Modelling Books

All of the books listed here are in my personal library and are listed to assist the researching of industries and modelling techniques
All books published by Kalmbach Publishing Company, unless otherwise noted.

General Industry Guides

Freight Cars of the '40s and '50s by Jeff Wilson (2015)

This book focuses on the freight cars produced and operated during this period. Chapters include: Modeling a freight car fleet; Paint & Lettering; Boxcars; Reefers; Hoppers; Gondolas; Tank cars; Covered Hoppers; Flatcars; Stock cars, Trucks & brake gear.

Modeling the 50s — The Glory Years of Rail edited by MR staff (2008)

Chapters include — The 1950s: 1 America in the ’50s; 2 Modeling the SP in Los Angeles; 3 Setting the scene; 4 Adding vintage trucks – and realism. Motive Power: 5 Locomotives of the 1950s: 6 Weathering locomotives. Passenger Trains: 7 Passenger equipment and operations; 8 Detailing the classic El Capitan; 9 Modeling Chicago’s Dearborn Station. Freight Trains: 10 Freight equipment and operations; 11 Replacing war-weary freight cars; 12 Hauling Appalachian coal; 13 Moving produce to market. Trackside Details: 14 The 1950s railroad scene; 15 Modeling the right-of-way.

Express, Mail & Merchandise Service by Jeff Wilson (2016)

Chapters include — 1 History of express, merchandise, and mail service 2 Railroad LCL traffic 3 Railway Express Agency 4 Head-end cars and merchandise equipment 5 Depots, freight houses, and transfer terminals 6 Train and car operations 7 Moving mail by rail.

Space-saving Industries for your Layout by Tony Koester (2016)

A very useful book. Chapters include: 1 Engine terminals 2 "Industries" within yard limits 3 Interchange tracks 4 Team tracks, freight houses, and ramps 5 Coal dealers and truck dumps 6 Petroleum dealers 7 Unconnected industries 8 Salvage yards 9 Big industries in little areas 10 Compact industry potpourri.

HO Lineside Industries you can Build. Reprinted Model Railroader Magazine articles (1996)

A very useful book covering a range of trackside industries. Chapters include: ► Bulk oil depots ► Build a molding plant that receives plastic pellets by rail ► Welte Lumber Millwork ► An export elevator for the MR&T ► D H Griffin Co scrapyard ► Build a liquid-asphalt transfer terminal ► Tank farm at Chateaugay ► Build a modern furniture factory ► Modeling Hansen Storage ► Modeling Maxon Mills ► Great Western Chemical Co ► Build a concrete plant ► A solution to your short siding problems? ► Del Norte Canning Co ► Modeling Consumers Fuel ► Build a wood-treating plant ► Raia Industries Cement Works ► The Davies Steel coke plant ► H M Young fruit-packing shed ► Dolese Sand & Gravel.

The Model Railroader's Guide To

Bridges, Trestles & Tunnels by Jeff Wilson (2005)

► Basics    ► Culverts    ► Trestles    ► Plate-girder Bridges    ► Truss Bridges    ► Stone & Concrete Bridges    ► Movable Bridges    ► Highway Bridges    ► Abutments & Piers    ► Tunnel Portals.

Coal by Tony Koester (2006)

► History   ► Where is the coal    ► Company Towns    ► Eastern Coalfields    ► Anthracite  Coal Mining    ► Midwestern Coalfields    ► Powder River Basin Coal    ► Coal Customers    ► Motive Power    ►Railroad Operations. Includes details and photos of coal mines (p34-39 & 58) including the D&RGW Edna Mine at Craig (p67) used for the Walthers New River Mine kit.

Freight Cars by Jeff Wilson (2005)

► Boxcars    ► Tank Cars    ► Covered Hoppers    ► Refrigerator Cars    ► Hoppers & Gondolas    ► Flatcars    ► Intermodal  Equipment   ► Car Components. Includes freight car timelines.

Freight Yards by Andy Sperandeo (2004)

► Basic Yard Functions    ► Track by Track       ► Favorite Model Railroad Yards    ► Designing Yards    ► Staging Yards    ► Operating Model Railroad Yards.

