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Lining Your Model Train Tunnel

Aug 21, 2008
It never fails. You go to see a friend's new model train layout. He fires it up and the next thing you realize you are enjoying the lights and the sounds coming from the set. The working crossing guards, lights and all are awesome. There is only one problem that you can see at all. When the train approaches the tunnel the whole mystique is lost. Inside the tunnel you can see nothing but bare wires, mesh and naked braces that look as if they have been scavenged from goodness knows where.

So, why can't the illusion of realism carry all the way through the tunnel? Wouldn't it be nice to actually hear the sounds of the train whistle coming from the tunnel. It gets quieter and quieter as it goes further in and then it begins to grow in volume as it starts to come out the other side. You would love to be able to peek into the tunnel as the train is coming through and see the lights playing off the solid walls. This would make the illusion complete.

What is it that can help you to reach this level of realism? Well, for one you could use a tunnel liner that can be poured. This will allow you to shape it to your custom tunnel shape and size. These are available from many different sources so one should not be hard to find. To get ready to install one of these liners you will first cast a couple moldings. A couple of these will be all you will need to make and you will soon be in business. If you do not want to go through the trouble of lining the entire tunnel then you really only have to worry about lining the entire thing.

The only part of your tunnel that will need to be lined is the inside section that is visible. This will save you a good deal of trouble. After you have made your castings you will need to install them onto your model railroad track. Make sure that you attach them securely so that they are not able to pull loose after your train runs through them a few times. Once you have them installed you should then paint them to match the scene that you are depicting. If it is a granite mountain then you could paint your "rock face" to match it. This will help it to maintain the illusion of realism.

When you do your first run through the tunnel you will notice that the tunnel liners affect the sound that comes out. It will dampen the sound as it enters the tunnel and then will help it to build as it comes out the other side. By adding special touches such as these tunnel liners you can create exactly the amount of realism that you are going for. So, what will it be? Do you just ignore the so called small things or do you help to complete the illusion? Happy conducting!
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant for model cars, model trains, and model trucks. You will find excellent hobbying and trading resources here for model car tricks and tips, model train tunnels, and model trucks.
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