Getting Started with Sectional Track

In this class, you’ll see how easy it is to get started with model railroading in any of the major scales using sectional track.

The idea of using sectional track is the building block concept with fixed, straight, and curve radius pre-fab sections. It’s hard to go wrong using sectional track, especially as there are many track planning books available. Some sectional track even comes with a pre-formed roadbed.

In this class, your instructor is Doug Hodgdon, and he’ll go through many examples of tracks and radii of multiple manufacturers and scales from Z through O. There’s a lot to choose from. Your choice requires some study – and Doug will help you through the process.

For the novice, sectional track is the best choice, but as you, the layout builder, become more proficient, you can graduate into other forms of track laying, including flex track or, even hand laid track, custom built switches, and the layout of your dreams. Wow!

Let Doug help you get started. Model railroading is fun!


Class Guide PDF
Download this Guide as a reminder of the key details you’ll see in the video instruction.

Video: Meet Your Instruction
Download this short video to meet your class instructor, Doug Hodgdon.

Video: More thoughts on Track
Listen to Doug talk about the diversity of track options and attributes of each.

Session 1: Introduction

In this opening session, Doug introduces himself and gives you a broad perspective on what he’ll cover in this class – and why this is truly the World’s Greatest Hobby.

Session 2: Track Catalogs

Session 3: N Scale

N scale has become very popular as a way to get a lot of railroading into a smaller space. In this session, Doug will cover the popular brands and track specifications.

Session 4: HO Scale

HO scale has been the most popular size track for model railroading for decades. If you’re looking for a good balance between room size and reliable operation, HO might be the choice for you. In this session, Doug explains various HO track options.

Session 5: O Scale

O scale track has been around for many decades. It was the standard in the old days. If you are one of the many modelers who enjoy the size and feel of those big trains, this is a fun session.

Session 6: G Scale

Session 7: Basic Model Railroad Electronics

Doug describes the Atlas wiring components for basic Digital Control (DC) operation. They have been the standard for layout wiring for decades. We’ve included wiring examples as graphics.

Session 8: Basic Track Work Tools

Track tools can be pretty basic. Doug will show you a selection of his own track tools, including hand tools and his power rotary rail cutting tools.

Share tips, start a discussion or ask one of our experts or other students a question.

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8 Responses to “Getting Started with Sectional Track”


    With regard to the Kato/Bachmann EZ Track, it should be noted that they cannot be used together;. This lack of interchangeability is also important in HO and O gauge. Good introduction

  2. Steve Ruple

    Very informative and enjoyable, thank you for sharing.

  3. Bob

    Good presentation, wished the Catalogs names, track names, switch names and names of the tool were in the PD download sheets.

  4. Murray Smith

    Very very informative

  5. murray smith

    what am i suppose to say, I have not taken the course.

  6. Jerome Lodge

    extremely educational, enjoyable, and enlighting.


    Nice summary. One point: if you wire for common wire DC and at a later stage want to go to DCC, you will have to do some rewiring.

  8. Dan Nelson

    just moved and expect to start my layout soon. This "getting started with sectional track" should be great. thanks.