- Welcome to Walthers
- What is Scale? Model trains come in many sizes.
- Train sets are a great place to start.
- Expanding Operations
- Where to set up your trains
- Scenery and Detail - Bring your layout to life.
Welcome to where the fun begins!
Whether you're into history, electronics, art, or activities that bring friends and family together, model railroading is a fun way to explore your interests.
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Getting started is easy. Walthers has everything you need to build a great model railroad. Founded in Milwaukee, WI in 1932 and now in its fourth generation of family leadership, Wm. K Walthers, Inc. is a leading manufacturer and marketer of some of the finest products in the industry for model railroads and miniature worlds. Walthers is passionate about welcoming newcomers to enjoy this fine hobby. Walthers believes model trails can make a powerful, positive impact, and is committed to building a more connected community - one little world at a time.
Having so many options can be exciting, but it can also make getting started seem overwhelming.
Fortunately, there's good news. Walthers is here to help.
By moving through the tabs at right you will find information to help get you started and to keep you chugging along on your new journey.
Get to know the most popular scales
Model trains come in many sizes, known as ‘scales’ because they are built to some ration relative to the real thing. Here are a few things to consider as you choose a scale.
Most people will land in either HO, or N scale trains.
HO scale is the most popular, the most widely modeled and has the most products available.
Train sets are the easiest way to get started with a scale railroad. Many children have fond memories of the train set under the holiday tree. Today many sets are full of great ready to assemble models.
Expansion packs and kits are easy to find and add a lot of fun to your trains.
When you’re ready to advance beyond a basic oval there are countless ways to arrange track on your railroad limited only by your imagination and of course the space for your layout. Most track comes in two basic styles; traditional and roadbed. They’re both available in HO and N scale with fixed-radius curves and varying-length straight sections.
Traditional – Easy to combine with flexible sections to allow varied curves and advanced track arrangements. If you decide to use flexible track it must be cut to fit exactly where you want it and anchored to a sturdy layout base.
Roadbed – Combines traditional track and roadbed into rigid sections. Its advantages include fast setup and enhanced electrical options for more advanced operation. There are no flexible sections, so track curves are restricted to the size that the piece comes in but can be used without anchoring to a base.
Where to set up my trains?
You can set up your train on the floor, or any flat surface really. If you’d like to make a permanent home for your train consider creating a train table. An old ping-pong or kitchen table can make a great base. If space is a concern, a piece of 2” thick foam insulation painted green to represent grass can be built in an afternoon and slid under a bed when not in use! For the carpenters among you Walthers offers detailed directions for building a custom train table. For these permanent installations, consider a basement, spare room or even a garage.
Bringing your layout to life
Bring your railroad to life with lush greenery, fall colors, or glistening snow, and add trees, water, crops, shrubs, and more for a vibrant and realistic layout. Scenery is an important part of every layout. On your layout it can convey a sense of place – tall pines abound in northern forests amid rock outcroppings, deciduous trees are common in gently rolling landscapes.