Model railroad layouts have become a lot more interesting since the addition of sound locomotives. Having sound effects of train horns, bells, and engine startup sequences all add to the realism we strive for in this hobby. Unfortunately, it seems the only sound on a model railroad layout is that of the locomotive. This is a missed opportunity. In this article one of our members, Ryan Balla, will describe how he has added background sounds to his layout.
Everyone approaches this hobby differently and it is understandable why. Model railroading requires many skills and covers many topics. A layout needs electrical, painting, creativity, carpentry, planning, electronics know-how, and more. Some focus on only a few and rely on friends to cover the gap, others selectively choose to build a railroad layout based on their skills learn them all.
Over the years we’ve welcomed many new members to the club. One comment we’ve heard over and over again is “I wish I knew how to do..” or “I really don’t know how to…”. Our old program for welcoming members was not helping to teach the hobby. It was providing new members experience in the club but not the important hands-on lessons. This is problematic as many of our members don’t have home layouts to learn.