New to model railroading

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by neb1211, Aug 7, 2004.

  1. neb1211

    neb1211 New Member

    Well I was helping my dad clean out the garage today as we are moving fairly soon and I found an old N scale layout of his. At first I thought nothing of it but as I was working the layout started to gain more and more of my attention. It is missing pieces of track but otherwise it is in fairly good shape. After about 20 minutes of looking at it I finally decided that I wanted to fix it up.

    The layout is built on a 4' by 6" table and consists of a double line figure eight. There are a few tunnels and mountains as well as a 5 track switch yard. The mountains were made with the yellow expanding foam that you buy in a can and were never painted. I will try and remember to take pictures next week after we get situated at our new home.

    I also found all of his old locomotives, freight cars, and passenger cars. I will have to buy a few new locomotives to get the setup up and running because the 4 locomotives that where his are not in the best working condition and 3 out of the 4 were smashed. There are about 50 assorted freight cars as well as a few passenger cars.

    This is my first real model railroad layout and I don't know much about model railroading. I used to have (and still do) have an old HO Bachman Set with a basic loop made with the Easy Track (or whatever it is called). As this is the only previous experience that I have had with model railroading I do not know a whole lot about it. What tips can you give me as far as who makes good locomotives, painting the mountains, making the layout look more realistic, cleaning the tracks as so on. Any advise would greatly be appriciated.

    I will also include a list of things I plan on doing to the layout so that you can give me advise on how to go about doing it.

    - Replace the missing and bad pieces of track
    - Clean the track
    - Buy around 2 locomotives to start out with
    - Paint the mountians
    - Add some senery

    Please do not suggest that I build a whole new layout. I would really like to fix up this layout because it would mean a lot to my dad to see his old layout up and running again.

    Just a quick note. I would like to have a modern day railroad layout.
    Another note. I would like to do this on a relativly low budget.
  2. Catt

    Catt Guest

    I think you will be happy with any of the ATLAS or KATO diesels.The Lifelike GP20s are also good locos.I can also reccomend the Lifelike SD7s Lifelike also makes a very good switch engine that is reasonably priced.

    If your curves are fairly tight I suggest that you get 4 axle locos .Atlas and Lifelike have the best selection.

    Good luck with your layout and please post some pics and keep us updated on your progress.
  3. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    You've come to the right place...most of us here at The Gauge are low budget kinda folk, they've even got wanted posters of a few of us at Model Railroader Magazine because of our frugle ways.

    First...Welcome...second, we look forward to helping in any way to get the original up and running. Keep us posted, carefully shop around, you'll find deals, most of us are walking, talking evidence that you can enjoy this hobby on a budget (mine is roughly $350-400 a year). Though HO scale, the photo shows what can be down with an otherwise wrecked toy train set tank car I got recently.

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  4. neb1211

    neb1211 New Member

    I have yet to decide what railroad I am going to run. I am thinking about either running Wisconsin Central, Union Pacific, or Santa Fe. I will most likely end up running Santa Fe as most of the stuff my dad already had was Santa Fe. Also how do the newer coupler systems work? The couplers on the locomotives that I have looked at so far online have a different type of coupler system than I am used to. In the past I have used the horn (I think) couplering system and want to know if it is worth upgrading the couplers on all of my rolling stock to the newer style of couplers.

    Would you suggest buying stuff online or going to the local hobby store to buy train supplies? I don't really have a preference so it doesn't matter either way. I have ordered computer hardware online before without any major problems but doesn't mean that I won't have any problems with trains ordered online. Even if you advise against buying train supplies online, could any of you please point me towards a good site that has a large selection of model railroading stuff so I can get a feel for what is out there and make a decision on what I want before I go to the hobby store. I don't really feel like driving 30 minutes to the nearest hobby store jsut to look at what is available to me?
  5. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Low budget? Yes,that fits me to a "T". I am told even the little birds know my name-Cheep! cheep! :eek:
    First,I would like to recommend this on line store.I like the PRICES and the service.

    You will note two different prices for the Atlas locomotives.One price is for DC and the other is for DCC equipped locomotives.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong fixing up your old layout.It will save you money. :thumb:
  6. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Your N scale equipment no doubt has the Rapido couplers. Kadee has made conversions so easy that you can do it on a budget over time with little problem. If you're simply into running trains vs. switching and operations, then the Rapidos will serve you just fine.
  7. neb1211

    neb1211 New Member

    Well I would like to get into some switching later down the line.

    Another quite question. What is a gull wing cab on a dash 8?
  8. fifer

    fifer Active Member

    A gull wing cab is shaped as a gulls wing in that it slopes downward from the top and then levels off and then drops down the side as opposed to just a slope and then droping off.
    WELCOME and I think you are on the right track (so to speak) :rolleyes: .
    Please feel free to look at my locomotive prices.
    Thanks , Mike Fifer
    :wave: :wave: :wave: :wave:
  9. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Per Mike's description, note the roof line of this unit...

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  10. neb1211

    neb1211 New Member

    I have another quick question. What is the difference time wise between the yellow and blue Santa Fe locomotives and the Red and silver locomotives?
  11. the Red and Silver 'Warbonnet' paint scheme dates from the very beginning of the ATSF in the 1860s! however, it was used exclusively for passenger trains until the formation of Amtrak, when the old passenger diesels were put into freight service.

    It was probably made famous by the 'Super Chief' in 1936 -- one of the very first passenger Diesels. The almost immediate adoption of the Super Chief as a Lionel train design helped make the red, silver, and yellow scheme the most famous train paint scheme in the world. The BNSF _Still_ uses it on some of its engines, along with an Orange and yellow variation. The Blue and yellow warbonnets are from the mid-80s and early 90s.
  12. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    I think, by now, you've gotten plenty of advice, and there's a lot more info here on the gauge to help you. I will only offer this; Buy cheap rolling stock, scrounge scenery material, use cheap/free materials for buildings, but don't skimp when it comes to locomotives. If the loco don't work, the train don't work. I would also recommend buying your locos from a source where you can "take it back" if there's a problem. "Buyer beware" has never been more applicable than when purchasing on ebay. There are deals, and there are "deals".

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