Grain by Jeff Wilson (2015)

► History    ► Grain Elevators  ► Terminal Elevators    ► Mills & Processing Plants    ► Boxcars & Grain Doors    ► Covered Hoppers    ► Grain Train Operations. Includes details and photos of classic small grain elevators (p15).

Industries Along The Tracks. Vol. 1 by Jeff Wilson (2004)

► Grain    ► Petroleum    ► Coal Mining    ► Automotive    ► Produce    ► Livestock    Includes mention of Cargill (p7); Swift, Armour & Wilson (p78) and Ford (p51).

Industries Along The Tracks. Vol. 2 by Jeff Wilson (2006)

► Coal Customers     ► Milk & Dairy Traffic     ► Breweries    ► Paper    ► Iron Ore    ► Package & LCL Traffic.  Includes mention of Coors (p33).

Industries Along The Tracks. Vol. 3 by Jeff Wilson (2008)

► Ethanol     ► Cement    ► Team tracks & Trans loading    ► Sugar Beets    ► Seasonal Canning Factories    ► Trailers & Containers. Includes a useful drawing based on the Blue Circle Cement Plant in NY (p28). Includes filling a 1930's Borden Milk Truck from an early covered hopper on a team track (p34) and 1930's Chicago Great Western piggy back trailers (p74).

Industries Along The Tracks. Vol. 4 by Jeff Wilson (2010)

► Coal Gas plants    ► Salt mining    ► Classic Brickyards    ► Quarries    ► Lumber    ► Waterfront Operations. Includes a useful photo of a sawmill in Oregon (p56).

Intermodal Equipment & Operations by Jeff Wilson (1999)

► History    ► Trailers    ► Modelling Trailers    ► Containers    ► Flatcars    ► Well Cars    ► Spine & Other Intermodal Railcars    ► Intermodal  Facilities & Equipment    ► Building a Model Layout. Includes a timeline for the history of Flatcars and well cars (p10 & 44-46), Trailers (p15-16) and Containers (p25).

Junctions by Jeff Wilson (2006)

► Crossings     ► Where lines meet     ► Interlocking's     ► Tower operations     ► Interlocking signals     ► Modeling interlocking's     ► Interchange traffic     ► Junction details

Livestock & Meatpacking by Jeff Wilson (2013)

► History    ► Stock-cars    ► Meat Refrigerator Cars    ► Cattle Pens & Stockyards    ► Packing Plants & Branch Houses    ► Livestock Operations    ► Meat Traffic. Includes details and photos of Swift & Armour Plants (p59), Swift Reefers (p57 &58) and Stockyards (p48).

Logging Railroads by Matt Coleman (2008)

► History   ► Types of Logging Railroads    ► Logging Locomotives    ► Rolling Stock & Track        ► Structures & Logging Equipment    ► Designing a Logging Layout.

Locomotive Servicing Terminals by Marty McGuirk (2002)

Steam Locomotive Servicing:    Fuel, Water Tanks, Ash Pits, Wash racks, Turntables and Engine Houses. Diesel Locomotive Servicing. Modeling Servicing Terminals.

Passenger Equipment & Operation by Andy Sperandeo (2006)

► History    ► Passenger Train Types    ► Passenger Train Equipment ► Passenger Train Consists    ► Prototype Consists    ► Stations & Terminals    ► Passenger Operations.

Trackside Structures by Jeff Wilson (2011)

► Depots & Stations    ► Passenger Terminals    ► Freight Houses    ► Interlocking Towers    ► Crossing Shanties, Tower & Gates    ► Service Structures    ► Relay Cases & Maintenance Sheds    ► Communication Lines & poles    ► Lineside Signs. Includes details and photos of Ice Houses and Icing platforms (p56) and Less-than-carload (LCL) Freight Houses (p30).

Industry Guides

Intermodal Modeler’s Guide, Volume 1 edited/published by Randy Lee (1997)

This book includes a large amount of prototype and modelling information. Main feature: JB Hunt Transport.

Intermodal Modeler’s Guide, Volume 2 edited/published by Randy Lee (1997)

This book includes even more prototype and modelling information. Main feature: United Parcel Service.

