Many people's first introduction to model railroading is with a simple circle or oval on a sheet of plywood. No scenery, no landscaping and maybe not even any buildings or vehicles.
It doesn't take long, however, to get the urge to start adding accessories to the railroad to make it more realistic. For many people, this become a lifelong endeavor, and can grow to very large proportions.
Every layout is different and everyone has their own favorite accessories, but the following 5 items are some of the most common accessories that add a level of realism and interest to your model railroad.
1. Train Station
This is one of the first buildings most people add to their layout. It gives the railroad a starting and ending point and often serves as the basis for an entire town or city to be built up around it.
There are many forms of lighting for railroads. There can be background lighting to give a backdrop a degree of realism or street lights to add to the ambiance of a city. These may be strictly for decoration, or they may actually light up at night to give the streets a realistic glow.
3. Rail Cars
The locomotive usually gets the most attention when setting up a model railroad, but there are many choices for railcars as well.
4. People and Animals
A city or railyard isn't complete without people as part of the design. And if your layout travels through mountains or countryside, animals add a touch of realism to the design.
There are many options for landscaping a railroad. You can add things like grass, trees, lakes or rivers alongside the track. Or you can get a little more in depth and add hills and valleys for your train to travel through, and tunnels through the mountains.
Bill Murphy writes about model trains , railroad planning, scenery design and other related topics for The Modelrailroader website. Read more and sign up for our free newsletter at http://www.themodelrailroader.com