And it goes clickety-clack, clickety-clack

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

It’s the strangely reassuring Clickety-Clack sound as the wheels roll along the track.

Just recently on the ModelRailwayEngineer Builder’s group, there was a discussion about ballasting and track laying and one of the members mentioned a tip for reproducing this sound. And without any digital audio magic!

Jules Garner suggested the cracking tip of leaving a gap between the rails of the model track so the OO, N or whatever gauge of track you work in makes the same clickety-clack sound as the real thing.

It really does work. And Jules isn’t the only one doing it.

There’s a video clip that another modeller – Tech and Transit – who has done this just this below. Just listen to that sound!

Jules also added, “It’s also worth noting that just like the real thing, rail expands and contracts through the seasons whether it is in your house or out in a loft or a shed/ garage, so gapping the track should be maximal if built in the winter time as those gaps close in the warmer months… ( not by much but they can and in extremes, warping can occur)”.

It’s a great little tip and I’d love to hear from anyone who does this too.


Founder of ModelRailwayEngineer, Andy Leaning

Andy is a lifelong modeler, writer, and founder of He has been building model railways, dioramas, and miniatures for over 20 years. His passion for model making and railways began when he was a child, building his first layout at the age of seven.
Andy’s particular passion is making scenery and structures in 4mm scale, which he sells commercially. He is particularly interested in modelling the railways of South West England during the late Victorian/early Edwardian era, although he also enjoys making sci-fi and fantasy figures and dioramas. His website has won several awards, and he is a member of MERG (Model Railway Electronics Group) and the 009 Society.
When not making models, Andy lives in Surrey with his wife and teenage son. Other interests include history, science fiction, photography, and programming. Read more about Andy.

Afflliate disclosure:The links on this page may take you to carefully selected businesses, such as Hornby, Amazon, eBay and Scale Model Scenery, where you can purchase the product under affiliate programmes. This means I receive a small commission on any orders placed although the price you pay does not change. You can read my full affiliate policy here. I also sell my my own ready to use, pre-made and painted buildings and terrain features. browse the range.
One comment

Add Comment

Required fields are marked *. Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.