Model Rail Radio

Live Internet Radio Devoted to Model Railroading

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There is a show planned for October 4th, 4pm Pacific US, 7pm Eastern US.

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 #94: Strang of Green Gables [September 6, 2014]


    Norm Wolf talks about the Mid-Atlantic RPM Meet and his new layout. Bernie Kempinski talks about what killed Marty and his new layout book. Joe D'Amato introduces his job and his model railroading interests. Bruce Kelly is a railroading polymath. Bernie breaks in to provide some code information. Chip Anderson created a game for his module group. Terry Terrance describes the P48 layout he worked on for the National and now Tom has seen the layout they talk more about the track plan. Just when Clark Kooning thought he was out, they pulled him back in. Barry Silverthorn has a layout update and the usual discussion associated with what he will be filming next. Marty McGuirk is in a construction mode. Chris Mears lives somewhere familiar to Australian women who want to get engaged. James and Mrs. Rindt provide some fireside updates. Tom and Lionel chat about the Modeler's Life podcast and starting a podcast. Jim Gifford has renewed his passport and is looking to travel to the NMRA National 2015. Jeff Shockley is living through his club. Mike Slater looks back at what the show has meant to him. Tom needs more entries for the Shelf Layout Design contest.

          WikiLinks - no one maintains this anymore...

       Norm Wolf
       Bernie Kempinski
       Joe D'Amato
       Bruce Kelly
       Chip Anderson
       Terry Terrance
       Clark Kooning
       Barry Silverthorn
       Peter Burr
       Marty McGuirk
       Chris Mears
       Lionel Strang
       James and Mrs. Rindt
       Jim Gifford
       Jeff Shockley
       Mike Slater
       Tom Barbalet

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

       [ MP3 ] Length: 3:40:35

    Model Rail Radio #93: Three Large Signals [August 2, 2014]


    New caller Glenn Draper wants to know more about DCC and it just so happens Lionel Strang is on the call to help out. Mark Gurries talks more about DCC. Ron and Rachel Klaiss call in to provide a father/daughter diorama building update. Chris Adams is modeling Connecticut. Ron Pare introduces his Facebook modeling group. Ben provides a rail fanning and rail museum update. Mike Slater and Ben rap on collecting items from real railroads. Terry Terrance has many model railroading updates including helping building a P48 layout. Jim Gore, Lionel and Mike gives an update about the NMRA National show. Clark has been recognized by the NMRA. Bruce Wilson has a modeling update. Dave Ramos has been building grain cars. Dave Falkenburg and Will Merrell have the chance to chat about how to do N modules at shows without the typical headaches. Tom launches the Berties this year. Please submit your nominations now. Tom and Marshall Stull rap on the Shelf Layout Design contest. Marshall also went to the National. Sven Frank has been putting together his large scale layout. Tom Wilson has been working on his layout and started a larger version of the hobby too.

          WikiLinks - no one maintains this anymore...

       Glenn Draper
       Lionel Strang
       Mark Gurries
       Ron Klaiss
       Rachel Klaiss
       Chris Adams
       Ron Pare
       Clark Kooning
       Ben "Mikado Otter"
       Mike Slater
       Terry Terrance
       Jim Gore
       Bruce Wilson
       Dave Ramos
       Dave Falkenburg
       Will Merrell
       Marshall Stull
       Sven Frank
       Tom Wilson
       Tom Barbalet

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

       [ MP3 ] Length: 3:15:20

    Model Rail Radio #92: I'd Use the Dogs [July 12, 2014]


    Georgie Li kicks off the show with a troubled tale about restoring a historic station. Mike Slater and Ted Picraux give their feedback to Georgie. Ted gives an update. Fred has a number of updates from the Illinois Rail Museum. Andy Dixson is laying track and applying scenery to the kingdom of wood. Jimmy Low has been working on his layout and running trains with his junior apprentice train driver. Mike Slater will be meeting Lionel Strang at the National Train Show. Barry Silverthorn outlines his plans for the National too. Toni Ryan has been modeling through the show. Peter Stempel has seen the kingdom of wood and the UK too. Mike Deverell has been putting up YouTube clips of his layout's progress. Dave Falkenburg has been posting teasers. Bruce Wilson has a new kitten and a coffee-pot-mod plan.

          WikiLinks - no one maintains this anymore...

       Georgie Li
       Mike Slater
       Ted Picraux
       Fred Van Dorpe
       Andy Dixson
       Jimmy Low
       Barry Silverthorn
       Toni Ryan
       Peter Stempel
       Mike Deverell
       Dave Falkenburg
       Bruce Wilson
       Tom Barbalet

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

       [ MP3 ] Length: 2:34:12

    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