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European Vs. American Rural Model Train Landscapes

When you’re looking up new model train layout ideas, you may notice a difference between European and American styles. When people build model railroads, they usually design them based on real railroads that they see in their hometowns or the nearby countryside. Since American and European rural areas look very different, it makes sense that model rural railroads will, too. Learn more about how European and American rural model train landscapes differ below.

European vs. American Rural Model Train Landscapes


They Use Different Ruins

Anywhere you go in the world, you’ll see run-down buildings when driving through the countryside. However, those buildings may be very different depending on where you are.

In the United States, the most common countryside ruins are classic red barns and brick silos. However, in Europe, it’s possible to see a ruined castle or manor house in the distance. Using different model train structures can help tell people where your railroad is set.


The Presence of Trash

Another major difference between American and European rural model train landscapes is the appearance of trash. American model railroaders tend to include scattered bits of trash, rusted rail yard equipment, and other unsightly details in their layouts. European modelers tend to prefer a more picturesque appearance, though they still use plenty of weathering.


Architectural Styles

It’s no secret that buildings in the United States look different from a lot of rural buildings in Europe. Every European country has its own unique architectural history, so it’s important to note that their structures will not all be the same. However, one thing remains relatively common: European buildings tend to be smaller and closer together since space is at a premium.


Land Plot Shapes

In America, it’s pretty common to see large rectangular patches of farmland. In fact, much of the country looks like a patchwork quilt from the view of an airplane. However, if you travel to Europe, you’re more likely to see organic, rounded shapes instead of neat rectangles.

Modeling railroads from different parts of the world can be a fun way to enjoy the hobby. Use this list to help you plan a realistic layout for your next model railroad.

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