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Hi I got my first train set when i was ten. I am now 15 and i miss having that set. I am making $100+ a week babysitting my sister while my parents work. I would like to start a train layout building from the ground up. I figured i would start with a locomotive and cars and work my way up from there as time and money allow. It will take a while I know but I am willing to do the work and take the time. The town I have in mind is centered around the paper industry. I will have mountains and hills full of woods, a paper mill, and a downtown area. I am planing on having only one locomotive(maybe two farther down the road. I will have box cars and log cars as well as woods equipment. I already know what im going to use for a control system and all that I just cant decide whether to look to steam or diesel to pull my cars. It is an older style logging line that has been shut down for years and restored and brought back, as a way to get the dying town back on it's feet, in other words my town will be making a better economical come back than the U.S. I like both steam and diesel but im torn between the two. Steam would provide a more rustic style of transport up and down the mountain and would couple well with old style log cars and logs flowing down the river to the mill. Yet diesel would provide faster transport and would look better hauling the box cars. so i dont know which one to choose or if I should take em' both. What do you guys think?
 

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Hey MidMaine ...

So, you've been fiddling with trains for 1/3 of your life, huh? Fun stuff!

Your overall plan and theme sounds well conceived. I'm a nostalgic steamer fan, and when I think of old logging trains, I think steamers. That said, this is YOUR layout ... you are the boss ... whatever works for you is the way to go.

My kids still tease me that we haul freight cars up to our passenger station. "Where do the people ride, Dad?" they ask. (We have no passenger cars.) "Well ... sons ... it's sort of like this ... when you become the king of your own RR empire, you can do pretty much whatever you like to do!"

Enjoy!

TJ
 

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...Yet diesel would provide faster transport and would look better hauling the box cars....What do you guys think?


:eek:Bite yer tongue:eek: or we'll set you in the corner with a Thomas and friends Brio playset whilst listening to Slipknot play the theme song....

Welcome to the forum:D:thumbsup:

Diesel models are much easier to maintain and (I can't believe I'm saying this...) generally run better. Art imitates life, the more complex the machine, the more places for gremlins to grab hold. I always recommend folks start there, then once the hobby gets a foothold, take on a steam model.

That said, nothing looks better than steam at the head end...:D:thumbsup:

 

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Welcome to the train boards MidMaine. Always good to see younger people
getting into model trains. Just be careful, it is very contagious and can stay
in your system for many many years. I have to agree with tj, its your railroad
run what you want. I really like the steamers, they do tend to cost more. Even
though I love the steam I have more diesels than steam. Cost played into that.
If you are trying to stay close to prototypes there was a period (transition)
that steam and diesels were running. They didn't switch from steam to diesel in
one day. So run both. Have fun.
 

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If you are making 100+ a week why not save up for about a month and then buy a steam engine and a deisel engine of your choice and experience both for yourself?
 

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I am making $100+ a week babysitting my sister while my parents work.
Hey MidMaine,

I lost a small fortune in the stock market these past few days :( ...

Any chance I can come over and help babysit, and we can split the $100+ ?!?

;):D

TJ

(Hey ... good for you for working hard at that age. That's some solid cash ... save a portion, and put the other portion towards some good fun.)
 

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I would like to start a train layout building It is an older style logging line that has been shut down for years and restored and brought back, as a way to get the dying town back on it's feet, in other words my town will be making a better economical come back than the U.S. I like both steam and diesel but im torn between the two. Steam would provide a more rustic style of transport up and down the mountain and would couple well with old style log cars and logs flowing down the river to the mill. Yet diesel would provide faster transport and would look better hauling the box cars. so i dont know which one to choose or if I should take em' both. What do you guys think?
Sounds really great. I think maybe both. I say this because I remember part of the transistion period when both steam and diesels rode the rails. It was truely an awesome and exciting time. Some of what you've described of what you want to create sounds very much like some of what I remember of how it was during that time. :)

Routerman
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanx 4 the opinions guys. I have decided that I will start with a setup on the floor and work it up from there adding benchwork and scenery, this was the most economical choice for me as I will be going back to school soon and losing the weekly pay. So I think I will start with a nice fair priced diesel, maybe an F7(even though I dont really like the looks fo em') or a GP38-2, and then add a steamer or two as I go. Eventually I would like to have a paper mill and an pyrite mine. But the mine will be another time and another bench. Maybe someday I will add a little town and maybe some shipping docks or something but that'll a few years(if not decades) down the road. Im young ambitious and really want to find a new hobby in model railroading. I've learned a lot about it from other sites and videos and hope to learn more from you guys. I currently build model car kits so I have some detailing and building/painting experience from that. I should have no problem with benchwork considering that my dad used to be a carpenter and has any tool you'll ever need. I have experience in using foam and plaster from art class and geography projects. But if I need anything I hope I can get help from you guys. :thumbsup:
 

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MidMaine,

Have you had the opportunity to visit any model RR / train shows? There are a few in MA and NH every year in the fall and spring. A great place to hunt for used equipment, scenery, buildings, etc. Always some good (cheap!) deal to be found.

The link below has a good Events search tool ...

http://trc.trains.com/events.aspx?page=list&type=1&cat=-1

Maybe armtwist a parent or relative to take you to one for a day?

Cheers,

TJ
 

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If you have a hobby shop nearby ask if they do train shows. Most do if they have trains. Also see if the they have the listing of train shows by the Patch King. The list has a spring and fall edition.
 

