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Model railroading is much more than a fun hobby — it's the passion for detail and accuracy in recreating the distinctive railroad experience. From track layout to train replicas, from digital switching to diorama displays, this half-hour series captures the world of model railroading. Host Chris Chianelli visits many of the most elaborate model train displays across the country, talks with the people who created them, and provides endless projects and tips for model railroad enthusiasts and beginners. All scales of model trains are covered, from O to HO to G, and each episode includes a specific detailed project related to the layout that is featured, such as building trestles, designing towns and buildings, or constructing realistic trees and landscape elements.
|S01E01||River Pass 1||00/00/0000||In this episode, host Chris Chianelli and Master Model Railroader guest, Miles Hale, introduce the viewer to a unique model railroad kit. The kit is called "River Pass" and is a highly fabricated kit that take all of the guess work out of building a model railroad kit. Using strofoam components and all of the materials needed included in the kit, this is a good project for the beginner model railroader. Chris Chianelli and guest Miles Hale get started by installing the panel pieces, gluing down foam risers, and wiring the layout for electricity.|
|S01E02||River Pass 2||00/00/0000||This episode continues with the building of the River Pass model railroad kit. In this episode, host Chris Chianelli and guest Miles Hale demonstrate how to add the Styrofoam sub-structure to the layout. Included are techniques for gluing down the track and building up the styrofoam risers and, access panels, and tunnel portals.|
|S01E03||River Pass 3||00/00/0000||This episode continues with the building of the River Pass model railroad kit. Now that the substructure of the layout has been plaster-clothed and is complete, it's now time for the layout to come to life by adding scenery and vegetation. This is where the fun begins, because these steps aren't technical and the creativity involved is endless and personal to each modeler.|
|S01E04||River Pass 4||00/00/0000||This episode continues with the building of the River Pass model railroad kit. In this episode, guest Miles Hale demonstrates how to add more scenery elements. Topics include how to make trees and install them, adding structures to the layout, and finally, creating a town with street scenes and figures.|
|S01E05||River Pass 5||00/00/0000||This episode completes the construction of the River Pass layout Kit. Guest Miles Hale demonstrates how to create realistic water effects. Final detailing is put into place on the layout. Chris and Miles demonstrate how to maintain the layout and clean the track. Finally, Miles and Chris get to run the trains!|
|S01E06||Power and DCC||00/00/0000||In this episode, host Chris Chianelli visits Strasburg. Pennsylvania and the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania to talk more about power-power to pull roiling stock across the rails in this country. Chris showcases some of the museum's collection of historic locomotives. Then, Chris pays a visit to Chattanooga, Tennessee and the Chattanooga Choo Choo Model Railroad Museum. This layout, located at the historic Chattanooga Choo-Choo, features trains and locomotives that have enough power to pull over 100 cars. Then in the studio, Chris is joined by a guest David Popp (Associate Editor, Model Railroader Magazine) to discuss the latest technology of DCC-Digital Command Control. Having powerful locomotives, capable of pulling many cars, can be enhanced using DCC. This system enables the model railroader to operate multiple trains simultaneously on a single layout.|
|S01E07||Custom Buildings||00/00/0000||In this episode, host Chris Chianelli visits Greenfield Village part of the massive museum called The Henry Ford. Henry Ford was passionate about saving buildings and artifacts from Americana, and Greenfield Village is part of that vision. Greenfield Village not only features a restored locomotive that runs along the property, it also boasts an impressive collection of restored and preserved buildings and homes dating back to the 18th century. It is a perfect venue for any model railroader to get some inspiration for constructing buildings on their layout. Later in the program, Chris visits a couple in Eubank, Kentucky who have spent years creating an impressive layout-all with scratch-built structures. Then, later in the program, Chris Chianelli is joined in the studio by guest Pat Harriman (Master Model Railroader). Pat shares tips on building structures from a kit as well as from scratch.|
|S01E08||Turntable and Roundhouses||00/00/0000||In this episode, host Chris Chianelli visits Greenfield Village part of the massive museum called The Henry Ford. Henry Ford was passionate about saving buildings and artifacts from Americana, and Greenfield Village is part of that vision. Among the artifacts and restored buildings in the collection, Greenfield Village also boasts an impressive turntable and roundhouse. The turntable is unique in that it is hand-operated; tow men can push a 100-ton locomotive resting on it. Later in the program, Chris visits a model railroader In Kansas City, Missouri who has built an impressive, multi-stall turntable and roundhouse on his O-gauge layout. Then, in the studio, Chris Chianelli is joined by guest David Popp (Associate Editor, Model Railroader Magazine) to demonstrate how to add a turn table and roundhouse to an existing layout. Construction of these added elements is done using modular pieces.|
