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My name is Tim I am 39 from Maywood NJ. I had a small set that was bought at a garage sale a few years ago, I would take it out and Christmas but this past year I lost it to a flood . I want to finally purchase a nice set went down to the train store today for the first time with plans to go HO but after looking around I am really considering O. Would love to hear thoughts on this and looking forward to learning on here.
 

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I think O gauge would be a good choice if you just set up trains during the holidays. Any type of O gauge track you get with a set is going to be easy to set up and take down. The engines and cars are easier that smaller scales to put on the track.
 

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Welcome aboard!

My name is Tim I am 39 from Maywood NJ. I had a small set that was bought at a garage sale a few years ago, I would take it out and Christmas but this past year I lost it to a flood . I want to finally purchase a nice set went down to the train store today for the first time with plans to go HO but after looking around I am really considering O. Would love to hear thoughts on this and looking forward to learning on here.


TimD;

Welcome to the forum! If your new train will be used as a temporary Christmas setup, then O-gage three-rail, like Lionel, would be a good choice. It's quite rugged and can handle running on the floor. However, I strongly recommend spreading an old bed sheet under the tree and the train track. This will help keep carpet fibres and dust out of the mechanism of the locomotive. If you want to go a step further, you could use plywood, or extruded foam insulation board to make a more detailed layout to put under the tree, complete with scenery.
The next step up would be a permanent layout supported by wood benchwork, and useable year-round. It just depends on what you want to do. If you use either of the latter options, you could use O-scale, HO-scale, N-scale, or whatever scale you like.

again welcome;

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys, I would really like to do a permanent layout in a corner of my basement
 

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Permanent Layout

Thanks guys, I would really like to do a permanent layout in a corner of my basement


TimD;

Since you want a permanent layout, and have part of a basement to build it in, that opens up your choices considerably. You indicated that you were considering HO-scale, but then were leaning toward O-scale. There are really two different types of O-scale trains, three-rail, and two rail. Three-rail is probably the more familiar. Lionel, and other toy train manufacturers, use three rail track, and AC power.
Two-rail is electrically identical to, (though of course physically much bigger, than) the popular HO & N scale trains, and, like them, runs on DC power.
The three-rail fans like to refer to their favorite size of model trains as "O-gage." The "track gage" or distance between the two outer running rails is a common element that slightly different sizes of trains, from different manufacturers, can all run on. The folks on our "O-scale" and "Tinplate" sections can give you better information than I can. I'm an N-scale guy.
Many train sets, at least in HO and N scales, are not a particularly good buys. They tend to be made up of low quality components, in order to keep the cost of the set down. Particularly this close to Christmas, the commercial toy market tends to have lots of outright junk being foisted off on unsuspecting consumers who don't know much about trains, so be careful. This may be less true of O-scale trains, but I recommend you check any prospective purchase out with our O-scale experts.

The files below are some that I wrote for new modelers planning to build their first layout. Browse through them if you want. They may have some info in them that you might find helpful.

Good luck, have fun;

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:

View attachment WHERE DO I START rev 4.pdf

View attachment 1 How to build a better first layout.pdf

View attachment 2 How to build a better first layout.pdf

View attachment 3 & 4 How to build a better first layout.pdf

View attachment 5 How to build a better first layout.pdf

View attachment 6 How to build a better first layout.pdf

View attachment All AboutTurnouts rev 4.pdf

View attachment MODEL RAILROADING ON A BUDGET.pdf

View attachment Model Railroad Terminology 3.pdf
 

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Thanks guys, I would really like to do a permanent layout in a corner of my basement
Tim,

Welcome to the forum. I just wanted to add that choosing your gauge is a big deal so be certain on your choice. Things to consider IMO is the space you have available and your budget. There is nothing wrong with O gauge or any gauge big or small. However, the larger gauges take up a lot more space so that’s where the space you have available comes into play. Then the budget is very important. The larger the gauge the more expensive the price.

I am the type guy that looks down the road/in the future. I want to select a gauge and be “married” to that gauge only. I am not big on owning and operating different scales at once or back and forth. I have to be a advocate for HO scale simply because it offers the most variety of items in the industry. It’s by far the most popular scale and pretty much always has been. It’s not too big and it’s not too small where you lose a lot of details to each piece. HO is readily available to purchase whether online or in a hobby shop. I take into consideration the “what if?” factor. What if I want to add another mainline later? What if I want lots of mountains with some winding track going through them? What if I want some tunnels? What if I want a second level and want to install a helix? Will I have the room to do things later? I guess making sure I am setting up a layout with lots of options to expand or change things up in time.

Any scale is expensive because it’s simply a pricey hobby. With that said when you are talking about a permanent layout it involves many things depending on how realistic you want it to appear and operate and how much detail you want to add. The good thing about the hobby is it can easily take years to fine tune it adding things here and taking away things there. Eventually you end up with a true masterpiece.

I suggest watching some YouTube videos regarding different scales and some of the hobby projects others have done. You can not only learn a lot but it is a great tool in deciding your scale for your layout. Ebay is good to breeze through and get a idea of costs of this scale verses that scale. Ebay is also a good market place to purchase items for the hobby. I would guess that in over 20 years of collecting hobby stuff.. 99% of my entire stock of train items came from eBay. Many brand new and some with light use etc... Trust me I have a ton of stuff and am just shy of labeling myself a train hoarder :eek:

Nevertheless! I am sure you will pick the best gauge that fits your needs. Welcome to the hobby. I am sure you will really enjoy building your layout. Keep us updated as you go on your journey. We love to see from scratch to masterpiece! :)
 
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