New Gal

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Aberdabr, Nov 12, 2007.

  1. Ok, good thing that you're at least nailing SOME down lol...

    Try to put at least one nail in each piece of track.

    For later, when you're thinking about roadbed, cork is the traditional way to go, but, if you want to run a bit quieter, get the Woodland Senics's special stuff. It really dampens the noise of the wheels!

    A link to their site with info about the roadbed stuff

    NOTE: They use frames, so if the page looks a bit weird, just remove everything but the www. and find it with their navbar on the left.
  2. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    Hi Aberdabr! :wave: Welcome aboard!! It's great to see another woman getting into the hobby!! You will find the folks here very friendly and helpful - so you've come to the right place.

    When I got started in the hobby 4 or 5 years ago, I was totally clueless. I haunted this board and my LHS (local hobby shop) and I learned a lot. Of course I'm still learning! That's the great thing about this hobby - you can get as far into it as you want to, and there's always new ground to explore.

    Diesel's links will be a great start, as well as the advice to go at your own pace.

    Couplers come in 2 basic varieties: horn hook, which you'll find on beginner sets, and knuckle couplers which look and operate more like the real thing. There's a dizzying array of different knuckle couplers out there. Most people seem to use Kadee #5.

    Laying track directly on plywood produces a fair bit of noise, which is why you'll hear a lot about "roadbed". That's typically cork, or the newer Woodland Scenics foam. Also, some plywood (especially the cheaper Home Depot stuff) can have a very hard surface -- too hard for the little rail spikes to be pushed into. I learnt that the hard way! LOL!

    Anyway, good luck with your project and remember the Gauge motto: there is no such thing as a stupid question. :D :D :D

  3. Aberdabr

    Aberdabr New Member

    Well I am just so happy I found this forum and feel so welcome here! Thank you All! So I know to nail all the track down. :thumb: I have seen the cork and have plan to work that into my permanent structure. This year I dont think I have the time to do it the best way. I so many different tracks that all HO but different. I havent even had my dad over yet. I did buy some supplies but of course the manager wasnt in at my first stop at a store and the kid behind the counter knew the store and knew trains but when I was telling him I was really clueless on what I am doing he said "The Manager will be in tomorrow" so I looked around for about an hour. Then came home with the book "HO Railroad from start to finish" a model railroader book by Jim Kelly :confused: I still not getting the "teaching" I need I still can not connect my train together I am so afraid of breaking the couplers.wall1

    Well I am busy reading here and trying get back to the store every chance I can get.

  4. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!


    be careful to not nail in any track section to tight. the nails should only be just barely touching the tie, to low to get caught on any equpiment. otherwise, its ok for the track to be loose, this will let it settle. nailing the track down to hard will slowly over time yank the track out of gauge. This happened on my layout, and about a year or two later i had to spend allkinds of money replacing track with extreme dips in them because of to tight nails!

    Some actually use glue with much success. Unlike the heavy duty O scale Lionel trains, HO scale trains won't put to much force on the rails, so you should be fine with just tacky glue, and maybe a nail here and their to hold everything in place.

    Again, using EZ track or cork might not be a bad idea.

    Again, if you can get us pictures, we can see exactly your set up, and tell you everyting you need to know about your specific pieces of equipment.
  5. Stu McGee

    Stu McGee Member

    Hello and Welcome Aberdabr,
    Well the kids, aged 24 -27 fight ove the "Christmas in the City" It is now a 16' by 2' L that goes in the dining room. It is seanonal and thw catzillas love to walh though. The HO has moved to the basement now that the basement is dry and is a wrap around. Back with Studio 56, the ez track is a sweet solution for many things, Think about a reserving circuit to run the trains and consider On3, it uses the HO track but looks better with the City. As you might guess the "trains" are taking over the dining room, the downstairs studio, and with luck the TV room once I convince how "cute " a big old trolley would look running along the wall. Again welcome and the only dumb question is the own not asked.
  6. Aberdabr

    Aberdabr New Member

    Hello and Welcome Aberdabr,
    Well the kids, aged 24 -27 fight ove the "Christmas in the City" It is now a 16' by 2' L that goes in the dining room.

    I hope to have my village about 10' x2' can a small track make a small turn like that?

