While building model trains is a labor of love for the most part, it still requires some skill. Models are built at various heights, depending on the depth of the track bed. Models are built on the floor, on the floorboards, or even on top of the ceiling.
I recently rebuilt my layout and I wanted to get the new track up and running as quickly as possible, and did not want to wait for my next trip to the hobby shop to pick up some track and ties. I did not want to spend a lot of time and effort building this track piece by piece, and I did not want to use a model train accessory that was not going to be strong enough to hold the weight of the train. I did some research and found a product that does all I need, and actually looks attractive and simple enough to be a “go to” solution for future track building projects.
Have you ever wanted to create a model railroad, but were afraid that it would be too difficult or expensive? If so, then this guide is for you. After reading through the tips and tricks outlined in this guide, I’m confident that you will be able to construct a model railroad track that is easy to build and looks realistic.
Who doesn’t want to play with model trains? They’re not simply toys for kids; the train and the layout are often works of art and design that someone has spent hundreds of hours putting together. But what if you don’t have a lot of space to operate your locomotives? You, on the other hand, become vertical!
In this post, we’ll discuss how to raise model train tracks to offer you more area to run various train models while also saving you space.
What is the function of a railway track that is elevated?
There are a few very apparent reasons why a model train may need to be raised right immediately.
In the actual world, it’s usually always an utilitarian element of urban development and city planning, but on a layout, it’s occasionally for aesthetic reasons.
And that’s just OK, too! In a city setting, having many layers in a design is a fantastic approach to get more out of it and enhance the realism.
When we construct a model train set, the aim of raising a railway track is usually for decoration.
The railway would occasionally cross a small river, and other times it would be raised (much like a light rail) to span the distance between two terrains of varying heights.
Other times, model railway lines are raised to run over a road (like in NYC) or to assist relieve traffic congestion between train tracks.
In summary, there are a variety of reasons to use elevated railway tracks, and because it’s your layout, you don’t even need a compelling justification!
What is the best way to raise a model train track?
When it comes to elevated railway lines, we suggest that you do it yourself.
But we’ll keep things basic, because the simplest method to construct almost anything for your model train layout is to use plywood.
You’ll need plywood, wooden studs, screws, and glue to put it all together using this technique.
For the raised platform, we suggest using some thin 4/8 plywood. Purchase some studs that are about 47 inches long and 2-3 inches thick. In reality, you can buy a stud of any length and trim it down to size.
These will provide stability and a foundation for the elevated track, as well as sufficient ground clearance for a train to pass below.
Now you may start planning your model railway layout and sketching it out on paper. If you need to sketch it out life-size, tape a number of pieces of paper together; then, if you want one solid piece of wood, just move it over to the piece of plywood.
Cut the plywood according to your design’s arrangement. Assemble the studs as needed. You may use a variety of references for this part, but make sure they’re positioned where the plywood pieces stop and begin, as well as where an inclination is required.
To give it solidity, glue the parts together and push a screw or a few nails in from the top. Weights should be placed on the glued areas for a day or two until they are completely set.
That’ll be the end of it. Place the track on the platform, and your elevated tracks are complete!
Obviously, this is simply a massive slab of plywood in the center of your layout right now, so the next major job is to dress it up. To make it seem more authentic, you may do anything from foam work to CnCing panels to glue over the plywood.
It’s all up to you!
Is it possible to purchase pre-made elevated model train track?
Yes, you certainly can. There are a variety of elevated model train track models available on the market. Some are pre-assembled in the box, while others must be put together after being unpacked.
Because there are so many various styles to choose from, you may have a hard time deciding which one is perfect for you.
That is why we suggest that you take some time to figure out what you need and why you want elevated tracks on your layout, and then conduct some study on it.
Eventually, you’ll come upon one that is ideal for your needs.
Alternatively, depending on your track scale, something like this may be the way to go.
They’re just support beams on which you may attach your railway track. You’ll only have problems with this if you require something more customized, or if you need a large number of one-size items.
Pre-made tracks may seem to be the simple way out, but they may be difficult to incorporate into your original model train track plan.
So just be aware that you may have to improvise, and the end product may vary somewhat. As a result, we strongly advise you to build elevated model railway lines yourself.
How to operate an elevated model train track with tips and tricks
Model railway lines are considered toys by some. That is why people believe it is a simple task.
These model train track kits, however, are not as easy as ty trains. If you really appreciate the creativity that goes into creating them, you understand how difficult they may be.
So, here are some suggestions from us to assist you with elevated model railway tracks.
- Construct elevated model railway tracks on your own. Because you’ll have full creative flexibility when it comes to creating your model train track layout.
If you utilize prefabricated elevated railway tracks, you may have difficulty integrating them into your design.
- Maintain a 7-inch ground clearance underneath the elevated rails. This isn’t required. However, if you wish to change trains or go under the elevated lines, you must do so. If 7 inches is too high, you may lower it to 6 inches, but not lower than that.
- As accurately as possible, measure the inclines. When it comes to turning, incline is crucial. Both elevated and non-elevated tracks benefit from it. This is also where the creativity of model railway track construction shines.
So, using simple physics, calculate the degrees of inclines in each corner and lay out the tracks accordingly. You’ll need to cut the studs at a small angle to set up the slope if you’re using plywood and wooden studs to build the raised tracks.
So, how can we make a model train track more elevated? We can raise the railway track using plywood, studs, or Lego Basic Brick blocks if we do it ourselves. Alternatively, we may purchase ready-made elevated railway lines on the market.
Which one do we think is the best? Make it on your own. You are not obligated to utilize the two DIY techniques we mentioned. It allows you to be more inventive. Use cardboards whenever possible. In any case, DI will be the most cost-effective method of constructing elevated railway lines.
If you don’t want to do any DIY, you may just purchase the pre-made tracks.
For as long as he can remember, Peter has been constructing model trains. This site is a creative avenue for him to go further into various sizes and elements of the model train community and hobby. He is an ardent lover of HO and O scale.
At our house we have an outdoor train set, so I wanted to try and find a way to raise the track so I can look for trains in the backyard when we aren’t playing. It’s a nice project and it’s a good skill for the kids to learn.. Read more about building model train inclines and let us know what you think.
Frequently Asked Questions
How steep can a model train climb?
A model train can climb up to a maximum of 20 degrees.
How do you layout a model train track?
There are many different ways to layout a model train track. The most common way is to use the rail system, where you can place your trains on tracks that are connected by other rails.
What is the steepest grade A model train can climb?
The steepest grade A model train can climb is a 45 degree incline.
This article broadly covered the following related topics:
- building model train inclines
- ho scale grade chart
- building model railway inclines
- building model railroad grades
- elevated model train layouts