TrainMaster TV's Shows

TrainMasters TV is a streaming vidcast website for model railroaders.  Each week we deliver new programming, including layout tours, how-to videos, product reviews, event reports, and feature stories about people in our hobby. TrainMasters TV is the premium streaming video website of Model Railroad Hobbyist magazine.


TrainMasters is oriented to mostly more seasoned model railroaders.  The majority of MRH readers have more than basic experience in the hobby and are looking for ways to improve their modelling skills.  The content of our videos mirror and expand the content found in Model Railroad Hobbyist magazine.  In general, TrainMasters TV programs are fast paced, professionally-produced and highly focused.  We take a friendly and engaging presentation style, with a fun, casual atmosphere.


Visitors can do a trial monthly subscription of $5.99 so they can watch our content and decide if TrainMasters might be right for them.  Additionally, some previews will be made available on the Model Railroad Hobbyist website as bonus material.


TrainMasters TV also has an active Facebook presence and a Youtube channel to cultivate new viewers and to present near real-instant on location "sneak peak" footage before we develop the final video later in-studio.


Some anthologies will be sold on iTunes, sold as downloadable videos or sold on DVD over time.





TrainMasters TV is presented in a TV show format with an act each week.  Each act contains segments that range from one minute to 15 minutes.  Viewers may choose to watch individual acts or the entire show. The goal is 60-90 minutes of new content from TrainMasters each month. The various segments include:


Backshop Clinic

Hosts Clark Kooning and Lionel Strang  welcome guest clinicians to their shop where they share tips and techniques for creating more realistic models.  Here's a sampling of topics to be covered:

  • Trackside Details
  • Anatomy of a Rail Yard
  • Scenery Basics
  • Weathering Freight Cars
  • Using Water-based Stains for Wood Kitsa
  • What's in My Tool Box?
  • Scratchbuilding with Styrene
  • Painting Detail Parts
  • Making Telegraph Poles
  • Using Phones and Pads for Throttles and Panels
  • Dave Patterson - Basics of Structure Building
  • Backdrop Painting Made Easy
  • Planning and Building a Layout for Prototype Operation
  • Scale Modelling using Google Sketchup


Vendor Tip of the Month

In each episode a member of a hobby vendor's staff will show us a quick tip for improving our model railroad using their product(s). This will be more of a how-to segment than an informercial (read: no sales hype), with the idea being to get expert insight on how to use a vendor's products "straight from the horse's mouth".



Who doesn't want to show off their work?  MyLayout is an interactive segment featuring hiobbyist-submitted content, presented by host Jim Wright. Jim presents clips from modellers who have taken video of themselves, touring us around their layouts. Click here for details on how to get YOUR layout video on TMTV!


Product Review

Periodically, the staff from Model Railroad Hobbyist magazine office will review some new hobby products.


Show Reports

Our hosts will guide us on visits some of North America's largest and best train exhibitions, including Amherst Train Show in Springfield, Massachusetts, Rail Expo in Ottawa, and the annual NMRA National Train Show.


DCC Decoded

Nobody knows DCC like the experts TrainMasters will be bringing in.  They'll share some of his favourite secrets, review new products, and give you tips on how to get the most from DCC.


Layout Tours

Get inspired by the work of others.  Each month we will visit some fantastic layouts and talk to their builders about the details that make them fantastic. Shows we're hoping to do include:

  • Lex Parker, Denver & Rio Grande Western - On3
  • Roger Chrysler, Lake Erie and Northern - HO
  • La Mesa Model Railroad Club - HO
  • Jim EuDaly, Chesapeake & Ohio - O
  • The S-Scale Workshop, Canadian National Railways - S
  • Bob Helm, Norfolk and Western - HO
  • Michael Porter, Chicago Great Western Railroad  - HO
  • George Sellios, Franklin & South Manchester - HO
  • Steve Harris, Rio Grande Southern - HOn3
  • Joe Fugate, Southern Pacific - HO
  • Mike Hamer, Boston & Maine - HO
  • Waterloo Region Model Railway Club, CP Rail - HO
  • Tom Hood, Canadian Northern - HO
  • John Wilkes, Virginia Southwestern - HO
  • Michel Boucher, Delaware & Hudson - HO


Feature Story

Our hobby is filled with great people who have interesting stories to tell.  In this documentary-style segment we'll profile model railroaders and the ways they express their passion and creativity.


