What is a Classic toy train?

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, June 02, 2018 12:44 PM

The Gnome

Firelock,

you gave me an idea.  I wonder if anyone has focused their layout on modeling tourist lines.

 

I'm sure it's been done.  As a matter of fact there's one instance where I know it's been done.  The "Choo-Choo Barn" in Strasburg PA has a monster layout where the Strasburg Railroad has a prominent place.

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Posted by The Gnome on Saturday, June 02, 2018 1:02 PM

PA seems to have a lot of good train stuff.

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Posted by Penny Trains on Saturday, June 02, 2018 7:57 PM

This isn't a "tourist line" per se....

A waking Lithium Flower just about to bloom

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, June 02, 2018 8:16 PM

It's close enough!

Thanks for that Becky!  We just had out first "monsoon" of the summer here in Virginia and a little Christmas is very welcome!

But you know, that's the magical thing about toy trains.  Plop 'em on the tracks, shoot 'em the juice, and no matter what time of year it is it's Christmas morning!

PS:  Any of you folks still get down on the floor, or at least at eye level, and watch 'em come barreling at you?  That's as much fun as it ever was!

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Posted by The Gnome on Saturday, June 02, 2018 8:20 PM

Oenny, Disneyland is better than a tourist line, times 1000.  That is overwhelming.  Jaw dropping.

 

hmm.  Maybe my gnome village was not so dumb after all.

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Posted by The Gnome on Tuesday, June 05, 2018 9:08 AM

Since S gauge is considered classic and ON30 is not, I searched for a comparison between them.  Not much came up.  However, a long analysis written by a war-gamer came to this conclusion:

"I guess I'm swinging over to using the On30 trains with the HO track, although I still prefer the look of the S Scale equipment. The availability of equipment at, somewhat, reasonable prices is huge."  http://wargamesandrailroads.blogspot.com/2013/04/s-scale-vs-on30-for-calamity.html

This is interesting because I was considering whether I should add S gauge to my On30 layout.  Maybe not.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Tuesday, June 05, 2018 5:19 PM

I'm not interested in S gauge myself, but if what I've been seeing at train shows the past few years is any indication interest in S gauge seems to be heating up.

There's quite a lot of variety in locomotives and rolling stock available now, much more so than in the past. 

Nothing wrong with S gauge if that's the direction you want to go.  S gaugers are pretty passionate about it.

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Posted by The Gnome on Wednesday, June 06, 2018 9:10 AM

Firelock,

i understand what you are saying and I also understand that S is considered to be classic.  On the other hand, my recent searches for S gauge trains have not turned up the models that interest me and what is available is very expensive.  Maybe this is another indicator of the “creep toward realism” in the toy train community.  Making an accurate model with all the bells and whistles must cost more than making a more relaxed toy of the same size.  And perhaps there is more profit in making higher-end models.  And that would affect how much a company is willing to pay for advertising.  Insert winking smiley face here.Wink

Bachmann must advertise On30 products somewhere, but i have not seen many of those ads.  Maybe they don’t need to advertise as much as other sellers.  Consumers might at first balk at paying a hundred bucks for a loco, but after they check into the alternatives many will go back to the Bachmann page.  And I still think a Bachmann Spectrum train is handsome.

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Posted by The Gnome on Friday, June 08, 2018 9:49 AM

Yesterday i went into what may be the last bookstore chain in the USA and bought a copy of the Narrow Gauge and Short Line Gazette.  Bob was right about narrow gauge folks.  I was disapponted.  There was nothing Toy about it.  They are into realistic modeling.

some of the ads looked useful so for two hours i went to websites and checked online catalogues.  That was a bust.  They had nothing for me.

On the other hand, On30 people can be Toy people if we want to.  We might not have a magazine of our own, but the Toy-ish layouts seen in the CTT forums are very helpful.  

