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Discussion Starter #1
so im looking to get into model trains and have some questions.


im thinkin id like Ho. is that pretty basic any pros or cons?

2 or 3 rail systems?

whats the diffs between diesel and steam as far as operation and proformance?

ive already learned alot reading for the past 6 hrs.

but still have lots to learn.

thanks for your time
joe
 

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Joe,

Welcome to the forum! Choosing the scale you want to run is a matter of two things: how much room do you have, and which one do you just plain like best? HO is a great choice---in fact, all of them are, if you have the room for them. I don't think you'll see much operational difference between diesel and steam, since they all have electric motors: what you will see is a difference between old trains and new trains. My stuff is all old, so mine don't have the hi-tech features that you will find on new stock. Choose what you like and indulge yourself. 2-rail vs. 3-rail is sort of a non-question: if you settle on using Lionel o-gauge, it's a 3-rail system. My American Flyer is a 2-rail system. There's no second choice for either----each type of train is either a 3 rail or a 2 rail train. Once you settle on the size and manufacturer you want, your train will run on one or the other, so there's no choice to make. Some prefer 2-rail because it looks more like a real train---I don't feel that really matters. You won't notice the difference an hour after you set it up.

Nice to have you with us!
 

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pro for HO - the most widespread scale. and as such everything is in abundance. good balance between room requirement, detail level and cost .

if you go with HO chances are you going for 2 rail system. Atlas is the main manufacturer (of track). the only 3 rail i'm aware of for HO is Marklin AC system and even that the middle rail is not a rail really but a row of contractor studs. see tworails layout progress thread.

as far as steam vs diesel - they both run. its not like you going to try and set speed records so the difference that should concern you is only one - era you going to model. if it is 30's, diesels are out of the question obviously and vice versa.

reck, i heard there is a 2 rail (with ties even) in o scale for those who want prototypical look.
 

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Cool....maybe it's to help the three-railers sorta upgrade to not needing their training wheels any longer!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
thanks guys

Im thinkin i like the diesel Ho, ive seen alot of atlas i like(norfolk southern cause thats what runs near my house). is there a limit to how many cars i can pull?
i think my cars will be pretty heavy cause im thinkin of a smalltown/ farm layout and putting some small scale die-cast tractors and such on flat cars so iknow that will make it heavy. can i add another loco not a dummy but a real one. im building a 10x12 building to use so space shouldnt be a issue as far as size of the train and layout.
 

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maybe around the room if i can figure out how to use just 3 walls due to the doorway. i just got back from lowe's and my building went from 10x12 too 12x14 so space shouldnt be a problem.

any thoughts on bachman?
 

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maybe around the room if i can figure out how to use just 3 walls due to the doorway. i just got back from lowe's and my building went from 10x12 too 12x14 so space shouldnt be a problem.

any thoughts on bachman?
I work in HO Scale. For current manufacturers Atlas and Athern produce better quality than Bachmann. I have two Bachmann Spectrum engines and both are not as reliable or as durable as the older Athern Blue Box locos that I have.

If you are looking to do steam and not to go DCC older Mantua (pre Tyco days) are excellent engines. They run as smooth if not better than many of todays locos when properly oiled. The are al cast metal so their tractive force if great (great pulling ability). I would not recommend the Mantua diesels though. For DC Diesels Athern Blue Box models are great. They are inexpensive, reliable and durable. On EBay they commonly go for ~$30.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
thanks for all the replys

today i seen a athern kit with track and maybe 6-8 cars and loco with everything a man needs to get started at a little shop close by my house for $109 is that a good deal?
 

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thanks for all the replys

today i seen a athern kit with track and maybe 6-8 cars and loco with everything a man needs to get started at a little shop close by my house for $109 is that a good deal?
It is hard to go wrong with Athern. That price seems good from what I have seen. Mail order they go for that plus shipping.
 

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i guess ill go get that one. dont have to pay shipping and i can keep my money local plus the guy at the shop is a real nice guy so id feel better paying him than a website

thanks for all your help
 

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Good deal?

thanks for all the replys

today i seen a athern kit with track and maybe 6-8 cars and loco with everything a man needs to get started at a little shop close by my house for $109 is that a good deal?
I'd say so. Let's see.... If you were to buy all of this on an individual basis, the engine (depending what model it is) would most likely cost somewhere from $60 to $85. Each car, if they weren't on sale would be around $15 each. So for six cars, that would be about $90. Then the track. This of course totally would depend on what kind of design you had in mind. Plus a small transformer would cost between $25 to $40. Also, don't forget the wire. So, in the end, is $109 a good deal for everything you need to get started? Yup, I should think so.

Oh, don't forget to also purchase a TRACK ERASOR and a KADEE LOCOMOTIVE WHEEL CLEANER. These items are made to clean off the oxidation build up on your tracks and engine wheels, enabling your trains to keep running well.

Also, when you get a chance, browse through some of the "How To" books they have at your hobby shop. As you go along, the more knowledge you acquire about the different "how Tos" and "Whys" of model railroading, the more fun you'll have and the more money you'll save. Have fun and enjoy!!! Welcome to model railroading!

~JZ
 
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