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Discussion Starter #1
Long time modeler here, never trains tho, aside from the trainsets I had during childhood.
I have scratch and kit built way too many rc planes and helis over the yrs to remember.
In recent years I've gone to woodworking and metal fabrication as a past time.
During this past Christmas, the Mrs wanted a train set to circle the Christmas tree and the Lionel O gauge set I used for that purpose has developed an interest into scale modeling (HO) and a monetary investment at this point that is startling to me.
I am now seeing that the $2600+ in a few boxes in a corner spent in 5 weeks isn't proverbial drop in the railroad bucket toward getting me the track, switches, rolling stock needed to model the portion of CSX RR I'd like to create, let alone any scenery.
I've certainly got a bit of a start to at least tinker around with, with the two engines, a switcher, NCE cab system and a decent start on a mixed intermodal consist, and for track, a HM1 AND HV1 + another 360 worth of 22.5"r Kato track and a handful of #6 remote switches.
I normally plan any project out thoroughly, but for some reason with this, I just impulsively started buying lhs available products and already I'm realizing the Unitrack, as good as it is, won't be cost feasible for the entire finished layout, and not as easy to realistically ballast & will likely be confined to the 1st module or section to get "my fix" while building and switch to a flex track for the bulk of the RR.
I want to build - wire this RR in a way that will allow any future additions to be added with the least reworking and to permit full signaling / automation if I live long enough to learn to incorporate such systems.
I have hit a temporary road block to buying more inventory until I can learn which track equipment, (DCC switching - autoreversers ect) will best suit my needs, as well as how to install / use them.
It is a far more complicated endeavor than I could have imagined, but, I have time to learn and am really looking forward to building this RR above a new 30'x40' workshop I'm building at home, so I think I may have found a hobby I can enjoy for many years to come right at home and regardless of weather or daylight hours because even when the track work is complete, I very much enjoy scratch building all types of scale model structures - buildings and have almost completed a 1:87 model of my own home / property.
I'm pretty excited about the possibilities!
Cheers!
 

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From one newb to another, welcome aboard. This is the best resource place I have found on the internet for someone just starting out in the hobby. The people are pleasant and knowledgable. A great combination.
 

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Welcome aboard!

Long time modeler here, never trains tho, aside from the trainsets I had during childhood.
I have scratch and kit built way too many rc planes and helis over the yrs to remember.
In recent years I've gone to woodworking and metal fabrication as a past time.
During this past Christmas, the Mrs wanted a train set to circle the Christmas tree and the Lionel O gauge set I used for that purpose has developed an interest into scale modeling (HO) and a monetary investment at this point that is startling to me.
I am now seeing that the $2600+ in a few boxes in a corner spent in 5 weeks isn't proverbial drop in the railroad bucket toward getting me the track, switches, rolling stock needed to model the portion of CSX RR I'd like to create, let alone any scenery.
I've certainly got a bit of a start to at least tinker around with, with the two engines, a switcher, NCE cab system and a decent start on a mixed intermodal consist, and for track, a HM1 AND HV1 + another 360 worth of 22.5"r Kato track and a handful of #6 remote switches.
I normally plan any project out thoroughly, but for some reason with this, I just impulsively started buying lhs available products and already I'm realizing the Unitrack, as good as it is, won't be cost feasible for the entire finished layout, and not as easy to realistically ballast & will likely be confined to the 1st module or section to get "my fix" while building and switch to a flex track for the bulk of the RR.
I want to build - wire this RR in a way that will allow any future additions to be added with the least reworking and to permit full signaling / automation if I live long enough to learn to incorporate such systems.
I have hit a temporary road block to buying more inventory until I can learn which track equipment, (DCC switching - autoreversers ect) will best suit my needs, as well as how to install / use them.
It is a far more complicated endeavor than I could have imagined, but, I have time to learn and am really looking forward to building this RR above a new 30'x40' workshop I'm building at home, so I think I may have found a hobby I can enjoy for many years to come right at home and regardless of weather or daylight hours because even when the track work is complete, I very much enjoy scratch building all types of scale model structures - buildings and have almost completed a 1:87 model of my own home / property.
I'm pretty excited about the possibilities!
Cheers!
Arby;

Welcome to the forum! The way you've been spending money, I hope you're the owner of all those Arby's roast beef restaurants! :laugh:
Seriously its best to start out small, and work your way up to that big, complex, layout gradually. Since you are very wisely building your layout in sections, the pace, and learning curve, will change naturally as you build the first one, and then the next.
My own layout is built in sections, and I'm very glad I did it that way. I was able to move it to a new home, in a different city, without damage. As I got older and acquired a disability, the fact that I could take a section to my workbench and work sitting down, became very important.

The files attached below are some that I wrote for new model railroaders building their first layout. While, technically, you might fit that description, you seem to be well along in some aspects of planning your layout, and your advanced scratch-building and woodworking skills & experience will also be a big plus.
Browse through the files if you like. You may pick up some useful bits of information. There is a book that may help you also. It's titled, "Getting Started in Model Railroading" by Jeff Wilson. It's chapters cover all aspects of this hobby in clear easy to understand text, and many color photos. You can order a copy through your local hobby shop, or from https://kalmbachhobbystore.com/products/books

Again Welcome;

Traction Fan:smilie_daumenpos:

View attachment WHERE DO I START 3.pdf

View attachment MODEL RAILROADING ON A BUDGET.pdf

View attachment 1 How to build a better first layout.pdf

View attachment 2 How to build a better first layout.pdf

View attachment 3 & 4 How to build a better first layout.pdf

View attachment 5 How to build a better first layout.pdf

View attachment 6 How to build a better first layout.pdf

View attachment All AboutTurnouts.pdf

View attachment How I scratch build turnouts new(8).pdf

View attachment Model Railroad Terminology 2.2.pdf
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks to everyone for the warm welcome and especially to you traction fan for sharing your experiences and kindly offering help!
I am almost as excited to begin this hobby as I am dizzy from trying to digest the multitude of complications associated with seemingly every single aspect of modern railroad modeling.
I fully expected a learning curve, but have admittedly had some wind knocked out of my sails after realizing there is to be no "quick catch up" to a full and comprehensive understanding of the technology involved with DCC equipment.
Just the # of options to determine best for me to control reverse loops, switches / signaling ect is mind blowing with infrared, blocks, turtle or snap, jmri something or other, NCE, & digitrax modules .....then it looks like possibly 100's cv's to tweak if consisting non similar loco decoders and on and on it goes.
At any rate, I am determined to learn how to make the most of my RR with the available electronics, so I'll stop my whinning now, thank everyone again & get back to the "books", forum archives ect & get this sorted.
Cheers!
 
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