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Posted by Firelock76 on Friday, June 08, 2018 5:10 PM

I don't have one on-hand right now, but I have seen Bachmann On30 products advertised (by Bachmann) on the back covers of "O Gauge Railroading" magazine from time to time.  Nothing that you won't see in a Bachmann catalog though.

And yes, their Spectrum line is handsome, no doubt about it.

Now, I think  Trainworld/Trainland sells Bachmann On30's.  Try their website if you haven't yet.  www.trainworld.com

And if you're a "Sopranos" fan, "Trainland" is where Bobby Baccala got whacked!

I'd link the You Tube video segment but there's some language used that's VERY inappropriate for a family friendly site like this!

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Posted by The Gnome on Saturday, June 09, 2018 7:27 AM

Firelock, yes, you are right, Trainworld sells Spectrum.  Some of their prices are good.  The offerings from various sellers are unpredictable.  It almost appears like Bachmann only makes small batches and they wait for orders.  Places like Trainworld might have to guess what buyers will want.  Then they put in orders for a few of those.  This low volume might keep prices high for some items.  But if Trainworld has something on the shelf for too long, they might lower the price.  Just guessing about how it works.

I contacted Bachmann and asked them where they advertise so I could check out those magazines.  In their reply they said they only advertise when they have a new product.  The implication is "not often".

 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, June 09, 2018 10:27 AM

Well, there you go.  I will say this much about Trainworld, from what I've seen if it's pictured on-line with a price they've got it on hand.  If they don't, you'll see "Taking backorders."  As to dropping prices that all depends.  If they've got a batch of slow-movers then certainly they'll drop the prices eventually to clear them out and free up warehouse space.  The thing is, no retailer has a crystal ball that comes with the business to tell them what article's going to be a hot seller and what isn't.   

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Posted by The Gnome on Saturday, June 09, 2018 10:34 AM

The trick, then, is to be aware of usual price for a train car you want then watch Trainworld prices frequently so as to detect a drop in price.  Amazon is a benchmark.  They do not offer as many models as Trainworld but the prices often are similar for those they do offer.  but Amazon has free shipping.  So the Trainworld price needs to be about twenty bucks less than the Amazon price before i am going to consider it.  More than twenty and i may jump on it.  The Mogul 2-6-0 may have reached that level today.

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Posted by The Gnome on Sunday, June 10, 2018 8:37 AM

On a different thread, fifedog mentioned putting dinosaurs on the layout to please his grandson.  That seems to define Toy quite nicely.

the opposite of Toy in the model train community might be characterized by these words, which appear frequently.

realistic

prototyping

serious modeling

fine modeling.

theoretically, a prototyper might put a scale brontosaurus or TRex dinosaur on his layout, but that would not leave much room for a train. And i dont think the result would qualify as Serious modeling.

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Posted by Penny Trains on Sunday, June 10, 2018 7:14 PM

...or giant elephants...or gorillas...or Gundam mecha...Smile, Wink & Grin

Well..on spare beds in hotel rooms in Thailand anyways!  Laugh  Hey!  I gotta have some kind of trains to play with when I'm on the other side of the planet!  Laugh

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Posted by The Gnome on Sunday, June 10, 2018 7:40 PM

Thats better than bringing a big dino with you.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, June 10, 2018 8:53 PM

Go ahead and put dinosaurs on there if you want.

There was a legendary HO modeler named John Allen, and his railroad was called the "Gorre and Daphetid."  "Gory and Defeated,"  get it?

Anyway, John's layout was considered the gold standard of HO modeling, but even John didn't take himself too seriously.  He had dinosaurs pulling plows, switching boxcars, cruising the downtown section, you name it.

Sadly, John's layout was destroyed by fire not long after his death, but some pictures and film clips survive.  Do a Google search for "Gorre and Daphetid" and you can see bits of John's layout. 

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Posted by The Gnome on Sunday, June 10, 2018 9:40 PM

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gorre_%26_Daphetid

unfortunately, some of the links are dead.

