This page is an index to MODRATEC's Useful Data (MUD). Our MUD pages contain helpful information particularly relevant to rail modellers and include electrical, mechanical and railway sections.

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As clear as MUD

You've heard the expression, "as clear as mud"! Well M-U-D stands for MODRATEC Useful Data.

Our Mud is designed to help make things clear to railway modellers.

We'd like our Mud pages to grow, so if some data is proving hard to find, or if there is something that you would like to understand better, let us know and we'll see what we can do to help.

Articles (on-site)

  • Aberdeen Photos. A photo gallery of Roger Nicholas's OO layout, Aberdeen, under construction.
  • An example of mechanical signal interlocking shows the principle of mechanical interlocking applied to a facing junction protected by two semaphore signals.
  • A North American Fixed Signal Primer is an article written and illustrated especially for the MODRATEC web site by Henry J. Statkowski, a former Signal Station operator.
  • Ashworth. Graeme Lewis describes the signalling on his Ashworth 7mm scale layout. It encourages modellers to recognise the importance of signals in creating that genuine railway feel. 'Ashworth' won the MODRATEC Signalling Prize at the Brisbane Miniature Train Show in 2005 and 2006.
  • Building a 60 Lever Interlocking Frame Bruce Boldner describes the building of a 60-lever MODRATEC Interlocking Lever Frame for his Bath Queen Square P4 scale layout.
  • Building the MODRATEC Lever Frame. Stewart McSporran describes his experience of building a MODRATEC Lever Frame for his 'Loch Awe' model railway.
  • Controlling Arnthorpe - Building MODRATEC Lever Frames for Wakefield West (in PDF format) is an article by Tony Weber who describes the building and application of two MODRATEC lever frames to his OO gauge layout.
  • Dagabar. David Batch describes the signalling on the Dagabar HOn3.5 scale layout. The layout is jointly owned and run by five men whose initials generate the layout name. It depicts a typical Queensland scene with coal trains as well as general goods and passenger movements. 'Dagabar' won the MODRATEC Signalling Prize at the Brisbane Model Train Show in 2009, 2011 and 2012.
  • Dagabar Gallery 2012. Photographs by Andrew Batch depicting the HOn3.5 layout, Dagabar, while on exhibition at the 2012 Brisbane Model Train Show. 'Dagabar' won the MODRATEC Signalling Prize at the Brisbane Model Train Show in 2009, 2011 and 2012.
  • HJLR. David Moffat describes his 32mm narrow gauge outdoor layout including his successful application of a small MODRATEC Lever Frame in this open-air setting.
  • HJLR Part 2. David Moffat describes his 32mm narrow gauge outdoor layout including his successful application of a second small MODRATEC Lever Frame in this open-air setting.
  • How to Make a Mechanical Interlocking (in PDF format) is an American flavoured article written and illustrated by Henry J. Statkowski, and first published here. It describes a non-computer approach to interlocking design and gives a practical illustration of how to build mechanical interlocks. (Updated 6 Jul 05)
  • Installing MSE Signal Levers on a MODRATEC Lever Frame. An article by Stephen Buck describing how he substituted MSE levers in his 30-lever MODRATEC Interlocked frame.
  • Interlocking the MSE Lever Frame. Phillip Taylor describes how he adapted a MODRATEC interlocking machine to link with a set of 14 MSE levers.
  • Mechanical Locking and DCC. Jim Shafer describes an application of mechanical interlocking to the otherwise DCC controlled Scottsdale Model Railroad's HO layout.
  • Modratec Lever Frame. Graeme Lewis writes about his experience of building MODRATEC interlocking Lever Frames for his 7mm scale model railway. The article was originally published in The Clearing House journal, June 2015.
  • Princetown. Bob Freemantle and Mark Stapleton describe the layout which won the MODRATEC Signalling Prize at the Brisbane Model Train Show in 2010.
  • Somewhere in England. An anonymous article about the application of a MODRATEC Lever Frame to the control of a large outdoor layout.
  • St Alban's, Grassington & Threshfield. Kevin Knight and Greg Goodchild describe their combined N-gauge layout which won the 2007 MODRATEC Signalling Prize at the Brisbane Model Train Show.
  • The MERG "CBUS" system used to link MODRATEC Lever frame to points, signals etc on layout - an article by Evan Williams about how he interfaced his 36-lever frame to his "Garsdale" layout. (pdf format)
  • The Principles of Railway Signalling is part of the SigScribe4 help document and explains the basic principles of both mechanical and colour light signalling. It is based on typical British practice.
  • Time and Patience. Peter Lewis and Gary Walters describe their NSW layout which won the MODRATEC Signalling Prize at the Brisbane Miniature Train Show in 2008.
  • Walkenried Station & MODRATEC Interlocking (in PDF format) is an article by Nico Schoone of Netherlands, and describes his application of MODRATEC "conditional" interlocking to emulate the German-style locking for his model of Walkenried (Germany) station as it existed in the 1960s.

Articles (off-site)

  • Castell y Bwrdd Richard Gawler's HOn2½ layout is iterlocked using a MODRATEC 6-lever frame.
  • Lancaster Green Ayre Read Jamie Guest's blog about the designing and building of this impressive 'O' gauge project. It is interlocked using a MODRATEC 24-lever frame.
  • Modifying a MODRATEC Lever Frame Read Jamie Guest's blog about the reconfigured MODRATEC 24-lever frame for Lancaster Green Ayre.

Electrical Data

  • Cable Calculator indicates the resistance, voltage drop, and current carrying capacity of copper conductors for railway modelling purposes.
  • Comparative Wire Sizes shows both inch and millimetre comparisons for the following gauges (gages): SWG, AWG (B&S), Metric, S&W Piano, Metric Piano.
  • Operating Double-solenoid Point Motors using Standard Switches gives some circuit ideas to allow double-solenoid point motors to be operated from single-pole double-throw (SPDT) and even single-pole single-throw (SPST) switches. This is particularly handy if you want to operate points electrically from a MODRATEC Lever Frame.

Mechanical Data

  • Comparative Drill Sizes shows both inch and millimetre comparisons. Included sizes are: imperial 1/64" to 1/2", number/letter drills 80# to Z#, metric drills 0.20mm to 12.70mm.
  • Comparative Wire Sizes shows both inch and millimetre comparisons for the following gauges: SWG, AWG (B&S), Metric, S&W Piano, Metric Piano.
  • Tapping Drill Tables give minimum and maximum sizes and cover the following thread forms: BA, BSF, BSW, Metric Coarse, Metric Fine, Model Engineer, UNC, UNF.

Railway Data

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... our signal engineer... had absolutely no problems in reading it. He is one of the last signal engineers in Germany who had been trained on Saxby&Farmer interlocking machines and he recognised in the Manual everything he has learned quite a long time ago. (Christoph)

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