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Discussion Starter #1
Calling all Ye wise and experienced Master Engineers: (notice I used "experienced", not the "O" word!) :worshippy::worshippy::worshippy:

We, the Aforementioned Beginners seek your guidance so our labors for our meager funds are not wasted repeating the same mistakes as you have already made... So, let's hear from the Masters.

What are the Good, the Bad and the just plain Ugly of:

(MOST IMPORTANT where have you got burned?:mad:)

  1. Track Bed
  2. RTR Track
  3. Handlaid Track
  4. RTR Turnouts
  5. Handlaid Turnouts
  6. Motive Power
  7. RTR Cars
  8. Kit Cars
  9. Structures, RTR and Kits
  10. Wiring
  11. Power Supplies DC and DCC
  12. DCC Control

and... anything else we shouldn't waste our shrinking, devalued, soon to be inflated money on! :eek:hwell:

Thank you in Advance! :appl:
 

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track bed - make sure it is level. quite easy actually, on uneven places of foam i just used more caulk then needed and roadbed was floating on it.
RTR track - you mean sections right? make sure everything coupled well, at a times one can miss and there is bump potentially causing derailments.
i didn't do any hand laid stuff yet.
motive power - get the good stuff, try to stay away from toy grade stuff. that said i really enjoy several engines of toy grade for some reason. my PRR F7 (or is it 9, dunno) is the fastes of engines , lol
power supplies. mmm, burned one already. for now no more incidents
DCC - the only thing i have to say, DCC-GOOD!
 

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Yard Master & Research
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To start it's What You want!!
RTR is great if it has to be stored between use.
How big of a layout you want.
Do want a lot of cheeper engines or a few good ones?
DCC is in if you like bells and whistles but like computers you see upgraades.
I collect older stuff and repair. My cost are low and needs are simple.
If you enjoy kits and handlaid track go for it. This is mostly done for realism to scale.It's what your train running heart leads you with the better half as your brakeman.:D

Just read talk to people and go to shows.
I saw a private sale once, the guy must of spent thousands. His layout was like a store display fresh out of the boxes. To me it had a plan but no personal input. That is why I fix and try different things to add a personal touch to the table. I refit cars, dabbled in scenery,and worked on some buildings. I try to keep the buying down but the collection still grows.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Reply

Thanks for the replies!

Mainly I'm curious about whose supplies / equipment anyone has had trouble with, i.e. track / couplers / wheels, etc.

Equipment that doesn't run so well as opposed to what runs great.

Also, whose cars / locos does everyone like and why? What have you had problems with?

I've already bought some BLI engines just based on reviews but haven't run them yet. I think my price range for loco's is <$500, rolling stock ??? (I always research the heck out of a project before I begin, less headaches later).

But I'm also wondering what rolling stock has the best detail (Bowser, Athearn, etc) who makes good flextrack (Micro-Engineering?), good laser cut kits, etc.

I thought it interesting what T-Man said about the really cool setup that lacked personal input. I think that is what I love about going to see everyone's layouts- it's an expression of their personality. I saw in an edition of MRM of a famous entertainer who had a huge layout of New York City built for him- it would be fun to run, but I would have wanted to build it myself... or at least as part of a club. Great insight T-Man.

Thanks for all the knowledge! :D

Andy
 

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Railroad Tycoon
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24,040 Posts
Thanks for the replies!

Mainly I'm curious about whose supplies / equipment anyone has had trouble with, i.e. track / couplers / wheels, etc.

Equipment that doesn't run so well as opposed to what runs great.

Also, whose cars / locos does everyone like and why? What have you had problems with?

I've already bought some BLI engines just based on reviews but haven't run them yet. I think my price range for loco's is <$500, rolling stock ??? (I always research the heck out of a project before I begin, less headaches later).

But I'm also wondering what rolling stock has the best detail (Bowser, Athearn, etc) who makes good flextrack (Micro-Engineering?), good laser cut kits, etc.

I thought it interesting what T-Man said about the really cool setup that lacked personal input. I think that is what I love about going to see everyone's layouts- it's an expression of their personality. I saw in an edition of MRM of a famous entertainer who had a huge layout of New York City built for him- it would be fun to run, but I would have wanted to build it myself... or at least as part of a club. Great insight T-Man.

Thanks for all the knowledge! :D

Andy

What scale are you going to model? :confused:
 

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Andy, picking your scale (i.e., size) has to be done before you can be answered. Each scale has it's own advantages and proponents. Within each scale, there are problem children and there are quality units. There are also units with poor detail, and exceptional detail. Finally, take a serious look at your available space. Less space generally means a smaller size. That is not a drop in quality, though---a good N scale is better than a cheap G scale.
 

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Hey Andy...

Model railroading seems to offer a lot of freedom to do what you want. Many guys will likely tell you it is a matter of personal preference. While I can't speak too much for them, I can tell you what I like...and have incorporated in my own layout. I will just go down through the areas you asked about and comment on what I can.

Track bed: I actually don't use any. While I admit that cork roadbed looks nice, I seemed to have trouble making it stay underneath the track. I read about a guy who just nailed his track directly to his plywood, and then ballasted it. It made sense to me, and I have done it as well...with good results. Again, I like the look of the cork roadbed...I just don't bother with it.

Motive power: I own a little of everything. I hate to limit myself to one brand. I have everything from cheap Bachmann's to a more expensive Kato, with the majority of them being Athearn. I have learned that just because a loco is cheap doesn't mean it can't run well. Conversely, just because a loco is expensive doesn't mean that it will run well. I have had pretty good luck with all brands so far.

DC vs. DCC: I can actually run both on my layout. If I had to choose, it would be DCC all the way right from the start. I have converted many locos to DCC, and will probably only buy DCC locos from now on. The power pack I use for DCC is a Bachmann E-Z Command. It was fairly inexpensive, yet still performs well and is easy to use.

Track: I just use Atlas code 100 flextrack, with Atlas turnouts (#4 in the yard and #6 on the mainline). I have never had any trouble with it (except for it getting dirty).

That is about all I can comment on so far. Good luck in whatever choices you make!

Chad
 
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