First layout

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by buffalo, Mar 12, 2007.

  1. buffalo

    buffalo New Member

    Hey everyone.
    A little background info about me/mydad: Had an HO layout (11'x4') for 5 or 6 years. 20 or so engines, most in mint condition, good quality. Alot of rolling stock, and tons of track/accessories. We recently moved in the last year or so and have finally gotten around to putting up a new layout. Thing is, we don't have as much room this time around, and have settled on a 4'x7' rectangle. After laying out some HO track, we noticed there wasn't enough room to meet our desires. And so we have moved onto N scale.

    We are farely new to the N scale scene. A few questions, first, and then I will post some pics of what we have acquired so far. I will update this thread with pics of the layout as it comes along, and will also ask questions, so check by often.

    What are good, quality brands for engines and rolling stock? We don't want to cheap it out. But we also don't want to spend a zillion $$ to get to started and build up our reserves of accessories. Is Bachmann OK to go with for a few engines? How do they pull? Do they last? What about Life-Like, and KATO. So far, I see Atlas and Kato are pricier, but seem to have more detail/better quality. Bachmann is very affordable. We don't mind buying Atlas or Kato if we can find a deal, but we would like to have other options as well.


    What we have so far:

    10 pieces of Atlas flex-track(code 80), alot of turns, and one switch (lol). At the advice of a LHS, we were told that the code 55(brown) atlas track was not made to perfection and would give us problems. So we went with Atlas. We will most likely be using WS foam for the roadbed, also at the advice of one of our LHS.

    1 Atlas Buffalo and Pittsburgh GP-38 #2000 $75 - the paint really attracted us, and it's local to us (we live just outside of Buffalo)

    4 Seaboard System Box Cars (in a set) $20
    1 CN flatbed car $10

    Our main idea is to have 2 or more main lines going around the main perimeter of the layout. Also a switch-yard, and some industry. I like the idea of a coal plant, or something, maybe even a mountain if we can fit that in there too.

    Pics of the board:


    What do you think so far? Also, we plan on buying alot of stuff on ebay since we seem to see cheaper prices and better deals. Please, look at my questions in bold and thanks for the help.
  2. Palmisano

    Palmisano Member

    I too went to N scale after a layout in HO years ago. You have a 4X7 which is actually quite alot to fill with N scale. You might want to check out a few track plan books by Atlas for some ideas. Alot of their plans are great for small layouts. I think it's good to start simple especially when changing scales, just to get a feel for the scale and decide how you like it before investing alot of space, time, and money.

    Kato and Atlas are about the best you can get in ready to run engines. It's betters to have one or two great running/looking locomotives than a whole bunch of crappy ones. The same with rolling stock.

    Good luck and post some photos when you get going.
  3. berraf

    berraf Member

    Hi buffalo!
    Glad to see another n-scaler come to live :)
    To me it seems like you have a good start with a good trackplan to start with.
    My experience is that Atlas and Kato are very good brands but even cheaper locos can work fantastic.
    I don't know how you will buy the material but if you can test the locos before buying them you will be able to make your own opinion about them. If you buy online you miss this chance ;)
    Hope to see more from your work soon :)
  4. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

    Hi, welcome buffalo.
    A 4' X 7' layout is a very good size.

    I have an Atlas GP7 and I'm very satisfied with it, it runs very smoothly at low speed and it's very silent ( maybe too silent to my taste. By definition trains are noisy right ? )

    My 1st locomotive was a Life Like GP18 Proto-N serie. It runs nicely for 6 months then started to develop current pickup problems at the axles. It took me 2 evenings of work to fix it but now it runs as good as before.

    I don't know about Bachmann quality and I'm ready to order a Kato switcher.

    Rolling stock: I like Atlas and Micro-trains.
    I have some Intermountain boxcar but check carefully if you buy them because som come with non Micro-trains style couplers.

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