Trains, Tracks & Tall Timber by Matt Coleman (Wm. K. Walthers, Inc., 1996)

This book covers the history, making and modeling of lumber and paper. Highlights Walther's timber industry kits.

America's Driving Force edited by Laura Sebastian-Coleman (Wm. K. Walthers, Inc., 1998)

This book covers the history, making and modeling of the automotive industry. Highlights the Ford Motor Company and Walther's automotive industry kits.

How-To Guides on Building Model Railroads

Modelling Structures by Jeff Wilson (2016)

This book covers the techniques, ideas and concepts of building model structures. Chapters include: 1 Tools and adhesives 2 Structure kits 3 Modular and kitbashed structures 4 Scratchbuilding 5 Interior detailing and lighting 6 Painting and weathering 7 Signs 8 Structures and flats from photos 9 Finishing scenes.

Trackwork and Lineside Detail for your Model Railroad. Selected by Kent Johnson (2000)

This book covers all sorts of trackside modelling. Chapters: FLEXIBLE TRACKWORK: 1. Flextrack for smooth operation 2. Laying flextrack on curves 3. Railroading without derailments 4. Superelevating HO flextrack HANDLAYING TRACKWORK: 5. How to hand lay track 6. Better N scale track laying techniques WORKING WITH TURNOUTS: 7. All about turnouts 8. Building a turnout from scratch 9. Hand laying code 40 turnouts in N scale 10. Hide those switch motors 11. Tortoise tips REALISTIC TRACKWORK: 12. Track profiles 13. Name that track 14. Ballast; the finishing touch 15. Weathering track for realism LINESIDE DETAIL: 16. Track and Lineside details 17. Derails 18. Bridge guard rails 19. Bumping posts and car stops 20. Switch stands and targets 21. Switch stand appurtenances 22. Railroad line poles 23. Mileposts and scale miles 24. Railroad speed signs 25. Whistle posts 26. Flanger signs 27. Instrument cases and where to find them 28. Instrument houses 29. Build a slide-detector fence 30. Model an HO scale ACI scanner 31. Automatic bad-order detector 32. Train-defect-detection installations

Build Realistic Model Railroad Scenery, 3rd Edition by Dave Frary (2005)

This book is the bible on how to build model railroad scenery. Chapters: 1: Planning your scenery 2: Building scenic forms 3: Basic colors, textures, and adhesives 4: Rocks and rubble 5: Finishing: texture 6: Trees and foliage 7: Modeling water 8: Backdrops and background scenery 9: Foreground scenery 10: Modeling the changing seasons 11: Ballasting track 12: Rejuvenating old scenery.

Rebuilding a Layout from A-Z by Pelle K. Søeborg (2012)

This book is a very useful addition to any "How-to" library. Chapters include: ► The layout ► Building benchwork ► Laying track ► Creating scenery: Terrain ► Streets and highways ► Photo backdrop ► Ballast & ground cover ► Grade crossing ► Telephone poles ► Road signs ► Adding a: Concrete trestle ► Highway bridge ► Tunnel portal ► Asphalt transfer terminal ► Best Deal Auto ► Laser kit homes ► Yard office ► Organizing wiring ► List of materials

N Scale Railroading, 2nd Edition by Marty McGuirk (2009)

This book is a fine how-to guide to getting started for beginners. From  maintaining and weathering locomotives to building benchwork and laying track, this book provides keys to buildings, structures and tracks in N scale size. Chapters include: ► N scale basics ► Planning your railroad ► Benchwork ► Basics of track ► Wiring and train control ► Locomotives ► Rolling stock and couplers ► Structures: Models that don't roll ► Meet the Androscoggin Central ► Getting trains running ► Adding scenery and details.

