Building your own train is something you can enjoy on your own or with fellow hobbyists. The learning curve with all its trials and errors also depends on whether you have a knack for it and if you are willing to listen to some expert advice.
Aside from being in a small group, you can also get a few tips and tricks as well as information about the latest models, changes, and materials used in blogs. Here are a few that might be right up your alley, or track as the case may be. Fair warning, it is easy to get the names mixed up if you are not careful.
ModelTrainStuff is, first and foremost, a store for model train enthusiasts owned by MB Klein, Inc. The company was originally designed as a hardware store, but it was completely converted to a train store in the 70s. They have kept up with the times and now they offer a wide selection for the fans around the world.
As for the blog, it features posts on the latest car models, rules for storing your train, DYI tips, and much more. The blog posts come weekly, and they are informative. For example, a post about making your own scenery also comes with links to other relevant posts, like how to incorporate water into your layout.
Cairns Road Works
I would still classify this as a blog, despite the lack of text and context. Andi Walkshaw is the person behind the gallery and it is dedicated to repainting and railway detailing, rather than tips, tricks, info, history, and other things that usually draw in readers and followers. You get to see many a fine model train cars and Walkshaw does a tremendous job making their colors come to life. My only regret is that there is a lack of work-in-progress photos.
Model Railroad Hobbyist Magazine has several contributors to its blog and they offer not only simple posts, but videos as well. You will see many tips on preparation, projects in progress, and even a few videos and posts where train enthusiasts chastise themselves and warn others not to make the same mistakes.
While I’m on the subject of MRH, the magazine itself is pretty darn good. They announce new cars, compare different remote technology, offer opinion pieces, and much more.
Definitely worth the read if you have the time.
Building Your Model Railroad
Originally a store for hobbyists, Building Your Model Railroad goes the extra step to make sure you have everything you need and not to get in over your head. They have tips on building set-ups, the scenery, step-by-step guides, train tutorials, term definitions, and the beginner’s guide, to name a few things.
Their blog, likewise, features people trying their best with the projects and pointing out how the tips of yesterday still work today. All for the sake of bringing a smile to your face. You won’t find any gatekeeping here.
Model Railroader Magazine
Model Railroader Magazine is everything a train lover needs. Building tutorials, product reviews, and comparisons, videos with modelers, the Getting Started section, and even a digital archive, so that you can access everything they have published so far. Like many other magazines and hobby clubs, they have their own store. Even kids can enjoy some of their train sets and books, for railfans-to-be.