MRA Editors

Running Model Railroad Switching Operations on a Small Layout

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Duration:   12  mins

Just because your layout doesn’t have five stops and three branch lines doesn’t mean you can’t run realistic model railroad switching operations on your layout. It just means you need to get a little bit creative with the way you utilize the trackage on a small layout. Whether it’s running laps to extend your train’s operation or rearranging a train’s order using spurs and sidings, there are always real-life scenarios you can use to run successful and entertaining model railroad switching operations on a small layout. In this lesson, we teach you how to make your model railroad switching operations more involved and thought intensive, so you can spend more time enjoying your layout.

Use what you have for realistic model railroad switching operations

To help you figure out some simple ways to run proper model railroad switching operations on a small, Andy Sperandeo walks you through a sample run of a local engine that needs to drop off empty coal hoppers at a mine branch and pick up freight to bring home. He shows you some of the expert maneuvers you can utilize in your own model railroad switching operations to extend the amount of time you spend running your train.

In Andy’s demonstration, you’ll first learn how to taxi your engine at the correct speed for safety when pushing it across a yard for pickup, and see the correct way to stop at and throw manual switches before proceeding. Andy also introduces a few tricks he likes to use to rearrange the order of a train and get maximize his model railroad switching operations, including a quick technique that incorporates water and fuel pickups. Take advantage of these easy methods for running realistic model railroad switching operations on a small layout, and we guarantee you’ll get more out of your time in the workshop!

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7 Responses to “Running Model Railroad Switching Operations on a Small Layout”

  1. Peter

    Good video but when demonstrating switching a few aerial shots looking down on the track would give a better overview of the yard and the switching strategy.

  2. Larry

    Is there a track plan of the Turtle Creek layout? Andy does an excellent job how a small layout can hours of enjoyment


    Nice video

  4. 7kSwMl

    601839 311609Jane wanted to know though your girl could certain, the cost I basically informed her she had to hang about until the young woman seemed to be to old enough. But the truth is, in which does not get your girlfriend to counteract employing picking out her quite own incorrect body art terribly your lady are normally like me. Citty style 809726

  5. David

    I enjoyed this video. Shows a great amount of switching available, and no real need for switch machines.

  6. Carmine

    It's great that you can demonstrate that much switching action on a small 4x8 layout!

  7. Kenneth

    Excellent video.

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