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Old 01-11-2017, 01:24 AM   #6071
busguy
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Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 28
Scales Modeled: HO
Canada busguy saying Hello

Checking in with a warm hello from the wet coast of Canada. This forum has been an amazing place of comfort and information over the past couple of weeks as I've been scrambling to come up to speed on all that has changed in the 35-40ish years since I last used the words "N" or "HO" in more than just a passing sentence.

Thank you for that !

And a big thank you to all of you who have posted in this forum. I don't think I have read every post yet but I think I'm getting close

When my wife mentioned recently that we should think about getting our youngest son some "real" trains so that we could clean up all of the Lego trains and the many Thomas the Tank versions adoring various parts of our home, I assumed that the toughest decision would be deciding which scale to buy. I was lucky enough to have had both an N and an HO setup as a kid so this should be easy. Boy was I wrong. Pick the scale and the fun just begins.

The questions only get tougher from that point.

Start with a train set or buy piece by piece ? Who makes the best sets ? Start with passenger or freight ? If we do buy a set will we stop at just a train set or wow wouldn't it be fun to build a whole layout. But wait what if the newly bought train set ends up not being very compatible (track and rolling stock) with what we want to build. Assumed we would go DC but whoa what is this DCC thing ?

Whew . . . just getting started . . .

Ok we're going to build a layout. Whole new set of questions. How much space can we allot for it ? Source through hundreds of layouts and narrow it down to 2 or 3. Figure out the benchwork. Pick the type of track. Think we'll go Flex track but which one ? Use the switches from the same company or not ? Everyone says go DCC but which system do we pick that works best for our layout and with the number of people who will be using it ? Layouts look better with scenery so let's watch a bunch of youtube video's on how to do that properly . . .

I'm already exhausted and I haven't even purchased or built anything yet but wow we (dad, mom and our youngest) sure are loving it !

Many thanks in advance for all the knowledge that I know we will glean from this forum as we get back into this hobby.

Todd
(busguy)

ps. the above was just a small sample of our thought process as we got started. Please don't feel obligated to answer any of the questions as we'll definitely be posting them in the appropriate sections as we find our way . . .

Last edited by busguy; 01-11-2017 at 01:29 AM.. Reason: Spelling
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Old 01-11-2017, 07:59 AM   #6072
Thlorian
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VegasN View Post
Hello, Welcome, & Congratulations! That's funny. My first set was Thunder Valley. The Explorer set, I believe is an F7. That was made in the 20's - 30's so I would imagine that many were still running in the 50's - 60's. Not sure though. The Thunder Valley Santa Fe is a GP40 made from 65 - 71, so possibly could be in your era. My suggestion would be to look up locomotives made during that time period and go from there.
12 x 10 in N scale will give you quite a nice sized layout. Looking forward to seeing where you go with it.
Thanks for the info! One thing re although it's early, the more I am reading here, the more I am being convinced to move to HO scale. I am in my early 50's and want to make sure I am still able to enjoy the set as I age. Lots of tips here re N scale "becomes" too small for many of us to comfortably work with as we age ...
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Old 01-11-2017, 08:10 AM   #6073
time warp
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Location: Brazil, Indiana. 10 klicks from the Chinook mine
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Originally Posted by Thlorian View Post
Hello to everyone here from SE Texas! In a nutshell, I purchased a couple of train sets and about 8-10 N Scale structures from Hobby Lobby about 15-20 years ago . . . they are all still in boxes unopened! I have probably started 4-5 Model Railroading mag subscriptions only to cancel them each time after 2-3 issues. I have about eight how-to books by Kalmbach that I have read maybe 3 chapters total from one of them . . . and lastly I have been to about 6-7 Train shows over the years (although most were back between 1997-2005! Well . . . time to put that ALL behind me and learn as much as I can here so I can get the ball FINALLY and SERIOUSLY rolling! I took a couple of pics of the train sets and structures I mentioned above MOSTLY so you all can advise me as I am pretty sure I may have to sell or trade the train sets (they are of course not high end sets at all!) in order to get what I want (which will cost much more!). Beginning with becoming a member of this site today, I am viewing You Tube videos and started research/reading of the Kalmbach books to get things going. I have about a 12 x 10 space to work with for a small layout, I want to work in N Scale, I am looking to create a fictitious layout with the time frame being in the 1950s-1960s. I am a little more into learning to create the scenery and everything it encompasses from buildings to lakes to bridges, etc.. And that is ALL I know period! Hoping the pics will allow you to let me know if they are within this time period/era (I don't think one of them is!).

