A Look at Model Trains Past and Present by DouglasBrinkmeyer


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                Model Trains for Beginners

The majority of model trains run on electricity, generally operated on a low-voltage DC supply
system while other companies are choosing to use an AC supply system. In the day, electric
model trains ran on batteries because electricity wasn't near as widespread, as seen today. These
kinds of trains are rather inexpensive and not idyllic for train model enthusiasts.

Electric Train Models Of The Past and Present

Train models of the yester-years used a three-rail system with wheels that ran on a metal track
amid metal sleepers that would conduct the power. This was highly convenient since the majority
of model trains were constructed of metal along with the track and rolling stocks. However, as
models became more accurate, a two-rail system was created; the wheels became isolated and
the tracks carried a positive and negative supply (or two sides of an AC supply system). This
system allowed for fine metal studs rather than a central rail, which gave it a more realistic look.

The early types used steam or clockwork that would make it run until it had no juice left; there was
no way a person could control how fast or slow it was going and no way to stop or start it.
However, electric model trains allowed for more sophistication including train throttles. The AC
powered locomotives had mechanisms that would allow users to change direction and control the
speed. DC powered locomotives allowed users to change directions by reversing the polarity.
Trains could be stopped by removing/shutting down blocks from the track layout. The controller
would be able to run more than one train and control the speed of every one; plus the controller
would have control over the other accessories that would make the models real.

A Look At Two Popular Electric Train Models

Now the majority of them are electric but the more popular models are the N and 0 scale types.

N Scale Models - Most train enthusiasts favor the N scale models, which have scales that range
1:148 to 1:160 with a gauge of nine millimeters. One reason it's favored is the scale because it's
half the size of the H0 scale and allows enthusiasts to create layouts that are small but very
detailed. While there are smaller train models, they don't match the popularity seen with the N
scale model, which are powered by DC 12-volt capacity.

The DC voltage that's given to the rails will determine the train's speed and direction. New N scale
train model versions use a DCC system that sends out train control signals through a decoder,
which are installed in every locomotive. This gives the user more control over the train's speed
and direction than what the AC and DC could provide.

0 Scale Model Trains - These electric model trains are very popular for model railroading and toy
trains. They are popular for three big reasons:

- Durability
- Price
- Easy to handle and work by children

Modelers often prefer the 0 scale type. These trains run on both the three-rail system from the
early 1930s to the late 1960s; however, decline for them came with the introduction of the smaller
models and a low-voltage DC supply was provided. It gets his name for the zero-gauge due to its
small scale of other model trains before World War II, with ranges of 1:48 to 1:64; however, the
Marklin Company had asked for specifications of 1:43. These trains are clearly more for
collectibles and train running enthusiasts.

For more info. go to http://tinyurl.com/trainsforbeginners

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