Thinking About Buying A Decent Sized Layout

Discussion in 'Weathering Forum' started by DJboutit, Dec 13, 2007.

  1. DJboutit

    DJboutit New Member

    My family wants to get back into model railroading have been out for 10 years or so. Today I took a look at a 10 x 15 or 17 rectangle HO layout track is all layed & complete wiring is 90% complete some of it might be need to be updated & the scenery is 40% to 50% complete no buildings or trees. Over all it looks like a well build layout so far even has a display case in the fron for lots of trains. To move the layout it comes apart in sections. The price for this decnet sized layout is $1500 a little high for us but I would say it is worth 2 times the price. Only bad thing is we really have no place to store it other than the garage with the high hummidity here it might be a problem. Do you guys think it would be worth buying it right now, it would be really nice to have something like this. We have always loved building the scenery we never loved laying track & wiring.
  2. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    ;)Hi, and :welcome1: to the Gauge.

    If you're seriously interested in this layout, I'd ask to see some trains run on it before completing the deal. This will give you an idea of how good (or bad) the trackwork is, and if the wiring has been done in such a manner that the layout is intuitive to operate. You also might want to ask why the wiring is only 90% complete: has the builder run into problems that he can't solve? If you don't enjoy doing your own wiring, you'll absolutely love working on someone else's.
    Another issue with a layout this size is access to be able to work on it: are there liftout sections or some other type of access that will allow you to reach all areas of the layout?
    As for keeping it in the garage, either stored for set-up later or set up now for use, not only can humidity cause problems: widely varying temperatures can play havoc with track, and dirt and dust can cause a lot of operational headaches.
    As an alternative, have you considered joining a modular club? While you'll have to meet their compatability standards, you could keep your modules' track (and wiring) simple, and concentrate more on the scenery aspect of the hobby. If you're still interested in running trains, make your module(s) capable of running as a stand alone layout, either point-to-point, or with enough sections to create an around-the-room type layout that would allow for continuous operations. Being modular, you could break it down for storage as required, although this brings up the subject of the garage again. :rolleyes::D
    Overall, I'd be very cautious of buying a complete layout. It may be a great layout, but most layouts have at least some of the quirkiness of their builder included. :rolleyes:

  3. DJboutit

    DJboutit New Member

    There is a big open area in the center of the layout with a lift bridge to access the center
  4. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Hi DJ,

    In addition to Wayne's advice above, I would add that one local club I know has had two layouts donated to it. Both (a 4x8 and a ~5x12) have had to be almost completely redone. They both needed trackwork, scenery, re-wiring, benchwork repairs, and so on. The act of simply moving a layout - even one designed that way - can be very destructive if not done carefully.

    I personally would not buy it and then store it. I'd want the owner to come to my place, help me set it up again, and make sure it runs right (or at least the same as before) in advance of making a final payment.

    Good luck!

  5. DJboutit

    DJboutit New Member

    This layout is for sale at a estate sale

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