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How do you choose a model railway?

Choosing the size of a model train and its layout requires careful thought. Find out here about the scales commonly used in model railways.

How do I choose the right scale for my model train?

What size should I choose for my model train?

Before anything else, you need to ask yourself three questions in order to structure your layout project properly. The first criterion is the space available for the model train layout. If space is limited, it is preferable to choose the ho scale model train, the N scale model train or the Z scale model train to create a layout of a size suited to small spaces.

Then you need to think about the equipment and scenery you want. Model train manufacturers produce them in specific scales. Z scale (the smallest) is produced by only one manufacturer, unlike HO scale, which is more widespread. This is particularly true in the choice of locomotives, sets, worlds and eras.

Finally, you need to set yourself a priority when developing a world. To run several convoys, you can choose any scale, but always keep in mind the space available. Plenty of space is not necessarily synonymous with a large scale, and vice versa.

Which power supply should I choose for model trains?

There are two power supply options for model railways: analogue and digital. Analogue model train control is best for discovering the world of RC model railways or running on a simple railway layout. The model railway regulator transformer is more complex when it comes to creating sections. It requires more advanced knowledge of electricity. The analogue system has the advantage of being easy to implement and less expensive.

The digital power supply is more expensive to buy. However, for locomotives fitted with decoders, it allows many model trains to run at the same time on a single layout. For greater precision, this digital system can also be used to add a large number of options, such as engine noises, sound signals or headlights.

Which era to choose?

The aim of model railways is to create a realistic miniature rail network. So the choice of era should come first, before the purchase of scenery and future accessories for the model railway. There are five types of era:

● Period I: this corresponds to the period between 1832 and 1925, when the first national rail networks were created;

● Era II: this period represents the beginning of the unification of company networks, from 1926 to 1945;

● Era III: this period runs from 1946 to 1970. Many diesel and electric model trains were offered by manufacturers;

● Era IV: this was the period when the TGV came into being and the electric train took off: from 1970 to 1991;

● Era V: this is the period from 1991 to the present day, when regional trains appeared and the SNCF experienced a major boom.

What are the different manufacturers of model trains?

Model railways come in a wide range of scales, from the largest to the smallest. A manufacturer may specialise in a particular scale or offer several. Here are the best-known brands in model railroading:

● Busch ;

● Faller ;

● Hornby ;

● Minichamps ;

● Piko ;

● Preiser ;

● Roco ;

● Schuco;

● Siku.


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Very pleased with my purchase very reliable



Delivery of item from order date took 20 days - and this is not clear when ordering. However - the 1001 Hobbies customer service team did answer...



Excellent service. I have used 1001 Hobbies several times now and would recommend them.



Great service. Goods received as expected. No problems.



Very prompt service



Excellent range of models and hobby items, all at reasonable prices. Easy to navigate and attractive website. Great service and prompt delivery...



items arrived on time and quite cheap



Ordering was straightforward, good delivery time, have used them before, very good


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