The Kunama Line - A Large Private Australian HO Scale layout by John Harriott

The Kunama Line - A Large Private Australian HO Scale layout by John Harriott

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In this episode we visit John Harrott's large Australian HO Scale model railway in his house in Canberra. Based on the former Kunama branchline in Southern New South Wales. We have a look at how he built it, the story behind it and what goes on with running a railway of this size!

Don't forget to leave a comment with some feedback and of course subscribe if you haven't already and I'll be back next month with more model railway news & exhibitions.

All opinions and statements and are my own.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the smallest electric train scale?

Z Scale is a fractional model system that is the smallest scale available for electric trains. It has a scale of 1:220 and can operate on very small layouts. Therefore, it is one of the most popular scales due to its small size and flexibility.

Z Scale model controllers provide more responsiveness and are equipped digitally with options that enable realistic lighting effects, sound control, speed control, decoders, and decoders, all geared towards the needs of model railroaders.

Z Scale has 6mm diameter wheels. They are 4 times smaller then HO-scale electric models. Z Scale is less than half an inches wide due to the 9mm width between rails.

Z Scale locomotives can be as long as 2 1/4 inches to 3 3/4 inches in length. This makes them an ideal choice for narrow gauge railroad enthusiasts who need to keep space on their display cases or home layouts. Due to the small size of the wiring required, you can wire up large sections of track or layouts in a fraction of the time it takes for O and other larger scales. This makes them ideal for smaller spaces.

Miniature trees as well miniature roads, bridges or buildings can be added to a Z Scale layout, transforming it into a realistic railway environment.

Which model train scale is the best?

The best model train scale depends on various factors such as budget, space available, and the desired level of detail. Ho scale (1.87) is the most widely used scale. It is highly recommended for beginners because it provides great value and performance along with a wide selection of railroads, accessories and other items. This scale can be used for layouts that require small space or are very compact. N scale (1:160) is ideal to create a larger design in limited space but with less intricate details than other scales. G scale (1.22.5) is ideal for outdoor models that can run all year. The OO gauge (4mm-1 ft) scale is the largest available. It provides enough detail for experienced hobbyists, but it's still simple to use for beginners. Z Scale (1.220) offers great detail in its small size but may need to be handled with care due to its fragile parts.

Every model train scale has its own unique qualities, which suit different preferences and needs. Before deciding which one is best for you, it's important to weigh all factors.

Is model trains a good hobby?

Model trains have been around for decades, and they have grown in popularity in recent times. It's a fascinating hobby and offers something for everyone - kids, seniors, and even adults.

A model train is a miniature replica of a working railroad system, incorporating the same complexity of design and engineering aspects as the real thing. Model train enthusiasts can create intricate layouts using realistic scenery to depict historic or magical scenes. Model railroading requires little time and money, which is unlike many other hobbies.

You can get creative with model trains and create something you are proud of. While learning about circuitry, mechanics and physics, you can also create amazing visuals that will be enjoyed by other modelers on show day. This may also lead to forming new friendships through clubs or groups focused on this specific activity over the internet or at special venues.

Another advantage of model trains is their versatility. It's possible to create complex layouts that feature scenic beauty and sophisticated automation system; modify existing engines; work with refurbishing projects; and participate in model competitions.

A hobby like setting up a model train can provide you with both artistic satisfaction and skilled challenges. This will reward you with many happy memories that will last a lifetime.

But where does the power come from for the motors?

The primary source for power for motors is electricity. An electromagnet uses electricity to drive the motor. It causes the motor to turn by applying force on its armature. Motors operate on either direct current, DC, or alternating electricity. DC motors are powered by a battery, while AC motors use transformers, rectifiers, and inverters to convert AC into DC and regulate it to create torque.

Renewable sources like solar energy, wind turbines and hydropower can also be used to power motors. Solar cells generate electricity, which can be used for direct power of the motor. In certain cases solar panels may heat up any liquids present in the system, which turns into steam and creates work from steam power. Wind turbines produce electricity by generating electricity from blades that move with the wind and converting kinetic energy to mechanical energy. Similar results can be found in hydroelectric power plants. The water is run through turbines or waterwheels to generate electricity and then drives motors electrically and mechanically.