Basic Scenery, 2nd Edition by Lou Sassi (2014)

This book includes new material on foam scenery and concrete roads as well as many new projects to teach modelers how to apply a basic layer of scenery to their layout. Modelers will learn how to form ground terrain, add varieties of ground cover, build trees, and add details such as rocks, dirt and paved roads, water effects, signs, and more. Chapters include: ► Foam base for scenery and track ► Modular frame with a foam base ► Adding basic ground cover ► Making conifer trees ► Realistic deciduous trees ► Super Trees and Super Sage ► Ground leaves for a forest floor ► Turning trees into a forest ► Rock formations from Foam Putty ► Creating wetlands in four easy stages ► Making a mill pond ► Pouring a mill stream ► Stone walls and barbed wire ► Making a farm field ► Building a dirt road ► Gravel roads ► Ready-mix concrete streets ► Utility poles and lines ► Creating safe grade crossings ► Details make a difference

Building City Scenery for your model railroad by John Pryke (2000)

This book is the only one I know that is dedicated to urban scenery. A must for anyone modelling cities. Chapters include ► How a City Grows ► The Primary Elements of Model Railroad City Scenery ► The City As a Backdrop ► The City As a Scenic Module ► The Urban Railroad ► Detailing City Structures ► Cars, Trucks, People, and Junk ► Updating Your City

Build & Detail Model Railroad Scenes, Volume 2 by Lou Sassi (2009)

Chapters include: ► Selecting and weathering a firehouse ► Modeling streets, a grade crossing, and ground cover ► Weathering and detailing houses ► Modeling a farm implement dealer ► Detailing HO tractor models ► Benchwork, track. and wiring ► Trees. brush, rocks. and snow ► Creating a photo backdrop.

Freight Car Projects and Ideas. Selected by Kent Johnson (1997)

Chapters include: ► ABCs of Freight Car Tune-Up ► Upgrade Your Freight Car Fleet ► Capturing Prototype Data for Car Modeling ► Easy Renumbering for Printed Cars and Locomotives ► Simplified Lettering for Burlington Northern Freight Cars ► Painting Freight Car Trucks ► Weathering Freight Cars ► Wreck-Damaged Cars ► Freight Car Graffiti ► Paint a Pair of Freight Cars ► Invisible Weights for Open Freight Cars ► Making the Tyco Gondola Look Better ► Upgrading a Con-Cor HO Scale 52-foot Mill Gondola, ► Build an HO Scale AT&SF Work Flat ► Lumber Loads from the 1940s and '50s ► Christmas Trees Make Great Pulpwood Loads ► Early Coil Steel Cars ► South Shore and IHB Coil Steel Cars ► Modeling a Shippers' Car Line 4,000-gallon Tank Car in HO Scale ► Upgrading HO Hopper Car Kits ► Economical Coal Loads ► Maine Central Covered Hoppers ► Detailing Santa Fe Steel Cabooses ► Modern Windows for an Old Caboose.

Model Railroading in Small Spaces, 2nd Edition by Mat Chibbaro (2011)

This book has lots of ideas for people who thought they had no space for a layout.

How to build Model Railroad Benchwork by Linn H. Westcott (1979)

Nothing much has changed on how to build a layout framework. Linn Westcott was the inventor of the "L Girder" system.

How to use an Airbrush, 2nd Edition by Robert Dowie (2008)

All you need to know about airbrush painting.

Painting and Weathering Railroad Models by Jeff Wilson (1995)

A useful companion book to Airbrush painting. Lots of different techniques.

Model Railroader "How-To Build" series

Issue 1: Realistic Layouts (2006)

This is an MR Special Issue. Chapters include: ► How to ballast and weather track ► Trackside details ► Signs along the line ► Stringing details in the sky ► Moving targets for switch stands ► 3 Common culverts ► Build your own lineside structures ► Common structures of any vintage ► Where to place trackside signals ► Unlocking the secrets of interlocking's ► Grafton's D tower ► Freight yard structures and details ► Trackside storage for rail and wheels ► Spur without a turnout.

Issue 2: Realistic Layouts (2007)

This is an MR Special Issue. Chapters include: ► Add a freight house to your layout ► From the freight house to everywhere ► A freight house conversion ► Kitbashing a soybean processing plant ► Working car puller for elevators ► Big industry in the valley ► Model a bulk propane plant ► Build and operate a grocery warehouse ► Rolling livestock ► Signs set the scene ► A massive mill in a small space (modeling the paper industry in N scale) ► Shipping California citrus ► Loading points for railroad cars ► Model an Auto dock.

