Model Rail Radio

Live Radio Devoted to Model Railroading

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Show recording times...

Show 179 - Saturday, May 23, 2020, 4-6pm Pacific US, 7-9pm Eastern US, 9am-11am Eastern Australian

Show 180 - Saturday, May 30, 2020, 9-11am Pacific US, 12-2pm Eastern US, 5-7pm UK Time

Show 181 - Saturday, June 6, 2020, 4-6pm Pacific US, 7-9pm Eastern US, 9am-11am Eastern Australian


Model Rail Radio consistently provides the best model railroading content. It is a show without advertisers or sponsors where the listeners create the content. It is an open format where anyone can participate. The big names in model railroading call in to talk to regular folks and people who are quickly emerging as new greats in the hobby.

Support the show! Print out some copies of the Model Rail Radio brochure (in PDF) for your local hobby store, op session or meet (three per page).


Model railroading legend Dave Frary models the Model Rail Radio tshirt.

Go to the Model Rail Radio Cafepress Store and buy your merchandise at cost price!


Model Rail Radio #175: Favorite Train Show Memories [April 25, 2020]

Tom kicks off the show with Clark Kooning asking about favorite train show memories. Mike Slater has many train show experiences. Tom asks about Mike's experiences with his father attending train shows. Andrew Chisholm provides an update and talks about his favorite train shows. Richard Murphy's favorite memory of a train show incidentally also involves Tom but only tangentially. Dave Barraza has some feedback for Richard Murphy's ideas on remote operations. John Abatecola is still working through the new normal for YouTube video conversations. Dave Barraza knew what to do when his prizes arrived. Lawrence Eggering explains how he makes his kits do what people want. Seth Gartner has been on the frontlines of the virtual operating sessions and he has some experiences to talk about. Roger Chrysler has been working on a new layout in his new home with a familiar theme.

   Clark Kooning
   Mike Slater
   Andrew Chisholm
   Richard Murphy
   Dave Barraza
   John Abatecola
   Dave Barraza
   Lawrence Eggering
   Seth Gartner
   Roger Chrysler
   Tom Barbalet

   Please do not deep link this audio - its location may change. Use this link.

   [ MP3 ] Length: 1:56:24

Model Rail Radio #174: Burnt Out Capacitor [April 18, 2020]

Tom is recording from a sacred space. Andy Dixon is back in the hobby and is fully engaged. Simon Hill has been working on a gantry crane but also creating video conferences with his crew. Simon and Tom reflect on the passing of Bill Best Snr the owner of Bredgar. Martin Coombs has been laying track in his garden line and making building mock-ups. Tom Gasior has been leading the charge for live video layout tours. David Karkoski has been hunkered down, building models. Alex Gregg calls into the show for the first time but he's already a well known participant in the Facebook group. Marty McGuirk is nearly done on the track-work of his new layout. Tom asks about Bernie Kempinski's new layout direction. Paul Best has been doing some modeling and using Decoder Pro. Ralph Renzetti has been weathering N-scale locomotives and cooking meat. Randall Hammill introduces his railroading interests in the New Haven 1946-54 and his company. Randall and Tom discuss the future for KickStarter in the hobby.

   Andy Dixon
   Simon Hill
   Martin Coombs
   Tom Gasior
   David Karkoski
   Alex Gregg
   Marty McGuirk
   Paul Best
   Ralph Renzetti
   Randall Hammill
   Tom Barbalet

   Please do not deep link this audio - its location may change. Use this link.

   [ MP3 ] Length: 2:32:33

Model Rail Radio #173: Acrylic Wash Techniques [April 11, 2020]

Ted Roy presented at Amherst before the lockdown, since then he's been working on a bridge and has some painting techniques he's found very useful. Brian Dougherty has been using paints at the other end of the extreme and has an infinite resource for making trees. Ed McNamara has found the ultimate elevator for the hobby - could this mean the end of helixes? Ed also provides some much needed updates from other Oregonians. Terry Terrance has found a new state to call home and has been making some progress even with lockdown. Jim Berg is still looking for a new home for his club. Andy Estep introduces his UK two rail O scale shelf layout. Lawrence Eggering is traveling to maintain sanity and working on his own layout. Brenton Spackman offers what the situation is like in rural South Australia. Dave Falkenburg and Tom talk about their shared experiences in the San Francisco Bay Area.

   Ted Roy
   Brian Dougherty
   Ed McNamara
   Terry Terrance
   Jim Berg
   Andy Estep
   Lawrence Eggering
   Brenton Spackman
   Dave Falkenburg
   Tom Barbalet

Mine Mount Models Track Plan Contest 2020

   Winner (1, 2, 3)
   Second Prize (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

   Please do not deep link this audio - its location may change. Use this link.

