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Model Train Kits and the 5 Mistakes to Avoid Making it a Nightmare Hobby
By Tim Bennett

Virtually every man over the age of 5 years old has at one time in his life wanted some Model Train Kits in his life (And many many women do, also).

But having your passion laid out on the floor can soon turn to nightmare unless you keep well clear of 5 mistakes that many people will make when following their passion.

Many have said "The 2nd best day of your life is the day you buy your first model train kit...the best day of your life is the day you sell it!"

I do not want you to feel like this! There simply is no need to let it all get on top of you and make you crumble in misery. So here are 5 mistakes that are commonly made when building Model Train Kits:

1) Rushing Without Thought

Having your train on the floor may seem wonderful, but before you rush out and buy it, there are things you should consider such as:
a) What scale and gauge do you want?
b) What theme do you want?
c) Will it be a three rail system or a two rail system?
d) How much space will I need?
e) What is my maximum budget?
f) Is this a long term investment for profit or a hobby?
g) Will I construct a special table or will I pack it away every day?

I am sure there are more questions to think about including the impact on your family, so before you rush out and buy, stop and give it some thought....

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...2) Trying To Get Your First Starter Kit To Be A Giant Model

Starter kits are just that! Starter kits! The power supplies, trains and track are designed to be used exclusively for this track and if you begin extending it without knowing what you are doing you will more than likely have trains that stop for no apparent reason, derailments and a whole host of other problems. Before you start developing your starter kit, get expert help from the many books around that explain how to set up your model train kit correctly.

3) Mixing Up Scale And Gauge

Scale refers to the size of the train compared to the original train. So 1:87 (HO Scale) means that the model is 87 times smaller than the real train. Gauge refers to the distance between the train tracks. So N Gauge (or nine gauge) means that the rails of the track are 9 millimeters apart. There can be changes in both scale and gauge depending on which country you buy from, so make sure you buy the correct setting for your model train kits.

4) Making Hills Too Steep

Your train is rushing down the track and then starts to climb the hill and then suddenly stops. If this happens to you, it is probably because your track is too steep. The ideal gradient should be about 2 degrees to keep your train running.

Another track problem can be having curves too tight. Your short goods trains maybe OK, but your longer passenger trains may derail. So make sure you test everything before you nail down the track.

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5) Using The Wrong Power

As your model train kits grow, they will need more power, especially if you have lots of main lines and lots of junctions.

The best way to solve this problem, although a little more expensive initially, is to use a DCC or Direct Command Control system, which talks directly to each train and gives the correct power to the whole track for each train running.

These 5 mistakes are very common mistakes which can easily be avoided. With a little thought you can have the most wonderfully exciting model train kits in your life. The best way to avoid these mistakes is studying before you buy, which is the first step I would recommend.

The End

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