Issue 3: Realistic Layouts (2007)

This is an MR Special Issue. Chapters include: ► Waterbury yard (N scale) ► Realistic buildings from photos ► NYC Oswego yard office ► Lessons from a small yard ► Ballast and scenic yard tracks ► Build a yardmasters tower ► Evolution of a freight terminal ► Simple unloading ramps ► Details for a working yard ► Ideas for yard design and operation ► High-intensity freight hub ► Add a RIP track ► A classic Pennsy scale house.

Issue 4: Realistic Layouts (2008)

This is an MR Special Issue. Chapters include: ► Urban sprawl in Severna Park ► Model building from prototype research ► A general store with universal appeal ► Scratchbuild Baileys general store ► How to get that small-town look ► Make towns look bigger with digital buildings ► Pave asphalt streets with plaster castings ► Detail a station scene ► Solve a corner problem with a junction town ► Make accurate utility poles and wires ► Model an intersection with the Santa Fe ► The corner gas station ► Build a convincing city in a small space ► A main street you can model ► Add action with vehicles and figures.

Issue 5: 102 Realistic Track Plans (2009)

This is an MR Special Issue. Chapters include: ► Design inspiration ► Introduction to track planning ► Very small layouts ► Curves, turnouts and track ► 4 x 8s and a little more ► Sketching by the squares ► Layout schematics ► Drawing curves and turnouts ► Compact layouts ► Figuring grades and clearances ► Structures, scenery and aisles ► Medium layouts ► Sectional layouts ► How to convert track plan scales ► Layouts for large spaces.

Issue 6: Realistic Reliable Track (2009)

This is an MR Special Issue. Chapters include: ► How to superdetail a turnout: Treat track as a model for close-up viewing and photography ► The right-of-way tells a story: Track and engineering details define the character of a model railroad ► Quiet roadbed, better train sounds: Noise-damping roadbed lets locomotive sound systems sing ► Make the most of flextrack: Superlevated curves, easements, roadbed cross sections, and more ► Maintain standards for zero derailments: Uniform dimensions ensure smooth and reliable operation ► Customize trackwork the easy way: Kitbashing track and turnouts with tie strips and detail parts ► Bulletproof track wiring: Tips on building in electrical reliability ► How to mass-produce hand-built turnouts: Prefabrication on the workbench is the key ► From track plan to reality: The design is only the starting point ► Trackwork choices: Answers to the question, "What kind of track do you use?" ► Track gang tips: A fixture and a trammel: New ideas for a common task and a familiar tool ► Right-of-way realism through civil engine: Prototypical construction practices help shape an authentic main line ► Smooth running on N scale track: Follow some key techniques to produce reliable N scale trackwork ► Prototype track basics: An introduction to rail, ties, ballast, and more ► Hinged derails: operating accessories: A prototypical way to stop runaway cars ► Track gang tip: Kink-free curves: Join the rails before you bend them ► Conceal those uncoupling magnets: Bury them in your track bed and cover them with ballast.

Issue 7: Realistic Scenery (2010)

This is an MR Special Issue. Chapters include: ► Take scenery to the next dimension ► Get started building landforms ► Install a culvert in an existing scene ► Improve commercial trees ► Build a grade crossing ► Add a cornfield to your layout ► Make realistic summer trees ► Cast plaster rocks in place ► Model a swamp ► Paint effective backdrops ► Use forced perspective ► Model realistic rapids ► Structures that tell a story ► Weather your wood structures ► Kitbash a modular structure ► Build a low-relief structure ► Weather a plastic structure ► Build a brass structure kit ► Stratchbuid structures ► Mix the ingredients ► Remake a shoreline scene ► Build a commuter station ► Model a forest on a bluff ► Add an alley ► Model a harbor scene ► Add lights to a scene.

