Model Rail Radio

Live Internet Radio Devoted to Model Railroading

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There will be a show recorded Saturday, August 2nd at 10am Pacific US/1pm Eastern US/6pm UK.

There will be a show recorded Saturday, August 23rd at 8pm Pacific/11pm Eastern.

To Participate: The show is recorded on Skype. Please download Skype, check out the Participate page and add tom.barbalet on Skype.

Call Tom on Skype during the show time and he will add you to the call.

Model Rail Radio consistently provides the best model railroading content. It is a show without advertisers or sponsors where the listeners create the content. A simple formula that has seen the show grow rapidly into the Number One model rail podcast in terms of listeners (156,000+ and rising), hours of content produced per month (9 hours plus) and numbers of guests on the show (typically 14 or more).

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.

If you haven't heard Model Rail Radio, find out why it is Number One today! Did we mention the free Model Rail Radio tshirts too?


Model railroading legend Dave Frary calls in to chat periodically.


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).


Longtime listener and occasional co-host, Matt Goodman, models the Model Rail Radio tshirt. Find out how you can get one for yourself free-of-charge by listening to the show!

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


Shelf Layout Design Contest 2014

The only requirement is the layout be no bigger than 72 inches by 24 inches (fully assembled including cassettes, traversers and sector plates). They can be smaller than this. The track plans can be in any scale. Track plans can be submitted with backstory if required. The track plans should have some operational interest. There is no height limit on the layout.

Depending on the entries between twelve to twenty layouts will be selected to be in the first Model Rail Radio Shelf Layout Annual. Each entry that appears in print will receive a printed copy of the Annual and a $20 gift certificate. A winning layout will be selected and the creator will receive a $40 gift certificate.

All entries should be emailed to tom at modelrailradio dot com by 11pm Pacific, October 31st, 2014.


Bertie Awards 2014

Nominations are now open for the Third Annual Bertie Awards!

Best New Kit: Structure

Best New Kit: Locomotive or Rolling Stock

Best Retail Service Online and In-Store

Most Innovative Manufacturer

Best New Ready-to-Run Product: Locomotive or Rolling Stock (by scale)

  • N Scale (and smaller)
  • HO Scale
  • O Scale (and larger)

    Best Listener Submitted Item

    Favorite Part of the Show

    Best Club (new for 2014)

    All nominations (including listener submitted items) should be emailed to tom at modelrailradio dot com by 11pm Pacific, September 30th, 2014. Voting will begin in October.

    Model Rail Radio #91: Caviar [June 14, 2014]


    Tom and John Garaty discuss some structure building on John's famous layout. Tom provides his condolences to Jim Gifford and his crew. Jim's layout has been officially launched. Jim's friend Peter Rees introduces his layout. Stephen Arnold has been learning new things through working with Stephen Priest. Ralph DeBlasi is considering structures to build. Barry Silverthorn and Tom explore what at the NMRA National will be filmed. Marty has been laying grass and backdrop painting. Clark represents the NMRA once again. Ron Klaiss talks about Father's Day and the hobby. Peter Burr's been off the show for a while but he has a lot to provide in an update. Chris Abbott talks flea market live steam. Lionel Strang breaks the new top secret reality TV show and Tom is changing his Facebook interaction. Anders calls in to give Lionel some tips on comedic timing.

          WikiLinks - no one maintains this anymore...

       John Garaty
       Jim Gifford
       Peter Rees
       Stephen Arnold
       Ralph DeBlasi
       Barry Silverthorn
       Marty McGuirk
       Clark Kooning
       Ron Klaiss
       Peter Burr
       Chris Abbott
       Lionel Strang
       Anders Wirten
       Tom Barbalet

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

       [ MP3 ] Length: 3:58:25

    Model Rail Radio #90: Professor Pairings [May 24, 2014]


    Chris and Tom rap about the Great British Train Show. There is breaking news from Jim Gifford. Richard Kowalski calls in to introduce his layout and his philosophy on layout design. Malcolm provides a layout update and it features fish. The Professor (somewhat choppy) and Ron Klaiss explore narrow-gauge. Peter Stempel provides some Martian banter and a move. Tim provides some discussion on the future of the hobby with the Professor. Fred and the Professor have a chance to chat. Niel Wilson calls in to introduce his South African layout. Matthew calls back to talk about his new house and his train room. Jeff gives an update on a section of his club that has been out-of-service for four years. Mike Deverell discusses his new layout. Murray's decided to cut back on structures. Lionel raps with Murray. Tom encourages Mike and Lionel to explore ripping out a layout. Mike and James Rindt have been rail-fanning. Tom Cutting calls in to give an update. Toni Ryan has been working on the hobby through the show. Editor's Note: This show is dedicated to Pam Shields. The show was recorded prior to her passing and there is some discussion through the show about her trip with Ros to the US.

