Getting Started

Discussion in 'G / O / S Scale Model Trains' started by mbb741, Dec 23, 2006.

  1. mbb741

    mbb741 New Member

    I am new to model trains. I am going to start with the O-gauge trains. My budget is btwn 300-600 dollars and space is not a problem. I also have a little bit of research and looked around online at prices. I have a massive basement to work with. I was thinking about getting a starter kit Lionel and if there are any suggestions of which one to get Im all ears or if theres another company, I am open to that as well. My other idea is just start from scratch, buy some track, an engine and a car, transformer and just wing it. Any ideas>????
  2. Dave Farquhar

    Dave Farquhar Member

    Welcome! A starter set is a good way to get started quickly because usually the cost of everything included in the box is much lower than the retail price of the individual parts. Keep in mind you can easily spend $50-$100 on lumber to build your tables (I think my two 4x8s cost me about $50 each to build) and buildings will cost you $20 and up each, so even if you start with a $160 starter set like the Pennsylvania Flyer, you can end up in the $600 neighborhood if you build elaborate scenery for it. Nothing wrong with that, of course. You can start small and build on as time and budget permit.

    So I'd definitely suggest getting a starter set and some other stuff to build a small world around it, and keep plenty of extra money to get the other things you need as you discover them.
  3. mbb741

    mbb741 New Member


    Thanks for the tip
  4. spankybird

    spankybird OTTS Founder

    Not only does Lionel have good starter sets, but so does MTH. Many of the MTH sets comes with PS2 engines, so they are command ready. This way when you expand your layout and add a command system like DCS, the engine already has the commad in it.

    The other thing about the MTH sets is there transformer (most of them are now the Z1000) is a 100 watt pure sin wave transfomer.

    Good luck with your purchase and be sure to enjoy this great hobby of toy trains. :thumb:

    tom :wave:
  5. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    I'll go with everything Dave said here. However, I will add that the new Lionel sets all come with Fastrack wich is more expensive than regular 3 rail track. Unless you want to burn a lot of extra money, look around for regular old track and just use the Fastrack in the sets for running loops around the Christmas tree.
  6. Dave Farquhar

    Dave Farquhar Member

    Good point. The track and switches for my 8x8 layout probably set me back less than $150 total. You can spend more than that on just two pair of Fastrack switches. I bought most of my track used. I paid 50 cents a section for my O27 straights (aside from what I already had), $1 per section for used O42 curves (O27 profile of course) , and I got lucky one day and scored a few of the O27 long straights for $1 each. And then I paid between $25 and $35 for each pair of switches.

    As long as it's clean, there's nothing wrong with used O27 track.
  7. Geno

    Geno Member

    I like Dave's gameplan for a starting a layout- when going with a starter set you have all of the basics in an economic package. You can't go wrong there. Lionel even has expansion packs for sets like the Pennsy Flyer and Southwest diesel Freight- making your first addition easy.


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