Model Power Trains

Written by Diane Sievert
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Model power trains come in several different shapes and sizes, and every toy train manufacturer has its own strengths and weaknesses. If you're not a model train expert and you don't care about historical accuracy or theme continuation, then you can mix model power trains quite easily. If you want a layout that's more put together, you need to be careful when it comes to mixing model power trains.

How to Mix and Match Model Power Trains

The obvious rule is to stay within your own scale--you can throw a classic train caboose on the end of a totally sleek and modern train model (if you so please) as long as they are both of the same scale. Most train hobbyists, however, would shun such a move. One of the beauties of this hobby is the many options available, so you can build a train that's well coordinated rather than a mix-matched mess.

Another thing to consider is the operating system your current trains run on. If you want to add another train or individual piece to your layout, you must make sure its operating system is compatible. For instance, mixing Marklin track and rolling stock with a train operating on a two rail system is a big no-no!

As long as the various pieces are all operating on the same power system and are built according to the same scale, you should have no problem mixing and matching. You can be as wacky as you want with your train layout. In the end, the trains you purchase and your model train layout is there to please one person and one person only: you!


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