Rookie Old Man Needs Help - - G scale

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by wileymc, Dec 18, 2002.

  1. wileymc

    wileymc New Member

    I have been disabled for six years. My four children/seven grandchilden decided what I needed was a Bachmann G Scale "Night Before Christmas" Train Set for therapy etc. First thoughts were negative but now I am intrigued especially when I happen to run across Garden railroading. Local Hobby Shop contacts are very negative toward Bachmann and advocate I should start over with LGR track. I need help. Is Bachmann junk? Must I limit my railroading to once around the Christmas tree? I won't bore you with details of disability but please be patient with me if I seem "dense" or stupid when you respond. I think I would really enjoy setting a train up in large back yard but can't afford to "cadillac" the job.

    Thanks, Wiley

    P.S. I also have never done messaging, so please forgive any lack of protocol.
  2. kettlestack

    kettlestack Member

    You're mighty welcome here Wiley.

    Bachmann G scale is generally pretty good. Perhaps the locos may not last as long as LGB as the con rods (on my 4-6-0 loco) are plastic. However, you can buy two Bachmann's (maybe more) for the price of one LGB. In this size of gauge box cars are box cars with little to choose between manufacturers.

    I have Aristograft brass track which I think is compatible with B/mann's and I have no complaint with it.

    If you have space, go lay out track to suit yourself, it doesn't have to be a Cadillac (read Rolls Royce :D :D ) set up. Fun is what this hobby is about.

    Forget protocol, you're doing just fine :)

  3. wileymc

    wileymc New Member

    Follow-up Questions

    Thank you for the encouraging words. Anyway for me to validate compatibility of Aristocraft/B'mann? Can you suggest a Beginner's book or magazine that would help? My illness really causes me to need some specific info, difficult on the pride but a fact of my life.

    Regards, Wiley
  4. kettlestack

    kettlestack Member

    I'm chuckling here Wiley, I'm a learner too in this scale :D .
    I got my G scale stuff because my wife wouldn't let me out of the store without buying it.

    I'm afraid you will have to wait for the Big Gauge boys to tell you about appropriate magazines/books for the information you need.

    Just post your questions in the "G/O/S Scale" section of this forum and the answers will be forthcoming from those more knowledgable than me.

  5. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Welcome to the gauge Wiley, you came to the right place. I don't know squat about "G" but the guys that do will surely help you. The gauge is great because we have the best of the best and everyone is friendly as a clam. Well, that doesn't sound right, but you know what I mean. Sounds like you got a good family that cares. Stick with it. We'll get that big "G" running... :D :D :D
  6. wileymc

    wileymc New Member


    Friendship is a wonderful treasure. Thank you for the kind greeting. My family is great especially grandchildren who are so excited that "Papa" now has his own "Thomas the Train."
  7. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Hey Wiley and Welcome Aboard!....I'm not a G scale modler but there is nothing wrong with the Bachman engines and cars. At one time they were more into the toy market than anything but they have come a long way. There's a lot of things available from after market suppliers to upgrade them too.

    Check for books on G scale. There's a wealth of them. Also check your local bookseller such as Books a Million, Barnes and Noble and etc for magazines on the subject. There are several good ones. Maybe you can find a better hobby shop too where they may be more inclined to help you out and perhaps introduce you to some other G scalers.

    I installed a G scale train in a bar about 10 years was suspended from the ceiling so the drunks could watch it but not mess with it. I used Aristocraft track (about 300 ft of it). It was half the cost of LGB and its still up there running today.
  8. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    For Errol

    Ahhhh Haaaah!!!!....Now I know where the profits on the Robber Barron Trainset went to!!:D :D :D :D Well Done!!!...Like a true Robber Barron!!!:D :D :D
  9. t. alexander

    t. alexander Member

    Welcome to the Gauge Wiley,
    I don't know anything about G stuff either and unfortunately did'nt stay at a Holiday Express last night to have the answer's. I do know though, having the family behind you is a big plus.
    When I go to my local shop I always look over the Gscale and day dream of the the garden road I was going to build. But had to give up the space to my four legged pooper's. :D

