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Discussion Starter #1
Hello Everyone,
I'm brand new to the forum and to Model Railroading as a whole. I'm in my late 20s and remember the joy toy and model trains brought as a child, and am looking to delve into the world of Model Railroading. I've already been to two shops near me, one of which was helpful but mainly specialized in O and specifically Lionel Trains (Charles Ro Supply Company), the other (which will remain nameless) was not nearly as helpful.

At this point in life my wife and I are in an apartment, a rather spacious one, but still an apartment so space is a bit of an issue. We basically use the second bedroom as a study/library/future train room (all three combined unfortunately) so there is no room for a large table dedicated to a model just yet. One thing I know others have asked about in the forums before (I did try and search) is the scale question, at this point I am on the fence regarding O vs HO. I realize that HO has a lot more variety available given its the most popular to my understanding of the scales/guages, however from what I've seen the O models have felt (local train store let me handle and try both scales) more sturdy and still had what looked like attention to detail and the fun things such as steam coming from the stack, lights, etc which while I do want attention to detail/realism, I'd also like those features (I am looking to keep this a steam-locomotive only setup, ideally i'd love to build out a New England-esque 20s-30s model town/train, etc). I suppose some of my questions come into quality given that I've heard some iffy things on other websites/blogs/forums regarding modern-day Lionel Trains, as well as approachability. Specifically with approachability I mean, because I can't build a table (looking forward to getting a house one day w/power tools, etc) and this would be a segregated area of a room on the floor (no kids, no pets, etc) it seems that the fast-track may be the best track solution but I'm concerned about space. I was hoping if more experienced folks could help guide me in the right direction. I apologize for rambling.

On an entirely different note - is anyone aware of any models of either HO or O of the Soviet/Russian FD20 locomotives or the Soviet L Class (picture can be found https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Russian_steam_locomotive_classes#/media/File:L_steam_loco_4.JPG"]here[/URL]
 

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Welcome to the forum. :)

As far as the "iffy" things you've hard about Lionel, that's a universal complaint about all scales and manufacturers. Almost all of this stuff is manufactured in the far East by the lowest cost manufacturing facility. You're bound to have some QC issues at times.

I'd say that my experience with Lionel and MTH has generally been very good, there are issues, but by no means crippling issues. Most times I take a new product out of the box and it's fine, occasionally I had a problem to deal with.

You can get sound and smoke with HO, or O, but the O-gauge stuff will certainly be more robust as far as handling. For a smaller layout, consider the traditional sized O-gauge, the Lionel LionChief Plus line has some nice models with sound, good smoke, and proper lighting.
 

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While I have a room size HO layout, I have, in the past, had an
N Scale layout when I lived in an apartment.

I would usually recommend going with HO but since you
are not yet ready to commit the spare bedroom to
trains only I would suggest you consider N scale. It would
be a good way to get started in the hobby.

Since you likely have the steady hands and good eyes
of the young, N scale could work well for you. You can get a lot of layout on a very
small 'board'. While about 1/4 the size of the typical Lionel
train, N scale can offer interesting details and can be controlled
using the new DCC digital system.

When you get that house and lots of layout space, you can
begin again with HO or 0 gauge. It's the way some
of us have grown in the hobby

Yes, 0 gauge trains are built to stronger standards, but adults usually
are more careful in handling, so the smaller scale trains should not
be a problem from that standpoint.

Don
 

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Getting up off the floor and onto a shelf

Hello Everyone,
I'm brand new to the forum and to Model Railroading as a whole. I'm in my late 20s and remember the joy toy and model trains brought as a child, and am looking to delve into the world of Model Railroading. I've already been to two shops near me, one of which was helpful but mainly specialized in O and specifically Lionel Trains (Charles Ro Supply Company), the other (which will remain nameless) was not nearly as helpful.

At this point in life my wife and I are in an apartment, a rather spacious one, but still an apartment so space is a bit of an issue. We basically use the second bedroom as a study/library/future train room (all three combined unfortunately) so there is no room for a large table dedicated to a model just yet. One thing I know others have asked about in the forums before (I did try and search) is the scale question, at this point I am on the fence regarding O vs HO. I realize that HO has a lot more variety available given its the most popular to my understanding of the scales/guages, however from what I've seen the O models have felt (local train store let me handle and try both scales) more sturdy and still had what looked like attention to detail and the fun things such as steam coming from the stack, lights, etc which while I do want attention to detail/realism, I'd also like those features (I am looking to keep this a steam-locomotive only setup, ideally i'd love to build out a New England-esque 20s-30s model town/train, etc). I suppose some of my questions come into quality given that I've heard some iffy things on other websites/blogs/forums regarding modern-day Lionel Trains, as well as approachability. Specifically with approachability I mean, because I can't build a table (looking forward to getting a house one day w/power tools, etc) and this would be a segregated area of a room on the floor (no kids, no pets, etc) it seems that the fast-track may be the best track solution but I'm concerned about space. I was hoping if more experienced folks could help guide me in the right direction. I apologize for rambling.

