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My wife and I have joined our collective collecting efforts. She collects Dept. 56 1:43 ish scale lit buildings. I have a good collection of 1:43 scale cars, Vanguards,Minichamps and others. We have decided to no longer display them here and there but design a "city" at least 4' by 8'. The whole idea seems to need at least 1 O scale train set, possibly also a city tram type streetcar down the middle street.
I have some start up questions...
I have seen a couple of train set ups years ago but noticed that the trains were not too reliable, they had to be figited with and appeared to be more problem solving that fun. For example, the Lionel Hogwart Express, if you set it up, would it run problem free ?
Does the Hogwarts Express have good sound effects ? If not, what is the suggestion ?
Has anyone concidered placing mirrors at the "far end of town" to duplicate the size of the display ?
Any help would be appreciated.
Doug
 

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Modern trains should be mostly problem free... Just follow the instructions to do a simple oiling now and then and you should be fine... The track has also greatly improved, helping things run smoother...

As far as the Hogwarts Express goes, I could not tell you if the sound effects are good... Are you set on it having to be a Harry Potter train?

If you are not, IN MY OPINION you should check out MTH's Ready-to-Run sets, you can find a list of them here... They cost $50.00 more than the Harry Potter set, but I believe that the quality is better... They feature Protosound 2.0, which to me is a really cool system... Here is a bit if info on PS2, and you can read further here...
  • The Sound System uses authentic railroad sounds. Steam engines chuff along with whistles and bells, while diesel roars and electric hums are accented by throaty horns and chiming bells. Proto-Sound 2.0 makes you feel like you are standing trackside.
  • The Control System brings exciting features like synchronized puffing smoke, remote control of couplers, speed control, and a mass of command mode operational features to model railroading.
Please note how I italicized some words above... I am not a model train expert by far, in fact I have had very limited exposure to the hobby being only 18, but that is how I feel about trains...
 
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