※Model Trains

Link to non-model train site
toy train

Tyco Royal Blue takes 9.9 mm ID x 2 mm wide traction tires (same Tyco part as Chattanooga)

Model train scales and track width

Gauge Scale Track Width
G 1:25 1.75"
O 1:48 1.25"
S 1:64 0.875"
HO 1:78 0.625"
N 1:160 0.375"
Z 1:220 0.25

Guage 1 is 1:32 and uses smart track as G

Reference and Tips By Category


  • Kadee Conversion Guides
  • Kadee – Shop By Category
  • Kadee #5 (gearbox style) and #148 (whisker style) medium centerset are good starting place
  • Coupler machine screws are (1/16" dia.): 0–80 × 3/8"
  • We have a lot of Tyco Talgo X2F ("horn hook") couplers
  • The Bachmann coupler boxes we have are called HO F7 Universal Coupler Mount


Repairing model train motors

  • Websites: HO Seeker and Tyco Forums
  • Use Gardner Bender Ox-Gard OX-100 on all electrical contacts
  • Use a Dremmel tool with wire polishing bit to polish contacts
  • Use high temp disk break wheel bearing grease on the gears, do not use oil.
  • Apply one drop of oil to the end of shafts where thrust washers are. No more!!!
  • Can use baking soda with super glue to repair cracked gears because there baking soda causes the got to cure instantly. Fill a crack with solid baking soda. Add super glue on top. The baking soda makes cyanoacylate glues harden instantly.


  • Clean track with Goo Gone, never steel wool (wears it down).
  • Nickel-sliver conducts power better
  • Brass tarnishes and loses power conduction. Some people like the way is looks.
  • Code 100 - taller, most common. Not realistic. Runs any HO trains, even old, poorly made wheels.
  • Code 83 - More realistic lower height, similar in scale to main branch track.
  • Code 70 and 55 - Less useful for older trains. Most realistic for light rail scale.

Train Conversions and Upgrades

Scenery Goals

Building construction

Scenery construction

To purchase:

  • Train station
  • Corn field
  • use balsa wood
  • Grey roof tile like our garage
  • wood siding
  • Spanish roof tiles
  • base board
  • Pine trees

Train Goals

  • Acquire 3 more Pullman passenger cars
  • Acquire the Kadee 75th Anniversary boxcar (Brice pre-paid $43)

Coupler conversions

Train repairs

  • How to mount trucks
  • Bachmann 0-6-0 Green Smokey Mountain Express is a major repair project (non-functional). Needs one plastic wheel axle (not used in current design, may be the same as 4-8-4 axle). Tender needs 3/16" dowels or vintage trucks with wheels.
  • Tyco Rock Island has a dead motor
  • Repairs on non-Tyco locomotives
  • Model Power 0-4-0 switcher. Wheels need alignment.
  • Mantua Tyco EMD GP-20 Union Pacific metal rails
  • B&O locomotive is missing a screw

Info on our Vintage trains