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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Good Day,

I'm a returning model railroader and have been building layouts on and off for the past 37 years. I have modeled mostly HO scale and did one n scale many years ago. My last layout was a 7x16 HO scale which I was forced to dismantle and sell off after moving into a smaller home. I have about 2 (maybe 2.5)x16 in the garage to play with as a shelf layout. I've got so much HO rolling stock, figures and signs from the last layout and I'm wondering if you had a choice with 2x16, would you do a HO switching layout, or a n scale layout with the ability to run point to point or loop to loop?

The ability to run more trains under n scale is appealing so I either use what I got in HO and continue on with limitations, or I sell off everything HO and start fresh with n scale....either way, I'm just excited that I'm able to return once again to modeling....any recommendations or advice would be greatly appreciated! Many Thanks, Steve
 

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In that space, N scale loop to loop. Now, that's just me! I gotta be able to sit back and let 'em run! 馃槂
 

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At 2.5 feet wide, you're pretty much limited in HO to a switching layout. In N scale you could do loops AND switching ops. I suggest going for N.
 
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I personally would go with N if I was ever in that situation, as stated above HO would pretty much have to be a switching layout (I don't like them, but to each his own). It would kill me not to be able to just let them run and watch馃槺
 

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All else being equal, N. But if I had that much HO already, then go with what you have.
 

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HO is what I can see and handle better at my age, so I would go with that scale. However, I also enjoy running in an outer loop. That makes my choice of HO a limiting problem because my current rolling stock needs a minimum of 31" curves to function reliably. Decisions, decisions...
 

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Maybe sketch out a layout or two on one of those computer model train layout tools. And then decide based on your findings... (Or pencil n paper)
 

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I had about the same amount of space in my garage when I decided to build a layout. I had neither HO or N so I didn't already have existing stuff. I wanted to go with N so I could run loops and have some sidings. I'm in my mid 70's and my hands are not as steady as they used to be so I went with the HO switching layout.
 

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1) I've got so much HO rolling stock, figures and signs from the last layout.

2)The ability to run more trains under n scale is appealing

3)So I either use what I got in HO and continue on with limitations, or I sell off everything HO and start fresh with n scale.
I cut your post down to the 3 key issues. The question for me would come down to how much you want to use the HO stuff you have. If you love your collection and want to use it, then you can make a nice switching layout. If you aren't as attached to your present HO stuff, then N seems like the logical choice.

This is especially true since as best as I can tell from your post (within the limited medium) it sounds to me like you want to run longer trains and loop them. Maybe it's time to sell off and down-scale.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I cut your post down to the 3 key issues. The question for me would come down to how much you want to use the HO stuff you have. If you love your collection and want to use it, then you can make a nice switching layout. If you aren't as attached to your present HO stuff, then N seems like the logical choice.

This is especially true since as best as I can tell from your post (within the limited medium) it sounds to me like you want to run longer trains and loop them. Maybe it's time to sell off and down-scale.
I am heading that direction. I assessed what I have which was quite a bit less than what I originally thought. I sold off so much 6 yrs ago, I honestly must of loss track and thought I had more. Only cars I have left are primarily passenger with a few engines and lots of HO accessories.
 

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I'd do N, but that's me. What you like is best for you. Think about it for a while - what it would be like with either.
 

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Good Day,

I'm a returning model railroader and have been building layouts on and off for the past 37 years. I have modeled mostly HO scale and did one n scale many years ago. My last layout was a 7x16 HO scale which I was forced to dismantle and sell off after moving into a smaller home. I have about 2 (maybe 2.5)x16 in the garage to play with as a shelf layout. I've got so much HO rolling stock, figures and signs from the last layout and I'm wondering if you had a choice with 2x16, would you do a HO switching layout, or a n scale layout with the ability to run point to point or loop to loop?

The ability to run more trains under n scale is appealing so I either use what I got in HO and continue on with limitations, or I sell off everything HO and start fresh with n scale....either way, I'm just excited that I'm able to return once again to modeling....any recommendations or advice would be greatly appreciated! Many Thanks, Steve
Steve C;

Ultimately, it will boil down to which type of layout Switching or continuous running you want, rather than what size trains you have on hand. If you feel you would be happy with a switching layout, and many are, then your choice is easy. Use the HO-scale trains you have. If you really want continuous running, then you will need to switch scales. While in the distant past, I've had O-gage and HO-scale layouts, I've been a happy N-scaler for over forty years. My layout is an N-scale shelf layout mounted on two walls of my garage. It's sectional (highly recommended) and my standard section is 4' long x 16" deep X 16" high. The height dimension comes in because it's a "bookshelf railroad" design I copied from an old Model Railroader Magazine article. It's also a two level railroad. I model the Milwaukee Road's passenger operations from Seattle Union Station, which it shared with Union Pacific. King St. Station across the street, was home to Northern Pacific, and Great Northern's passenger trains. So with N-scale I can have big time operation involving four class 1 transcontinental railroads, including continuous running, in a fairly small space. My biggest end loop section is only 3' deep, but I use a minimum radius of 16" to handle all that long equipment. If you are absolutely restricted to 2.5 feet of depth, you could use tighter curves and shorter rolling stock. The photos below show some of my layout.