Glad to be a part of this community and greatly appreciate every single piece of info/advice/tips you can give me please!
the F units in the Explorer set are correct for the '50's/ 60's, What you're looking for are considered the Steam/ Diesel transition era. That's '50's and 60's. Still some big steam around and passenger trains, and Diesels like the PA, FA, GP9, DL 109, RF 16, ETC.
a lot of people here model that time frame. I model 1971, right at the tail end of first generation and the start of 2nd generation diesels.
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Old 01-11-2017, 08:18 AM   #6074
time warp
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Scales Modeled: Old School HO and British OO
Quote:
Originally Posted by busguy View Post
Checking in with a warm hello from the wet coast of Canada. This forum has been an amazing place of comfort and information over the past couple of weeks as I've been scrambling to come up to speed on all that has changed in the 35-40ish years since I last used the words "N" or "HO" in more than just a passing sentence.

Thank you for that !

And a big thank you to all of you who have posted in this forum. I don't think I have read every post yet but I think I'm getting close

When my wife mentioned recently that we should think about getting our youngest son some "real" trains so that we could clean up all of the Lego trains and the many Thomas the Tank versions adoring various parts of our home, I assumed that the toughest decision would be deciding which scale to buy. I was lucky enough to have had both an N and an HO setup as a kid so this should be easy. Boy was I wrong. Pick the scale and the fun just begins.

The questions only get tougher from that point.

Start with a train set or buy piece by piece ? Who makes the best sets ? Start with passenger or freight ? If we do buy a set will we stop at just a train set or wow wouldn't it be fun to build a whole layout. But wait what if the newly bought train set ends up not being very compatible (track and rolling stock) with what we want to build. Assumed we would go DC but whoa what is this DCC thing ?

Whew . . . just getting started . . .

Ok we're going to build a layout. Whole new set of questions. How much space can we allot for it ? Source through hundreds of layouts and narrow it down to 2 or 3. Figure out the benchwork. Pick the type of track. Think we'll go Flex track but which one ? Use the switches from the same company or not ? Everyone says go DCC but which system do we pick that works best for our layout and with the number of people who will be using it ? Layouts look better with scenery so let's watch a bunch of youtube video's on how to do that properly . . .

I'm already exhausted and I haven't even purchased or built anything yet but wow we (dad, mom and our youngest) sure are loving it !

Many thanks in advance for all the knowledge that I know we will glean from this forum as we get back into this hobby.

Todd
(busguy)

ps. the above was just a small sample of our thought process as we got started. Please don't feel obligated to answer any of the questions as we'll definitely be posting them in the appropriate sections as we find our way . . .
My suggestion is buy a train set, set it up and play with it. Figure it out, add to it, change things along the way if you want. Find some train shows and pick up a few items that interest you. You'll find that as you begin to enjoy your railroad, you'll get ideas of your own and the questions will answer themselves.
KEEP IT FUN!!!!
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Old 01-11-2017, 08:20 AM   #6075
time warp
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Originally Posted by Brooklyn View Post
Hello! My name is Fred. I finally got my layout from planning stages (a long time) to track down and trains running on my designed layout. Now for the scenery. Let's just say I will be working on this railroad until I board the train to glory.
Hello Fred! What scale? Welcome to the forum!
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Old 01-11-2017, 10:16 AM   #6076
MacDaddy55
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Location: Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin
Posts: 1,760
Scales Modeled: "Ho" all the way And Christmas "O" "O' "O"!!
Images: 11
Thumbs up Boom...New members!

WOW, I love this time of year as the enthusiasm of the Best Hobby ever kicks in and new members join the Forum. Please feel free to ask questions and post pics of your layout and collection....nobody snooty on this here Forum, great bunch of folks....of course I'm always waiting for more Wisconsinites to join... Welcome Aboard!!
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Old 01-11-2017, 04:11 PM   #6077
miguelcarmor
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Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Aveiro
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Introduce yourself here!

