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  • Why do I need to use underlay under my track?
    Why do I need to use underlay under my track?
    12 Views Liked

    The main reason for using underlay is to help to reduce the noise on your layout. If you run your train on track placed directly on wood, it resonates a lot and this is amplified by the void under the baseboard. The second reason is by putting...

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  • What is a stay-alive?
    What is a stay-alive?
    20 Views Liked

    A stay-alive (or keep-alive) is a capacitor that can be used with a DCC decoder. It stores power to allow for a more effective and constant power to your locomotive motor and therefore, smoother running. However, there are issues with fitting the...

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  • Is ballast a uniform colour?
    Is ballast a uniform colour?
    112 Views Liked

    Ballast is not really a uniform colour. Although it would have started off the same colour on a prototype line, over time the ballast would be susceptible to everyday dirt and grime from the locos. Here is an example taken at Havenstreet Steam...

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  • What is the best colour primer to use?
    What is the best colour primer to use?
    78 Views Liked

    This will depend on what it is you are painting and the colour of the top coat. Never forget that the colour of the primer will have an impact on the colour of the top coat. If you were to paint two of the same items with the same top coat but...

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  • What colour is ballast?
    What colour is ballast?
    87 Views Liked

    On the real railway line, the ballast would have come from a local quarry so the colour would reflect this. The colour will mostly epend on the type of stone common ones are limestone and granite, with colours varying from white to grey and brown....

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  • Why Hornby product codes start with R?
    Why Hornby product codes start with R?
    263 Views Liked

    For the past 50-odd years, all Hornby Railways products have been assigned a product code starting with R. The numbers are roughly sequential, with higher number meaning more recent releases. You could expect the letter to have been H for Hornby...

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  • What is the maximum voltage for OO scale and N gauge track?
    What is the maximum voltage for OO scale and N gauge track?
    125 Views Liked

    For an analogue system, the maximum voltage supported by the engines is about 12V. Most analogue controllers will deliver a bit more but constantly running your engines with 13V or even 14V may damage their motors (and does not look very...

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  • What does DCC ready mean?
    What does DCC ready mean?
    74 Views Liked

    DCC ready means that the loco is designed to be fitted with a DCC chip. At the factory a small piece of circuitry is added to the loco with a socket that enables you to insert a DCC decoder to convert the engine from analogue to DCC. It is quite...

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  • What is the difference between Peco Streamline and Set-Track?
    What is the difference between Peco Streamline and Set-Track?
    93 Views Liked

    Peco manufactures two types of track: - Set-Track is the standard geometry range, similar to the one used by Hornby. The range comprises curves, straights, crossings and points. - Streamline is the extended range with wider radii for the points...

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  • How do I clean the wheels of my engine?
    How do I clean the wheels of my engine?
    86 Views Liked

    One easy way is to get yourself a Peco cleaning kit containing a wire brush, wheel scraper, foam cradle and oil. The foam cradle allows you to turn your loco upside down and give support while cleaning the wheels, or any other form of...

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  • How do I test the width between the wheels of my engines?
    How do I test the width between the wheels of my engines?
    66 Views Liked

    The best way to check the wheels of your locomotives is to use a tool called a back to back gauge. They are available for all scales/gauges. They are made of brass and you simply slide it over the axle and the back of the wheels. If it proves...

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  • Is electricity on a model train track dangerous?
    Is electricity on a model train track dangerous?
    92 Views Liked

    Electricity is inherently dangerous and should always be treated with respect. But with model railways the voltage is so low and there is no risk of electric shock at all. You can touch the track and you will not feel anything (and will not hurt...

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