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Had a great time walking around checking out what was for sale. Movng from HO to N has been an interesting study in something, just not sure what yet.
In my travels I did discover the older Atlas and especially Bachman were not so good. I can attest to Bachman as I have a locomotive that is in essence dead and down from the early 70's.

As an experiment in terror, I picked an older Atlas F3 A Unit for $30
and as it turns out a Bachman B Unit for $10. The Bachman B Unit is just a smidge bigger. Up close you can see it, from a distance not so much. Also picked up 2 Kato CA Zephyr passenger cars for $10 ea for testing curves.
The engine runs very smooth after I cleaned up the rear wheels. They were pretty filthy, so I am guessing those are the pickup wheels. All the others were bright and shiny.
My goal was just to get some things that were inexpensive for the moment so as I progress through the layout I have something to test with. Once I have everything running smooth, then I will purchase much higher quality locomotives and add to the Kato rolling stock
So with a little fun at the show, it is time to start setting up the layout
I have a space 3' x7', and think about a multi level with one of the levels completely independent. I love the Tehachapi area with all the tunnels, so I will take a hard look at what I can do there..
Modeling the loop might be difficult with the space I have, so I will take some "artistic" liberties
 

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Good deals! Was it crowded? I was hoping to go but had family events and had to miss both days. Your layout sounds like fun - Tehachapi Loop is a California classic. I drove out to Antelope Valley one spring years ago for the California poppies and ended up watching the freight trains grind around the loop for a couple hours. I am planning a desktop 60x30 inch N scale layout and have been looking at some of the rabbit warren layouts however they are mostly for tiny 0-4-0s that can handle those steep and tight grades and curves.

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Good deals! Was it crowded? I was hoping to go but had family events and had to miss both days. Your layout sounds like fun - Tehachapi Loop is a California classic. I drove out to Antelope Valley one spring years ago for the California poppies and ended up watching the freight trains grind around the loop for a couple hours. I am planning a desktop 60x30 inch N scale layout and have been looking at some of the rabbit warren layouts however they are mostly for tiny 0-4-0s that can handle those steep and tight grades and curves.

Dave
Dave,
it was crowded, and what amazed me were the number of kids there. I was looking over some new Kato sets and a boy about 11-12 got all excited over one, and said this is a pretty rare set. No idea what it was, and his Dad was saying he had an incredible eye for detail and notices thing he does not. I just chuckled.
It was great to see the kids getting involved.
My friend and I have been to the loop multiple times, went to Keene and Roseamond to see the wildflowers and a couple of trains came by. In our initial visit we only saw two trains on the loop then realized these were headed there, so we jump in the car and got there just in time to see multiple trains going through or waiting to go through. But it is the tunnels after the loop that I really like and want to model.
There is a Pleasanton Show March 21/22 that I will most likely go to to pick up track and scenery materials and who knows what else. I am sure it is the exact same vendors but hopefully stock changes.
I am concerned myself about the curves for the 85' passenger cars and have come to the conclusion I may have to have completely separated loops/whatever due to the curves, as I want a multi level layout.
You are more than welcome to join me.
I am at 85 & Cottle
 

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Small world! I am also at 85 and Cottle! I'm definitely up for the Pleasanton show - PM sent.
 
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