New to the hobby

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by rabi60, Nov 16, 2007.

  1. rabi60

    rabi60 New Member

    Hello everyone, i was looking for advice on what brand of trains to buy, the last train set i had was a Tyco in the early 70's, i seem to remember that it didn't last very long. I would like to start with a good kit that can be added to as my 11 mo. son gets older. I think that i will stay with Ho scale,but am open to suggestions. Anyway thanks for any advice you give, rab
  2. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    Things have changed in the past 30 years...mostly for the better. If you poke around the forum, you'll find some neat things. For HO...classic easy kits are sold by Athearn and are known as "blue box Athearn". The hobby has shifted towards ready to run (RTR) equipment in the past 10yrs as the market has shifted towards empty nesters with cash to spend...but kits still exist.
    You can explore what you like, and eventually go in a specific direction.
    All HO equipment is compatible with each other so long as the couplers are compatable. There are three main types in the US/Canada...horn-hook (old equipment), knuckle (the standard such as Kadee #5s, McHenry, etc...) and scale (Sargent's...not very common, but looks/acts like a real coupler).
  3. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Hello Rabi, welcome to The Gauge.:wave:
    I would stay away from the train sets, most are lower quality (as you remember) and won't last to long. If you go with ho scale, I would buy Athearn or Atlas brand. They are good quality and made to last. You buy by the piece normally, but the price is fair.

  4. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    Also, if you're looking duplicate modern trains, transition era, wild west era, or just affects what brands are good.

    Spectrum is wonderful for low priced quality steam. There are many other brands that are fine such as Broadway Limited, Precision Craft, or Proto 2000. I recommend Bachmann Standard 4-8-4s (specifically their SP Daylight) or Mantua locomotives if little kids will be handling them...cheaper and less details to break...while running is ok. If the details on the engines are going to be shielded from the small hands...Spectrum's 2-8-0 was something like the 1998 product of the year...and probably the single most significant HO release in 20+ years.

    For diesels, you can't go wrong with Athearn for cheap diesels...but the handrail installation of Athearn engines is a major headache for people whom don't have small drills or dress the wire railings prior to fitting. If you search the'll find a few threads about this.

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