"New" layout

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by screwysquirrel, Jul 7, 2003.

  1. A friend who I mentioned the train bug to offered the N-scale set he had in his attic, unused for 10+ years.

    It's just bare plywood, but its a start. 2 ft x 3ft, its a twice around over & under figure 8. looks like its got a lot of potential once the track gets cleaned up and a couple dents get fixed.

    the Burlington Northern diesel, a trolley, and a custom-painted 0-6-0 steamer are the best overall locos available.

    its wired for multi-train ops, but there are no passing sidings (yet)

    here's a couple pictures

    Attached Files:

  2. 'nother pic

    another pic

    Attached Files:

  3. the_great_snag

    the_great_snag New Member

    Hello again Screwy!

    That is one nice friend you have! That layout is simple, but well-designed. It appears to be very well contructed as well. It just screams out for some plaster work to hide the cookie-cutters and risers.

    I would recommend you get it up and running and use it to practice scenery techniques with until you get the bug to design and build your own layout. Then you can do your double-track if you want. I've found it's hard to concentrate on more than one train at a time anyway! lol

    You might also consider DCC if multi-train ops are important to you. Contact me off-list if you want more info about it.

    Here are a few other standard things I "preach" to guys just getting back into N again:

    1. Buy knuckle coupler cars and locos. Rapidos are disappearing fast, and having different couplers on the same layout is a pain. I'd start knuckle and stay knuckle. Atlas and the other quality rolling stock makers don't even sell their cars with Rapidos anymore, and their older stuff with Rapidos is getting scarcer!

    2. Get your locos DCC ready or DCC equipped whenever possible. You will probably want to switch eventually. This will save you headaches if you think about it now.

    3. Seriously consider buying a DCC. It makes even single loco ops more enjoyable, as you can control functions, such as turning lights on and off, etc. The wiring is ridiculously easy compared to DC as well!

    4. Treat yourself to at least one good quality loco in the road you like best. You will operate more if your loco runs well. Along that same vein. Try to stick to some sort of prototype. It's tempting to "collect" all the colorful locos out there, but you'll probably regret it if you eventually decide on one or two roads to model, as most of us do. You can only have so much run-through and "leased" power on your layout after all... lol

    5. Do your collecting with rolling stock. Most roads ran a hodge-podge of home road and foreign road cars, so a mixture that is compatible time-period-wise makes sense and is more fun. Seems most guys do the exact opposite though for some reason. They collect locos from all over creation and buy only their favorite one or two roads when it comes to rolling stock!


    Hope this helped you... lol
  4. csxengineer

    csxengineer Member

    great advice.

    great advice. especially the part about the knuckles. It was the one thing I put on back burner, until it came back to bother me. A small suggestion, when looking at the amount of track like that in a small space may look unprototypical for trains, it is better suited for a trolley line with it's steep grades and curves. Just a thought, but you may like the advantages.
  5. MagicMan_841

    MagicMan_841 Member

    That's a nice gift from an obviously nice friend! :) Considering the grades and curve radius, I would stick to 4-axle locos and 50' and less cars. Actually, 40' cars would look even better. As noted before by the_great_snag, get yourself one good loco instead of 2-3 of poorer quality. You can get the Life-Like GP20 which is very nice for cheap (seen as low as 19.99$). I own a Life-Like SW1200 which runs like a dream and was affordable. I've heard good words about their BL-2s and newer run FA's. If you can afford it, any recent Atlas or Kato release is a good buy. I would also consider getting a good used loco (run before you buy of course). I see you also have a MRC Tech series power pack. They are probably the best DC packs you can get, plus you don't have lots of turnouts switches to power.

    If I had been given the layout, I'd problably get a load of Atlas ore cars and a Geep to pull them. Then I'd build some mountain scenery and you have the 2 sidings needed to build mines. This is just MY idea, of course:D :D :D
  6. A new photo

    well, this is a picture of most of the working stock.

    I count 5 boxcars (though some may be reefers), 3 Covered hoppers, 1 gondola, and 2 Cabeese (one grey, one red). 1 Burlington/Northern green FS9 (I think, you see it just exiting the right in the picture, and the custom painted little 0-6-0 you see on the lower track

    Not pictured are 6 more boxcars, a fuel tanker, a covered hopper and 2 reefers that need new trucks, as well as a 50 or 60 foot flatcar with what looks like sewerpipe segments and a dozen or so passenger cars, mostly in Union Pacific livery. The flatcar has a tendancy to derail in the sharp curves, so I'll likely not be using it, and the passenger cars just don't look right on the curves.

    In testing, the little steamer managed to climb the steep grade pulling at least 8 cars, while the Diesel managed 10. they may do better after track cleanup. Solo, the Steamer is actually a bit faster than the diesel.
  7. here's that photo

    gotta remember to attach the photo first :)

    Attached Files:

  8. MagicMan_841

    MagicMan_841 Member

    That's a nice little collection of cars you have there. Do the locos run ok?

  9. They seem to run just fine.
  10. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    A great way to start with a ready made layout. I wonder why your friend gave up on it.
    Now you just need some sceneiking.
  11. Keith 55

    Keith 55 New Member

    I think you scored, SS! The Powerpack should serve you well until you want DCC, the trackwork looks well-constructed and as long as you keep the trains (and each car) fairly short, probably won't give you any trouble. That's an interesting group of rolling stock. good luck!!
  12. Keith 55

    Keith 55 New Member

    SSquirrel, that BN loco has been bugging me since I saw the pics of your free layout. I could tell it wasn't an EMD F-unit and thought it looked like an ALCO FA2, but since BN didn't use ALCO cab locos, I just doubted my eyes. Well, it's an FA2 all right, and I just found that NScaleSupply is selling a used Model Power brand BN FA2 for $14.00. It's not "correct" but if you like it, you can get a spare-cheap! Have Fun!! - Keith-:D

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