  • Tim Warris is the owner of Fast Tracks, a company that makes tools and supplies for handling track.  His interest in complicated trackwork led him to build an HO-scale model of New York's Bronx Terminal.  You'll be amazed by the complex layout of rails in the yard and the modelling accuracy that Tim has achieved.  In 2013 Tim commissioned celebrated artist Larry Fisher to create a painting of the Terminal to commemorate his 10th year in business.  We will be at Ottawa Train Expo when Tim unveils the print for the first time.
  • Jason Shron is passionate about VIA Rail trains.  Some might even say he's a bit of a fanatic.  His interest in VIA United Aircraft TurboTrain resulted in the creation of Rapido Trains Inc., a company that markets and manufactures models of equipment that ran on Canadian rails, including the Turbo.  Jason tells us the story of VIA's turbo and his love for VIA trains, and tours us through his basement where he is building a full-size model of a VIA coach.
  • Aberfoyle Junction was a 1500-square-foot O-scale masterpiece built by a small group of talented and committed hobbyists.  Depicting Southern Ontario in the 1950's, the 38' X 83' layout featured an operating lift bridge, turntable, and night-time operation with lighted structures and passenger coaches.  After 29 years of building and hundreds of public exhibition days, the layout had to be dismantled and moved.  We'll visit the crew at the new location as they prepare this legendary layout for its grand re-opening.
  • Clare Gilbert loves trains.  And old cars.  What else could he do with his life but make HO scale and N scale vehicles?  We visit Clare in his shop where he shows us how he creates his miniature cars and trucks, from carving the original masters to casting the final product.
  • Many of us dream of saving an old train station from the wrecking ball and putting it to good use.  We'll meet some of the people who have. But sometimes it's difficult to find a good station to restore.  We profile some folks who have built new depots from scratch and tour their creations.
  • Train simulation software is a great alternative for hobbyists who want to run trains but don't have the space for a large layout.  We'll visit the Toronto Railway Historical Association's Roundhouse Museum and check out their simulator built into the full-size cab of a U25B locomotive.  We'll also see the restoration progress of their second simulator, the cab of an F7 locomotive.
  • Barry Birkett built a beautiful garden layout in his backyard, but last fall he had to move to another city.  We'll join Barry as he plans a new railroad and follow his progress over the summer.





The TrainMasters TV studio is located in a turn-of-the-century brick railroad depot, right next to Canadian National's busy mainline between Toronto and Montréal.  There are six sets in the studio:


  • Studio One - a large multi-purpose room with a seamless blue cyclorama
  • The Backshop  - a brick-walled office with a cozy victorian woodstove and an oak desk for clinics
  • The Layout Room - a demonstration room with permanent layout benchwork
  • The Virtual Set - green screen studio
  • The Baggage Room - a fully equipped wood shop with a backlit drafting table
  • The Agent's Office - a sunny room with a 7'-long desktop


TrainMasters produces our programming in high-definition video using professional broadcast TV equipment.  The studio uses multiple cameras, lavalier microphones, professional lighting, a camera jib arm and a high-end professional video editing system.





In addition to the new programming produced by TrainMasters, we're also building a video archive of popular model railroading DVD titles and making those available to viewers in HD format as a free benefit* of their TrainMasters TV membership. We'll be adding more video titles all the time, so check back often.


*If you already own these videos in DVD format, then you're getting HD versions of these videos on TrainMasters TV for no extra charge. If you bought an SD version of these videos already, you would have to purchase the HD version separately - but for TrainMasters members, we give you the HD version as a free benefit of being a TMTV member.