Wanted to say hi

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Chef, Nov 17, 2006.

  1. Chef

    Chef New Member

    Hi all,
    Thought I would intro my self and start bending ears...or key boards. I just recieved my first train set in...32 years(yikes) yesterday. I bid and bought on a lionel ho deisel(1974) and cars...I think cox with track and transformer on ebay. Wanted my son to start enjoying trains early...I am too early in the intro, he is only twenty months. But I figure by the time he is old enough dad will be pretty good at this train stuff and hopefully there will be an model rr in the basement that will be "cool"!:thumb:
    Had some trouble getting the deisel, either an alco or gp-9 to work, had to get babtized by going in and reattaching the drive shaft to the motor. The set came with a decent amount of track, much of it still in original packaging, and a girder bridge, two transformers, one cox and one lionel, the train runs much better on the lionel.
    So I have the official bug, want to replace the couplers from the old hook type, I hope that is possible, have to also replace a truck on one of the box cars. I have already bought the Walthers catalog and have an idea for my first rr. Just can't decide about benchwork, and the grade, but that is what I am here for...and the best part about this is that no one is demanding that I get this done, in 2 weeks!!
    Well thanks for letting me ramble, talk/type at you soon.
  2. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    Hiya Chef,
    Welcome to The Gauge!!:) My advice is just to read all you can, and visit your
    Local Hobby Shop (LHS) to check out equipment. There is a LARGE range of
    quality and detail available. Trucks and couplers are separately available in many
    varieties. Walthers is great, they have everything (almost), but at list price.
    HO stuff is available from a great many on-line sources at discounted prices.:thumb:
    Do you have a train shop close by?
  3. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Welcome to the Gauge. This place is like family, only fewer fights! It is really a good group of people here who a willing to help you with any question you have. You can replace the couplers with knuckle type easily. A number of manufacturers make couplers that will snap in place of the horn hooks. Probably the best for the purpose that you want right now are McHenry couplers with the brass coil knuckle spring. Kaddee makes a better coupler, but it takes a bit more work to install it. You will find eventually that if you try to reverse a train that the cars will tend to derail in curves. To fix that problem, you will need to body mount the couplers. You will also find that when you look at new trains in a hobby shop that most cars have the couplers mounted to the body instead of the trucks. The 2 types of coupler mounting are not compatible in that body mounted couplers will go to the outside of any curve while truck mounted couplers will go to the center of the curve as the trucks swing. Theses problems are easy to fix, so don't be concerned about it, just injoy the trains right now.

    One other thing to keep in mind is that in a few years when those kids are ready for electric trains, ho may be too small for them to handle. The general rule of thumb is the smaller the hands the bigger the trains. You might want to leave some space on the floor someplace for them to set up a Lionel O27 set and start them out on Lionel when they are 5 or 6 years old and wait until they are 9 or 10 to actually have them start using the ho stuff. That wil give you plenty of time to get a layout built and running and all of the bugs worked out. It will also give them something to aspire to when they are playing with the Lionel for when they get big enough to handle ho ok.

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