the hobby of outdoor, large-scale model railroading for more than 25 years.  We'll show you how to build your dream railway plus we review the latest G and large scale trains from LGB, Bachmann, Aristo-Craft, USA, Accucraft, and others.

Classic Toy Trains magazine

CLASSIC TOY TRAINS magazine features great how-to info about building and operating O and S gauge train layouts plus track plans and repair and maintenance tips.  Whether you're interested in Lionel, American Flyer, MTH, Williams, Atlas O, or other great toy trains, we have them!

Model Railroader magazine

Model Railroader Video Plus brings the excitement of model trains to you anywhere, any time, and on any device. Our subscription video website features broadcast-quality HD programs, providing a wealth of how-to techniques and information to help you build a better layout. In addition, MR Video Plus has a variety of other fun model railroad programs to inspire and entertain you.

For helpful beginner tips, get Model Railroader's Basic Training email series.



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