On an entirely different note - is anyone aware of any models of either HO or O of the Soviet/Russian FD20 locomotives or the Soviet L Class (picture can be found https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Russian_steam_locomotive_classes#/media/File:L_steam_loco_4.JPG"]here[/URL]
Nightshrill;

First I second DonR's recommendation that you consider N scale. I'll admit to some bias
as I model in N scale. If you are absolutely committed to the floor though, I would skip N and HO,
and use the rugged O scale equipment.
What I'm suggesting is to elevate your railroad a few feet, and enclose it in a bookshelf.
You mentioned that the room must be multi purpose. That's one of the nice features of
the bookshelf design. It occupies virtually zero floor space,since the areas above and below
the railroad remain open for other uses. The design also increases your storage space, for
books, toys, or whatever, using the new shelf space above.
Now you may be thinking, that sounds great, but remember we're apartment dwellers; we
cant be bolting shelves to the wall. You don't have to. It's possible to support the railroad
using extending floor-to-ceiling poles, like those used in some pole lamps, way back when.
You don't have to drill a single hole in the walls. What you do have to do is be handy with tools,
and have access to a power saw. The sawing should be done somewhere other than in the
apartment. (car port?, patio?) If you can't/don't want to, do this then maybe it's back to the
floor, or a door layout that can be stored under a bed or in a closet.
If the idea sounds OK to you, and you have permission from "S.W.M.B.O.("been there,
living that"; for 33years!) send me a private message for more info.
For now, just to show what I'm suggesting, check the photos below to see part of my bookshelf railroad.
Mine is bolted to the wall, as I own a home, but the pole idea works.
It comes from a railroad featured in Model Railroader magazine. The bookshelf idea came from the same source.

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:

Cedar Falls module. showing lightwood bookshelf arch with enginehouse & station in background.jpg

Garrison Creek trestle dark.jpg

Black River Junction from aisle.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you

I wanted to begin with thanking everyone who has responded thus far - and that if anyone else would like to add more input it's welcomed. I apologize for the delayed response on my part, I lost my job last Wednesday which was entirely unforseen and it has taken me a bit to figure things out. Due to that, unfortunately, it looks like my entry into model railroading will be a bit delayed - although I am still more than happy to research/get ideas and figure out which scale I want to start with.

I have looked a bit more into N Scale and I do have to say that I do not think it is for me, despite the space savings. As donR said when he stated I could start with one scale and move to another when I get a house - that is in all likelihood what is going to happen. I appreciate the advise that has been given however I still find myself torn between O and HO - leaning slightly more in the O direction at the moment though. I'm going to visit my local shop again and hopefully be able to make up my mind from seeing and handling the engines and stock again. I particularly liked the book case idea, and very much appreciate the pictures traction fan had posted as that gave me a good visual. Regarding size - i'm not sure if it will help but I took an image of some of the workable free space in the room I'm planning on to see if anyone else might have any input regarding workability. https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resid=F1F7197AF9976D2E!102146&authkey=!APSRbPoLlGiuWRQ&v=3&ithint=photo%2cpng
 

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Probably a more useful view would be to just draw a plan of the space available for the layout considering access to closets, doors, etc.

As far as the pictures, you can upload them directly here.

Check How to Post Pictures to MTF for instructions.
 

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"Bummer"

I wanted to begin with thanking everyone who has responded thus far - and that if anyone else would like to add more input it's welcomed. I apologize for the delayed response on my part, I lost my job last Wednesday which was entirely unforseen and it has taken me a bit to figure things out. Due to that, unfortunately, it looks like my entry into model railroading will be a bit delayed - although I am still more than happy to research/get ideas and figure out which scale I want to start with.

I have looked a bit more into N Scale and I do have to say that I do not think it is for me, despite the space savings. As donR said when he stated I could start with one scale and move to another when I get a house - that is in all likelihood what is going to happen. I appreciate the advise that has been given however I still find myself torn between O and HO - leaning slightly more in the O direction at the moment though. I'm going to visit my local shop again and hopefully be able to make up my mind from seeing and handling the engines and stock again. I particularly liked the book case idea, and very much appreciate the pictures traction fan had posted as that gave me a good visual. Regarding size - i'm not sure if it will help but I took an image of some of the workable free space in the room I'm planning on to see if anyone else might have any input regarding workability. https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resid=F1F7197AF9976D2E!102146&authkey=!APSRbPoLlGiuWRQ&v=3&ithint=photo%2cpng
Nightshrill;

Sorry to hear about your job loss. Having been through that several times, I know it's very difficult. At least you have the advantages of being young, and digitally savvy. When you get back on track financially, here's one more thing for you to consider.
You said you liked the bookshelf railroad idea, but had decided not to use N scale. The two things are not related. The author of the "Bookshelf Railroad" article built his in HO scale.
Even O scale could fit if you used sections deeper than my 16" depth. The bookshelf railroad is something that will take a lot of time and effort to build. If you can live without the top storage/book shelf, a single, plain shelf, railroad would be a lot easier.

Good Luck with all;

Traction Fan
 
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