TrainWeb does not provide free web hosting for websites that wish to use their own URL. However, you are allowed to have your unique web address forward to your website hosted at TrainWeb.
For example, let's say that you have the web address www.myrail.com. You can have a website hosted at TrainWeb with the web address www.trainweb.org/myrail and then have www.myrail.com automatically forward your visitors to www.trainweb.org/myrail. When you promote your web address, you can promote the www.myrail.com URL even though your actual web site is located at www.trainweb.org/myrail. This does have some benefits. When you have your own URL, you own that address for as long as you keep renewing your registration. Your web address will never change, even if you change where it is hosted. Thus, links to your website will not break and you will not have to notify anyone of a URL change if your ever move your website off the TrainWeb servers.
There is another type of URL forwarding provided free by most Domain Name Registrars called "URL Frame Forwarding" (or called "Domain Name forwarding with masking"). This feature allows visitors to go to any page at www.myrail.com and be automatically forwarded to the correct page at "www.trainweb.org/myrail/". To a visitor of your website, it will appear like they are at a page at www.myrail.com. Even the address bar of their web browser will show that they are at a page at www.myrail.com. Thus, to the outside world, your entire website still appears to be at www.myrail.com.
The difference between regular "URL Forwarding" and "URL Frame Forwarding" is that regular "URL Forwarding" would send the visitor to www.trainweb.org/myrail and the visitor would know that he is at a subfolder of "www.trainweb.org". "URL Frame Forwarding" hides the fact that the visitor is at a subaccount of "www.trainweb.org". Using "URL Frame Forwarding", it appears to the visitor that he is still inside the www.myrail.com account, no matter what pages he visits within the www.trainweb.org/myrail website.
For a demonstration of "URL Frame Forwarding", see www.RAILcamps.com which "URL Frame Forwards" to http://www.trainweb.org/railcamps/ .
In order to obtain your own unique web address, you have to go to one of the Domain Name Registrars. From the website of any Domain Name Registrar you will be able to see if your desired domain name is available. TrainWeb recommends that you use www.GoDaddy.com, but you can use any Domain Name Registrar that you like. We use www.GoDaddy.com for all the domains that we ourselves own. We have been very happy with their low pricing and with the ease of managing our domains at that registrar.
Most Domain Name Registrars will provide free forwarding of your URL as part of their domain name registration services. Once you have registered your domain name, there will usually be an option in the "Manage Your Domain" section that will allow you to specify where you wish to forward visitors from your URL. In the above example for www.myrail.com, you would specify that visitors are to be forwarded to www.trainweb.org/myrail.
If you already have your own domain name which is at a Domain Name Registrar that does not provide free domain name forwarding, you can change your domain registrar to one that does, such as: www.GoDaddy.com . When you transfer your domain name registration to GoDaddy, they will extend your current expiration date by one year. Thus, you don't lose any money on your current registration by transfering your registration before it expires. GoDaddy provides free domain name forwarding. They also provide free e-mail forwarding so that you can accept e-mail at your unique domain name. They also provide "frame forwarding" that makes the destination site appear as your domain. With "frame forwarding," every page at your website appears like it is at your own domain rather than at www.trainweb.org/myrail.