Railways changed the world! Although originally developed for industrial purposes in the early 19th century, people were quick to embrace the other benefits of rail. Bringing truly efficient and affordable travel to the masses for the first time in human history, rail networks expanded rapidly across the world, bringing prosperity and a new sense of connected-ness as they went.
Now you can build a railway of your own at home. Download and print our modular railway templates. Cut out the pieces and put them together to create the railway of your dreams. You can even mix and match your railway pieces with pieces from our Makin’ Trax: Roadways set to create a truly impressive transport network!
The templates below contain all the corners and straight sections you need to assemble a truly epic railway. We’ve even made a special Level Crossing section so you can connect your railway to your roadway, plus a Cross Rail section if you want to make your track cross over itself! Building your track is as easy as downloading the templates, printing and cutting out the track pieces. Remember, you can print each template as many times as you need. S to make longer tracks just print more templates. Easy!
Twice the Track… half the paper
Each track section is made up of two tracks so that they can connect to other Makin’ Trax tilesets. You can use them as is, or if you want to, you can cut them down the middle using the dotted blue line and attach the pieces end to end. The choice is yours!
If you aren’t sure where to start – no worries! We’ve put together three layout ideas to get your engine going. Just print out the templates listed by each of the tracks and then use the diagram to put it together.
Layout 1 – The Simple Loop:
A classic model railway layout, the simple loop may not be the most impressive layout, but it’s quick to build and loads of fun. This track will give you a good feel for how the different pieces work together making it a great starting point.
Layout 2 – The Long Loop:
A step up from the Simple Loop, this layout adds a lot of extra length and uses shallow bend sections to create an interesting shape.
Layout 3 – Rail N’ Road:
By adding some level crossing sections to the Long Loop, this layout will give you an idea of how you can connect your railways and roadways together. This track is easiest to make in two separate sections which can then be joined together. To complete this track, you will need to download the Makin’ Trax: Roadways templates which can be found here.
Of course, these layouts are just suggestions to help get you started. Feel free to change, add, and subtract from them as much as you want!
Tips n’ Tricks
- Planning your track before you build can be helpful. Try drawing a picture of your track first. This will help you to work out how many of each piece you are likely to need, and can help you put it together faster.
- Every piece can be attached to any other piece, at either end. Try flipping pieces around and combining pieces in different orders to create new layouts.
- If your layout uses bends and junctions, you might find that your tracks don’t always line up when you try to connect them to later pieces. When this happens, try adding spacer pieces in different places to get back on track. If you still can’t quite get it to work, don’t be afraid to cut your roads down the size you need. That’s the joy of paper!
- Big Layouts are great fun to play with but can seem daunting to put together. Try breaking your layout down into small sections that can be built separately and then joined together later. This will make it easier to construct more complicated builds, plus it will make things easier to pack up later!
- Your track pieces have a glue tab at each end, in case you want to glue your track together. You only need to use one glue tab on each piece, so once you have decided the direction the piece will face, just cut the extra tab off. Or, if you don’t want to glue your tracks at all, just cut both tabs off.
- Depending on the type of printer you use, you might find that your track pieces start to curl once you cut them out. Try placing a heavy weight (stacks of books are great for this) on top of the pieces and leave them over night. Alternatively, you can also glue the paper pieces onto cardboard for extra rigidity.
Get Makin’ Trax!
So there you go! You now have everything you need to create an amazing rail network. If you do create your own Makin’ Trax Roadway, we’d love to see it. Make sure you snap a pic or even record a video of your road and upload it to your social using #motatfun (don’t forget to ask your parent’s permission first though.) so we can check it out!
Also be sure to keep checking back, as we will be adding new tilesets and track pieces over the coming weeks, so you can expand your layouts even further!