Computer power supply for model railway

Paul’s been in touch again, this time with his thoughts on using a computer power supply for model railway.

And he’s got some good advice too. (His last post is here.)

“Hi Al

Thank for publishing my last submission to you, I had a lot of nice comments from around the world.

I gained a lot of useful ideas from your contributors whilst building my layout. Here are a couple of tips from me.

I have a colleague who started his layout before me. He built a tunnel. Then he had a derailment in the tunnel and had to knock it down to get to the trains. So learned from his bad fortune and realised that you must have access to all tracks, wherever they are. So I incorporated a hinged flap into my tunnel allowing access. Saves a lot of future problems.

I saw that one of your contributors suggested using computer power supply for model railway lighting etc. this is exactly what I did. I can confirm that it is an excellent idea and gives plenty of power.

Another tip is to use an old analogue controller to power the turntable. I have also used an old Hornby transformer for the power to my points.

Just a little extra. I came across my old Airfix planes from the 50s and 60s. ‘Never throw anything away’ is something I believed in even then and had kept all the unused parts and decals from them. So after a great deal of refurbishment and rebuilding I decided to add a little extra something to my train room.

Hope you like the photos.



computer power supply for model railway

model railway tunnel

computer power supply for model railway

computer power supply for model railway

model railway track

model railway

That’s all this time, I’m a man in a hurry today.

Huge thanks to Paul and his thoughts on a computer power supply for model railway.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And if today is the day you get started on your layout, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

PPS More HO scale train layouts here if that’s your thing.

15 Responses to Computer power supply for model railway

  1. John Meehan says:

    Looks awesome! Love the aircraft! Great tips also!

  2. Chris says:

    How about a power for the windmill? 🙂

  3. Bob says:

    The air controllers must be going crazy with so many planes above the layout. I think the airplanes are nice touch. I found out that using guard rails in the tunnel helped, as well as going code 70 rail to 100 in HO.

  4. Rob McCrain says:

    That access hatch is a great way to solve it and no one knows. Rob McCrain – Farland Howe

  5. Good tips and good idea for the tunnel , I have used it on a few tunnels before !
    I am doing a pluming job on the bath room and we only have one tub and shower
    unit so the drain pipes have been a real pain , I stayed in the fumes to long yesterday and ended up with an all day headache !!
    put 4 more joints together to day and ran upstairs but not fast enough so the headache came back already before I got to the top of the stairs so I will stop talking and go take an aspirin and drink some water
    hope all will be well and stay safe !

  6. Thomas Murphy says:

    Grand ideas Paul.

  7. John Reynolds says:

    Fantastic… And I love the old Airfix models… I had several but time took its toll and like other cherished things in my past, they vanished during one relocation of another…
    Quite the set-up… Impressive!
    John in CA, USA

  8. Rod Mackay says:

    Crikey George, fumes from what? Stick to poly pipe and PTFE tape, plumbing’s enough of a headache without a real one!

  9. Hennie de Ruyter says:

    Just a comment. When making a tunnel. especially a shortish one, it must have walls on both sides right next to the track/s all the way through, even if it is only cardboard. That way there is no hidden places where a derailed vehicle can go, it can only be on/next to the tracks and is easy to push out with a long ruler.

  10. David Howarth says:

    Nice layout you have built there Paul ..Dangerous Dave

  11. Ian Mc Donald says:

    great looking layout. the tips were excellent. nice idea with the tunnel. thanks for sharing.

  12. Don Mebius says:

    In a previous layout with a tunnel, I cut out the base of the plywood, allowing me access from underneath. It was a tight fit, but it did the job.
    Regarding the planes, I hung an irregular ‘island’ from the ceiling, ran a flex track just inside the outer edge of the island, and ran a low engine and flat car with a plane hanging off of the side. When the grandkids would visit, they enjoyed ‘flying’ the plane. Remember to counterbalance the hanging plane and it was great!
    Love your posts and all of the effort you put into it!!

  13. Gerry Labrie says:

    The tunnel part would have been an obvious question, What if you have a derailment, And How would i get it out, would have been my pre thought on construction, access hole are always needed no matter on what type of layout, Especially if you have a location that is further away but cannot reach it without knocking items down. Escape hatch or a drop down hatch that only has decoration that can be remove from the bottom to access difficult areas always helps. When we built our tunnel we had the whole lid come off, for easy access, Using Styrofoam shape it the way we need , and when adding deco to the mountain made sure the lid when pop open u could not tell of the separation. Pay in the long run. as we’ve all been there

  14. JohnO says:

    Love the airplanes Paul.But you have one hell of a holding pattern going on there.Greatjob.

  15. Bob Walker says:

    Very effective use of the model aircraft, although it would be most disconcerting to see both the Apollo Command/Service Module _and_ the Lunar Lander in the sky above the earth simultaneously (grin)… -Bob W, NH, USA.

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