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Model Railroad Manual
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Brown Box Era HO-Scale Trains
TYCO Model Railroad Manual

Model Railroad Manual Cover

An interesting addition to the TYCO literature library is Chilton Book Company's TYCO MODEL RAILROAD MANUAL. The sample reviewed appears to be a first edition copy and is from 1979. The manual is authored by Robert Schleicher and details a wide variety of model railroading techniques and ideas in a simple straight forward style. Copies examined have all been softbound and contain 220 pages of text and pictures. There is a small color section, along with many black-and-white photos throughout.

Among the most interesting, or possibly humorous to serious model railroaders, would be the sections on weathering and kitbashing. Even with a liberal dose of 'soot' and 'dirt' applied, one would be hard pressed to view a TYCO Jell-O box car as "realistic" in any way. The author also provides instruction on cutting up an SD-24 and GP-20 and switching their noses to create a high-hood GP-20 and a low-hood SD-24. Both examples are then custom painted Burlington Northern. From reviewing the pictures, it is obvious that the author had a favorite road and it was the BN.

Layout Image from Model Railroad Manual

The TYCO MODEL RAILROAD MANUAL carries a suggested retail price of $7.95, according to the back cover of the copy examined. The publisher is Chilton, perhaps best known for its line of automotive repair manuals. There are a few other Chilton publications focusing on model trains that recycle some of the material found in this book.

Though it may not contain specific detailed product line information, as found in TYCO catalogs, this manual is a very interesting item to add to one's collection. The many photos are worth owning it for, just to see so many TYCO pieces in action. I do not know if TYCO had a hand in the book's creation or publication, but it is curious that virtually all trains included are TYCO. This manual does appear at swap meets and with some frequency on eBay and is generally obtainable without great difficulty by collectors.

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