   [ MP3 ] Length: 1:55:36

Model Rail Radio #172: The Rise of Remote Layout Tours [April 4, 2020]

Dave Barraza has been on lockdown and Tom remains hopeful Dave will be streaming video at some stage through this craziness. Nigel Gartshore escaped back to Australia with a number of items from Trainfest and may actually get his model railroading space ready for some serious layout development. Not fires, nor floods, nor plagues will stop Jim Gifford from calling in. Mike Slater, Clark Kooning and Tom have a round-table discussion on what the Twin Cities Facebook group is doing for the hobby in providing live (and archived) videos from people's layouts during the lockdown (Thomas Gasior is on an upcoming recording to talk more about this).

   Dave Barraza
   Nigel Gartshore
   Jim Gifford
   Mike Slater
   Clark Kooning
   Tom Barbalet

   Please do not deep link this audio - its location may change. Use this link.

   [ MP3 ] Length: 1:01:54

Model Rail Radio #171: Anticipated Coffee Machine [March 28, 2020]

Mike Slater is on lockdown, working through NMRA regulations and hopes Trainfest will be the first train show after the lockdown. Mike and Tom talk about the Twin Cities live Facebook videos they have been publishing. Mike O'Dorney is maximizing his productivity, saving money in not traveling and building lighter modules. Will Lawrence introduces his Nova Scotia model railroading interests. Tom talks with Clark Kooning about the difficulty of judging models. Seth Gartner may no longer be on the front lines but he could be doing a video operating session if his friends have anything to do with it. Ron Klaiss is working through the day and designing kits at night. Ben Rechel has a couple of updates for the show. Neil Erickson is about to golden spike his layout. He and Tom talk about travel and meeting people.

   Mike Slater
   Mike O'Dorney
   Will Lawrence
   Clark Kooning
   Seth Gartner
   Ron Klaiss
   Ben Rechel
   Neil Erickson
   Tom Barbalet

   Please do not deep link this audio - its location may change. Use this link.

   [ MP3 ] Length: 1:39:24

Model Rail Radio #170: The Hallowed Room [March 21, 2020]

Joel Middleton kicks off the first lockdown show talking about the shelf layout he's working on somewhat inspired by the Professor. Simon Hill has been on lockdown and working on car cards and waybills. Martin Coombs has been finding procedural task to take his mind off things and provides his usual range of updates. Mike Deverell has been producing model railroading YouTube content and talks about the benefits of mock ups. Neale Brodie has been working on a computerization project. Matt Goodman has been working from home and exploring some updates to his layout. Dave Ramos is embracing the new normal and maybe video operating sessions in the future. Dave and Tom talk about willed cars and the importance of legacy in the hobby. Richard Murphy has been working on his new layout design. Richard's friend, John Abatecola, calls in to talk videos for the hobby and video conversations specifically. Mike Kenefeck has just moved house and although his layout room is packed with other stuff, he remains hopeful for his layout to be setup. Todd Hermann has been building some terrace houses that look like company homes. Chris Adams had a great operating session and has been working though his stockpile. John Garaty provides an Australian update of cancelled shows. Tom asks about what more John can add in the next twelve months.

   Joel Middleton
   Simon Hill
   Martin Coombs
   Mike Deverell
   Neale Brodie
   Matt Goodman
   Dave Ramos
   Richard Murphy
   John Abatecola
   Mike Kenefeck
   Todd Hermann
   Chris Adams
   John Garaty
   Tom Barbalet

   Please do not deep link this audio - its location may change. Use this link.

   [ MP3 ] Length: 2:26:50

Model Rail Radio #169: Head Space [February 1, 2020]

Kaylee Zheng has been to Springfield this year, has some phenomena to describe and is also looking into layout lighting. Martin Coombs provides his list of updates - including a layout on full-time public display, un-retiring an old layout, the dynamics of hurtling passenger trains and a foxing fox update. Simon Hill has a year to update, he's taken a break following building his layout but his 16mm fine detail work has called him back to the hobby. Joe D'Amato provides updates on Bruce Kelly who is infinitely more famous than Joe. Joe and Tom talk scratch building briefly and then onto Joe's incredibly lucky career. Tom concludes with the rules for the layout design contest.

   Kaylee Zheng
   Martin Coombs
   Simon Hill
   Joe D'Amato
   Tom Barbalet

   Please do not deep link this audio - its location may change. Use this link.

   [ MP3 ] Length: 1:58:04

Model Rail Radio #168: Detectors [January 11, 2020]

Tom introduces the show talking about catching up with some Australian participants. Mike O'Dorney is exploring modular industries. John Garaty provides some discussion to the fires in Australia and Tom tries some on call crowd sourcing for John's current water problem. Lawrence Eggering has strong feelings about the largest publication in the hobby. Mike Slater has been very productive building things and exploring his new 3d printer. Neil Erickson has been showing his trains to people around him and is excited about Blue Rails new offerings. Brenton Spackman have been continuing his lighting development and Jock is considering redoing his layout. Jamie Fenton has some new year's resolutions and they talk about layout design.

   Mike O'Dorney
   John Garaty
   Lawrence Eggering
   Mike Slater
   Neil Erickson
   Brenton Spackman
   (David aka) Jock
   Jamie Fenton
   Tom Barbalet

   Please do not deep link this audio - its location may change. Use this link.

   [ MP3 ] Length: 1:27:41