A few questions from a noob.

Discussion in 'G / O / S Scale Model Trains' started by oldpaddy, Dec 25, 2006.

  1. oldpaddy

    oldpaddy New Member

    Hi all. After a year or two of hemming and hawing, Santa is going to bring my son a Lionel train set for Xmas. I can't wait to see the look on his face when he sees the Polar Express racing around the tree tomorrow morning. My Son's a little young for this (he's 3), but I figure this will be a great hobby to enjoy and share with him as he gets older.
    I'm planning on building a 4'x8' table in a spare room. Eventually adding another 4'x8' section down the road. Does anyone have any plans for a table? Preferably one attached to a wall?
    Due to fiscal restraints I'm not going to be able to buy new track any time soon, so I was thinking about buying a bunch of used track off ebay. What should I be looking for in used track? How do I clean it? What should I expect to pay for it?
    And if anyone has any tips or tricks they'd like to share with me, I'd love to hear them.

    Thanks all, and have a Merry Xmas.
  2. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Hi oldpaddy. Polar Express is a nice train; I bought my wife one 2 years ago.
    For more track: it comes with what Lionel calls Fasttrack. This is a neat track for beginner layouts as it clips together firmly. However it is expensive. It is also not compatible with any other track. Opinions on Fasttrack are polarized -- some love it and some hate it. There may be lots on eBay or at your dealers second hand table. None of it should be old enough to require cleaning. (If it does, it's been abused.)
    I found that I could fill a 4x8 table with only about 4 more straight sections. We haven't bought any switches yet.
    We don't suggest fixing a 4x8 to the wall; reaching the back is hard for most people.
    Lucky son. I didn't get my first electric train until I was 4.
  3. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    P.S. there may be table plans and ideas in the December/January model and toy train magazines. There are also a number of books on building a starter layout; some are more ambitios than what you need.
  4. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    Used track is just that, used track. From what I've seem of comments here on The Gauge, some people have gotten really well used track from Ebay.
  5. oldpaddy

    oldpaddy New Member

    I was thinking of using the fastrack that came with the set primarily for xmas layouts, and buying o27 for my permanent layout. The fastrack is too expensive and I don't care much for the look of it.
    Thanks for you input. :)
  6. spankybird

    spankybird OTTS Founder

  7. Dave Farquhar

    Dave Farquhar Member

    Oldpaddy, send me a PM before you buy any track. I have leftover O27 track from building my layout.
  8. oldpaddy

    oldpaddy New Member

    Thanks! :thumb: I most likely will be looking in a week or two. I'll PM you then to see if you have any left.

    You guys should have seen my son this morning. He was so excited! I practicaly had to rip him away from it so he'd open his other gifts. lol.
    I think I definitely made the right decision jumping into this hobby. I think this is going to be a lot of fun.
    I work at UPS, so I can't wait to eventually build a UPS train set.
  9. Dave Farquhar

    Dave Farquhar Member

    No problem, Oldpaddy. I don't think that track's going anywhere. Used track goes for too much on eBay this time of year. I'd rather set you up with something that I know is going to work for fair market rate.
  10. oldpaddy

    oldpaddy New Member

    Thanks Dave! I just sent you another PM. :wave:

    I have another question about track, I live on Cape Cod which is pretty humid with very salty air. So what's the best way to the maintain track?
  11. CNWman

    CNWman CNW Fan

    Look for a book called "Model Trains: Step by Step" It has a great 4X8 plan (I used it) for a table, but a forewarning: get the acompanied DVD. Why? the blueprint in the book is nice, but the DVD's way of doing it makes it better:thumb:
  12. Dave Farquhar

    Dave Farquhar Member

    Best way? Run trains on it! (Honestly.) In the midwest it's really humid, though not salty so I don't have that issue. But I run a dehumidifier in the summertime, when it's really humid. When small rust spots develop, you can use some Bar Keeper's Friend with a little water on a rag to clean those spots up. If you're really paranoid, get some Wahl oil and put a very thin coat of it on the track. A thin enough coat won't impede train running and will help repel the moisture.

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