About Us

Modular-Model-Railroads.com is your complete Internet resource for modular, sectional and portable model railroading. 

Our content will focus on the following topics:

  • Modular – Sections with a standard interface, height, width and length.
  • Sectional – A layout made to be portable or removeable, but without a standard interface.
  • Small Layouts – A lot of small layout track plans will make nice modules.
  • Lightweight – Construction of light but sturdy benchwork and scenery.
  • Switching Puzzles – Including John Allen’s Timesaver and the Inglenook Siding.
  • Standards – Both organizations and individual clubs
  • Construction – Methods of constructing benchwork, legs, scenery, electrical, etc.

Modular-Model-Railroads.com is the site formerly known as HOtrak.com.  While HOtrak.com is a cool domain name, it was confusing because some visitors thought the site was HO “only”.  Modular-Model-Railroads.com is a resource for all scales and gauges of modular, sectional and lightweight model railroading.

Modular-Model-Railroads.com believes sectional or modular railroading has many important advantages over traditional, site built layouts, including:

Portable – Modules are designed and constructed with the intent of being disassembled moved and stored.  This is a great advantage considering the average person moves once every 7 years.  An individual’s or club’s model railroading efforts do not have to be destroyed or left behind when they move.  The modules, or sections can easily be disassembled with little damage to the layout.  Because modular and sectional layouts are purpose built and designed to be moved, they are generally lighter in weight and sized to be moved.  Modules and sectional layouts are much easier to move.

Allows varied interests – Modules are small, portable, less expensive and easily stored when compared to a regular layout.  This means the modeler can have modules in various scales, time periods and geographical regions.  This flexibility is not possible with a conventional layout.

Smaller and finite project – Demographically, modules are much more attractive to a younger generation of model railroaders.  Prior generations were willing to make long-term or open-ended commitments in building layouts.  Younger generations want projects to be a specific and limited amount of time.  Modules are small enough to complete quickly and not become the lifetime project of building and revising a home layout.

Comparatively cheaper – Modules are smaller, generally 8 to 18 square feet, making a module much cheaper to complete than even the small 32 square foot 4 x 8 ft layout. This small area is affordable on most any budgets.  Alternatively, it allows the hobbyist to super detail a module to a level that would not be affordable on a larger layout.

Ownership – Because the individual owns his/her module and does the work when and as they prefer.  If the owner wants help, they can request help from the specific individuals that have compatible skills and/or vision.  Ownership avoids the club issues of some individuals avoiding contributing time and/or materials to the communal effort, or strong personalities imposing their vision or skill levels on the entire club.

Fellowship – Once a module is completed, it can be shown with a group at public exhibitions.  Setting up, manning and tearing down after shows is shared work that is generally enjoyable and are done as a group.  Actual work on the module can be done at the convenience of the individual module maker.

Operations potential – The newer modules, particularly Fremo in Europe, are built for operational and modeling realism.  Some of the Fremo Europe exhibitions are very large and closed to the public.  The exhibitions are done for the benefit and enjoyment of the modelers.

Exhibition potential – Modular or portable layouts are typically set up for public display. Either at model railroad events or charity fund raisers.  All these events give the individual modeler the opportunity to show their stuff.  The stuff they want to show off may be the module, engines, rolling stock, structures or pictures of the diorama.

For these reasons, modular-model-railroads.com believes modular and sectional railroading will grow in importance and popularity in the future.  We look forward to growing with you.

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4 Responses to “About Us”
  1. Hi,

    we are a part of the European FREMO who are interested in US-style railroading. Now we’re looking for information about H0n3 modular information.
    Are there at FREE-mo any H0n3 fans? Have the established some standards?

    Any information will be good. Thank you.


  2. Wolfgang,

    It is a pleasure to have you visit and comment on my site.

    I looked through my website drafts and other info and didn’t come across any info on HOn3 Free-mo. I did have some stuff on On30 and Sn2 and Sn2.5.

    Probably the closest to something useful to HOn3 Free-mo is this white paper on various On30 Free-mo interface plates – http://www.vif.com/users/r-rhurlbut/On30-Modules/Free-MOn30/Interface.pdf

    They are very similar to Harold Brosch’s Fremo endplate profiles – http://www.eisenbahn-modulbau.de/catalog/default.php?cPath=98_22

    That’s about all I have found.



  3. The Sn2 Free-mo standards are published here: http://www.narrowtracks.com/Sn2/Free-Mo/index.htm
    Several of us are building and displaying Sn2 modules, which use HOn3 gague track.

    Supposedly a group in Colorado has taken the Sn2 standards and applied then to HOn3.

    Dave K.

  4. Sandy Davis says:

    A narrow gauge interest should not require a whole separate set of modular standards. If the rolling stock is narrow enough, then one could use the standards for the nearest TRACK width ,,, thus Ntrak for HOn30. However if the cars are getting on to the width of the SCALE, then one would presumably use the appropriate HO scale modular standards.

    Track center line seperations should be adjusted by something SIMPLE (in inch-fractions or centemeters) rather than something that would be hard to remember and subject to argumentation ,,, such as trying to adjust to the scale equivalent of a popular prototype.

    Tighter radius curves for intra-module and intermodule branches, passing sidings and yard track should again be SIMPLE and easy to communicate/remember ,,, as with turnout numbers. With regard to the latter, commercial product availability might well dictate, such as setting #4 turnouts as the norm.

    I am not familiar with Sn2 standards and thus have no comment, but I opine, with respect, that the prototype is fairly scare and that might lead, again, to arguments between clubs. Despite its growing obsolesence, Ntrak had for roughly three decades the advantage of uniform standards and massive consensus.

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