Don't know how I stumbled upon this forum, but I'm glad I did. I am new to this model train stuff, never owned one in my childhood, never had any interest in it...until now! The catalyst being my three year old son who wants a train for around the Christmas tree this year. (Do I do everything my kid asks? No, but this seemed like a good way to let him explore the hobby.) Having no experience whatsoever, I am clueless as to how to start. I have done some google searches and mysimon searches to find a low cost way to get started with a complete set. I know that HO is supposed to be one-half O and that N is smaller than HO. But that doesn't get me anywhere. I know space is a factor and my space is limited right now, but I don't want to lock myself into a smaller gauge (if that's the correct term) that may limit my options in the future. My boss, who had a train set when he was little, suggested HO since it is small, but not too small and has a large product base. I also have no idea concerning brand names - the only two I have heard of are Lionel and Bachmann. I have seen posts and other information that talk about Atlas, Athearn, and others, but don't know anything about them. My question is not "what should I start with" although anyone should feel free to offer his or her opinion about that, but my question is whether there is a resource on the internet that can give me some basic information about gauges and the various brands. I do not want a technical dissertation on the origina of model trains and a detailed explanation of how gauges and scales and determined. More like a "Dummies Guide to Model Trains"-type thing. Any help will be greatly appreciated.