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Model railroad builds are structures used to help convey a specific era, a particular geographical location, and certain industries being modeled. When considering particular buildings to be set on a layout, one should assess the engines and rail stock to be operated, for example steam, electric diesel, or a combination of the two. Buildings that compliment the model's engines and rolling stock strengthen the motivation for what the railroad is performing and how it functions. This adds better realism when observing and viewing the railroad in operation, and intensifies interest as trains come in and out of view. This manner, model railroad buildings helps to accept why some of it exists in the first place. Additionally, model railroad buildings may add to the scope and size of a layout in powerfully suggestive ways.

Placing buildings scaled bigger compared to the scale of the model trains towards the back of a layout communicates better distance to the human eye. The viewer perceives this as depth. Placing larger scaled structure to the instant front on a layout diminished space by suggesting closer proximity. By knowing these principles of forced perspective, buildings on a model railroad may be used to tremendous effect in producing a layout become more than what is really there. Small portions of a model railroad building can be used to establish the existence of an entire industry when requiring just a minute amount of precious layout real estate.

Model railroad buildings also allow for a larger expression of personal creative talents that makes each and every layout unique to its founder. Using buildings to mimic whimsical, fanciful, and creative thoughts can infuse unexpected humor or sentimental nostalgia to that which might otherwise be a simplistic recreation of a world with which we are already familiar. Model railroad buildings gives trains somewhere to go along with a place to be!
For example .