Every model railway builder has them. Old, broken, trains and wagons that no longer run. Here’s a obvious but overlooked tip for putting them to good use and adding to the authenticity of your layout.
Maybe you’ve inherited or been given them? Maybe they broke just through wear and tear? Or perhaps you had an accident?
Whatever the cause, we’ve all got the odd broken locomotive, wagon or passenger car that’s reached the end of its working life on your layout.
Now take a look at any large, or small for that matter, railway works and hidden away on old rusty sidings will be the the equivalent of your broken rolling stock. For whatever the reason, old vehicles that have been left to quietly fade away are a common sight on full size railways.
This is the origin to this tip – a technique I’ve seen used on many model railways and have used myself a couple of times.
Simply put your broken kit to good use and park it on a section of track. Add a few weeds growing around it (maybe even out of it), perhaps a spot of weathering and you’ll add a surprising authentic ‘lived in’ feel to your railway while putting an otherwise useless loco or wagon to good use.
If you’re lucky enough not to have broken rolling stock but like this idea, nip over to ebay and search for ‘parts and spares’
Footnote, having looked at a lot of ‘parked’ disused rolling stock, I’ve also noticed that they are often isolated from working track. I’m guessing that the wagon etc was hauled into place and abandoned and later the track too was taken up to be reused but whatever the reason the train left behind.
The point being that you don’t need to waste valuable working track space for this. Simple add a short section of track, in a location so it could at one time have been connected to the rest of your track, ballast it and weather it and place your broken train on it.
Job done and a home found for your old non-running trains.
Picture, old BR train – AL King
>A final, personal, note: I spend a huge amount of time testing, photographing, writing and researching techniques for these articles and pay for all the running costs of MRE out of my own pocket. If you found this article useful you can support me by making a donation on my fund-raising page. Thanks and happy modelling, Andy.