A final type of combustion engine is one that uses fuel molecules to burn and produces electrical energy. It drives an electrical current inside the motor through a coil and makes it turn. The majority of combustion engines are used for heavy machinery, like trucks, ships, and so on.

How do I pack a model train?

It takes care to pack a model train. First, gather some bubble wrap or foam protectors, packing peanuts, and a correct size box. Securely place the model train onto its track or base and into its original container. If necessary, secure the model train with tape or foam protectors.

You will need to place the entire container in a box that is suitable for your needs. Before you label it for shipment, securely seal the box using strong tape.

Use an insulated box to send your model train via mail services or couriers to avoid extreme temperature damage. Make sure any temperature-sensitive pieces are insulated against temperature changes during transit such as cold storage items like glues and adhesives which can freeze in colder climates with ease. This will prevent your model train from being damaged by extreme temperatures during transit.

How does a model railway work?

Model trains are scale replicas made from actual railway systems. They are powered with electricity. Model trains are available in different sizes known as gauges. These models can recreate any real-life train system, making them suitable for educational and recreational use.

The motor, an electrical unit, powers the model train. The motor is attached on the wheels of the train. It turns the wheels and moves them along the track. Depending on how much power is sent to the motor through electricity, it will either go fast or slow down. Some motors can also be reversed.

The track layout is another important component of model trains. It can come in different shapes like loops, curves and straight sections.

To conduct electricity correctly through model trains' tracks, magnets (or special pieces) should be placed in certain locations. This will ensure that every part receives the same voltage and powers the entire system. This ensures that all parts work together while they're running on the same amount of power supply.

Two components can be used to control speed and movement of model train models. One is the Throttle/Powerpak which acts as an engine regulator, controlling how fast and how much power is sent out from the main source (the electrical outlet) to accelerate and stop a locomotive. And DCC (Digital Command Control), which allows computers and other devices to control multiple functions simultaneously via digital signals that are transmitted through rails and wires. This allows them send commands from a single point - for example, sound effects or directional control switches.

Model trains operate similarly to real railroad systems except these models have smaller versions of engines, railcars cars carrying freight or passengers these may also have lighting systems, signaling systems, electric motors, broadcasters, magnets, brakes, and sometimes controllers that regulate their speed when necessary. All components work together in order for model trains to run correctly without fail no matter what kind of terrain they're running on making them great hobbies for anyone interested in railways or simulating real-life scenarios!


  • According to a “ Wall Street Journal ” article published just last year, the average age of the National Model Railroad Association's 19,000 or so members is 64, up alarmingly from 39 in the mid-1970s. (
  • According to Hogan, in the last 3 years, prices have gone up at least 30%. (
  • Electric HO Scale Train Set - Black/Red100%agree - Durable$132.99 New$75.00 Used Bachmann 00825 (
  • New$69.95 Used KATO KAT222024 Sound Card US Light Steam100%agree (

External Links




How To

How to install sound effects and lighting on your model train layout

You will need to prepare and have the right equipment for installing lighting and sound effects on your model train layout. Plan out what you want for your viewers. Determine which components you will need for your lighting or sound setup. For advanced kits, you might need an electrical component called a "decoder" to allow digital control of the lights or sounds.

Basic circuit knowledge is essential as it can be confusing to connect multiple components. If you have multiple locomotives, choosing LED lights over incandescent lamps may reduce your power consumption. After wiring is completed, make sure all power outlets are off before programming lighting or sound sets.

To connect wires to respective lighting or sound components, a positive terminal must be connected to the current. Negative terminals should be connected to that current. This method, known as direct current (DC) wiring; it will allow a two-way connection within the railway system. You should not mix positive and negative signals.

Next, find a transformer that meets your needs in terms of voltage and amperage. This will depend on the number of LEDs you are using as well as additional items like switches/detectors and motors. There might be several circuits that you need depending on how complex or large your models will be running simultaneously on different tracks.

Final, power up all devices and connect them using the cables or cartridges appropriate for your set-up. Kato track systems are different because vehicles are powered directly from track surfaces instead of metal rails as in analog systems. Double-check your polarity before you enter programming mode. Happy creating!