Model railroading is my oldest and dearest hobby. No matter what fad comes along to steal my attention, eventually I come back to model railroading.
In hobbies, you name it, I've tried it: RC Airplanes (too much stress flying, way too much stress after crashing), RC Cars (fun, but too competitive), Antique Cars (fun, but expensive and occasionally stressful), Model Cars (fun, the right price, but they don't move!), Model Airplanes (same as Model Cars).
Maybe my dedication to model railroading comes from receiving my first set at 22 months of age, my second Christmas. The early imprint of watching the steam engine go around me on the floor just can't be erased. Check out my smile below.
I've spent a ton of time designing layouts. I've put together a separate page documenting 6 designs that I actually quite like. I've only built 1 of them - and it was the first one (it wasn't that great). Anyhow if you want to take a look at some layout designs follow this link.
My layout is now finally under construction!!! It's a blast to get trains running, especially long trains. I have design the staging yards to run trains of 2m or over 6' in length. Which translates to 17 standard 2 axle freight cars. See my layout construction page for details.
All of my rolling stock and track is manufactured by Märklin of Göppingen, Germany. The rolling stock is represantive of Early ERA 4 in German rail history. So I intend to portray a local operation of the Deutsche Budesbahn (German Rail) in 1973, with a main station and yard being the focal point of the railroad. This allows me to fit some passenger service in amongst a good deal of freight operations.
Märklin introduced Digital and Delta control some time ago to provide multi-train control with very simple wiring for the user. Axel's Train Homepage listed below is a good starting point if you want to explore the Märklin Digital control setup.
I used to think that analog control would be good enough. But, I ended up buying an Uhlenbrock Intellibox to provide digital control and PC interface functionality, and I have never regretted it. I now run my layout "manually" from the Intellibox's two controllers or I let RailRoad&Co. running on an old PC. Now I can have up to 4 trains running around the layout one behind the other, and not running into each other. Once I get the entire layout together, there will be some parts automated, and some parts under manual control. The combination is best achieved through digital.
By using the Intellibox, I have the most choice of digital decoders and feedback modules, as well as hand controllers. It supports Märklin and DCC formats for powering decoders, as well as S88 and Loconet buses.
|A fellow model railroader's homepage. Excellent pictures and information for the Marklin Railroader.||Axel's Train Homepage|
|This server has hundreds of prototype railroad pictures. Mostly related to European railroading.||Picture Gallery|
|Marklin Mailing List Homepage.||The Märklin Mailinglist|
|A comparison price table for various German Marklin dealers - very useful if you're interested in mail ordering. (German Language)||Märklin Price Table|
|A Canadian Marklin dealer on the Web. Nice new site, lots of pictures, and well organized. Good service to boot.||Westend Toronto Trains|
|Sandia Software - The creators of Cad Rail||Sandia Software|