New to HO & What Engine!?!

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by jawharp1992, Apr 10, 2007.

  1. jawharp1992

    jawharp1992 Member

    O.K. For the past two years, I've been trying to get an N scale layout set up in my room. I just haven't had enough time or money. I'm only 16, and it's hard to do stiff like this when you have school, a job, and a car to pay for.

    A couple days ago, I found some used Atlas and Bachmann Code 100 track that the local train club gave me when I visited them about 4-5 years ago. My uncle gave me some old cars, too, but they have the hook couplers instead of the knuckle couplers. The engines he gave me were crap, too, and we tried working on them and decided to get a new engine.

    Now, does anybody know where to get a good HO engine for under $50? Possibly on the internet, because all the local hobby stores sell cars and airplanes.


    Oh! Don't think I don't know anything about model trains. I've been helping my dad out, so I'm not new to the hobby, just new to HO.
  2. CRed

    CRed Member

    Here's tour best bet right here....

    I've heard they're good and Proto 2000 engines are probably the best bang for the buck out there.They look great and run even better and they have a good selection of models $50 and under.

    Oh,and the Proto 1000's aren't bad either.

  3. CCT70

    CCT70 Member

    You can get Athearn Blue Box engines for under $50 all the time, in fact, you can get two for that price on E-bay. Alot of folks knock the Athearn Blue Box, but they are good solid runners and VERY easy to maintain. Good for learning on as they disassemble/reassemble very easily.

    After 26 years in teh hobby, that's what *I* recommend. Protos are GREAT locomotives as well. So are Walthers, Atlas, and Athearn R-T-R and Genesis. But for $50, get a couple of Athearn Blue Boxes is my recommendation.
  4. CRed

    CRed Member

    I guess it matters how important detail and DCC is to you.If you don't care about detail and don't plan on going DCC there's nothing wrong with Athearn BB or the basic Atlas models,If you do care about detail and DCC Proto 2000's are the best deal out there IMHO.As long as it isn't crap like the LL and Bachman low level stuff you're O.K.,but you probably already know not to buy that junk.

  5. CCT70

    CCT70 Member

    I agree with CRed, but then again, my personal preference is to detail Athearn Blue Box myself, and with a few bucks, a few hours and a little patience, an Athearn BB can be just as nice as a Proto. CRed does make a valid point with DCC and the better mechanism being under the Proto, but you can really tune up an Athearn BB too. I have a VERY old (one of the first "true" SW-1500's Athearn made back in the 1990's) that I took apart and tuned and it runs like an Atlas now. My point is that while I agree with everything CRed said, Athearn BB are great beginners engines to learn on and should therefore be considered.
  6. jawharp1992

    jawharp1992 Member

    I've looked around the web for all of those engines and found some like the one's you've recomended, and I found some I really liked. They are all Athearn models. The last three are the same, since I really liked the style. Here are some links. Oh, and please tell if this site is a good site to purchase from.

  7. rekline

    rekline Member

    I have purchased a couple of Athearn BB and love putting them together. I paid about $35 for an undecorated GP60 and once I am done putting it completely together, I will post a pic for every one. It seems to be a good runner and I found on the digitrax sight a method for converting it to DCC. I have bought some stuff from discounttrainsonline and they seem to be good at shipping quickly. My order took just about a week from when it was placed. Hope this helps.
  8. Justin

    Justin Member

    Bluebox Athearn, newer B-mann, or Walthers Train Line.
  9. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Let's go one better that has excellent prices and highly reliable.
  10. jawharp1992

    jawharp1992 Member

    Thanks for the sites and opinions/comments. I've came up with a layout idea that I think should suit my purpose of a beginner HO layout. I have all the track peices from that train club except for the #4 right hand turn.

    If you notice the name, I was tired when I was finished and couldn't think of anything.

    Attached Files:

  11. Kanawha

    Kanawha Member

    Its a nice design, but that upper spur is gonna have one heck of a turn radius. Looks like about 15" from here. Are you running mostly short equipment?
  12. jawharp1992

    jawharp1992 Member

    All the curves are 18", and the lowest switches (2 of them) are #4.
  13. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    If you run clockwise around the layout, the bottom set of spurs will be trailing point, but the top one will be a facing point. You have no run around track on the layout, so you don't have a way to get the locomotive behind the cars you want to push into that spur. If you run counter clockwise, the bottom set of spurs become facing point with the same problem. If you make a passing siding on the top of the layout, and bring the top spur off of the passing siding, that solves the problem. It will require 2 more #4 turnouts.
  14. toptrain1

    toptrain1 Member

    other people have said the same thing. ATHEARN BLUE BOX LOCOS.
  15. jawharp1992

    jawharp1992 Member

    hows aboot this

    Attached Files:

  16. CRed

    CRed Member

    Looks good to me,in fact I'm going to do somethimg similar just larger with a 6x12 or so w/30" radius' layout.

  17. That actually looks really cool.

    I'd have to stick to about 22-24 radiuses due to my IHC passenger stuff, but that'd work for me too!

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