Model Train Forum banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I just registered today and have not played with trains for over 30 years and just decided to get back in to the hobby. I am going to go with the N gauge to allow for more track per layout. I have always loved the mid to late 1800s trains so figured I will start there. After going to Alaska last year and riding on the White Pass & Yukon route I would like to do some similar mountain type scenery. As for locomotives I was thinking about starting with the Bachmann Durango & Silverton set and building from there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,683 Posts
Welcome to the Forum. You'll find a great bunch of guys here who will
help you with any aspect of the hobby...There's a happy band of modelers
in the N Scale forum who know what's on the market and how to get the
most out of it.

Don
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,208 Posts
I just registered today and have not played with trains for over 30 years and just decided to get back in to the hobby. I am going to go with the N gauge to allow for more track per layout. I have always loved the mid to late 1800s trains so figured I will start there. After going to Alaska last year and riding on the White Pass & Yukon route I would like to do some similar mountain type scenery. As for locomotives I was thinking about starting with the Bachmann Durango & Silverton set and building from there.
Pacecars;

Welcome to the forum! I'm one of those "happy modelers on the N-scale forum" that DonR mentioned. Modeling in that period will be interesting, but also quite challenging. The cars, and especially the locomotives, will be very small. Too small, in many cases, to fit a DCC decoder into.
DCC with sound would be nice with the steam locomotives you'll be using, but getting a speaker into a tiny tender could be a problem.
Have you run the Bachmann Durango & Silverton locomotive? I haven't run a 4-4-0 American or a mogul either, in many years. I have a Bachmann 4-4-0 model made in the 1970s. It runs, but not at slow speed. The motor is a cheap three-pole type, and fills the entire tender. A drive shaft connects the tender-mounted motor to the locomotive. Now there has been a ton of quality progress on N-scale equipment in general, since then. However, I don't know how much, if any, of that would apply to a Bachmann model of a very small 1800s type locomotive. It might be worth checking out. I do have a much newer production, Roundhouse brand, model of a small, old time 2-8-0 consolidation steamer that runs very well indeed, and might be the right era for you. (see photos)

Traction Fan
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks guys. I am wondering if it would be easier to go with the HO gauge? The plan is to build it in the garage so I would have room for the larger gauge. I grew up with HO in the early 70s but did have one of the Ns. As I said I am kinda restarting from scratch so I am open to suggestions. I definitely prefer the older steam locomotives
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,208 Posts
Thanks guys. I am wondering if it would be easier to go with the HO gauge? The plan is to build it in the garage so I would have room for the larger gauge. I grew up with HO in the early 70s but did have one of the Ns. As I said I am kinda restarting from scratch so I am open to suggestions. I definitely prefer the older steam locomotives
Pacecars;
Yes,Since you have the room, and definitely want older, and therefore smaller, steam, you might do better with a larger scale. I don't know if riding the narrow gauge Alaska railroad turned you into a narrow guage guy or not, but you might look at Bachmann's On30 steamers. They are O-scale but run on HO-scale track. They would be plenty big enough to house DCC and sound, in fact many of them come with DCC & sound factory installed. The locos being models of small, vintage. steam, might be just the ticket for you. They are also not all that much larger than an HO-scale model of a medium sized prototype like a 2-8-2 Mikado, or a 4-6-2 Pacific.

HO-standard gauge, or HOn30 ( HO-scale bodies on N-scale mechanisms & track) are other possibilities. HOn-3 is still out there too, but seems to have declined a bit in selection & popularity lately. Sn3 is another choice, but would require a lot of scratchbuilding and kitbashing. Finally there's G-scale. Large trains with room for whatever you want to install, plenty of steam available, all essentially models of narrow gauge prototypes, very good quality, but bring plenty of money! You might want to troll around the various scale forums here and get some advice and opinions from people who model in each scale.

The attached files are some I've written for new modelers attempting their first layout. While you're not really new, and, presumably, had a layout 30 years ago, you may still find some useful information in them.

Good Luck & Have Fun with whatever you choose;


Traction Fan 😊
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the attachments they are very helpful. It dawned on me to check out the White Pass & Yukon Route website and found that they offer cars and locomotives in N and HO gauge. The cars look good but not sure about their locomotive. After looking at that one and the historic pictures it looks like a 2-8-2 would be appropriate to model this railroad. I think I am going to go this route and do a civil war era train later.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
872 Posts
Hi Pacecars, like your profile photo, just looks like y'all are enjoying life!!!
I have a little of both scales, the N is mostly Kato snap-together. The HO is assorted!😂
I'm not trying much in the way of scale detailing on the N-scale, it's just for
running! Good Luck!
Cid
 

·
Railroad Tycoon
Joined
·
24,031 Posts
Welcome to the forum.
One thing to also consider is how good your eyesight is and your dexterity on working on smaller trains.
Start a build thread (now called discussions) in the appropriate forum of whatever scale you pick.
And no question is stupid here, no matter how basic it might be.
Someone should eventually help you out.
I follow all forums as I have all scales. ( But only 2 S scale locomotives). But I still like visiting the S forum.
You can learn from other scales on certain aspects of building, like scenery.
It will just be of a different scale but you can pick up ideals from them.
If you have the room O scale might interest you too.

