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Hello to All!

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  • Hello to All!

    I am new to the forum and hope I will find alot of useful info on getting started with a hobby that has been in the back of my mind for 25+ years, just never seem to had the extra time to devote to it until now. I live in the rural south Georgia region in the Vidalia area(home of the infamous sweet recently found a box of Bachmann train related material that was left behind in a rental unit that we own. Nothing fancy, just one HO engine(Santa Fe 307) with roughly 30 cars and some buildings, track, etc. I suppose who had it collected the cars along and along. I have lots and lots of questions for sure, mainly getting a good complete track, any recommendations? And where would be the best(cheapest) place to expand and update what I have now? Thanks in advance for any info, and I'm really glad to be here! Alan

  • #2
    Alan, once again, welcome to the forum. There are a number of ways to go with track. Atlas makes thee foot lengths of flextrack than can be bent to an shape you want. They also have a product that they call sectional track, with lenghts of about 9" each, and curves of set radii. Finally, Bachman has a sectional track that comes on a plastic base that simulates the ballast. It is called EZ-Track. Prices vary, as do the menthods of holding the track down on your layout and connecting the track together. If you have a local hobby shop, you might want to take a trip there to look at these options and check prices.

    I am sure that other members will check in on this topic. Again, glad to have you aboard.


    • #3
      Hi and welcome! Like Bruce said, be sure to check out the local hobby shop to see what is available. While there pick up a copy of a Walthers catalog and ask them if they know of any clubs in the area. The Bachmann stuff you found might not be worth fooling with, some of their stuff (Spectrum series) is excellent but some is not.


      • #4
        Alan, welcome to the forum. You've come to the right place if you have questions.

        Bruce gave you some good options for track. Just make sure that when you lay your track down you avoid kinks and make sure the joints are level. This will eliminate a lot of derailments and frustration. You’ll also want to clean the wheels of that loco and track if it’s been sitting around. You’ll get lots of different answers of what to use to do this. A lot of people use a product called Goo Gone. To clean the track, put some on a cloth and wipe the tops of the rails with it. To clean the engine’s wheel, put some Goo on a folded paper towel and lay it across the tracks. Put the wheels from one of the trucks on the paper towel and the other set of wheels on the track (You need to have a power pack connected to the track so the engine wheels will turn). Hold the engine with your hand and keep the front wheels on the paper towel. As the wheels spin all the tarnish and dirt will be wiped on the paper towel. Repeat the process for the back wheels.


        • #5
          Welcome to the forum Alan, my mother's family is from S. GA, too, although they are all gone now. They lived near Irwinville in Irwin, CO. (Big Creek area) Having visited the area many times growing up and once again last fall I realize just how rural that area really is. The internet, this and other forums and a few magazines will be very helpful for you.

          Take care, y'all and welcome!
          Karl Scribner-Curmudgeon

          Cedar Swamp
          SW of Manistique, MI

          AVATAR Image stolen from Model Train Stuff advertisement in my e-mail


          • #6
            Welcome aboard Allen. This is a good place to hang out and learn about model railroading. If you have a hobby shop nearby, look for a basic book on model railroading that will explain in detail track laying, wiring, scenery etc. Kalmbach publishes a book called "HO Scale Model Railroading" that you might want to look at.

            The sky is not my limit, it's my playground.


            • #7
              Hi Allen, and welcome. In addition to the book George mentioned, which is a perfect starter reference, Kalmbach also publishes a number of books covering different areas of the hobby that are suitable references for both beginners and more advanced modelers. And, of course, there are a number of monthly magazines devoted to model railroading.



              • #8
                Welcome Alan to the forum.

                I see we have another new member from Georgia.

                I am living in Wildwood GA. which is rural but in the most northwest part of the state.

                I started in this hobby 4 years ago with Tyco trains that I bought cheaply on eBay to see if I had an interest.

                So I would set up our trains and see if they work and if this is a hobby that will interest you.

                Many people here have given you excellent resources to investigate this hobby.

                So have fun and hope to see you posting your progress in the future.
                <img src="" alt="" /><br /><br>John Bagley<br /><br>Modeling the Alaska Railroad in HO in Wildwood Georgia.


                • #9
                  Glad to see you on board. Don't feel intimidated by some of the things you see here. It is not required to be an expert to join in. That's the way I get by being here. There are as many ways to enjoy this as there are people and we all started out as beginners. My first word of advice would be to get just a bit of knowledge before buying too much equipment. You will get lots of info on using one particular method or product of whatever sort but you will find that there are dozens of ways to do most all of it. Look around a bit before investing the hard earned dough. For starters, I will give you my ideas of some things to avoid. Of course, I run the risk of offending some who don't agree. We all have our likes and dislikes. I think it is worthwhile to get resonably good equipment from the start to help cut down on the frustration and expense that comes with cheap equipment. That may be why the last guy left the equipment. Look at the wheels on the engine. If they have real sharp edges on the part that hold them on the track, it is probably not a good quality engine. Nothing wrong with using it and getting into the game but just realize that there is better. Athearn is one of the best known makers of reasonable quality that I would recommend. Look for nickle silver track if buying new. There is a lot of brass at a cheaper price but it has a lot more cleaning troubles involved. Good luck and good tracking. Richard


                  • #10
                    Welcome to RR-L, Alan.

                    In addition to all the good advice you've already gotten, there is also a wealth of good information for beginners right here on the forum. The "back pages" of the Mid-scale (HO) forum and the Construction forum in particular have a lot of info that folks new to the hobby will find helpful.

                    And don't hesitate to ask questions. As Richard said, we were all new to the hobby at some time or other and we all had our own questions. In fact, a lot of us still have questions, and that's one of the great things about this forum. Ask, and somebody will usually have the answer... or at least a possible answer.


                    • #11
                      Alan, welcome from another Georgian! I love those onions.

                      MikeC is correct about asking questions. This forum is the best I've found for getting detailed information on stuff I'm working on. And I need lots of help.

                      Another resource you might check is the local library. Many have books on model railroading that might give you a start before you spend any cash on something you might not need.
                      David Ray

                      Cumming, Georgia, USA


                      • #12
                        I would like to double David's suggestion on the library. Depending on the size of the library they may also have some of the model magazines on the shelves. Some can be checked out and some can't. At least is is cheap way to get to know the mags they do have and the old issues are as good as the new. Just looking at the ads is good for expanding the knowledge base. Richard


                        • #13
                          hello alan

                          I can say that this site has been a great help tool,since i sign up 2 1/2 years ago Ive had lots of questions ,Im on my 3rd layout with a foam base

                          on 1/2 in plywood ,maybe the cheapest way to go and had the old brass track then ,I found atlas to be the best deal and you can order in on line im useing the code 100 snap track and flex pcs.nickel-silver ,

                          I dont care for the clubs near me and when you are the youngest one in the club no one cared to listen to my ideas ,Its not at all like that here there are real train people and model R/R people a good mix. not a big fan on bachmann or life like ,but ive been collecting trains {HO scale } for 20 years they have been part of my family since i was 5 years old and handed down to me carry them on happy modeling its a great stress relief hobby..........


                          • #14

                            Sorry I misspelled your name. [:I]

                            The sky is not my limit, it's my playground.


                            • #15
                              Welcome Alan,

                              Another Georgian is always welcome lol Like the guys have said,Read all you can.You will save a lot of time and money if you put a lot of thought into what you want to do before hand,and get the best you can afford.This place is a wealth of info and everyone is glad to help. One thing I can add is try to go to MRR shows. There is one in Atlanta next weekend if you can make the trip.You can see a lot of what is out there and even pick up some deals.