  10. wileymc

    wileymc New Member


    Thanks for the input and encouragement. I can't believe how nice everyone is being to me. Also noticed how many wives seem to get the "blame.":)
  11. rich maiorano

    rich maiorano Member

    who else are you going blame if we had your way all the time we all would houses full of trains:D :D :D :D and welcome to the gauge you get all or most of ? answers here for sure :D :D rich
  12. pcentral

    pcentral Member

    Hi Wiley,
    Welcome to the gauge. I guess I would be one of the big guys the others mentioned since I have a G gauge layout set up in the yard. As for books on G gauge, I agree with Vic, search or a similiar website. Garden Railways is one of the top magazines for G gauge. Finally, if you are going to put the track outside you'll want to use brass track. LGB and Aristocraft are the two main companies making brass track. LGB is a little bit more expensive than Aristocraft, about a dollar a foot more. St. Aubin Station is probably the cheapest mail order place, check them out at Bachmann is making some real nice G gauge equipment now, some of their older stuff was prone to break easier than the other brands. If you take care of their stuff and don't leave it out in the sun and elements for extended amounts of time Bachmann trains will last. Hope this helps you out, just let us know if you need more info. Steve
  13. wileymc

    wileymc New Member


    Thanks Steve, I can't believe how helpful every one is, Looking forward to venturing out after the holidays and getting started. How quickly I've gone from no info to wow.
  14. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Hi Wiley and welcome. I have Bachmann, the Big Hauler, and it is OK. However, the Bachmann track is for indoors only. The Aristocraft (which I use outdoors) and LGB are compatable for outdoors. Aristocraft was cheaper last time I checked. I suggest getting one of these brands and running your Bachmann loco and train on it. If it turns out you really like the hobby, then you can expand, either with another Bachmann or something else. By all means, check out Garden railroad magazine, it will help immensely.

  15. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Sorry I forgot to say the Bachmann track is not compatable with the others, but the Bachmann equipment will certainly run on the others. You just will not be able to join the brands together. Use the Bachmann stuff around your tree or whatever.

  16. davidstrains

    davidstrains Active Member

    Re: Follow-up Questions

    I add my welcome to the Gauge also Wiley. While my major RR is n-gauge I do have both Bachmann and LGB G-scale also. I run my Bachmann trains on the LGB track. LGB track is more durable and more expensive than Bachmann but if you are going to set it up outside I believe that it will hold up better. I have not tried Aristo track but the train should run on it also. You do have to use a single manufacture for your track sections though because they have not built interface tracks to my knowledge.
  17. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    Hi Wiley and welcome to the gauge. G scale is it, now thats going to be some fun your going to have at Christmas friend.


  18. wileymc

    wileymc New Member

    Thanks Gary

    Thank you for the good input. I'm looking forward to getting started.
  19. pcentral

    pcentral Member

    Hi again Wiley,
    I wanted to clarify a few things that others have posted. First of all, LGB and Aristocraft track is compatible with one another. Aristo has screws thru the rail joiners where LGB does not, but you just leave the screws out where you join the two brands of track. I used all LGB track on my garden layout because I already had alot of it. There is a lttle difference in tie and rail colors between the two, but after a while in the yard it won't show. A friend of mine used Aristo track and LGB switches on his outdoor layout and it's been working great for 2 years now. I forgot to mention before in my other post. USA Trains also makes brass track and it too is compatible, but looks different yet from the others. It is a little cheaper too I beleive. The other thing is the trains are all compatible. If you don't mind the look of the loop and hook couplers that come on LGB trains(also on Bachmanns tender to engine connection) those work fine for all brands. Kadee couplers are available that will work with all brands too. I use a conversion car to run the cars that don't have knuckle couplers. The conversion car has a Bachmann knuckle coupler on one end and a hook and loop style coupler on the other end. I run LGB, Bachmann and USA Trains equipment all in the same train with no problems. I guess I'm going to have to make another conv. car since I recently got a Accucraft car and it has the Kadee couplers on it. Hope this helps clear some things up. I don't mean to offend anyone just wanted to let everyone know it can be done. Steve

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