Issue 8: More Layout in Less Space (2010)

This is an MR Special Issue. Chapters include: ► One layout, one Mustang ► 8 design tips for small layouts ► An introduction to multi-level layout design ► Two-deck staging saves space ► How to build a helix ► Grow your operations, not your layout ► Build a better layout access gate ► Rebuilding a large layout in a smaller space ► Build multi-deck benchwork ► Small town on a narrow shelf ► Build a dual-purpose train elevator ► Use a display case as a train elevator ► Scenery for shelf layouts ► Build a lift-up end curve.

Issue 9: Railroads of the 1950s (2011)

This is an MR Special Issue. Chapters include: ► New England in the 1950s ► How to choose a time frame ► How many diesels, how soon? ► Passenger trains at their peak ► Freight cars of the 1950s ► Modeling early trailer-on-flatcar equipment ► Update a wood refrigerator car kit ► Cabooses of the 1950s ► Operations, not just equipment, changed ► Architecture of the 1950s ► Vehicles of the 1950s ► Trucks drive home your layouts era ► The Midwest at mid-century ► Modeling a small-town coal dealer.

Layout Design, Planning & Operations

Track Planning for Realistic Operation by John Armstrong (1963)

This is the bible on how to design layouts for realistic operations.

Creative Layout Design by John Armstrong (1978)

Follows on from John's Operations book. Includes chapters covering layout design influenced by Pike Location; Scale; Scenery; Prototype and Purpose.

Creative Layout Design by John Armstrong (1978)

Follows on from John's Operations book. Includes chapters covering layout design influenced by Pike Location; Scale; Scenery; Prototype and Purpose.

Realistic Model Railroad Operation, 2nd Edition by Tony Koester (2013)

How to run your trains like the real thing. Chapters include: 1 Basics of operation - Learning the how's and whys of prototype and model operation 2 Quick-start guide to operation - Locating your railroad on a map, naming everything, spotting cars 3 Classification, staging, and fiddle yards - Operating visible and hidden yards and determining staging needs 4 "Macro" operations: Moving trains - Operating freight and passenger trains under various dispatching systems 5 Timetable and train-order operation - Taking a closer look at an increasingly popular form of train dispatching 6 "Micro" operations: Forwarding cars - Reviewing various ways to control the purposeful movement of cars 7 More realistic waybills - Developing easy-to-use waybills that are based on prototype documents 8 Signal systems - Understanding hand, whistle, and lineside signaling systems 9 The operating session - Scheduling regular sessions and attracting and managing enough operators.

Model Railroading from Prototype to Layout by Tony Koester (2010)

How to use prototype railroads for modeling information and inspiration.

Planning Scenery for your Model Railroad by Tony Koester (2007)

How to use nature for modeling information and realism.

Designing & Building Multi-Deck Model Railroads by Tony Koester (2008)

How to get more out of your space.

Track Plan Books

101 Track Plans by Lin Westcott (1956)

This is the best collection of track plans ever published. Includes some really nifty loop and loop to loop plans (p47 & 49) and some great switch back plans (p45 & 47) including #47 Cerro Azul (p24), the plan that was the inspiration for the Argentine Central Railway, and first got me hooked on railroad modeling and what could be achieved in N scale.

101 More Track Plans by Jeff Wilson (2010)

This book follows on in much the same style as Lin's book.

Mid-Size Track Plans for Realistic Layouts by Bernard Kempinski (2008)

10 Track plans in detailed prototype settings. Includes a detailed N Scale plan for the D&RGW Craig Branch (p48) which includes a mining operation at Edna (p56), used for the Walthers New River Mine kit, and the Craig Power Plant (p52). Also includes HO & Z plans for the Utah Railway (p66) and HO & N plans for New York's Bush Terminal.

45 Original Track Plans by Bernard Kempinski (2015)

This book includes 11 N Scale plans — 4 small. 3 medium and 4 large plans. The format is a two page spread including one and bit page write up followed by the plan itself. Notable plans include UP in the Powder River Basin (p58), BNSF at Soldier Summit (Utah) with a connection to Utah Railway (p64), Rio Grande's Chili Line (p72), the Pennsylvania Railroad's Horseshoe Curve (p84), D&RGW's Tennessee Pass (p88) and SP's Sunset Route (pp86) and Tehachapi Loop (p90). There is also a very interesting plan based on the Trans-Andes Railway in Peru (p44).