New, Small N Layout

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by Killer R2, Dec 16, 2006.

  1. Killer R2

    Killer R2 New Member

    Hi. I'm new to the permanant layout idea, and I was wondering what I should do to get started. I have a space from about 2' x 4' to maybe 3'x5'. The smaller, the better. Oh, I don't have a lot of money, so I need to start off with under $100. Please, I NEED HELP! Thanks.
  2. Killer R2

    Killer R2 New Member

    Actually, I just measured my work space, and it's exaclty 4' x 3'9".
  3. Papa Bear

    Papa Bear Member

    Welcome to The Gauge, Killer! :wave: You've come to the right place. We have a lot of experienced, friendly, and thrifty modelers on this forum.

    Here is a link that I think would help you. It is a tutorial on how to build a small layout in a similar space to what you have. It starts out as a simple loop of track and grows into a fairly complex layout.

    I think the key is to start small and work your way up. Also, it's usually best to go for reliabilty even if you have to pay a little more. You don't necessarily need to go top of the line, just don't buy any junk because nothing will kill your interest faster than having stuff that doesn't run. Another thing is to read all that you can and don't be afraid to ask questions when you have them.

    Hope that helps.
  4. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

    Welcome to The Gauge Killer R2.
    I don't want to disappoint you, but in model railroading ( like in anything ) you get what you pay for. I won't suggest any cheap starter set .
    First, a decent train controller ( MRC Tech4 200 ) will cost you ariund 50 $
    Any decent Atlas locomotive is around $ 100 ( suggested price ).
    I didn't even mention a couple of boxcars and ... some tracks of course.
    Sorry, I can't help you with a $ 100 layout.
  5. Killer R2

    Killer R2 New Member

    Thanks for the help. I also forgot to mention that I already have a couple of engines, about 8 freight cars, and basic Bachmann transformer. Besides that, I have never done anything with a pemanent layout at all. I've alway's ran my stuff down at the club, and now I want my own layout, so I do know a little about model railroading. Well, the more help I can get, the better. Thanks!
  6. Killer R2

    Killer R2 New Member

    I've come up with an idea using Atlas code 80. It's from a website I found.
  7. Killer R2

    Killer R2 New Member

    sorry, that last reply didn't work. I'm still new to the sight, and I was trying to put up a picture. Sorry
  8. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

    OK, now we have some more information.
    Atlas code 80 is a good way to start. It is a good compromise between quality and cost, and it is available at any local hobby shop.
    Some tracks are more expensive , such as Kato unitrack and Peco.But Imho, Atlas code 80 is the best for a 1st permanent layout.
    You'll need a base for your layout, some plywood, or in my case a hollow core interior door.
    If you want some water ( for a bridge )such as a lake, a pond or a river, You' ll have to use some extruded styrene ( the pink or blue stuff used for buildings insulation ) on top of the plywood, or get some Woodland Scenics risers.
    Check KATY's N scale layout at:
    A real gem .
  9. Herc Driver

    Herc Driver Active Member

    I second Biased Turkey's idea about checking out Katy's Nscale's great and I'm still looking it over and applying his ideas to my own layout.

    There are plenty of good information right on this website. You might consider getting a trackplan book from Atlas or other track maker to mull over some plan ideas. Also, check out the past threads on what type of track to use (flex vs. snap or sectional track), DC vs DCC operations, what type of layout you'd like to run and build. It takes a while to finally decide what you want to do...but believe's easier changing plans on paper than taking whole sections of track and scenery apart when something doesn't quite turn out like you thought. Also, whatever scale you using, visit the manufacturer's websites like Atlas, Kato, Walther's for example...there is a lot of information about track, scenery, buildings, and of course engines/rolling stock that might spark ideas you haven't thought of yet that you'd like to incorporate into your layout.

    I know from experience on my own layout...I started quick and fast just to get something on a table for the kids and I to run without much I wish I would have planned much more and considered each building I wanted to add and how I wanted the overall "look" of the layout to be. I'm spending a lot of time going back over places once considered "done" and re-doing them to improve on my earlier and very unschooled efforts.
  10. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

  11. Herc Driver

    Herc Driver Active Member

    Biased turkey - hits a second homerun on the same thread!

    Another good website to check out Killer R2...I used that one myself but forgot to mention it.
  12. Killer R2

    Killer R2 New Member

    I went to the Atlas sight and downloaded the track planning program. I've come up with something like this. Gee, I hope I know how to put the pisture on this message. If there isn't a picture, I'm sorry. I'm still new to this sight.[​IMG]
  13. Killer R2

    Killer R2 New Member

    Well, I guess that didn't work. Sorry. Man, I feel like an idiot now.
  14. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Welcome to The Gauge:wave:

    Ahhhh...don't worry about it...we all started somewhere. Why, by golly, when I started model railroading, we were still using stone tools...(feels like that anyway when you compare what was available then to now:rolleyes: :D )

    You'd be amazed what a little patience and good old fashioned bartering can get you in the hobby so don't let the budget part set you back, I'd be surprised if I had more than $1500 into what I have and we're talking 50+ locomotives, 150+ cars and all the trimmings to go with it. I purposefully set out to keep my hobby costs low for our newlywed budget 15 years ago and it's since come to show new folks that came to the club and train shows what could be done with very little money. I dare say I probably have more fun with $10 in this hobby than some folks in my club have with the latest $400 DCC and sound equipped toy from BLI.
  15. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

    lol, it's funny because I never played baseball at all. Grew up in Europe ( soccer of course ), went to Brasil ( soccer of course ) , then to the States ( tennis and even touch football ) , then to Canada ( I even played ice hockey once )
    We don't even have a basaball team anymore here in Montreal , (remember the Montréal Expos ? )
  16. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

    Imho, the minimum layout is a loop with passing track and siding.
    ( is it a 3rd. homerun :) )
    It'll fit on a 24"x 40"
  17. pooka2hot4u

    pooka2hot4u Member

  18. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    I find this site to be particularly inspiring when it comes to small layouts.
  19. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    Yes, but most of them are for larger scales than N, though most often narrow gauge. You can find good inspiration, but you won't be able to use most of them exactly as-is.
  20. dwyaneward

    dwyaneward New Member

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