Model Rail Radio

Live Internet Radio Devoted to Model Railroading

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There will be a show recorded Saturday, April 26th at 10am PST/1pm EST/6pm UK.
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 (141,000+ 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!


Garage Layout Contest 2013-2014

The layout must fit in an area 12' x 22' or less.

Any era.

Any scale.

Aisle widths must be 3' minimum.

The layout must have some operating interest.

Single deck is preferable. If absolutely needed two decks will be considered.

Duck-unders are allowed but not preferable.

Provide a maximum of one page of background history and one page of locomotives and rollingstock expected to operate on the layout.

Tom Barbalet will be the sole judge.

First prize will be a $120 gift cerificate.

Second prize will be a $80 gift certificate.

Third prize will be a $40 gift certificate.

Anyone can enter as many times as they would like.

See the winning entries!


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