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Modeling trains is great fun, well it can be. there are so many elements to it that there is room for everything


 Why Model a Railroad

LOCOMOTIVES pull the train. Sets may come with modern diesels or old-time steam engines. Most have working headlights. Some steam locos even make smoke. Large Scale steam locomotives sometimes have chug and/or whistle sounds.

TRACK sets come with separate pieces of straight and curved track to build an oval. Some include a special piece called a switch or turnout, to move trains on to another track. Many sets include a special section called a rerailer, which has an insert between the rails that aligns the wheels of the cars and locomotive, making it easy to put them on the track. Sets may also come with track sections connected by small, formed metal pieces called rail joiners. Others use special track systems designed for easy snap-together assembly. Matching sections of track for both types are sold separately to enlarge the basic oval.

COUPLERS are mounted on the ends of cars and locomotives; they keep the train connected. Simply push cars together gently and the couplers connect. A standard style is used with each size (scale) of train. Many sets now include equipment with knuckle-shaped couplers that look like clasped hands -- this style holds more securely. Couplers are often mounted on the bottom of the car, helping to keep the wheels on the tracks.

POWER PACKS (electrically powered controllers) let you speed up, slow down or stop your locomotive, and run it forward or backward. Most packs have two sets of connections on the back -- one set powers the trains, the other runs electrically powered accessories. Virtually all power packs in use today are UL listed, indicating they have passed tests to meet specific safety requirements.Most come with a built-in protective device that shuts off the power pack if there's an electrical problem. All power packs must be plugged in to a wall socket. This should be done by an adult, or with adult supervision.Specific instructions for using the power pack are included with sets.

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2006 March 28