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FAQs for Realistic Railroad Modeling

What is "Realistic Railroad Modeling" all about?
Realistic Model Railroading is a community of modelers, of all scales, who are interested in pursuing "railroad modeling," an approach that encompasses layout planning and design with realistic operations, while also building their skill sets in the hobby.

Why are there no specific scale and gauge subforums?
Choice of scale depends on many factors, but personal preference, comfort and satisfaction with one's results in a particular scale rank high. This is much like an artist who excels with oils rather than watercolors, or one who is comfortable sculpting with clay but struggles carving wood. In that sense, a model railroading scale is like an artist's medium: some modelers find N scale to be "their thing," while others excel modeling in O, S, HO, TT or Z scales.

All scales bring with them advantages and disadvantages. Thus no one scale is "better" or "best" compared to any other. Market popularity does not necessarily make any scale "ideal."

Finally, we believe forums that segregate content by scale are performing a disservice to the hobby. We become better railroad modelers through learning from and being inspired by great examples and techniques in all scales.

Is it true RMR does not accept requests for membership from acknowledged users of some brands of prefab track, Lego trains, and tinplate?
We believe realistic model railroading pursues realism in appearance and operations in all aspects. Track is both a functional and scenic element of a realistic model railroad. So, yes, we can to one degree be called "rivet counters."

Certain brands of unimproved sectional prefab track simply do not meet the bar. We politely require of modelers whose preference is to use those brands of track (namely Kato Unitrack, Bachmann EZ-Track, Atlas True-Track and Tomix) that the rails and ties be painted, and the track ballasted and groomed for a more realistic appearance.

Legos are not considered scale model trains on this forum, and while scale three-rail O scale layouts with realistic track will be warmly welcomed here, this is not a forum intended for two- or three-rail tinplate or hi-rail enthusiasts.

Why doesn't RMR have a chatroom like some other forums?
Simply put, we have found chatrooms, as well as "crew lounges" and similar free-for-all, general "bull session" venues, to be an unproductive gathering place for gossip and idle chatter. However, we do offer Radio Chatter, a forum for general topic discussions about the hobby and prototype railroading.

Can I post about my layout in any category?
The heartbeat of this forum are the individual layout-build threads, and that's where we encourage members to showcase their work and progress.

There are other forum categories for scenery, operations, etc., in which a forum member may if they choose "break out" a topic on a certain project from within their layout build thread to spotlight a particular project in which they're involved.

I've run into a problem with my "xxxx." Where can I ask for help on the forum?
Look for the "Dispatcher's Call Light" part of the forum and post your question there. Back in the old days of railroading, dispatchers in CTC territory could turn on an exterior light at a signal bungalow. Any signal person seeing this light was required to phone or radio the dispatcher to find out what problem was, hence the "call light."

What is "The Scrap Yard?"
Occasionally personalities clash or strong differences of opinion arise. When the moderators see this or its been reported, we will move the topic into the "The Scrap Yard" where the participants can continue their discussion if they wish to attempt resolving their differences. However, foul language and personal insults still will not be tolerated. Please note that The Scrap Yard will be viewable only to registered members who are logged in to the forum.

At the end of the discussion, the participants may be given a five-day "cooling off" period.

For more information on how the Scrap Yard works and its rules, go to the "Miscellaneous" Channel, click on "The Scrap Yard" and read the locked Sticky Thread.

A word about PMs (Private Messages)
Recently on another modeling forum, an issue arose where one member sent another member a so-called “offensive PM” and the sending member was banned for 30 days. It was also stated by the administration of that forum that they were able to read members' PMs.

We bring this up to mention that the administrators of RMR feel that what is written within a PM is only the business of the two or more parties that are directly connected to the PMs, and no one else.

However, should an issue arise where it becomes a problem, any PM can then be viewed with permission, if any are thought to be used for illicit, immoral or illegal purposes. Or if any of the connected members wish to forward a copy of the PM(s) to the admins for review and action.