Common model train repair parts include lamps and lights, screws, nuts and washers, service tools, wire and tubing and electric components, according to Brasseur Electric Trains. Repair parts match specific brands and models and are purchased through dealers and manufacturers.
To assist consumers in ordering the correct repair part, many dealers and manufacturers provide online catalogues. Consumers locate the correct repair part in the catalogue using the part number, explains Lionel. Many online catalogues also allow consumers to browse for parts using the model name and brand, such as those on Brasseur Electric Trains' website. Both new and used repair parts are sold through online catalogues.
Many model train owners have difficulty identifying the correct repair part, according to Hobby Surplus. It recommends consumers first identify the correct part number and place their orders online. To identify the correct part, Hobby Surplus recommends consumers rely on a service manual, which allows train owners to identify replacement parts quickly and accurately. It warns against relying on cataloged descriptions because they do not provide enough detail to identify a part correctly. Identification of parts is also made easier with a train repair guide from the time period that the train needing the part was manufactured. These guides provide exploded view diagrams of the trains that assist part identification.