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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, I wanted to ask you a few things. I'm starting on my first layout (4'x8') and I've ran in to kind of a dilemma. I own a fair amount of HO engines and rolling stock, and I'm very attached to all of it. However, I'm only going to have space for one layout, and 4' by 8' is going to not sit well with anything big. I'm thinking about going N-scale instead, as I can fit much much more inside the same amount of space. However, I don't own anything in the scale. I have a quick toy-layout of HO in my room that lets me keep my HO trains busy, but I'm stuck wondering what I should do for my first serious layout.

I've always wanted to run large steam engines. Specifically, a 4-6-4 Hudson. I know that larger engines and rolling stock have problems fitting around the tighter curves, so I figure going to N-scale would eliminate the problem as I would have more space for a wider radius. Buying is going to be slow going (My closest model shop is an hour away and I work full time, so I can only visit twice a month), so N-scale would take me a bit longer to set up. I also want to make the jump to DCC, as most of my things are old Tyco's and Bachmann from the 70's and 90's. I'm just now getting in to the serious part of the hobby, so I know nothing of how to upgrade my engines to DCC and am scared to take them apart. I suppose my reasoning is if I went N-scale, I could go with DCC equipped engines from the start.

What are your opinions on N-scale and HO-scale, and fitting them in to the smaller layouts? I'm still quite the newbie, so any and all advice would be appreciated.

Also, my HO collection has a lot of sentimental value, so being able to trade it in to help with N scale would be a negative. Just throwing that out there real quick.
 

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You could do both, like me... My upper layout is HO, 42" x 54", with 14", 18" and 20" radii---even my Rivarossi 4-8-8-4 makes it around comfortably if not gracefully.

My lower is N scale and pulls out on 3' full extension slides.

 

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Discussion Starter #3
That's actually a good idea. I might do that. My layout is going on a piece of plywood on top of a pool table, but I'd have enough space to go for another layer. I think I'm going to start buying in N-scale and start laying that down first. By the way, is that part of the '76 Centennial set I see on your shelf?

Also, would you know a place that I might find some DCC equipped N-scale engines? I want to support my model train shop, but I want to be able to look through a large library of engines and whatnot so I can ask him to order them for me.
 

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By the way, is that part of the '76 Centennial set I see on your shelf? ...Also, would you know a place that I might find some DCC equipped N-scale engines?
That is a Tyco C430 from the early 70s, I keep it because it's pre-Bicentennial and has the metal handrails. Like most Tyco, it really doesn't run very well...but it looks great standing still:thumbsup:

Most of my stuff is used or salvaged, the only new items I buy are the necessities like paint, couplers and such, leaving me as the last person who'd know where to send you for such things:) I'm sure one of these other folks will know where to go.
 

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Schizophrenic Engineer
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Hey guys, .........

Also, my HO collection has a lot of sentimental value, so being able to trade it in to help with N scale would be a negative. Just throwing that out there real quick.
Go only with N scale! :smilie_daumenneg:Send me all of your old HO stuff and I will get rid of it in a very green way. :appl:Like putting it on my layout.:laugh:

Just kidding.
Have fun, John
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Go only with N scale! :smilie_daumenneg:Send me all of your old HO stuff and I will get rid of it in a very green way. :appl:Like putting it on my layout.:laugh:

Just kidding.
Have fun, John
Unless you're using horn hooks still, I doubt any of my stuff would even be compatible. I do have a lot of extras (and some rolling stock and older track I just don't care for), but all of my engines I can't part with. Wouldn't happen to have any N-scale, would you?
 

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Schizophrenic Engineer
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I still have not finished converting all of my rolling stock from hook-horn. I have some cars with both types so that I can still use them all.

Sorry I have never had any stuff other than HO.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I still have not finished converting all of my rolling stock from hook-horn. I have some cars with both types so that I can still use them all.

Sorry I have never had any stuff other than HO.
Oh, that's alright. More money for my model supplier that way I suppose. I bought the new magnetic couplers so I could convert a few of mine over, but I've been kind of scared to actually start on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I've decided to stick with HO scale, I think. I just have too much I've wanted to use, and I think it's best if I start out small (And not in a small scale). Perhaps later on I can break in to N-scale. Besides...I'm seeing Athearn engines at my hobby store flying Arkansas Pioneer Railroad colors, and that's too much to pass up.
 

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Sounds like a good idea, you'd be surprised at how much railroad you can fit in a pool table sized area. I started out with HO, went to N, then back to HO, you simply can't beat the price dollar for dollar---you just get so much more.

The N scale I have? I got an email out of the blue about 4 years ago from a retired engineer asking if I'd like his layout, free and clear, all I had to do was come out and pick it up. Pretty good incentive to try N scale again...;)
 

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Sounds like a good idea, you'd be surprised at how much railroad you can fit in a pool table sized area. I started out with HO, went to N, then back to HO, you simply can't beat the price dollar for dollar---you just get so much more.

The N scale I have? I got an email out of the blue about 4 years ago from a retired engineer asking if I'd like his layout, free and clear, all I had to do was come out and pick it up. Pretty good incentive to try N scale again...;)
I'll be keeping a close eye on my inbox then! It's decided, I'll start working on my HO layout. It'll be slow going, but I'll take some pictures when it starts coming along, and maybe I can pick up a few pointers on how to make it look better. Thanks everyone!
 
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