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Railroad Links

Modeling reference sites:

Model Railroad Hobbyist online magazine
 Also hosts a forum section

Marcus’ DCC for Novices - as the name implies
   - Article on adding "Stay Alive" circuitry to decoders
   - NCE System and modifications to same
   - sound and lighting
   - addresses for NCE Cabs
   - and numerous other articles

Boulder Creek Railroad / Luke Towan YouTube Channel
  - Dozens of Model Railroading how-to videos
    - How to do ultra-realistic scenery.
    - How to make modeling tools
    - How to make your own glue, ground cover, signs
    - Electrical projects
    - Lighting
    - 3D printing  

Tony's Trains
  - more comprehensive DCC Primer

Mark Gurries' DCC page
 Includes a lot of useful information on DCC, plus:
  - Basic DCC Basics presentations

HOseeker.Net  HO Train Reference Site
  - Assembly & parts diagrams for many different brand trains
  - Gallery of Athearn and other make trains from 1948-1990
  - Discussion forums

Ron Paisley Model Railroad & Misc. Electronics
 - dozens of electrical circuits you can build

LED series/parallel array "wizard"
  This LED calculator will help you design your LED array and
  choose the best current limiting resistor values 
   - Handles multiple LEDs
   - Gives as the solution one or more possible circuit configurations
   - Will display a circuit diagram or schematic, and calculate power consumption 
Alternates sites:
  "Guru" LED resistor calculator
  Another series/parallel calculator
   - Similar to the"wizard" but:
      - gives suggestions for the input values for LED voltage and amperage
      - only gives a single solution, where the wizard might suggest 2 or 3

The Care and Feeding of LEDs
 - Discusses reasons behind the calculations given in the preceding links
 - Gives a WARNING about the shortcomings of these calculators
     - calculations only really work for when the resistor is dropping a good percentage,
       at least half, of the voltage across it
     - only valid if the resulting resistor is not too low, say above 50 ohm
 - Explains why not using any resistor or other means to limit the current in
   an LED circuit results in ABUSE of and DAMAGE to the LED

M L Rollins collection of electrical circuits
 - A small selection of microcontroller based electronic circuits to build or buy

A free program to create realistic looking highways signs for your layout

Free download for your MP3 player or listen on your PC:

Green Valley Line
 - Old Time Radio Program, from about 1934.
   A Story of a small railroad line at the turn of the 20th Century.
   Complete 26 episode storyline, each one about 15 minutes long.
   Has authentic railroad sounds and "talk" that makes
       it even more entertaining for train buffs.
   To download all 26 episodes in one ZIP file, click here (~78 MBytes)

Podcasts with model railroading themes (free):
Taking a trip? Want something to listen to while you exercise or commute?  Instead of music, download the content from one of these links

Model Railcast Show
 - A Model Railroad focused podcast/blog. For railroading beginners and seasoned line veterans.

Crew call with Mike Rose - Model Railroad Podcast
 - Monthly Podcast dating back to December 2007

The Rip Track Podcast
 - An audio show that includes segments on railroad history, news,
   model railroad tips, reviews and almost anything else that has to
   do with prototype and/or model railroading
 - The first episode was uploaded on May 2, 2009

Model Rail Radio
 - Live internet radio devoted to model railroading
 - About 2 podcasts a month, originated September 2009

Let's Talk Trains
 - An internet radio talk show all about railroads broadcast live every Saturday
 - Freight, passenger, trolleys, light rail, museums, as long as it is rail / train related, they talk about it

Model Rail Hobbist Podcast
 - Audio bits from their eMagazine.

All Points North Member Web Sites:

Bend The Irons
  - Prototype pictures
  - C/MRI interface software
  - Model RRing Topics

  - Printed Circuit Board (PCB) projects
  - Live streaming of Houston Railroad radio

Houston Area Hobby Shops
Here are some places to go in the Houston Area for Model Railroad supplies/service

G & G Model Shop - Model Trains and more.  Open since 1945 - Houston's oldest hobby shop

KMJ Model Trains - Boutique shopping for model trains.  Also does installation and repairs

Mike's Hobby Shop - Model Trains and more

Papa Ben's Train Place - Exclusively Model Railroading, also home to the Houston N'Crowd Club

Spring Crossing Trains - Primarily Model Railroading. CLOSED February 2022

Houston Area Layouts
This is a very small sampling of the layouts in the Houston area -
   they number well over 100
We've included all that we could find on the Internet