          WikiLinks - no one maintains this anymore...


       Chris Abbott
       Jim Gifford
       Richard Kowalski
       Malcolm Johnson
       John 'Prof Klyzlr' Dimitrievich
       Ron Klaiss
       Peter Stempel
       Tim Harrison
       Mike Slater
       Fred Van Dorpe
       Niel Wilson
       Matthew Clendenen
       Jeff Shockley
       Mike Deverell
       Murray Scholz
       Lionel Strang
       James Rindt
       Tom Cutting
       Toni Ryan
       Tom Barbalet

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

       [ MP3 ] Length: 3:39:09

    Model Rail Radio #89: the JLow Show [April 26, 2014]


    Andy Dixson has a layout update. Will more trees have to die for this layout? Time will tell. Jimmy Low introduces his model railroading interests. Will Merrell provides a blueprint for a successful NTrak club in particular working through a busy show season. Will and Jim Lincoln answer some questions from Jimmy Low. Winston Norton has been working on a module for the Great British Train Show and is exploring a new scale. Winston has a question for Tom. Anders Wirten provides an update on his plans. Sven Frank answers some pressing questions. Mike Deverell has broken records in layout removal. Brace yourself for this discussion. Toni Ryan is similarly stunned but he stands by Mike.

          WikiLinks - no one maintains this anymore...

       Andy Dixson
       Jimmy Low
       Will Merrell
       Jim Lincoln
       Winston Norton
       Anders Wirten
       Sven Frank
       Mike Deverell
       Toni Ryan
       Tom Barbalet

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

       [ MP3 ] Length: 2:19:02

    Model Rail Radio #88: Closet Layouts [April 12, 2014]


    Tom shares some good news. Jim Lincoln and Terry Terrance chat about two rail O scale and P48 (Groundhog Day?). They also discuss their recent 3d printing projects. Ben provides some rail-fanning and model rail product updates. Sven Frank talks about his layout entry in the Garage Layout contest and also an HO layout he is working on. James Scorse introduces his O scale layout and a DCC company he runs, North Coast Engineering. What rate is the hobby growing? The answer will amaze you. Ron Klaiss provides a much anticipated layout update. Tom has some additional questions for Seth Gartner since he was last on about his layout. Georgie Li introduces his model rail and his rail-fanning interests. Terry Gaskin has broken Shapeways and Jim Lincoln is ecstatic. Jim Gore is now an official MMR and he is also a virtual clinician. Clark Kooning thinks virtual clinics are already a precedent for vast NMRA divisions. Mike Slater gives an update. Mike and Lionel Strang give some editorial discussion associated with the Garage Layout design contest and Tom announces the winner and runners up. The crew welcomes back Jeff Shockley. Jeff talks about the Model Rail Scout Merit badge. Jim Rindt provides a company update.

          WikiLinks - no one maintains this anymore...

       Jim Rindt
       Jeff Shockley
       Lionel Strang
       Mike Slater
       Clark Kooning
       Jim Gore
       Terry Gaskin
       Georgie Li
       Seth Gartner
       Ron Klaiss
       James Scorse
       Sven Frank
       Ben "Mikado Otter"
       Jim Lincoln
       Terry Terrance
       Tom Barbalet

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

       [ MP3 ] Length: 3:18:23

    Model Rail Radio #87: Non-P48 O-Scale Mikado to the Head [March 1, 2014]


    Jim Lincoln and Terry Terrance gather for the much anticipated two-rail-O-scale should be more like Proto-48 discussion. Terry and Jim then discuss their respective projects. Ben talks about a train show he attended. Ben also talks about some new products and some old products that have appeared on his radar recently. Dave Falkenburg explores how crazy you need to get to get extra detail in aqua-marine N-scale. What have serial killers got to do with David Karkoski's layout? Matt Goodman talks lighting, videos of other folks layouts and the NMRA national. Chris Harker has been living vicariously through the podcast and talks about traveling with a layout. Mike Slater joins the conversation on module/layout combinations. Lionel discusses some techniques from his layout. Bruce Wilson provides archivist information on Lionel's layout and he may actually be starting the much anticipated WWI layout. Jim Lamagdeleine introduces his two layouts. Mike Slater provides a model railroading update. Guy Mason has some train show updates. Seth Gartner describes his layout and friends layout where he operates periodically. Jim Walsh provides a quick update. Lionel and Tom wrap up the show.

          WikiLinks - no one maintains this anymore...

