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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings everyone.
I and my son are getting ready to start buying parts for our first electric train set. Due to space, I have decided to go with the HO scale. Due to $, I'm going to have to slowly buy parts here and there and save them until we have enough to build a full track.

My first question is about the engines and cars. Why can I buy a flatbed car for $4, OR I could buy a flatbed car for $30? What's the difference and what should I be looking for? Same with the engines. Same model of trains (GP38 Burlington Northern for example) .. $30 or $60 or more? And some I've seen $300+++ ??

Any guidance or tips would be much appreciated.
-tw
 

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Welcome to the forum! :)

Like with most things you get what you pay for... That $4.00 flat-bed is probably some cheap piece of crap... It probably has plastic everything and absolutely no detail... As far as an engine for $300, that seems a bit expensive for HO scale to me, since that is how much a diesel in my O scale would cost, LOL... We have a lot of HO scale members around here who should be able to guild you in the right direction :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
... That $4.00 flat-bed is probably some cheap piece of crap...
:laugh: I like this forum already! right to the point, eh?
Thats kind of what I suspected, but wanted to hear it from
someone who has a clue. So, if I wanted medium priced
and medium quality, a point in the right direction would be
much appreciated.

Oh, and thanks for the welcome MTF SuperMod B&M!
-tw
 

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It is way to late and I am way to tired to be beating around the bush ;)
Huh what does that mean,
anyway, I am an ho modeler and trust me if you go to the $4 flatbed it is going to be a piece of crap, but if you buy $30 you will get more for your money.

AC/DC-Beating Around the Bush
 

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The better cars are weighted and have better detailing and color. The inexpensive ones have bright toy colors. Of course it's about price . A couple of cheep gondola's are handy to have. Hint Look for items on SALE or markdown or closeout.Normally people stay with road names so shop aound.
The brain trust around hear will be glad to point you in the right direction.
 

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tw,

Depending on if you are going to run DCC or DC, engines will be cheaper for DC. I some times grab cheap athearn engines online and upgrade them to DCC later, which is also an option.

I do side with the other posters, super cheap cars can be headaches in the long run. I tossed two Con-Cor Amtrak superliners b/c the trucks were so poorly made, they kept derailing, they cost me 5 bucks each. My Walthers Amtrak superliners cost me 25 to 50 bucks a pop, but they still are truckin to this day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
....Depending on if you are going to run DCC or DC, engines will be cheaper for DC...
I was considering DCC. But seeing the prices on DCC switches, I think I'm changing my mind... so I suspect I'll get DCC engines that are compatible with DC tracks. I can see spending $30 to $50 for an engine, and in the $15 to $20 range for the cars... nice middle of the road price range I think.

Thanks folks for the input. I'm going to hit a few shops around town Saturday and see what I can find.

I'm also going to be looking at the track - there seems to be an over-abundance of options.... I'll save my track questions for another time ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So, I went to look for track.

Can anyone say anything bad about the Kato Unitrack for HO?
The thing that drew me to that was the bedding of the track and the ties are different colors (contrast as opposed to others) and looks easy... Also, I plan on running a DC line with some preperation/planning for going DCC (maybe) in the future....and I want the switches powered from the get-go. So, Kato Unitrack ok or is there something else I should consider?
 

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tw001_tw,

I have not heard of nothing bad about the Kato unitrack, I stayed away from it because it cost more than the atlas code 83 (which I am using). The point you made about the different ties and the bedding is important, most track can conduct power for DC and the signals for DCC (except the older track) so you will be good for both setups.

One important suggestion, if you purchase track or other train related items, I highly suggest staying away from internet model trains.com, nothing but problems with them. (Search google retailer ratings for more infor on internet model trains).

Personally, I like the atlas code 83 track, for three reasons, atlas has a free program on their website so you can do a computer generated layout before you layout the track, its cheap, and my grandfather used the same track on his layout.

--Cid
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Cid - thanks for the input. You mentioned a thing or two I was wondering - and since you brought up Atlas, I went out looking. Also, regarding the track with the bed & the ties a different color, the store only carried Kato, but Atlas makes it too (I have since found out). I'm going to put my track purchase on hold till something hits me.


Also, look what I found:
http://www.k-10smodeltrains.com/default.htm
check out their set they have setup:
http://www.k-10smodeltrains.com/tour/tourmain.htm
I think I'm fortunate to have such a place close by - about 30 minutes or so from home. They have a nice shop, so I'm going to see what I can learn there & pickup a few things. (going to make a family thing out of it).
 
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