Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by trainwhiz20, Aug 12, 2004.

  1. trainwhiz20

    trainwhiz20 Member

    Hey everyone!

    I was just curious about some HO locomotives. What are some of the best brands? I've heard good things so far about Life-Like P2K and Atlas, although I don't see many of their trains in stores.

    I have various equipment that was donated to me by other modelers who were "tired", per se, of the train and gave it to me. These include a few larger steamers and some frieght cars. However, I did recieve a Western Maryland Bachmann Spectrum Consolidation 2-8-0 that didn't run. I sent it back to Bachmann and am hoping for the package to come back with a brand new AT&SF Consolidation! :D

    I'm trying to limit my rolling stock and such to the Santa Fe RR, during the 50's. I like smaller diesels, like Geeps, but have a heart for the good old steam trains. Branchline operations interest me, so that would be a future thought for a layout. (A fictional ATSF branchline.. hehehe!) Just the sight of a consolidation pulling a small string of passenger cars to a halt at the local depot, or a small frieght for local switching, is beautiful! ;) Or even a long passenger train rumbling through the town to the next Union Station is cool too.

    Right now, I have an extremely TIGHT budget (the problem with being a teen), and am on the lookout for a locomotive. Does anyone know where I can find a good (but cheap) ATSF Geep in Santa Fe's Zebra Stripe Scheme? Something like a GP 7 or GP 40....
    What about some reasonably priced passenger cars?
    A Santa Fe doodlebug for branchline service?

    Another thing... I haven't hooked it up yet, but I recieved the Atlas DCC system. It was the "two-set" combo, with the generator and power pack. Obviously, I need to install an Atlas Decoder in the locomotives. So my guess is I'm looking for engines that are DCC ready, correct? I think the decoders run about $30, maybe.

    Thanks guys! I really appreciate all the help! (Yeah, I'm not a new model railroader, but I'm finally deciding to try and get off my lazy bum and build a layout. I just need some incentive! :thumb: I've had Lionel for so long, I don't know too much about DCC or HO locomotives. I just want to be careful, and not spend my money on the wrong thing. For that, I come to you!)

    Thanks in advance!

    Yours Truly, A Young Railroader,

  2. NYC-BKO

    NYC-BKO Member

    Check with Trainworld they might still have some P2K GP-7's in the Zebra stripes for about $30.
  3. Dick Elmore

    Dick Elmore Member

    Brian's right. Check out Trainworld for the geeps. For inexpensive and reliable passenger cars, buy Athearn and put Kadee couplers and P2k brass wheelsets on them. That should give you a pretty good starter set. You can upgrade at a later date. By the way, there's a lot of us modeling the 50's Santa Fe so you're in good company.

    Texas Chief :wave:
  4. CNWGP38

    CNWGP38 New Member

    I buy Athearn Blue boxes, they run forever, I have some Kato, Atlas and P2k also, but I buy mostly athearn because I'm in college and can't spend what I want.
  5. 1950s Santa Fe

    Where's your Warbonnet F-unit?

    Also, did you look at that trackplan I posted in the track planning forum?
  6. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Devon,Check around on the internet shops sometimes they have close outs.
    Be sure to check www.modeltrainstuff.com
    This is MB Klien.A great company to do business with and they have your P2K Santa Fe GP9s for $29.99. A great price. :thumb:
    The P2K GP9s is DCC ready..:thumb:
  7. trainwhiz20

    trainwhiz20 Member



    Thanks guys for all your help!

    SS- Yeah, I saw the trackplan. I'm sorry, I was kinda being rude by not posting. I was waiting for more replies... Anyway, nice trackplan, but I'm not sure now I can build a layout. My parents don't want to deal with it, and they think I'm too lazy to start it. I've been armchair modeling for oh so how many years now...
    I wish I had a Warbonnet, but nope. No money! That new Walthers set does look pretty sweet...

    I've got a few steamers, about 5 heavyweights, 4 streamliners, etc. A few frieght cars too... Also some other roadname equipment...

    brakie- I saw the GP9's, but I don't know if they're Zebra Striped. Would I be able to install that Altlas decoder easily? Of course it's DCC ready... lol... I can probably wrestle the money together for that....

    Thanks guys! I appreciate all the help! If only I were rich! (Who doesn't say that?):rolleyes:

    Yours Truly,

  8. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    You could always build a shelf size switching layout. I have 5 turnouts and a doubleslip switch all packed into 62" of three track mainline on a 30" x 72" module---I have seen as many as eight on the same sized module. Put it on casters, roll it in and out from under the bed, you won't hurt for space or bucks that way.

    Check this out. This is the layout my module is based on...

  9. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Devon,The P2K locomotives is set up for plug and play decoder installation.
    Btw you may be surprise of how many young and some older modelers doesn't know the P2K locomotives are DCC ready except the Alco S1 but,you just need to isolate the motor from the frame so I read.
  10. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    For decoder installation instructions go to www.loystoys.com, they specialise in dcc. They will do custom installations and they also have instructions on their site for a lot of applications. Decoders are interchangeable from brand to brand, so you can buy the least expensive ones you can find for what you want to do. I use the "T-1" from Loys Toys. I usually buy 5 at a time for the discount, but 1 is about $20.00 I think.

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