I Now Have Money!!!

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Midnight, Dec 30, 2006.

  1. Midnight

    Midnight Member

    Well, right now, I have $128.97 and we are ordering an MRR book from Amazon. Before we do, though, I would maybe like some of you to check it and this MRR store that I found on Amazon.
    Basic Model Railroading: Getting Started in the Hobby
    Basic Scenery for Model Railroaders

    Train Sets Only @ Amazon.com - The first few things are, like, Brio and stuff but if you keep going down it looks like some quality items.

    I have another question, what type of track should I get? What kind connects the best to other types? Which is the cheapest for the best quality?

    Lastly, should I start with a starter kit or buy everything seperately? I've read that most starter sets are cheap quality locomotives and power kits. Is it true?

    EDIT: I found a MRR Shop about an hour away from where I live.

  2. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    If you are going to build a permanent layout, go with nickel-silver flex-track. This stuff will give you the most flexibility in layout planning and construction. If you are going to do some quick-and-dirty running and need to pack it away afterwards (like a circle around the christmas tree), get a circle of Kato Unitrack. Kato's Unitrack beats all the other brands of snap track (Atlas, Bachmann EZ Track, Powerloc, etc.) when it comes to ease of setting up and disassembly.

    It's best to buy the pieces separately, yes. Indeed, most starter sets do leave things to be desired such as the quality of track or locomotives. I would go with a quality engine from brands like Atlas, Athearn, Kato, etc., a DC power pack from MRC to get started, nickel silver track, etc.

    Hope this helps.
  3. Midnight

    Midnight Member

    Thank you... very informative!
    I have another question. What is a LokSound? I saw it in someone's signature. I've been seeing these things called Snap Kits. Are they any good?

  4. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I just looked at your link to "Train Sets Only" at Amazon, you don't want any of their electric train sets in ho scale. Whether Lifelike or Bachmann, the EZ Trak and Powr-Lok tracks that come with those sets is all steel. There is no indication of anything in nickel-silver on at tleast the first 3 pages of stuff I looked at. Steel track is the worst thing you can get. If you get steel, expect to spend 3 hours cleaning off corrosion for every 1 hour you get to run your trains. If there is a local hobby shop near you that has a train dept., you should go and see if there is someone knowledgeable there to help you out. In my opinion buying on line is ok if you know what you are ordering, but too many people selling trains on line, are totally ignorant about what constitutes a good train set. They are buying as cheap as possible to try to sell for a profit. Cheap is often more expensive in the long run by the time you spend the money needed to get it to actually function.
  5. Midnight

    Midnight Member

  6. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I'm on the other side of the country from you, so I can't comment on your local hobby shop, but I have a few general comments that may help you. When I first got interested in trains, I went to a small hobby shop in Long Beach, Ca. The guy didn't have much in the way of trains, mostly airplanes and rc cars. He had a few Bachmann and Lifelike toy trains, but he told me he didn't know much about model railroading and suggested that the Hobby Warehouse about 1 mile down the street did more with model trains. I went to the Hobby Warehouse and found people who were really helpful, and I've been going there for the last 20 years. Your best bet is to go in to the place and talk to the people in the train dept. You really aren't shopping for price at this point, more looking for knowledgeable people. Once you establish that they have people who are friendly and knowledgeable about model railroading, you can check prices. You will probably find the local hobby shop's prices to be a bit higher than what you willl find on the internet. Your local hobby shop will have a higher overhead to sales ratio than the big mailorder places in NYC or the big internet suppliers, but if we don't support local hobby shops, they won't stay in business. Here in So Cal, Long's Drug Stores allows each store manager to stock some sort of specialty item. The manager of the Marino Valley Long's was a train modeler, so he started stocking model railroad supplies. He was able to use the relatively vast resources of Long's to start a huge discount maillorder business. He even underwrote the molds for the Santa Fe ice bunker cars from Intermountain in exchange for a one year exclusive on the sales of the Santa Fe prototype reefers. For some reason, Long's decided to get out of the train business and the manager left and started Train Quest in Marino Valley, and started repeating the process. A bunch of local hobby shops that sold model train items in So Cal went out of business because everybody was driving to Marino Valley for the prices. Today Long's is out of the model railroad business, Train Quest has closed their doors, and so have a bunch of local hobby shops. Fortunatley we still have a few local shops including Arnie's who advertise here oin the Gauge.
  7. Midnight

    Midnight Member

    Okay, I'm going to start a Notepad document with all the things I need to have and all the things I want to have for my layout. Good idea?