My name is Miguel I'm from Aveiro, Portugal and I have Zero experience with model trains. I'm 51 years old and as far as I remember I like to see this little things going around trees in stores and such.

New year resolution: have my own little thing going around my christmas tree at the end of this year.

Miguel


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
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Old 01-11-2017, 05:17 PM   #6078
Thlorian
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Quote:
Originally Posted by time warp View Post
the F units in the Explorer set are correct for the '50's/ 60's, What you're looking for are considered the Steam/ Diesel transition era. That's '50's and 60's. Still some big steam around and passenger trains, and Diesels like the PA, FA, GP9, DL 109, RF 16, ETC.
a lot of people here model that time frame. I model 1971, right at the tail end of first generation and the start of 2nd generation diesels.
Thanks time warp!!
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Old 01-12-2017, 12:13 AM   #6079
VegasN
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Location: N Las Vegas
Posts: 1,272
Scales Modeled: N & HO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by busguy View Post
Checking in with a warm hello from the wet coast of Canada. This forum has been an amazing place of comfort and information over the past couple of weeks as I've been scrambling to come up to speed on all that has changed in the 35-40ish years since I last used the words "N" or "HO" in more than just a passing sentence.

Thank you for that !

And a big thank you to all of you who have posted in this forum. I don't think I have read every post yet but I think I'm getting close

When my wife mentioned recently that we should think about getting our youngest son some "real" trains so that we could clean up all of the Lego trains and the many Thomas the Tank versions adoring various parts of our home, I assumed that the toughest decision would be deciding which scale to buy. I was lucky enough to have had both an N and an HO setup as a kid so this should be easy. Boy was I wrong. Pick the scale and the fun just begins.

The questions only get tougher from that point.

Start with a train set or buy piece by piece ? Who makes the best sets ? Start with passenger or freight ? If we do buy a set will we stop at just a train set or wow wouldn't it be fun to build a whole layout. But wait what if the newly bought train set ends up not being very compatible (track and rolling stock) with what we want to build. Assumed we would go DC but whoa what is this DCC thing ?

Whew . . . just getting started . . .

Ok we're going to build a layout. Whole new set of questions. How much space can we allot for it ? Source through hundreds of layouts and narrow it down to 2 or 3. Figure out the benchwork. Pick the type of track. Think we'll go Flex track but which one ? Use the switches from the same company or not ? Everyone says go DCC but which system do we pick that works best for our layout and with the number of people who will be using it ? Layouts look better with scenery so let's watch a bunch of youtube video's on how to do that properly . . .

I'm already exhausted and I haven't even purchased or built anything yet but wow we (dad, mom and our youngest) sure are loving it !

Many thanks in advance for all the knowledge that I know we will glean from this forum as we get back into this hobby.

Todd
(busguy)

ps. the above was just a small sample of our thought process as we got started. Please don't feel obligated to answer any of the questions as we'll definitely be posting them in the appropriate sections as we find our way . . .

I agree with timewarp. Don't over analyze it. Find a train set you like, hook it up and see where it takes you. I, of course, can only speak for myself. I started with a Bachmann Thunder Valley set. Where it took me was way beyond what I was picturing back then. Once I resigned myself to the fact that with what I had, monetary restrictions, and space/time limitations, I could not feasibly model EVERYTHING I wanted in a layout, it became much more fun, and much less work. Except for coupler and derailing issues. But that is a combination of cheap turnouts, plastic wheels, unsecure track, varied stock trucks, and varied stock couplers.......damn.......I'm surprised my trains even run.....haha!
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Old 01-12-2017, 12:18 AM   #6080
VegasN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thlorian View Post
Thanks for the info! One thing re although it's early, the more I am reading here, the more I am being convinced to move to HO scale. I am in my early 50's and want to make sure I am still able to enjoy the set as I age. Lots of tips here re N scale "becomes" too small for many of us to comfortably work with as we age ...
As much as I am a huge N scale fan, I must concede that point to you. N is very small. If you decide to do figures on your layout....chickens and cats get lost easily.
So, it pains me to say, you are probably correct in looking at HO......I've eyed it myself a few times.
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