|S01E09||Weathering||00/00/0000||In this episode, host Chris Chianelli visits Greenfield Village part of the massive museum called The Henry Ford. Henry Ford was passionate about saving buildings and artifacts from Americana, and Greenfield Village is part of that vision. Greenfield Village not only features an impressive collection of restored and preserved buildings and homes dating back to the 18th century. But the staff here is constantly struggling between preserving and restoring, and presenting the building as it would have looked in the appropriate era. That's where weathering comes in. It's a natural patina caused by climate changes. The same holds true for a realistic model railroad. Later in the program, Chris visits a model railroader who knows about weathering. You might say he?s obsessed with creating realistic buildings with the appropriate weathering for a layout based in the Rocky Mountains in the late 1920's and early 1930's. Then, later, Chris Chianelli is joined in the studio by guest John Lowrance (Master Model Railroader). John demonstrates various methods of weathering as he shows how to weather a freight car.|
|S01E10||Animation||00/00/0000||In this episode, host Chris Chianelli visits The Strasburg Railroad in Strasburg, Pennsylvania. This historic railroad is set against the backdrop of Amish country-rolling hills and sweeping farms. Later in the program, Chris visits The Choo-Choo Barn-a massive O-gauge layout just down the road in Strasburg. This layout features hundreds of animations and recreates Lancaster County and some whimsical Amish elements. Then, Chris Chianelli is joined in the studio by guest Kent Johnson (Associate Editor, Classic Toy Trains Magazine). Kent shares tips on how to create animations on any O-gauge layout. Some of these animations come ready to go, right out of the box. Others require some basic installation. Animation can bring a lot of life and action to a model train layout.|
|S01E11||Bridges and Trestles||00/00/0000||In this episode, host Chris Chianelli visits the historic Georgetown Loop Railroad, just outside Denver, Colorado. This railroad, built in 1879, was the hopeful answer to get to the silver mines. But this topography had more than a 6 percent grade. It took some ingenious engineering, but the Georgetown Loop was completed in 1884 and used bridges, trestles, and hairpin turns to solve the steep grade. Later, Chris visits Master Model Railroader Pat Harriman in Kansas City, Missouri. Pat has built some impressive bridges and trestles on his HO layout. A hand-built bridge or trestle (ore even one built from a kit) can add lots of drama to any model railroad layout. Then later in the studio, Chris is joined by Kent Johnson (Associate Editor, Classic Toy Trains Magazine) for a hands-on demonstration on how to build a trestle from a kit.|
|S01E12||Street Scenes||00/00/0000||In this episode, host Chris Chianelli visits Greenfield Village, part of the massive American History museum known as The Henry Ford. The streets here are reminiscent of Americana-preserved as a capsule in time--from the turn of the 18th century, right up to the Golden Age of the railroads, and the 1950's and beyond. Street lamps, park benches, buildings, and signage-all of these elements work together to create realistic street scenes on a model railroad layout. Then later, we visit a model railroader's layout in New York. Lou Sassi knows a thing or two about street scenes . When it comes to this layout, it's all in the details for Lou. That's what he sees in his viewfinder. Lou is an accomplished freelance photographer, specializing in model railroad images. It's no wonder he pays attention to the small details. Then, later in the studio,Chris is joined by guest John Lowrance (Master Model Railroader) to demonstrate some tips and techniques on how to create realistic street scenes on a model train layout.|
|S01E13||Mountains||00/00/0000||In this episode, host Chris Chianelli visits Georgetown, Colorado, high in the Rocky Mountains to talk about just that-mountains. And what better place to talk about high peaks than the Rocky Mountains? Chris visits the historic Georgetown Loop Railroad, a line originally built to get to the silver mines carved into this rugged terrain. This landscape will impress any model railroader. Then, we visit a model railroader who knows how to move and make mountains. Meet Sam Posey-race-car-driver-turned-train-obsessive. Sam has perfected making mountains by using blue foam construction material. Then later in the studio, Chris is joined by Master Model Railroader, Miles Hale. Miles demonstrates an easy technique for making mountains using latex molds and Plaster of Paris. And Miles shares some tips on painting mountains.|
|S02E01||Garden Railroad 1||00/00/0000||This episode is the first of five episodes on building a garden railroad. Host Chris Chianelli is joined by a couple of experts and together, they build a garden railroad at the Oak Ridge Children's Museum (located near Knoxville, TN).|
|S02E02||Garden Railroad 2||00/00/0000||This episode is the second of five episodes on building a garden railroad. Host Chris Chianelli is joined by a couple of experts and together, they build a garden railroad at the Oak Ridge Children's Museum (located near Knoxville, TN).|
|S02E03||Garden Railroad 3||00/00/0000||This episode is the third of five episodes on building a garden railroad. Host Chris Chianelli is joined by a couple of experts and together, they build a garden railroad at the Oak Ridge Children's Museum (located near Knoxville, TN).|
