Model Rail Radio

Live Radio Devoted to Model Railroading

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Show recording times...

Show 187 - Saturday, August 1, 2020, 4-6pm Pacific US, 7-9pm Eastern US, 9am-11am Eastern Australian

Show 188 - Saturday, August 8, 2020, 4-6pm Pacific US, 7-9pm Eastern US, 9am-11am Eastern Australian

Show 189 - Saturday, August 15, 2020, 9-11am Pacific US, 12-2pm Eastern US, 5-7pm UK Time


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 #182: Virtual Joy [June 13, 2020]

Lawrence Eggering has been working on a grade crossing with Arduino sensors. Tom asks Lawrence about working on the same layout for twenty four years. Lawrence provides some new information about the origin of his layout. Tom talks about his experience observing a quilting event of his wife's in contrast to the model rail remote events. Mike Slater announces the reposition of Trainfest to a virtual event for this year at least. Clark Kooning has some thoughts on the future of clinics.    Lawrence Eggering
   Mike Slater
   Clark Kooning
   Tom Barbalet

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

   [ MP3 ] Length: 1:14:00

Model Rail Radio #181: Mastering Super Trees [June 6, 2020]

Mike Slater has been building super trees for his module. Tom has watched the show Hoarders recently and wonders how Mike Slater and Mike O'Dorney avoid the hoarding aspect of the hobby. Clark Kooning and Tom talks about direction at the end of life. Clark and Tom also explore the hoarding issues in the hobby.

   Mike Slater
   Mike O'Dorney
   Clark Kooning
   Tom Barbalet

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

   [ MP3 ] Length: 1:37:57

Model Rail Radio #180: Swinging Bridge Geometries [May 30, 2020]

Simon Hill has some thoughts about how the hobby will learn from the new normal. Tom raises Hornby as a model railroading company close to Simon. Simon has been adding a sound chip to a critter. Martin Coombs continues the discussion about Kent Garden Railways. Martin has been trying to fit the hobby into his lockdown. Martin and Simon talk about the speculative future of the Bredgar and Wormshill Light Railway (this is also revisited in a future recording with a full update). Paul Best also has a light railway that he's actively involve with and has some insights to the experiences there. What has Paul Best been up to? Martin is planning a lifting/swinging bridge. Roger Chrysler is going to be presenting a clinic at a virtual RPM meet.

   Simon Hill
   Martin Coombs
   Roger Chrysler
   Tom Barbalet

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

   [ MP3 ] Length: 1:32:02

Model Rail Radio #179: Leave Written Notes [May 23, 2020]

Tom asks Mike Slater about how he thinks the hobby will change through this period. Tom asks Mike about the bridge he is building in module form. Tom asks after James Rindt. (Please note we will be discussing the change with Trainfest 2020 in an upcoming recording with Mike Slater. The old audio is left in for coherency.) Clark Kooning offers a problem with deceased estates and the current time. In terms of modeling, Clark has finished his mountains and some grass but has been exploring micro-lighting on his layout. Will Merrell has been building modules for operations. Will would like to learn from the folks in the UK.

   Mike O'Dorney
   Mike Slater
   Clark Kooning
   Will Merrell
   Tom Barbalet

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

   [ MP3 ] Length: 1:18:41

Model Rail Radio #178: Catalog Inspiration [May 16, 2020]

Roger Chrysler has put down some benchwork amongst putting up drywall. Richard Kowalski is getting back into his 1900s shelf layout and going through a Sears catalog to provide inspiration. Mike O'Dorney talks about how his modular layout is very similar to Richard's layout and continues the discussion on the Sears catalog. The discussion of the hobby and technology demographics gets so esoteric only Clark Kooning can be called upon to give analysis. Tom talks with Mike Slater about his hopes for the future of the hobby and continues to provide an update on the bridge module he's building. Nigel Gartshore is nearly done with his shed sealing and has been planning his layout space with a no-lix.

   Roger Chrysler
   Richard Kowalski
   Mike O'Dorney
   Clark Kooning
   Mike Slater
   Nigel Gartshore
   Tom Barbalet

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

   [ MP3 ] Length: 1:27:41

Model Rail Radio #177: Virtual Socializing [May 9, 2020]

Mike O'Dorney has been thinking about social capital through the current times and what can be done for the future with these ideas. Martin Coombs has been thinking about model rail shows with the current crisis and they talk about Neale's 3D printing. Simon Hill has used Zoom quite successfully to keep in contact with his crew. Mike Slater has been thinking about Trainfest with the new normal and more practically he's been working on a prototype bridge. What does Clark Kooning think will happen to train shows? Lawrence Eggering has some thoughts about what he'd like to see continuing train shows.

   Mike O'Dorney
   Martin Coombs
   Simon Hill
   Mike Slater
   Clark Kooning
   Lawrence Eggering
   Tom Barbalet

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

   [ MP3 ] Length: 1:25:27

Model Rail Radio #176: New Luminaries [May 2, 2020]

Mike O'Dorney talks about his favorite show. Mark Clemmens provides a much needed update and talks about the locomotive restoration in Astoria, Oregon. John Garaty knows the Prof is still out there. Gordy Robinson introduces his model railroading interests and discusses the vision for NMRA-X. Martyn Jenkins talks about some of the technology behind NMRA-X and then Gordy jumps back in to discuss ideas for the near future. Tom asks about Martyn's Melbourne layout which turns into a conversation about micro radio controlled vehicles and the insanity of wiring such things. Clark Kooning and John Garaty also have some ideas on the topic of model radio controlled vehicles. Bryan Schilling has a number of updates since he last called in. Luke Lemmens introduces his layout and what it was like to be featured in the Twin Cities Facebook group live layout tours. Darren Johns (aka Dazzy Jay) talks about the changes he's making in his YouTube channel and the changes the hobby is experiencing through the lockdown. Just as Tom is wrapping things up, Ron Klaiss calls in and they have a chance to formally announce the winners of the Layout Design Contest 2020 and they talk about the follies of kit manufacture.

   Mike O'Dorney
   Mark Clemmens
   John Garaty
   Gordy Robinson
   Martyn Jenkins
   Clark Kooning
   Bryan Schilling
   Luke Lemmens
   Darren Johns (aka Dazzy Jay)
   Ron Klaiss
   Tom Barbalet

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

   [ MP3 ] Length: 2:15:45

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