    It is seanonal and thw catzillas love to walh though. The HO has moved to the basement now that the basement is dry and is a wrap around. Back with Studio 56, the ez track is a sweet solution for many things,

    Okay ez track can some one please tell what is the diffence? How do I know what I have? The pictures are coming!
    Think about a reserving circuit to run the trains and consider On3,Now I am really lost? What is On3?:confused:

    it uses the HO track but looks better with the City. As you might guess the "trains" are taking over the dining room, the downstairs studio, and with luck the TV room once I convince how "cute " a big old trolley would look running along the wall. Again welcome and the only dumb question is the own not asked.

    Well I hope are really nice set that I can leave my kids (my kids fight over) when I am gone in about 40 years. So I am in no rush but I just want to do it right. Though I am trying to convince hubby to change our exercise room into a train room. :twisted:

  7. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    You might be introuble there. 2 feet is not enough room for any HO scale radius. the smallest turn is 15", which turns out to be a 30" diameter, and i'm not sure your trains would run on that. You need atleaste 3' 6" for 18" curves, the standard small curve. I personally try to stick to 22" radius, which needs about 4 feet wide.

    The other solution is to instead pick up a trolley, or my personal favorite, some RDCs (rail diesel cars. they are like self propelled passenger cars), and wire up the track so that they run back and forth automatically, making station stops on each end. circuits for this are available, and i'm pretty bachmann sells track that is ready to go with automatic directional change.

    This is EZ track. it comes in to varieties, Steel and Nickel Silver. Steel rail tends to gather dirt and grime faster, so i'd opt for Nickel Silver. You can tell the difference, because Steel has a black road bed (foreground) and Nickel Silver has grey roadbed. The bevelled stone roadbed is part of the track, and it has interlocking ends that hold the track together. Its PERFECT for these kinds of set ups, as you can see from last year's tree. (Also in the picture to the left is the Classic Lionel set. No tree should be without one of these, and they always have great value in the future)


    I'm pretty sure you have Atlas Snap Track, which is what i use on my layout. If it says Atlas, you have Atlas track. We just reccomend Bachmann EZ track for your christmas tree display. using the snap track on a surface like your plywood board is fine.

    Snap track looks like this track, except with black ties (usually). my track is mounted on cork pads.


    It is the next scale up, O scale (the size of Lionel and such), yet it has whats called Narrow gauge trucks. What this means is that the wheels are closer together, so that they run on HO scale tracks (which are half the size of O. Hence, "Half-O" =HO). In real life, some small shortlines do run on tracks smaller than the standard 4 foot 8 inches, and so its not entirely unrealistic.

    On3 is popular for christmas trains because they are bigger but have smaller tracks and store away easier (or atleast thats my guess). Personally, i dislike the appearance of most On3, although they are often more finescale than your average diecast Steamer set, but its your railroad.

    Aww! hey, don't worry about 40 years from now, lol. with expirience, you can eventually set up a great railroad. while we are on the subject of quality sets, try to pick up things by Athearn, Walthers, Atlas, and Bachmann. they usually have reasonable quality to them without busting the bank. The biggest rule in this hobby is You Get What You Pay For.
  8. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I'll back up a bit on the track.
    Train sets come with sectional track -- pieces about 9" long that go together to make an oval (or something better). There's usually a little metal doohickey on the rail at each end that goes onto the rail in the next section. This lines up the rails and carries the current (for the first 6 months). The first successful track was Atlas's Snap Track, and we often call any sectional track Snap Track. This was just rails and plastic ties (Ties are the things that go across and hold the rails together or apart). Then some companies started to put the track up on plastic bases and added locking devices to hold them together. EZtrack. LifeLike, Kato, and Atlas, except that they all picked a different locking device. The old style snap track will join with most of these but needs about 1/4" of packing to make it the same height.
    There are questions about the quality of switches in some of these lines.
    Having rail joints every 9" leads to electric problems -- the rail joiners loosen with use and the train slows down on the far side of the loop.
    The next step after sectional track is flexible track and scale (or numbered) switches. Flexible track comes in 36" sections and can be bent and cut. After that is handlaying -- we'll talk about that next week.
  9. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah


