What are you struggling with while building your model railway?

If you’re stuck and frustrated with a particular part of your model railway and can’t figure out how to build or fix it I’d love to hear about it and help solve it.

It could be you’re stuck on the track planning or electrics, your trains don’t run smoothly or you can get the scenery to look right?

Or perhaps it’s something less tangible, like not having enough time for your hobby or having trouble catching up with the latest developments having returned to the hobby after break?

By sharing it here as a comment, I and the thousands of others who regularly read my blog can help you out and I can improve this blog in future by writing about topics that matter to you.

Whatever your challenge, share it in the comments below and aim to solve your problem right now or cover it in future and answer your problem in-depth.



> 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.
  1. Hi,
    We’ve bought some Hornby surface point motors which work ok in hand but when connected to the point they don’t seem to want to do their job…once in a while they will flick one way but that’s it.
    Can anyone plz help a frustrated father & son?

    • When you say “work in hand”, are you using the same wires when it’s connected to the point as you use it test it? If the wiring is the same, it’s likely to be alignment – a fairly common issue with Hornby surface mount point motors. They need to be lined up perfectly with the point – horizontally and vertically. I’ve seen them play up when just a millimetre out. If the wiring isn’t the same, try it in place with the test wires and see if that works.

      • Hi again,
        The same wires were used when connected to the point as when tested.
        Is there a more reliable/easier motor to use than Hornby?
        We bought the Hornby surface mounted ones as they seemed the simplest to fit without having to make cutouts etc in the board.
        The points we have used are R8072/8073.

        • Hi, (sorry was away and didn’t have a network connection). You could try the Peco PL point motors. They’re surface mount too, I use the Peco under-board mounted versions and haven’t had a problem with them. Let me know how you get on.

    • Hi Paul, the code numbers you see on track reveal the height of the rail in thousandths of an inch, so Code 100 represents 100 thousandths of an inch whereas code 80 rail, as used in N gauge, is 80 thousandths of an inch and so on. As long as you stick the same gauge and use newish (made after 2000) rolling stock you can generally mix track codes without too much of a problem.

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