Make. Paint. Build: Tips and tutorials for model train enthusiasts, modellers and miniature painters.

Trackwork

Free, easy, and straightforward tips and advice on model railway track planning, laying and troubleshooting.

model railway engineer content map track work tips

Is cork underlay needed for track?

This is question that comes up frequently, here are my thoughts. [...]

Protecting your rails while painting track

Most model railway track come with black sleepers. These look nothing like the real thing and many modellers paint them a more authentic colour. Browns for [...]

The Best Ballasting Tool For N Gauge Model Railways

Best N Gauge Ballast Spreader
Ballasting is one of those tasks you either love or hate on a model railway. It transforms your track work but is a slow laborious messy process that's hard to [...]

Get perfect track cuts everytime by using Xuron cutters this way

cutting model railway track
Struggling to get clean, straight ends, for your N, OO and HO track when cutting it? Here's how I use the Xuron cutters to get perfect track every time. [...]

Adding point motors to already laid track

fitting point motors without removing the points
Now filed in a draw marked 'why on earth didn't I think of this' is this marvellous tip from MRE community member Lee Maylon for installing point motors on [...]

An easier way to hold your track in place while gluing

Holding track in place while gluing
Is this the quickest way to fix track down for gluing? [...]

Simple idea that saves time and makes track testing fun

Digital voltage meter
The best ideas, as they say, are the simplest. And never has this been more true than with this bit of lateral thinking from an MRE group member. [...]

Best Ballast Spreader for N, OO and HO track in 2020

Best N Gauge Ballast Spreader
Ballast transforms your railway from a train set to model railway but it's time consuming, fiddly and slow to lay. No more with this brilliant little ballast [...]

The best recipe for the ballast glue

What is the best glue for model railway ballast? Find the answer here. [...]

DIY point control with Meccano – Frank Hornby’s creations meet

Maccano point control Hornby
Take two of the UK's greatest toy inventor's best products; add a sprinkle of ingenuity and you have DIY point control that Frank Hornby himself would be proud [...]

Tips from an inspirational model railway

ben alder
There are realistic model railways and then there are realistic model railways. Anyone who’s seen Ben Alder's Far North Line layout knows what I mean. [...]

Tips from an exhibition layout: Oak Road by Mike Buick

Mike Buick Oak Road
Mike Buick will be familiar to many modellers as the creator of the Oak Road layout. It's a beautiful layout exhibition with astonishingly lifelike modelling. [...]

Sunday Scribbles: Madcapped idea for track cleaning

Track cleaning BristleBot
A daft idea that may make track cleaning easier. Has anyone tried it? [...]

How I got 5 locos to run smoothly over my points with just 10 minutes work

model railway points close up
Most of the time, our locos run smoothly over points. But occasionally there are problems. Here's how I quickly solved a problem that was causing 5 of my locos [...]

Trains stalling on Electrofrog points?

electrofrog points tortoise stalling locomotive
Trains stalling on Electrofrog points? Here’s the one solution I’ve found. I hope it works for you too. [...]

How to fill gaps between your rails

Fixing gap between rails
If you've ever laid track and found you have an unsightly gap between two sections here's an easy little trick to conceal it and help your trains run easier. [...]

The tale of the errant fish plate

Fish plates are fiddly things but I didn't think I'd spend most of a morning fighting with one. [...]

What is the best glue for laying track – Hornby or Peco, it’ll hold both

Today, I'm going to answer one of the most common questions that pops up in my mailbox and in the Model Railway Engineer community group. What's the best glue [...]

Stuck for space for your model railway? Here’s one uplifting solution

model railway lifting and lowering
Stuck for space for your layout? Here's one modeller's solution. [...]

And it goes clickety-clack, clickety-clack

If you watch and listen to any real railway you notice a particular noise. [...]
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