       Jim Lincoln (and friends)
       Terry Terrance
       Ben "Mikado Otter"
       Dave Falkenburg
       David Karkoski
       Matt Goodman
       Chris Harker
       Mike Slater
       Lionel Strang
       Bruce Wilson
       Jim Lamagdeleine
       Guy Mason
       Seth Gartner
       Jim Walsh
       Tom Barbalet

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

       [ MP3 ] Length: 3:17:20

    Model Rail Radio #86: Coupler in the Snow [February 15, 2014]


    Cesar Luna calls in for the first time to discuss multifaceted layouts he is planning in O and HO. Terry Terrance and Cesar talk about using video monitors providing movement in your layout. Chris Abbott jumps in to talk about collecting in the hobby. Cesar and Tom also rap on Mexican railroads. Dave Frary and Bill Sartore call in to discuss LEDs in a variety of sizes. Dave talks about the best way to cook lobster and George Sellios' retirement. Ben aka Mikado Otter introduces his layout and his model railroading interests. Ben and Fred rap on the Illinois Railway Museum. George Sinos and Chris discuss how sound can force people to operate at more prototypical speeds. Rich Murphy provides an introduction to his layout and has recently become the president of the Silicon Valley Line. Dave talks about creating a different kind of NMRA regional and talks about his exploration of rail marine. Bob Richard gives a much anticipated update. Potty mouth Jim Lincoln brings more of his old religion on the show. Stay tuned for the show down in the upcoming episode. Jim Gore has been tutoring his paper structure building techniques.

          WikiLinks - starting to get boring...

       Cesar Luna
       Terry Terrance
       Chris Abbott
       Dave Frary
       Bill Sartore
       Ben "Mikado Otter"
       Fred Van Dorpe
       George Sinos
       Rich Murphy
       Dave Falkenburg
       Jim Lincoln
       Jim Gore
       Tom Barbalet

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

       [ MP3 ] Length: 3:11:23

    Model Rail Radio #85: Half Past Midnight [February 8, 2014]


    Mike Slater and Chris Abbott join Tom talking about what has happened to Atlas track: in particular N scale track. Murray also contributes to the track discussion and then provides a layout update. Stephen Arnold has been hanging out with former guest, Stephen Priest, who is building an interesting layout. Peter Burr is a little perplexed now he has some more space on his layout. Toni Ryan dispels some myths about hand-laid track and turnouts. Jason Reis provides a life and a club update. Fred Van Dorpe introduces his model railroading interests and talks about his local club and other clubs in his area. Fred also raise the topic of cyber-bullying in the rail-fanning community. Terry Gaskin has been putting rivets on girders but he hasn't counted any as yet. Peter Stempel has been enjoying doing test printing with his 3d printer. Producing benchwork at speed has been Andy Dixson's recent model railroading experience. Dan Pickard provides some updates including a local weather report and some projection for the near future. Peter Little is planning multiple layouts in the same space.

          WikiLinks - now the subject of multiple films, or so I am led to believe...

       Mike Slater
       Chris Abbott
       Lionel Strang
       Murray Scholz
       Stephen Arnold
       Peter Burr
       Toni Ryan
       Jason Reis
       Fred Van Dorpe
       Terry Gaskin
       Peter Stempel
       Andy Dixson
       Dan Pickard
       Peter Little
       Tom Barbalet

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

       [ MP3 ] Length: 3:21:36

    Model Rail Radio #84: The Peanut Butter and BriteBoy Incident [January 18, 2014]


    New caller Jim Walsh introduces his model railroading interests. David Karkoski is working on a new copper-mining layout. Matthew Clendenen has been getting into the hobby very rapidly. Tom provides a little family legal work for the Rindts. Clark Kooning thinks people should just try model railroading. Ed Novit provides an update on his Model Rail Radio get-together and some sound advice for grandfathers who want to utilize varying degrees of grandchild labor. Bernie Kempinski provides an overview of his new book associated with mixing military modeling with model rail. Bruce Wilson has some questions for Bernie. Tom and Bernie also talk about corn fields in N scale amongst other things. Marty provides some interesting tales from an NMRA op session. Lionel has some wisdom to provide on the topic. Tom reminds listeners that the garage layout contest is still on.

          WikiLinks - now the subject of multiple films, or so I am led to believe...

       Jim Walsh
       David Karkoski
       Matthew Clendenen
       Peter Burr
       Ted Picraux
       Peter Rindt
       James Rindt
       Clark Kooning
       Ed Novit
       Mike Slater
       Bernie Kempinski
       Bruce Wilson
       Marty McGuirk
       Lionel Strang
       Tom Barbalet

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

       [ MP3 ] Length: 3:52:05