David Barrow

Building Removable Modules for Model Railroads

David Barrow
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Duration:   1  mins

When it comes to building the benchwork and structure for model railroads, there are a variety of options you can choose depending on the type of layout you want to create. Some experts will tell you that a certain technique is preferable over all others, but the fact is that each has its upsides and downsides.

One of the structural methods for constructing model railroads that picked up popularity in recent decades is the use of modules. Modules are small sections of a layout that are built from simple materials and allow modelers to remove and replace portions of their scene. By utilizing removable modules on model railroads, if you don’t like the way a certain element of your layout looks, you can easily take it out and rework it. In this lesson, master modeler David Barrow demonstrates why he implemented module architecture on his innovative layout of Cat Mountain & Santa Fe Railway, and teaches you how to build basic modules for your own model railroads.

Creating modules for model railroads

One of the coolest things about David’s HO scale recreation of Cat Mountain & Santa Fe Railway is the evolution it’s experienced over the years. If you were to have visited his workshop on two separate occasions over the last few decades, chances are you would’ve seen two different model railroads. That’s because it wasn’t until long after the model railroad’s initial inception that David decided to change his architecture from open-grid benchwork to individual modules.

David explains why he made this choice, and then talks about how he likes to build modules for his model railroads using simple materials. You’ll learn the expert technique for creating removable modules to be used on a range of model railroads, as well as how to properly wire a module with switches and controls. With David’s technique for designing and building modules, you can open up new possibilities for the structure and layout of your model railroads!

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6 Responses to “Building Removable Modules for Model Railroads”

  1. Michael Sherbak

    Website is Jeff Patterson’s blog about a layout being built in NC using waffle frame (torsion box) modules. I’ve built dozens of these modules using a bench top Craftsman table saw over the past 15 years. Definitely the way to go. Especially since Labuan hasn’t risen in price very much. This is my blog that covers some of the wiring and track work aspects of building and getting a waffle frame module into operation.

  2. Daniel Martin

    I built a box? What about track connections,wiring connections, connecting modules, blending scenery? Very disappointing.

  3. Dan Martin

    I built a box? What about wiring connections, track connections, connecting modules, blending scenery? Very disappointing.

  4. Guy

    Description tells more than what video shows. Where is full video ?

  5. Daryl E Culler

    Kind of disappointing. I was hoping for interchangeable scenery modules. Not sure what he was trying to demonstrate.

  6. Joseph Haley

    I love Upsonboard, but is no longer availible in Tallahassee Fl.. Were do you get yours.

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