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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone!

I am finally making my foray into a model train! :D

I had a quite extensive model train set-up when I was young and always wanted to get back into it - now I am!

I am looking to start by purchasing one to go under the Christmas tree.

I just started looking on the internet today and went to a relatively knowledgeable hobby store with an extensive train selection.

Ok, so my questions: :p

Are there any advantages of O over HO or vise-versa? The person at the store said it was just a personal preference.

I was originally looking at the Lionel Polar Express train set... But the engine really didn't have all that much "detail work" to it, from what I could see through the box...

I REALLY like the Lionel Santa Fe 2-10-10-2:

http://www.lionel.com/visionline/registration.html#/nav/products/steamengines/santafe3000

But at $1800 for just the engine and tender, that is a little much... :eek:

He then showed me a Athearn Genesis HO 4-8-8-4 Big Boy/Weather, UP #4007 [ATHG97221]:

http://www.athearn.com/ProdInfo/LargeImages/ATHG97221.jpg

VERY NICE! :D

Although I really don't care for the "weathered" look...

Now the Lionel Polar Express is O and the Athearn is HO...

I am looking for an all black train and track that will be approx. 72" round...

Anyone have any other ideas?

Any input would be GREATLY appreciated!

Thanks as always!
 

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Pologuy,

Welcome to the forum! I'd suggest HO for a couple of reasons. O requires more room than HO and you mentioned "under the tree". It's also less expensive for both the initial purchase and for enlarging.

Finally, if you decide you want a larger train down the line and want to switch over, the HO should be pretty easy to sell off: it has the most users. By then, you'll either be a train addict or have lost interest---you'll want to step up and build a permanent layout in O or HO, or be boxing the HO up for next Christmas.

Best wishes!
 

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Pologuy,

Layout space should be a key factor, as Reckers suggests. Before you decide upon a scale choice, ask yourself some fundamental questions about your intended layout. Temporary setup (seasonal)? Compexity of turnouts (switches), side spurs? Number of trains you intend to run at once? (That gets into a question of control systems ... conventional track--and-transformer-controlled, or more modern electronic controlled ... which lets you run multiple locos independently.) Do you want a "flatland" layout, or do you want multiple levels? The choice will dictate potential needs for ramped inclines and the required "runway length" to achieve an overpass.

As you delve further into the thinking, feel free to ping us back with questions.

Regards,

TJ
 

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the guy in the store was right - it is a personal choice. to me O with its exaggerated overhang (dictated by tight turns in order to fit) looks a bit cartoonish. nice models also will cost more. given my limited space i can't go any larger then HO. if finances and room werent an issue i would go all the way to G. but at the moment my answer is obvious .
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Pologuy,

Layout space should be a key factor, as Reckers suggests. Before you decide upon a scale choice, ask yourself some fundamental questions about your intended layout. Temporary setup (seasonal)? Compexity of turnouts (switches), side spurs? Number of trains you intend to run at once? (That gets into a question of control systems ... conventional track--and-transformer-controlled, or more modern electronic controlled ... which lets you run multiple locos independently.) Do you want a "flatland" layout, or do you want multiple levels? The choice will dictate potential needs for ramped inclines and the required "runway length" to achieve an overpass.

As you delve further into the thinking, feel free to ping us back with questions.

Regards,

TJ
THANKS FOR EVERYONES ANSWERS! :D

To answer some questions"

Yes, right now it would be seasonal, used under a large 12 ft. Christmas tree so the track would need to be 72" round...

I am looking at just one train - engine, tender, 3 passenger cars - all in black...

Yes, just a flatbed layout - just the train and tracks...

Let me know what you think!

Thanks as always!
 

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Discussion Starter #7

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For a non-permanent, seasonal layout, you'll likely want "fast track" made/offered by several mfrs ... essentially, the rails, crossties, and simulated ballast mound are all incorporated into one track-section component that snaps to its mate. Easy snap-together track layout. No traditional rail-joiner pins required.

TJ
 
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