Some handy techniques for Model Railroaders

Signal Mast Heights

From the Wikipedia entry on railroad signals: "Signals are most commonly mounted on trackside masts about 12 feet (3.7 m) to 15 feet (4.6 m) high to put them in the eyeline of the engineer. Signals can also be mounted on signal bridges or cantilever masts spanning multiple tracks. Signal bridges and masts typically provide at least 20 feet (6.1 m) of clearance over the top of the rail." Thus, a trackside signal of 15' in height would come out to about 2.8" in S scale.
The full article on Wikipedia can be found at North American Signals
NMRA Recommended Practice - Car Weights
This is a technique for painting clouds on backdrops.
Here are some clinic notes on the subject of casting parts in plastic, metal and other materials.
A Simple track Cleaner car - inspired by John Allen

Here are two tools for measuring distances on plans
or model railroads. The wooden one is useful
on actual roadbed. The pounce wheel is useful on plans.

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