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Hello Everyone,

I was thrilled to find this forum! I have been collecting HO Scale Trains since the mid-90's when my In-Laws got me a set. I have taken them out once or twice per year since then and have gradually added to the collection.

Now I'm talking to two of my friends about starting layouts at our houses. I'm looking to do a small layout, something I can actually disassemble and store, because space is limited. The other 2 have more space and we'll probably do larger projects at their houses.

Any advice I can get here will be much appreciated!

I have some old issues of Model Railroading Magazine from the 70's. Is there still a magazine like that?

Any HO catalogs or sites that are good places to find equipment?

I'm interested in finding specific engines on a tight budget, any advice?

Well, I hope to get some time to start surfing here. I look forward to chatting with you.

-DRV
 

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Welcome Aboard!

Hey DRV,
Sounds like you have the start of a small Model Railroad Club with your buddies. There are many options out there for info on equipment,rolling stock,locomotives,etc. Being rather "Old School" I have a slew of old Model Railroader Magazines(yes its still in publication) and old Kahlmbach Books reference materials that are very beneficial for ready reference(they also have a Website). Walthers has their annual Catalog in all Scales for about $10.00 at your LHS and that gives you a ton of info on equipment,etc.. E bay is the place to go Trolling for things you may be looking for as to inexpensive rolling stock, locomotives,buildings,track,accessories(ask questions because the photo doesn't always reveal problems with the item) You'll find it rather tough and expensive around the Holidays for steals and deals . Oh, it helps to put your ideas on paper and begin listing everything you want to do on your layout. By process of elimination(shoot for the stars) and what you feel comfortable with you can come up with a very nice layout. Are you guys free lancing and combining ideas or just doing separate layouts? As for the World Wide Web there are TONS of sites that offer info and ideas for your layout,proto types, eras, road names,etc. Historical sites are beneficial also when researching ideas. I'm sure the guys will pipe in with ideas to help, which makes this Forum so User Friendly. Well, I hope this helps and post some pictures of what you have done with your layout it always helps. Good Luck!:thumbsup:
 

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DRV,

Welcome to the gang of crazies! Glad to have you onboard. MacD did a great job in summing up some intro tips. Not much to add there for intial thoughts. Maybe check out the ThorTrains.com website ... lots of layout plan ideas there. Several guys buy HO stuff with success from modeltrainstuff.com and hobbylinc.com .

I see you're from Boston. Do you know about the South Shore Model RR Club (in Hingham)and their wonderful HO layout? You should check it out. I just visited their fall-season open house. They'll have another one in the spring. Great inspiration to anyone. Maybe join up as s club member, given your proximity? Some info here:

http://www.modeltrainforum.com/showthread.php?t=4772

Also coming up, the New England Model Train Expo on Sat/Sun Dec 4/5 in Marlborough, MA. Dealers, swap tables, layouts, etc.

Enjoy the ride!

TJ
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you kindly!

We are going for 3 separate layouts with different themes at our individual houses.

Mine will be small(ish) and I want to be able to break it down when not in use. I know one of the other guys is more interested in a larger, permanent set-up and I'm not sure what the third guy wants.

Thanks for all of the tips! I really appreciate it! Looks like a fun forum here :)

I'll enjoy it while I can. I'm also on a forum for Acoustic Guitarists but it's blocked from where I am :(

Still, I can get here and am looking forward to sharing and getting ideas!

-DRV
 

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Discussion Starter #6
DRV,

Welcome to the gang of crazies! Glad to have you onboard. MacD did a great job in summing up some intro tips. Not much to add there for intial thoughts. Maybe check out the ThorTrains.com website ... lots of layout plan ideas there. Several guys buy HO stuff with success from modeltrainstuff.com and hobbylinc.com .

I see you're from Boston. Do you know about the South Shore Model RR Club (in Hingham)and their wonderful HO layout? You should check it out. I just visited their fall-season open house. They'll have another one in the spring. Great inspiration to anyone. Maybe join up as s club member, given your proximity? Some info here:

http://www.modeltrainforum.com/showthread.php?t=4772

Also coming up, the New England Model Train Expo on Sat/Sun Dec 4/5 in Marlborough, MA. Dealers, swap tables, layouts, etc.

Enjoy the ride!

TJ
WOW! Thanks for the info! I'll have to check out that layout. There's usually a show in Wilmington at the Shriner's, is that the same thing?

If you get up north, I've seen a great set-up in the basement of a gift shop/antique store in Quechee Gorge, just on the NH/VT border off of Rt. 89. Saw that a few years ago and that's what got me thinking about a layout :D
 

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Discussion Starter #7
OK, another question, any opinions on model companies to use or avoid in all price ranges?

Opinions on the best track? Best track material?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The Wilmington / Shriner's show was last weekend. Different from the Marlborough one ... bigger at Shriner's, I think.
Bummer!!! My In-Laws got me a nice Christmas train (Bachmann White Christmas Express) at that one a few years ago and I was hoping it was coming up soon. Next year! Don't know if I can make the one in Marlborough, but I'll try!

Thanks for the Quechee layout tip ... I wasn't aware of that. You must mean this: http://www.quecheegorge.com/vermont-toy-train.php
Kind of. There is a train & toy museum to the right of the Antique store (as you're looking at the plaza), but the HO layout isn't in there. If you go into the gift shop (which is the entrance to the antique store), go to the back and go downstairs, it's down there. It's pretty neat :D

Of course, I haven't been there in a couple of years so it may be located differently now.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
sounds like what you really need is not a layout but a module or two. lots of people that are not blessed with unlimited space do that.

as for track material there is no question about it - nickel silver
Notes taken! Thank you! :)

Wow, just about an hour or so and so much info! I like it here :D
 

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DRV...I have had VERY good luck with anything I have bought from modeltrainstuff.com . Their prices can't be beat either. For track...yes, I would go with nickel/silver (I use Code 100). As far as locomotives go, I have had pretty good luck with all brands at all different prices.

Chad
 

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DRV...I have had VERY good luck with anything I have bought from modeltrainstuff.com . Their prices can't be beat either. For track...yes, I would go with nickel/silver (I use Code 100). As far as locomotives go, I have had pretty good luck with all brands at all different prices.

Chad
Excellent website! Thanks!
 
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