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Discussion Starter #1
Hello. I am a beginner to model railroading and would like some suggestions. I have started on a small layout and would like to see how I like it before I spend tons of money on it. I think I will buy some atlas trains and rolling stock. If anybody has any Suggestions to me for what and what not to do, it will be much appreciated. Thanks!:)
 

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Welcome to the forum. Starting here is a good idea. Read thru the posts, and ask questions. There are a lot of decisions to be made. How much space do you have, and what would you like your layout to do? It can be fun deciding what to do and seeing it come together. Enjoy.

Paul
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Thanks for the tips. I think that for my first layout I am looking into standard dc. I have a power plug from a life-like train set that I am going to use and will use atlas code 80 snap-track. I don't really want anything to big and fancy, but I would like it to be more realistic. I'm working on a tight budget.
 

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I know what you mean about tight budgets, me too. One thing I would do is save up and invest in a MRC power pack, there are some inexpensive ones (30-40$) ones around and they work much better than the train set packs. I used a 501N golden power pack for 25 years until it finally gave out and am now using a MRC railpower 1370. Atlas makes some fine locos and rolling stock and although they are cheaper and generally less dependable, Bachmann has a great warranty. Good luck and welcome.

Richard
 

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Railrider,

If your taking fiscal baby steps into this (a wise thing!), I'd suggest buying as much as you can used via train shows, ebay, people on forums, etc. You can get some great deals on locos, cars, etc. that are near new for a fraction of the cost of new.

Good luck!

TJ
 

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I have limited experience, but here is what I have learned:
1. Old Atlas Turnouts work far better than the newer ones. The model power turnouts new work better for me than the Atlas version by the way.
2. Life-Like cars are cheap, and they perform and look the part in my opinion.
3. Standard Bachmann Engines are cheap for a reason, not sure about the Spectrum locomotives
4. Track laying is by far the most important phase of modeling. I used a rail car for each joint to ensure smooth operation. Any hitches can be trouble. I learned the hard way and ripped my set down and re-did the whole thing because I did not listen to experienced modelers. Lesson Learned.
5. When wiring, make it neat and easily able to be identified later on. I have 16 turnouts and each has (had, will be DCC soon) power plus the additional power splices. I actually had a problem with ac bleeding over to dc because of how I had organized my wires. Keep dc and ac separate.
6. Have fun, this hobby is such a blast and you will learn many new skills I am betting.
7. I have had very good luck with Bachmann rail cars.
8. When buying cars take a look at Tower Hobbies, they do not rape you on shipping like many EBAY sellers.
 

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Speaking of Bachmann's regular line locos,it becomes evident why they're cheap when you operate one.They're a guess when buying,they may be fair or complete failures.On the other hand,the Spectrum line is quite different.I still recommend you try before buying but they are much better generally,although not as smooth as Atlas or Kato.
About Ebay sellers who boost shipping rates...I do buy on Ebay occasionally and do take into account shipping rates before setting my bid amounts...that simple.I may be wrong here but I believe that sellers don't have to share with Ebay on shipping amounts and are so trying to get a better deal this way.If I "win" the bid,I still get a decent deal this way.Do I feel it's honest?...No.Do I feel bad for Ebay owners?...Neither.
 
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