Another Newbie from England

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by Big Mark, Jan 1, 2006.

  1. Big Mark

    Big Mark Member

    Hi All from Sunny (yeah right!) England.
    Myself and my wife have fallen in love with N gauge.. We have never done ANYTHING like this before and dont even know how these things are controlled (2 trains on 1 track?).
    I have bought my wife a Farish, 57xx Panier tank 8700 (??) engine for Christmas and both she and I are now eager to start planing and building.
    Our ideas for a layout are a rural layout with 3 stations, a couple of small industry stops (like wood mill and coal depot) and a small shunting yard but we are looking to get it in 4ft by 3ft... any help, advice and general pointers are VERY welcome as we know NOTHING.
    Mark and Fiona
  2. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Mark & Fiona, welcome to the gauge. We're often a bit short on British modellers here, but we do what we can. I model OO, myself.
    4x3 is a bit small for 3 stations, unless you don't plan anything else.
    Controls: there are 2 competing control systems. DC is traditional -- 12 volts or less adjusted by resistance or transistence. One train per section and per controller usually, with tons of switches and wires to connect sections to the controllers. This is what most trains come set up to use.
    DCC is Digital Command Control -- all the track is one section and you connect two wires to it from the controller. :D Dial the loco number into the controller and set off. Someone else uses the other controller for the second locomotive. This does require you to put an electronic chip into the locomotive, wired between the motor and the track. Some locos come with them; some locos are ready for them; some locos have to have chips forced into them. (Shakespeare?) N is a bit harder because of its size.
    Another site to check is the Railway Modelling Web which is British oriented.
  3. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Welcome to The Gauge, Mark and Fiona :wave:
  4. Big Mark

    Big Mark Member

    Thanks or the welcome guys, DCC I had never even heard of that?? just did a bit of looking into it and its one I think for the future. I think a normal controller will be the way we go at first.
    As to the size...I have measured where I would like to put it and the measurement is 55"x22" how does this sound.
    So back to controllers, what am I limited to doing with a standard controller and does anyone recommend any specific ones?
    If you guys could give me your top 5 tips on starting out, what would they be?
    Mark & Fiona
  5. Chessie6459

    Chessie6459 Gauge Oldtimer

    Welcome To The-Gauge Mark & Fiona.:wave: :wave: Alot of nice people here.
  6. Will_annand

    Will_annand Active Member

    Welcome to The Gauge Fiona and Mark.

    4ft by 3ft in N scale is equivalent to 7x5 in HO or OO.
    If you plan for two loops around the outside one locomotive can contimually run on each loop.

    Good luck with your project and remember, The Gauge members love questions and photos.
  7. shortliner

    shortliner Member

    MJark and Fiona - welcome! I know you both want to dive in - but can i suggest you take a small side-trip and read through which will help to point you in the right direction, and give you some ideas - above all else, have FUN!
    Shortliner(Jack)away up here in the Highlands
  8. Big Mark

    Big Mark Member

    Hi All
    Thanks for the advice.
    Could I have an opinion or two on this layout (its my first attempt). I know the angles wont be correct but more looking at a concept than the specifics on the layout.
  9. tonyevans

    tonyevans Member

    Welcome Fiona and Mark. I am from Hayes in Middlesex . and I started just 2/3 weeks before you .I even bought the wrong train set (Ho) I thought that was a small one. now i have an "N" gauge:wave:
  10. Big Mark

    Big Mark Member

    Hi mate, glad I'm not alone in not really knowing what the heck I'm doing ;)
  11. Big Mark

    Big Mark Member

    Quick ammendment for better (easier) layout.
  12. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    We have a track planning forum that gets a lot of interest -- some of the guys don't even look at the N forum.
    Your plan has a few novice problems. Your points/turnouts/switches will probably not fit the way you've drawn them. Count that a short Peco point is about 5" long and the track diverges at 14 degrees. The loop at the bottom right has a few too many bends in it.
    I'm not sure what is available these days, but I like 3 books that Peco printed about 30 years ago - Track Plans and Plans for Smaller Layouts should fit your space. (My copies are so old that N isn't mentioned.)
    Check the magazines for shows. There seem to be a couple every weekend over there and you can see what can be done and ask questions and maybe buy stuff.
    Don't be in a hurry to make it permanent. Be prepared to put track down and then take it up again; rearrange villages before you put down full scenery.
  13. Pitchwife

    Pitchwife Dreamer

    Hi Mark & Fiona welcome to the Gauge. :wave:
    If you click on the Model Railroading Links in my signature and go to the How To & Layout Planning page there are a number of links for small layouts. Maybe they will give you some ideas, and don't be afraid of asking questions here. There's no such thing as a dumb question. Enjoy your new hoby! :thumb: :thumb:
  14. dr.5euss

    dr.5euss Member

    Hi Mark,

    My advice would be to get down to your local model shop, buy 3 or 4 track plan books and talk to the people there - hopefully they'll be enthusiasts and have some layouts themselves and know what they're talking about.

    I have a book by C. J. Freezer on designing a layout - you can probably get it on or similar and it's really useful.

    BTW, where in England are you from?

    'He who asks remains a fool for five minutes, he who doesn't ask remains a fool forever' Chinese proverb.
  15. Big Mark

    Big Mark Member

    Hi George,
    I'm in Wigan, Lancashire.
    I shall have a look on ebay and amazon tonight and see what I can pick up.
  16. tonyevans

    tonyevans Member

    Small world (excuse the pun) I lived in Warrington till I was 50 .Has Wigan still got a terrible Rugby teem??.[​IMG] do you remember Dallam Sheds.I stood there for Hrs watching the Trains shunting back and too.
  17. Big Mark

    Big Mark Member

    I'm not a Northerner by birth (only lived up here for 9 years) but they still play the wrong type of rugby up here....
    Why is it the more layouts you look at the more confused you get ;)
  18. tonyevans

    tonyevans Member

    I think British Rail said that long before you [​IMG] Just look at a few .Really, their all could pick any ,make a small alteration and then you feel that its all yours (Not Terry's)
  19. Big Mark

    Big Mark Member

    I have just picked up the PECO track plan book so I am well on my way now:D
    Should be able to get some good insperation from that!
  20. Big Mark

    Big Mark Member

    Really like this layout but it is spec'd in atlas and I dont know if I can get this in England, any ideas?
    Would also love to link the lower spur on the right onto the main line, could that be done?
    I will aslo post in layout section hope that is ok.
    Thanks in advance
    Mark and Fiona

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