Garage? Some have built layouts that hoist up to the ceiling so they are out of the way for you when your not modeling.
We do have threads on some of the hoist jobs.......somewhere......but it has been a few years since they were posted.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the help. I am waffling between the N and HO scales. I like the idea of more running room for the N but also the more availability of the HO size. One of these days I need to find a cheap hobby! My first love is firearms and it looks like trains may be just as expensive!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,683 Posts
Trains can be expensive, but you could do as I did when I decided to
come back to the HO hobby. I found a local broker how buys used
trains from estates etc. He had a complete starter Bachmann EZ
DCC system and 2 Bachmann DCC locos. He also had box after box of used
freight cars. The result is that I bought the most expensive train items at
fire sale prices. Check your local Craig's list "Collectibles" or
"toys and games". Trains are listed in both. You might get that kind of luck.

Don
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,208 Posts
Thanks for the help. I am waffling between the N and HO scales. I like the idea of more running room for the N but also the more availability of the HO size. One of these days I need to find a cheap hobby! My first love is firearms and it looks like trains may be just as expensive!
Pacecars;

You really can't go wrong with either N-scale or HO-scale, both are fine. For more info on picking one, or the other, read the attached file "Choosing a Scale."
With, presumably, an entire garage at your disposal, you should have no trouble fitting any scale you like in that large space. My own railroad is an N-scale bookshelf design with the railroad on one shelf, and storage on the "roof" of my sections. It occupies two walls of my garage, but leaves room for two workbenches, (his & hers) two bicycles, a bunch of power tools, and room to park my wife's car in the middle. (sometimes)

I'm not sure what you mean by "more running room" by using N-scale. With a slight increase in minimum radius (16" up to 18-22" my railroad could have been built in HO -scale, in the same space. I also cringe a little when you say you'll "have room to fit more track" in N-scale. I imagine one of those "track crammed in everywhere" layouts, which I don't care for at all, but many other folks do, and it's your railroad, so your choose.

If you do choose N-scale, Kato makes an excellent 2-8-2 mikado. I have two, and they are good looking, smooth running, locomotives. The tender has room for DCC and a speaker too.
They are also the reason I switched from 12" to a 16" minimum radius. Theoretically, they can run on 11" radius curves. I found though that 16" was the minimum radius that they would stay on the track consistently. I would suggest you adopt 16" as your minimum radius if you buy any Kato Mikados. The HO-scale guys here can recommend their favorite Mikado, or other medium- sized steam in that scale.

Good Luck & Have Fun;

Traction Fan 😊
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
872 Posts
Pacecars, that White Pass & Yukon 2-8-2 from their Train Shoppe is an IHC M9594.
Probably a good unit, a Premier model. Not sure about their $250 price but I don't think you can find one of those
anywhere else!! :ROFLMAO: I think there is no DCC/Sound on board, but u can check with them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Pacecars;

You really can't go wrong with either N-scale or HO-scale, both are fine. For more info on picking one, or the other, read the attached file "Choosing a Scale."
With, presumably, an entire garage at your disposal, you should have no trouble fitting any scale you like in that large space. My own railroad is an N-scale bookshelf design with the railroad on one shelf, and storage on the "roof" of my sections. It occupies two walls of my garage, but leaves room for two workbenches, (his & hers) two bicycles, a bunch of power tools, and room to park my wife's car in the middle. (sometimes)

I'm not sure what you mean by "more running room" by using N-scale. With a slight increase in minimum radius (16" up to 18-22" my railroad could have been built in HO -scale, in the same space. I also cringe a little when you say you'll "have room to fit more track" in N-scale. I imagine one of those "track crammed in everywhere" layouts, which I don't care for at all, but many other folks do, and it's your railroad, so your choose.

If you do choose N-scale, Kato makes an excellent 2-8-2 mikado. I have two, and they are good looking, smooth running, locomotives. The tender has room for DCC and a speaker too.
They are also the reason I switched from 12" to a 16" minimum radius. Theoretically, they can run on 11" radius curves. I found though that 16" was the minimum radius that they would stay on the track consistently. I would suggest you adopt 16" as your minimum radius if you buy any Kato Mikados. The HO-scale guys here can recommend their favorite Mikado, or other medium- sized steam in that scale.

Good Luck & Have Fun;

Traction Fan 😊
It won’t be a crammed layout. I meant that you have more room for scenery and a longer run for your money.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,208 Posts
Well, that sounds good! A smaller scale does make the mountains, trees, etc. seem bigger. Enjoy your layout!

Traction Fan 🙂
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,208 Posts
Thanks for all the info. I have to work on my terminology.
Pacecars;

No need to memorize any terms. If you see a word here on the forum that you're unfamiliar with, you can just look it up in the list I sent you. BTW I just looked for the Kato USRA Mikado at modeltrainstuff, and Trainworld. Not there! I could only find a Kato Japanese prototype 2-8-2 and a Bachmann USRA 2-8-2 Mikado.In this age of "preorders" and "limited runs" I guess I shouldn't be surprised! Maybe that BLI model will be a good choice for you.
I go back in N-scale over 40 years, long enough to remember "junk Bachmann" I personally don't buy from them, and haven't for many years. However, I hear that their current production is much improved. I'm still not buying, or recommending, Bachmann though. Too many locomotive returns for defects, and too many complaints about their sound decoders giving off loud buzzing.

Tracton Fan 😊
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
872 Posts
USRA 2-8-2 Mikado N on Ebay, where dreams can come true 😅
just info, I'm still more an HOer...
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top