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Hey TJ. Ive seen vids from the shows on youtube and i would love to go to one but im the only one thats really into trains in my family. I wanna get my little sister into doing em with me but she shows no interest yet. My parents currently dont have the time or money to take me to one. I keep hoping and praying that they will work their way towards Bangor. I live in the Bangor area and the closest hobby shop is in Elsworth, a good 45 minute to an hour drive away. Hopefully once I get started someone else will start to see the fun and apreciate the hobby for what it is. But for now Im on my own. I have also condidered going with N scale as it would be a wiser choice space and moneywise. Can anyone give me some tips on ways to weather locos and cars in a fairly cheap and easy way? I would like to eventually make the trains look real by adding dirt and maybe grafitti. What are some websites for begginers that would help?
 

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Well N scale is not cheaper then HO and is in fact more expensive and not as vast a variety as HO. So all you get is a space bonus, There are many ways to achive a wash effect. First is to put a wash type coat which is ussually a white and gray paint mix diluted with water or thinner depending on the paint type to dull the overall car. Then you can use weathering powders ($15) to do some nice realistic particle and color details. If you have the money you can buy an airbrush and then a compressor or air cans for it. This technique gives a very, very neat and realistic effect if one learns how to master the art of weathering with an airbrush. Now me, myself am okay with grafiti and find some of the grafiti to be neat looking (like a santa painted on a boxcar or something like that) That DOES NOT mean I say that it is a good thing and that I would recomend people to do it in real life. It is mearly the fact that it is their and their is nothing I can do about ti so I enjoy the ones that are nice while I wait at the crossing. Jsut about everyone on here will scold you for even thinking of putting grafiti on your models but they are your models so don't give into peer pressure and do what you want to with them. You can ussually get grafiti decals at a train or hobby store which gives you a wide range to choose from.
 

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For weathering powders you don't necessarily need to buy the ones sold at hobby shops. Scrape dust off of just about any pastel/chalk and you can use it to weather things. Just make sure to put a quick coat of flat clearcoat over your work when you're done to lock it onto the model.

N scale is definitely not cheaper than HO.

I won't scold you for putting graffiti on your cars. It's an unfortunate reality that things get defaced in this world. Maybe have a small scene where some kids are doing the graffiti and the cops catch them in the act.
 

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I do plan on weathering my rolling stock and loco's. I've yet to see a shiney new piece of rolling stock ever being pulled by a loco sparkling in the sun.;)
They all seem to have fading paint, dirt and grime in varying degrees.

As for graffiti, unfortunately it's a fact of life. There's a yard right beside Rt 95 at the Providence/Pawtucket line. Must be 100+ cars there. You'd be hard pressed to find 10 without any graffiti, if you could find that many!
 

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I would pick up a new issue of Model Railroader. They have major listings of trainshows. They seem much bigger and more often up North. Down South, few and far between!I say get a Athearn RTR engine, some Athearn cars maybe, some Atlas truetrack or Bachmann's EZ-Track. Maybe Bachmann silver line cars.Thats a good way to start.
 

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Okay, so here's one more suggestion...and by the way, welcome to the forum! There are two kinds of train stores, most often abbreviated here as LHS's, or Local Hobby Shops. There are stores that sell everything from model trains to RC cars and planes, doll houses, art supplies....you get the idea. Then, there are the true train stores with 2 or three old geezers running the place, two shooting the breeze with customers and the third peering through a magnifier as he works on repairing a broken unit. That's the kind of shop you need to locate. Go in and ask if they have some used stuff: the geezer shops in my town always have a few pieces they took in trade or bought to resell or use for parts. Find one of those shops and you have a fair chance of getting both the steam and diesel for about the price of a single new unit. Old guys like us like to see new people come into the hobby and will go out of our way to help with good advice, repairs and so on. Just a thought to chew on.
 

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Then, there are the true train stores with 2 or three old geezers running the place, two shooting the breeze with customers and the third peering through a magnifier as he works on repairing a broken unit. That's the kind of shop you need to locate. Go in and ask if they have some used stuff: the geezer shops in my town always have a few pieces they took in trade or bought to resell or use for parts. Find one of those shops and you have a fair chance of getting both the steam and diesel for about the price of a single new unit. Old guys like us like to see new people come into the hobby and will go out of our way to help with good advice, repairs and so on. Just a thought to chew on.
You are so right. These types of hobby shops are by far the best. :);)

Routerman
 

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MidMaineRailsMMR, here's my advice, and I've been active a few more years, two guages (O and HO) in model railroading, and a year older; every modeler needs three things:

3) every modeler needs passenger and freight op's
2) every modeler needs a descent steam locomotive to be proud of (I suggest an older one, like TYCO/Mantua or AHM or AHM Rivarossi)

and the most important thing or all... No.1) Every Modeler needs to DECIDE what he or she wants to model, no mater what!

I agree with Shaygetz, on the Steam vs. Diesel bit though! Steam, will ALWAYS be KING! Start with a 4'x8' layout board with a 3' to 4'x18" fiddler yard board hooked up to it, and you'll be fine. Start simple like this and build up. Search Craigslist, go to shows, and have some blissful fun, build up your fleet and be the tycoon of "your pike." Carpe Deim... seize the day!

A wise man once told me to build "your layout, your own way"... And if somebody doesn't like it, "well, there's the door!" God bless and good luck kid, welcome to the club!

:thumbsup::D:thumbsup:
"Ayeeeee!" - The Fonz says.
 
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