|S02E04||Garden Railroad 4||00/00/0000||This episode is the fourth of five episodes on building a garden railroad. Host Chris Chianelli is joined by a couple of experts and together, they build a garden railroad at the Oak Ridge Children's Museum (located near Knoxville, TN).|
|S02E05||Garden Railroad 5||00/00/0000||This episode is the last of five episodes on building a garden railroad. Host Chris Chianelli is joined by a couple of experts and together, they build a garden railroad at the Oak Ridge Children's Museum (located near Knoxville, TN).|
|S02E06||Sound Effects||00/00/0000||In this episode, Chris Chianelli visits a steam locomotive in Knoxville, Tennessee. He discovers many different types of locomotive sounds along with their distinct meanings. We also travel to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to visit the O-gauge layout of Kent Johnson. While there, we not only check out the layout, but also soon learn that this is a four-generation model railroading family. We'll discover the great sound effects that Kent has added to his locomotives. Later on, Kent Johnson joins Chris Chianelli in the workshop. Kent demonstrates different types of locomotives and the wide variety of sound effects available for almost any type of locomotive. He takes us from the locomotives of old with the unrealistic sounds up to the present with the MTH DCC controller, which has several different realistic sounds of today. This helps show just how far model railroading has come.|
|S02E07||Operations||00/00/0000||In this episode, Chris Chianelli visits a couple in Kansas City, MO who have built a massive, HO gauge layout in their basement. Frequently, this couple hosts Saturday afternoon Operations sessions. A dozen of their friends take part in role playing and operating their model layout much like the real rail roads do. Then later in the workshop, Chris is joined by a special guest and, together, they demonstrate some techniques and methods on getting started in operations. Operations is a great way to add a completely new dimension to model railroading.|
|S02E08||Track Maintenance||00/00/0000||In this episode, we travel to Kalmbach Publishing in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This organization is the leading publisher of model train magazines and books. Inside their headquarters, employees have built and continue to maintain a massive HO layout. This layout is used as a testing ground for new products and reviews. Employees are always maintaining the layout. Later in the workshop, Chris is joined by a guest and, together, they share some tips and techniques for cleaning and maintaining track.|
|S02E09||Backdrops||00/00/0000||Chris Chianelli takes the viewer to the Rocky Mountains to introduce this episode. And what better backdrop is there than the Rocky Mountains? It's a classic backdrop that's modeled on countless model train layouts. Chris then takes the viewer to San Diego for a close look at the San Diego model Railroad Museum. This N scale layout feaqtures some of the most realistic backdrops found anywhere. A special guest joins Chris in the workshop later to demonstrate how to paint a realistic backdrop using stencils, spray paint, and acrylic paints.|
|S02E10||Water||00/00/0000||In this episode host Chris Chianelli visits the historic Georgetown Loop Railroad in Georgetown, Colo. Set among the Rocky Mountains and crystal-clear rivers, this historic railroad crosses water several times on its passenger route. Adding water features to a model railroad is relatively easy, and Chris introduces a modeler in Kansas City who has taken this art form to a new level—adding water features such as ponds, rivers and even a water wheel. Adding water features takes the model train layout to a new level. Later in the workshop a guest joins Chris and, together, they demonstrate how to make a riverbed on a model train layout. This can be achieved using acrylic paints or ground foam.|
|S02E11||Rolling Stock||00/00/0000||You probably remember that first train you saw as a kid, watching an endless stream of train cars passing by—rolling stock carrying everything from coal to cows to house hold goods. In this episode host Chris Chianelli visits the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania for a look at some awesome vintage rolling stock in their collection. And then he'll ride the rails to the West Coast and check out a massive HO Layout with rolling stock that models the famous Tehachapi Loop. It's all part of the San Diego Model Railroad Museum. Later in the workshop Chris demonstrates that you don't have to buy rolling stock pre-built, out of the box—you can build your own!|
|S02E12||Urban Settings||00/00/0000||Pick any major American city and chances are the railroad runs right through it. That's because cities needed the railroads to prosper and railroads needed cities to flourish. Combining the two on a model train layout can add a lot of realism. In this episode host Chris Chianelli meets an accomplished model railroader from Cincinnati who's captured the feel of a modern city and the urban setting of an industrial rail yard—all scratch built and detailed to amazing accuracy.|
|S02E13||Gadgets||00/00/0000||Have you ever seen trains run all over someone's house—even through their stairs? How about through the basement and the workout room? In this episode meet a model train enthusiast who's taken his layout to the max. He's added tiny timbers, small tornadoes and contained thunderstorms—and that's just scratching the surface. Then host Chris Chianelli demonstrates how to add some of these elements to a train layout.|