Bob Barnett's River City Union Terminal RR (HO)

Gordon Bliss's The Santa Fe/All the Way (N)

Barry Bogs' Colorado & Western (Gn3 - 1:22.5 scale)

Don Bozman's The Great Great Northern (HO)

Craig Brantley's Denver & Rio Grande Western - Spring Division (O/On3)

Paul Cesak's Pagosa Creek Timber Company (On3)

Ted Doyle's The Great Northern Flyer (O)

David George's Golden~Blackhawk & Central City (Z)
  (has been permanently set up for display in the Tomball Railroad Depot Museum)

Steve Sandifer's ATSF Howard Branch (HO)

Rick Townsend's Santa Fe in the 50's (N)

Bob Werre's Railroad (S)

Bill Wright's Green Bay Southern (HO)

Joan and Frank Wyatt's UPIT Railroad (HO)

Houston Area Model Railroad Clubs:
We think what APN has to offer is unique, so we aren't afraid to provide links to the "competition"
(There are more clubs in Houston than listed here, but can't find their webpage - if they have one)

Galveston County Model Railroad Club, Texas City

Houston N'Crowd, Houston

Houston Area "G" Gaugers Model Railroad Club, Houston

Houston Area Live Steamers (HALS), Hockley

Houston S Gaugers

Houston Tinplate Operators Society (HTOS), Houston

NASA Area N-Scale Operating Society (NANOS), Houston

Northwest Crossing Modular Railroad Club, Houston

San Jacinto Model Railroad Club, Houston

Texas Railroading Heritage Museum at Tomball, Gulf Coast Chapter - National Railway Historical Society - Tomball, TX

Contact Information for other clubs can be found at the
NMRA Texas Gulf Division's website

Forums at of interest:

Computer/Model Railroad Interface - Bruce Chubb's invention

JRMI Users - DecoderPro and other free MRR software

NCE-DCC - NCE Systems & decoders for DCC control of your layout

RailOp - Model railroad program for realistic operations

State and National Model Train Organizations:

National Model Railroad Association

Lone Star Region of NMRA

NMRA Lone Star Region Division 8

The Operations Special Interest Group (SIG) - Focusing on Realistic Prototypical Operation

NTRAK Modular Railroading Society

Train Collectors Association - Gulf Coast Chapter

Trains for riding or climbing on in the Area:

Full Size Trains:

Amtrak Sunset Limited - ride a train to Disneyland or Disney World!

Austin Steam Train Excursion Railroad - Austin, TX

The Burlington-Rock Island Railroad Museum - Teague, TX

Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART)

Flatonia Rail Park - Flatonia, TX

McKinney Avenue Trolley - Dallas, TX

Museum of the American Railroad - Frisco, TX

New Braunfels Railroad Museum

New Orleans' Streetcar Lines

Galveston Island Railroad Museum

Grapevine Vintage Railroad (near Ft. Worth)

The History Center - Diboll TX

Houston METRORail light rail line

Jefferson (operating narrow gauge steam) Railroad - Jefferson, TX

M-K-T Railroad Museum - Katy, TX

New Braunfels Railroad Museum

Old Hickory (operating narrow gauge steam) Railroad - Jackson, LA

Railroad Museum of San Angelo - San Angelo, TX

Rosenberg Railroad Museum (just southeast of Houston)

Six Flags over Texas (narrow gauge steam) Railroad - Arlington, TX
They also have a train ride at their San Antonio Park

Southern Forest Heritage Museum - Longleaf, LA (SW of Alexandria)

Temple Railroad & Heritage Museum - Temple, TX

Texas & Pacific Railway Museum - Marshall, TX

Texas State Railroad - Palestine & Rusk, TX

Texas Transportation Museum - San Antonio, TX

DeQuincy Railroad Museum - DeQuincy, LA

List of surviving Steam locos in Texas

List of surviving Steam locos in Louisiana

Miniature Trains:

Aquarium Restaurant Shark Voyage Train Ride - Downtown Houston

San Antonio Zoo Eagle Miniature Train - San Antonio

Cedar Rock Railroad - north of Austin

Forest Park Miniature Railroad - Ft. Worth

Hermann Park Miniature Train - Houston, TX

Houston Area Live Steamers (free train rides to the public)

Kemah Boardwalk Miniature Train - Kemah, TX

Landa Park Miniature Train - New Braunfels, TX

Oil Ranch - Houston

Zilker Park Train - Austin, TX


Updated on 04/23/2022