The original web site for N scale free-mo modular railroading.

by Wesley Steiner

(creator and founder of the Free-moN standard)

Free-mo is a modular scale railroading standard designed for individual modellers that specifies minimum standards for bench work, track work, scenery and digital control intended to raise-the-bar for scale modular railroading in general and, in this case, for N scale modular railroading.

A free-moN layout at the 2008 WPM show in La Habra CA

A Brief History of Free-moN

The standard promotes, and even forces, prototypical appearance and operations by using a single main line traversing the center of the module resulting in prototypical point-to-point or loop-to-loop configurations and operation.

The Spirit of Free-mo

The following list summarizes the spirit and benefits of free-moN over existing modular N scale standards:

  • Designed to satisfy the needs of the advanced modeler over the needs of the beginner and general public.
  • Incorporates a comfortable working and viewing height for adults of 50" from the floor.
  • Specifies Code 55 rail for the main with a minimum 22" radius and #6 turnouts.
  • Encourages layouts that are optimized for prototypical look and operations by specifying a single mainline down the middle of the module.
  • Maximizes flexibility for module design and shape by specifying only the end-plate interface and mainline track standards.
  • Simple end-plate specification allows for easy integration into home layouts.
  • Encourages a loose association among individuals free of club or group requirements, membership, dues, etc.
  • Standardized scenery at the end-plates (to merge visually with adjacent modules).
  • DCC/LocoNet/Digitrax control throughout for maximum flexibility.
  • Rolling stock that meets or exceeds NMRA standards for reliability.

These standards allow for module construction that is free-form between the end-plates resulting in flexible and adaptable layout configurations to fit any available space.

The Standard

The Free-moN standard was created by me, Wesley Steiner, in 2002 and published in early 2004. It is actively maintained by the new Free-moN Google group (formerly a Yahoo! Group). Come join the discussions and see what is developing. Many participants across the country and around the world are building modules and operating free-moN layouts.

Free-moN Slide Show

A link to Dave Falkenburg's very impressive free-moN slide show that adds some flair to the relatively dry standards document.

The Endplate

A link to a drawing of one possible module construction technique using 2" blue foam and plywood.