Newbie O Scale Question

Discussion in 'G / O / S Scale Model Trains' started by G200, Nov 13, 2008.

  1. G200

    G200 New Member


    I am looking to purchase my first O scale train setup. Around 15-20 years ago I had grown up with HO scale layouts, and so now it is time to introduce trains to my 3 year old son.

    We are looking to buy a setup that he can play with down on the floor initially, but I am planning on mounting a "shelf" layout in his room. This would be for a couple of years until he is old enough to expand into other scales as well and then I envision a table mounted multi-scale layout where we could incorporate this original O-scale equipment.

    Since it will be a shelf layout I also am interested in the Cab-1 remote control. (Or should I be thinking another type of remote? Legacy and DCS are others I have read about?)

    So here is what I have picked out so far and I'd really appreciate any feedback on what you guys think about the equipment, any setup problems, or additional pieces I might need.

    The base setup would be:

    6-30016 New York Central Flyer Set

    6-12969 Lionel Trainmaster Command Set TMCC

    6-24130 TMCC PM-1 Powermaster

    Future expansion would be:

    6-30038 New York Central Flyer Freight Expansion Pack

    6-14098 Lionel Automatic Crossing Gate
    6-14111 Lionel 153IR Controller

    (I think I need the 153IR Controller since this the set came on fasttrack?)

    Of course we will probably add pieces from there but I wanted to cover a bit of expansion right from the get-go.

    I appreciate any feedback on what I might be missing or problems I'm setting myself up for... I have been trying to do quite a bit of reading over the last week, but I'm running out of time since I want to get everything ordered before Xmas so that I can start working on the shelf and layout pieces.


  2. CSXect

    CSXect Member


    O is a good starting place. I have a few starter sets my selfsign1
    The expansion sets are pretty good as well. :thumb: As far as other scales Look at S scale makers like American Models and S-Helper they are smaller than O but bigger than HO and they run on 2 rails. I am a Diehard S gauger with a serious O gauge habit:cool:

    My best advice is to start with O and see where your son's interest takes him he may like O and stay with it(just my opinion you should look into some operating accessories for play value)

    As for control systems the latest version of DCS is suppose to be compilable with TMCC and Legacy all though it will not be 100% wall1

    Hope this helps:thumb:
  3. G200

    G200 New Member

    Thanks CSX. I am a bit worried about derailments having the train on a around the room shelf layout. Is there a way to limit the max speed (voltage?) of the train?

    I'm considering putting up O-37 track on the shelf and leaving the fast track aside so that if he/we want to get the train down for a session we can just put together the fast track when needed. That way the shelf track stays together all the time and provides the main storage spot for the train.

    Using the O with a 31 inch radius is where I get concerned that a 3 year old with a Cab-1 remote could cause a derailment? Is that a valid worry or do O trains typically stay on the track throughout the speed range? Should I plan on disabling reverse as well while it is up on the shelf or doesn't that pose much of a derail scenario?

    Lots of questions!!:confused:
  4. CSXect

    CSXect Member

    Hmmm well there will be derailments it happens 2 suggestions here 1. supervision teach him how to keep them under control sounds easy but it is not but they soon learn how to master the throttle. 2. my favorite is get a couple BEEPS(Baby Geeps) they are made by Ready Made toys and at full power they are still at a reasonable speed and will most likely stay on the track, these are fairly affordable and a nice beginner locomotive available in a ton of road names:thumb:

    Derailments- too fast in a sharp curve or too fast going down hill and S curves are derailment prone I would go with as wide a curve as possible the fix for an s curve is to put a straight section of track as long as the longest locomotive or train car you have.

    To keep the trains from going off the shelf is to have an inch two tall bumper along the egde of shelf should stop most accidents.

    With command control you need not worry much about changes in speed due to corners or up and down grades however convential control trains need more babysiting.

  5. G200

    G200 New Member

    In order to keep the track close to the wall in the corners, I had been planning on using 0-31. I think Fast track is o-36. How much difference would that make in limiting derailments?

    I decided to use AnyRail to figure out how much track I needed to use. However, I thought that 0-31 had a 31 inch diameter. But when I lay it out using AnyRail it actually comes out to around 30 inches? So how accurate is AnyRail as far as dimensions? Or in reality is 0-31 not so exact?:confused:

    Also, I would assume I can just cut O gauge track to length? What is the easiest way to cut it? Hack Saw, dremel with cutter, or some other tool?

    I have been thinking about that, but I don't want to block the view since the train will have to be quite high to go over the closet. Instead I had been thinking of putting something like lexan on the inside around the corners. I wouldn't think the risk of derailment would be too great on the straight aways...:oops:
  6. CSXect

    CSXect Member

    Second try at posting


    Lexan Good choice:thumb:

    If you can squeeze in O-36 you will like the effect of going into the curve better then a train that whips into a sharp curve:cool:

    Atlas makes a saw for cutting track it is called a razor saw it is also a good idea to use a mitterbox with this saw, a dremel works but you need a steady hand to get a straight cut:mrgreen:

    diameter is measured from center rail to center rail by the way.

    Not sure of a good way to limit the voltage to the track as a longer and heavier train will need more voltage to start out.:eek:

    Hope this helps:wave:
  7. G200

    G200 New Member

    Thanks for all the help.

    I got everything (lol I think) ordered. When I worked it out it was actually cheaper to order all new O track than it was to add the necessary fast track pieces to go around the room! :eek:

    But that just means I'll have the track to mount around the room AND the fast track to let us get the train down and play with it on the floor. All for less cost. :thumb:

    Now I'm probably more anxious for Christmas than my boy!
  8. Geno

    Geno Member

    Command control for a beginner can get expensive- I suggest you start with Lionel's TMCC setup- it's not too expensive (about $100 for the remote and command base) and very easy to set up. You will need the Powermaster to control conventional trains, but that is much less expensive than buying a TMCC-equipped engine (usually around $300 and up).

    I use a variety of 3-rail track, from classc 027, gargraves, and even Atlas 2-rail with a studrail down the center. But for kids and the carpet running I really like Lionel Fastrack- a bit overpriced but keeps oil off the rug and is rugged enough for kids.

  9. G200

    G200 New Member

    I decided to do just that Geno, I ordered the TMCC kit with the remote and base. I was surprised at the size of the base and powermaster! I thought they would be smaller and easier to "hide".

    We also will be using the fast track for down on the floor operations, but have the O up on the wall shelf layout for the remote operations.

    Can't wait!


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