  8. holdenburg

    holdenburg Member


    Thanks for your remarks... I am looking also at getting back in to help out my father with a surprise project. I have already purchased some N gauge. I did a lot with HO when I was young. I was even distressing and aging my paint jobs on buildings and cars when I was younger. Now, I am purchasing some C&NW N gauge as my father was a yard man and ticket man in Milwaukee. My uncle was a VP and has retired in Chicago. A long line of semi-relatives/friends were yard men that my father knew and worked with. All from my youth in Milwaukee and this is bringing back a lot of memories. My Dad took me to Butler Yard one snowy night and I got to run a switch engine for maby all of 15 feet. I never forgot it!

    I am not purchasing a starter kit and going to piece out the entire set. Nothing glamorous as I don' have a lot of room to work. This will be more nostalgia than anything else. I have not found out where the best N Gauge shop is in West Palm Beach but am continuing to look.

    I need to brush up on track now as this is the next step. I will check out the tracks you commented on.

    Thanks for your comments... :wave:

  9. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    I'll second what Russ B. told you.
  10. Midnight

    Midnight Member

    For the Amazon store, is the Woodland Scenics stuff any good? What about the accents like houses, buildings, people, and stuff? Also, do prebuilt layouts come already or with the parts? BTW, this is the loco I'm probably going to get.
    Sorry, if I'm bothering you with my uber ignorance...

  11. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    Wow, you sure aren't kidding around. That is a VERY nice loco. :thumb:

    Though personally I would recommend for beginners to get 4-axle locomotives such as Geeps made by Atlas... Those go around sharp curves more easily than 6-axle locomotives like that Kato SD40.
  12. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    Midnight: Woodland Scenics products work well for me. I haven't tried any of their pre-assembled stuff; however.
  13. Midnight

    Midnight Member

    About how much would that loco cost? WHOA! $134 for the blue one. Never mind about that one. Unless one of you would like to mail me a loco to use. :D Yeah, didn't think so. OK, most of the locos would use up most of my money. Do you think I should build my layout first then get a loco or vice versa?

  14. holdenburg

    holdenburg Member

    Night Job..

    Midnight, you can always get a night job!... If your like me, once I saw the engine demo on the Digitrax web site with the sound, I am holding out to buy a new engine with sound! :)

  15. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    Get that nice expensive loco first. That way you will have an incentive to build that layout so you will have somewhere to run it! :D

    Katos are very nice, but very pricy. I think they are more geared towards advanced modelers. If you want a nice cheaper model geared towards beginners, you might want to look into Athearns. Some of them can be had for under $30.
  16. Midnight

    Midnight Member

    Herb; I would. If I wasn't twelve years old. :\

    Tom; But if I do get the loco I won't have any money to buy anything else with. You said Athearn made beginner locomotives? I'll go look. Can't find'em. Link?

    Also, been looking on eBay and found some pretty cheap ones just wanting to check and see about the quality of'em.
    Athearn HO Scale GP 40-2 Railroad Locomotive Undec
    PROTO 2000 GP18 Diesel Locomotive with KD's
    American GK Locomotive Works HO E60CF Diesel Conversion

    Also again, is it true that you can something in steam locos to make them actually send up steam?

    Lastly, which is better. Steam or diesel? Or should I say which was the most active during the 60-70's?

  17. cnw1961

    cnw1961 Member

    Midnight, here is the link to the Athearn website: http://www.athearn.com/ . Stay away from the Genesis line, for they are expensive stuff.
  18. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

  19. Midnight

    Midnight Member

    Thank you, Tom! I'm thinking that I might get the first or second one on the page.

  20. Midnight

    Midnight Member

    Sorry to double post but just saying that my books should come today or tomorrow.


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