    Narrow gauge: the spacing between the rails on most North American and European railroads is 4 feet 8 1/2 inches and this is called standard gauge. Rails laid wider than this are called broad gauge or wide gauge. Rails closer are called narrow gauge. Narrow gauge trains are cute. :mrgreen:

    Standard gauge comes out to 1 1/4" in O scale and 16.5mm or about 5/8" in HO scale.
    The best known narrow gauges are 3 feet in Colorado and 2 feet in Maine.
    A model of Colorado narrow gauge in HO is called either HOn3 or HOn36; in O scale On3.
    Some people fudge a bit and model O narrow gauge on HO track (HO narrow gauge on N track) because the mechanisms are there. This is called On30 or HOn30 because that's about what it represents. there's now quite a bit of commercial support for this; Bachman does a lot.
    This lets you model a larger scale in the space of a smaller one.
  10. O is the next scale my FOOT!

    You forgot both S scale and the little-known TT scale!

    Shame on you, GEC!
  11. PWRR-2207

    PWRR-2207 Rogue Islander


    Atlas has a website with some good information and pictures of their products (Atlas Model Railroad Co.). It sounds like you have these type tracks (Atlas Code 100 Snap Track):

    Atlas Code 100 Snap Track.jpg

    and hopefully a few of these (Atlas Code 100 Snap Track Turnout):

    Atlas Code 100 Snap Turnout.jpg

    Since you are planning on using a piece of plywood, I would not go wild buying other stuff and work with what you have for now.

    Getting the train turned around so you can just let it run in a loop is nice but if you cannot afford four feet of space, there are other options such as putting the train to work loading and unloading stuff (aka 'switching') or concentrating on creating a stage for the train to appear on (aka 'scenery' such as the village you are planning). Atlas even has some track layout plans you can use as a starting point with the tracks you have (Atlas HO Code 100/Code 83 Layout Gallery)

    While I am glad to hear you want to 'do it right the first time', please do not obsess over it as this is supposed to be a 'hobby' and hobbies are for 'the fun side of our creative natures', right?
  12. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    In the realm of christmas displays Who runs TT? and S scale? when did the last American Flyer trainset come out? I mean, we're talking realistically here.
  13. Stu McGee

    Stu McGee Member

    Hey my first was S gauge American Flyer with a PA type locomotive. I filled the dining room table which is I guess why it was moved to the basement.
  14. I run S scale, my dad has an original Gilbert American Flyer!

    AND my local hobby shop JUST GOT A NEW S SCALE SET IN! "Who runs S scale indeed!"

    Plus, I just talked to someone TODAY who runs TT scale!
  15. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    On30 became popular around 10yrs ago when Bachmann released a couple train sets. It was intended not only for model railroaders, but also for the holiday village crowd. Many people confuse On3 (my scale) with a couple posters in this thread did prior to 60103. On3 is only for advanced model railroaders...while On30 is fine for novices. Any scale can provide interesting things for people of advanced skills...just not all are suitable for beginners.

    I have a friend, she's probably 45, and she's coming over on Sunday to talk trains with me...she wants a suspended from the ceiling railroad. Her husband doesn't really care...which is the same as my wife. It is cool how hobbies can be so intergenerational. I'm 24.

  16. Santa Fe Jack

    Santa Fe Jack Member

    Have her visit my web site. I love that arrangement!
  17. b28_82

    b28_82 Member

    I would also recommend finding a model railroad club in your area if there is one and checking it out if not joining it. It is a great way to stay motivated as well as a good way to get hands on experience/training.
  18. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    I think she wants something like the shelf systems from LGB or like Mexico has (a poster from Mexico with a similar 3-rail O-gauge setup). But, I'll mention your it is a great concept.
  19. Stu McGee

    Stu McGee Member

    Joining a club, something on my to do list, and having a great local hobby store, so I drive 30 minutes to Sattler's, I have come back and am buildingan around the room type with DCC. I had my daughter try out the controls on my 0-8-0. One ring of the bell and she was hooked. Seems she would like to work on scenery....
  20. CNWman

    CNWman CNW Fan

    Welcome to the Gauge! If I may ask, what does your locomotive look like? Some mfg.'s can be associated with trains because of how they're made

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