Good Luck & Have Fun;

Traction Fan :)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I just got an n-scale dummy loco off of Ebay to get my feel for the scale again.....it is small....and definitely a long time since I've modeled in "n." Just waiting for a piece of rolling stock in "n" to make my decision. I do like the ability to run continuous and realistic scale proportions with "n" but HO does feel good in my hand as well. A switching layout in HO could work, however I only have one switcher and a full size Rivarossi ML 4000 Krauss Maffei Southern Pacific to run along with 40' cars.
 

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I just got an n-scale dummy loco off of Ebay to get my feel for the scale again.....it is small....and definitely a long time since I've modeled in "n." Just waiting for a piece of rolling stock in "n" to make my decision. I do like the ability to run continuous and realistic scale proportions with "n" but HO does feel good in my hand as well. A switching layout in HO could work, however I only have one switcher and a full size Rivarossi ML 4000 Krauss Maffei Southern Pacific to run along with 40' cars.
Steve C;

Either way you can end up with a nice railroad. It's strictly your choice. One thing about HO-scale "Feeling good in your hand" Is simply that after all those years of HO experience, your hand, and more importantly your mind, is used to that size as being "normal" for you. I've been through the same thing twice in my life. When I went from O-scale to HO-scale, the HO equipment seemed tiny, It seemed to be more difficult to put cars on the track too. Years later I switched from HO-scale to N-scale, and the same thing happened. The N-scale equipment seemed tiny and I didn't think I could work with it, even though I was a young man with 20/20 vision and steady hands. Fast-forward to today. I'm now 72 years old, have to wear glasses to see much of anything, my hands shake a bit at times, and I even have one injured finger that doesn't work very well. Still, with all that going on, I can work in N-scale without any serious problems. HO scale now seems huge to me, and O-scale positively gigantic!
This is quite normal. Our brains get used to all sorts of things and file them as normal. When anything comes along that doesn't meet the "normal", that we're used too, the difference is immediately obvious, and often exaggerated.
All I'm trying to point out here is that our preconceived perceptions play a bigger part than we may think in, well, how we think.
Again, it's strictly up to you, and you can't really go wrong either way. Just out of curiosity, is that SP Krauss Maffei the Diesel-Hydraulic oddball prototype with a 1960s model sold by Rivarossi back in the 1960s? I sold those, along with other HO-scale model trains, at Christmastime on my first job at a Woolworth's store. As I recall(?) it had only one powered truck, and was a pretty basic model. What model switcher do you have?
Are the single switcher, and the KM ML4000, your only HO locomotives?
Since you said you had a lot invested In HO-scale trains, I imagined a considerable fleet of locos, and loads of cars. If you decide to switch scales, and two locos & 40 cars are your entire HO stock, then the sting of selling off the HO, for not much, is lessened a bit.

Good Luck & Have Fun with whatever you choose.

Traction Fan :)
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Steve C;

Either way you can end up with a nice railroad. It's strictly your choice. One thing about HO-scale "Feeling good in your hand" Is simply that after all those years of HO experience, your hand, and more importantly your mind, is used to that size as being "normal" for you. I've been through the same thing twice in my life. When I went from O-scale to HO-scale, the HO equipment seemed tiny, It seemed to be more difficult to put cars on the track too. Years later I switched from HO-scale to N-scale, and the same thing happened. The N-scale equipment seemed tiny and I didn't think I could work with it, even though I was a young man with 20/20 vision and steady hands. Fats forward to today. I'm now 72 years old, have to wear glasses to see much of anything, my hands shake a bit at times, and I even have one injured finger that doesn't work very well. Still, with all that going on, I can work in N-scale without any serious problems. HO scale now seems huge to me, and O-scale positively gigantic! This is quite normal. Our brains get used to all sorts of things and file them as normal. When anything comes along that doesn't meet the normal, that we're used too, the difference is immediately obvious, and often exaggerated All I'm trying to point out here is that our preconceived perceptions plays a bigger part than we may think in, well, how we think.. Again, it's strictly up to you, and you can't really go wrong either way. Just out of curiosity, is that SP Krauss Maffei the Diesel-Hydraulic oddball prototype with a 1960s model sold by I think Rivarossi or AHM? I sold tose, along with other model trains, at Christmastime on my first job at a Woolworth's store. As I recall(?) it had only one powered truck, and was a pretty basic model. Are the single switcher, and the KM your only HO locomotives? Since you said you had a lot invested In HO-scale trains, I imagined a considerable fleet of locos and loads of cars. If you decide to switch scales, and two locos & 40 cars are your entire HO stock, then the sting of selling off the HO, for not much, is lessened a bit.

Good Luck & Have Fun with whatever you choose.

Traction Fan :)
Good day, it's been quite a few years since I looked at my HO inventory, but I actually found that I sold off a majority of my rolling stock so going to another gauge won't be a problem. My SP Krauss Maffei is a Rivarossi in excellent shape with the scarlet and grey paint scheme. Most of what I sold off was a complete inventory of SP Overnight and Engines with all black widow paint with the exception of a PA-1 that pulled my passenger cars. What I do have a lot of in HO is accessories, signage, a whole load of PFE trailers that road piggyback on my last layout. I should be getting my "n" scale rolling stock today just to give me a better idea of what I am dealing with. Yes....I believe that I'm in a good position to have fun either way with HO or n scale. Definitely all in fun, and it's great to be back after a 7 year hiatus! Steve
 
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