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Hi rail in model railroading

Hi rail in model railroading refers to the use of traditional Lionel or American Flyer trains in a scale-like setting with realistic scenery. Hi-rail is a railroading term, but in real railroading it refers to a vehicle that can operate either on tracks or a regular road.

Sometimes hi rail is spelled high rail, with or without a dash, and sometimes combined into a single word, highrail or, more frequently, hirail.

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Sizes of model trains or model train scales

Model trains come in a variety of sizes to fit the space you have available. Or, to cram more stuff into the space you have available. Here are the common sizes of model trains, or, if you prefer, model train scales.

Sizes of model trains, or any other model, are measured in scale. Scale is a ratio of the model’s size relative to the real thing. Sometimes people will refer to gauge as well, which relates to the track, rather than the train.

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What happened to Tyco RC and trains?

Tyco is a name I certainly remember from my childhood. While I never had either of them, many people my age had Tyco slot cars and/or a Tyco train set growing up. If you’re wondering what happened to Tyco, or what happened to Tyco RC, Tyco trains, or Tyco slot cars, read on.

When I think of Tyco, I think of slot cars and trains. Tyco went out with a bang with one last monster Christmas in 1996, and it had nothing at all to do with trains or slot cars. Rather, it involved a brightly colored furry monster that giggled a lot.

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True 1:48 O scale cars (as in autos)

Scale-oriented O scale enthusiasts often bemoan the lack of true 1:48 O scale cars (as in automobiles) to go with their O scale trains. Often they go so far as to call 1:48 scale autos non-existent. That’s not entirely the case. There are 1:48 scale vehicles out there. Finding them just requires some creativity and imagination.

I know of more than 20 1:48 scale vehicles suitable for O scale train layouts. They fall into two broad categories: ready made diecast vehicles, and plastic 1/48 scale model car kits, which require assembly. The model kits tend to be costlier but allow a greater level of detail. Not only that, some of the model kits are 4-door sedans, the perfect ordinary car. For the realism-craving hi rail or 2-rail enthusiast, they are hard to resist.

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Fasten Lionel track to foam board

Foam board is nice for building train layouts, since it’s lightweight and versatile. It’s easy to cut and shape into mountains and valleys and rivers. It’s also inexpensive. The problem is that screws won’t stick in it. So it’s tricky to fasten Lionel track to foam board. It’s difficult to fasten any other kind of track too.

Here are two ways to do it.

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Bachmann vs Lionel

Comparing Bachmann vs Lionel is a contrast between two very old, established names in electric trains. Lionel, in one form or another, has been selling trains since 1900. Bachmann, the largest seller of trains in the world, was founded in 1833, though they started selling trains in 1966.

Ironically, it was Lionel that got Bachmann into the train business. In the 1940s and 1950s, when every kid wanted a Lionel or American Flyer train, Bachmann sold buildings under its Plasticville brand so kids and dads could build towns for those trains to run in. As the focus shifted to smaller scales in the 1960s, Bachmann moved with it, with greater success than the companies it once shared a symbiotic relationship with.

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