Operating a Model Train In Your Own Way

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How you operate your model train layout is entirely up to you. You research it, you design it, you build it, then you decide how it runs. There are, however, a number of different ways to run a model train layout, so it’s important to consider each method before you make a decision. Every method has its benefits and drawbacks depending on your preferences, so you should put some thought into how you want to use your model train setup.

For instance, certain modelers just want to focus on the landscape and scenery and let their model train run without concern for prototypical operations. Others prefer to stick to a timetable and recreate the business decisions that occur on a real railroad. Whichever way you choose, it’s your hobby, so there is no right or wrong way, despite what the purists might tell you. To help you get a sense of what an expert looks for from model train operations, master modeler Chuck Hitchcock sat down with host Allen Keller to discuss the inspiration and design considerations that go into Chuck’s planning for the operations of his railroad layouts.

How do you best enjoy operating your model train layout?

It’s the million dollar question for every model railroader: which method of operations do you prefer? You could poll all modelers in the world and we guarantee you’ll end up with a mixed bag of results no matter where you go. We all like to operate our model train layouts a little bit differently, and Chuck Hitchcock is no different.

Over the course of more than two decades, Chuck created one of the most innovative model train layouts we’ve ever seen in his HO model of the Argentine Division of Santa Fe Railway. Allen visited his workshop to learn about Chuck’s method of operation and to hear how he prefers to get the most out of this wonderful hobby. You’ll learn why Chuck has always found passenger trains so appealing and discover how he likes to involve friends who are newly passionate about the model train world. If you’re a lover of all things model train, you won’t want to miss this interview with a master!

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