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Posted by Penny Trains on Monday, June 11, 2018 6:59 PM

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Posted by The Gnome on Monday, June 11, 2018 9:52 PM

Those are great pictures.

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Posted by The Gnome on Saturday, June 23, 2018 4:35 PM

Well, ok, folks.  I should have listened to experienced CTT people better before I leaped into On30 with both feet.  Don‘t get me wrong.  I still love my little Porter and the Mogul is a handsome devil.  But now that i have an O gauge starter set, my On30 stuff looks like (gasp) HO.  The trolley is ok but putting the other On30 stuff on the same layout as the New York Central loco is too weird even for me.

Shelving the on30 cars in my collection cabinet does not bother me.  But i bought a heck of a lot of HO track.  Maybe i will just put it in a box until another wild hair gets me going in a new direction.

For now, i should stop spending money on trains.  My wife is starting to worry about me becoming unhinged.

On the other hand, if i could find a bargain on a post-war Lionel box car in a clueless antique store....

 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, June 23, 2018 5:02 PM

You know, you could always put an amusement park on your layout and make the On30 train the "train ride."   Or a tourist line.  Or an eccentric millionaire's backyard railroad.  Or something...

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Posted by The Gnome on Saturday, June 23, 2018 6:39 PM

A rollercoaster with a two percent grade?

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Posted by Penny Trains on Saturday, June 23, 2018 6:54 PM

Sure!  Why not!  Laugh

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Posted by The Gnome on Saturday, June 23, 2018 7:35 PM

Of course.  It does not actually have to move.  Just sit there looking cool.  Brilliant.

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Posted by rtraincollector on Saturday, June 23, 2018 10:29 PM

Gnome Stop buying trains, is not in my vocabulary. You can ask my wife on that one lol. 

Life's hard, even harder if your stupid  John Wayne

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Posted by The Gnome on Sunday, June 24, 2018 7:38 AM

My starter set operates with a remote that is keyed only to my loco.  If I bought an old loco, will it run on this track?  I don't see how, unless I spend $150 on a transformer.

What I really 'need' is a short loco.  The New York Central loco that came with the track is too long for a small layout.  What is the shortest O gauge loco that is common enough to be less expensive?  I do not care what it looks like. 

 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, June 24, 2018 11:28 AM

Both Lionel and MTH, among others, have made 0-4-0 and 0-6-0 locomotives, if your're looking for something short.  As to current availability you'd have to check the current catalogs.  Some cruising of hobby shops and train shows will certainly turn some up, some new, some used.   Of course only you know just how short it has to be.  

That current starter set you've got won't run an older conventional locomotive as is, you'll have to get a conventional transformer but that doesn't have to be expensive.  Shop around and you can find some good deals on older transformers.

That's one of the things I don't like about the new LionChief starter sets, you're locked into using a remote to run the thing whether you want to or not. Those new starter sets seem to be geared toward the current generation of computer-literate and "Smart-Phone" users, not dinosaurs like me. I've got a LionChief-Plus locomotive, a GP-20, that's "either-or," which is good or I wouldn't have bought it.  I tried the remote just once to see how it worked.  It actually worked pretty well, then I pulled the batteries out and put it away.    

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Posted by The Gnome on Sunday, June 24, 2018 12:28 PM

Yes, that is what I expected someone to say: buy a transformer.  Ok, I will keep my eye open for a good deal on an older one.  The boxy job that has the orange lever.

This 8222 has a lot of power.  Give it a little juice and it tears around and off the track.  That is why I suspect a little switcher might be about right for the layout. 

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Posted by rtraincollector on Sunday, June 24, 2018 1:00 PM

the Gnome goto ebay, goto O scale trains, in the search box type " train set" including the " then look to see what is selling. For the $150 you can get a complete train set with transformer ( used ) but it will do what you want. now the speed on the track determines how much you turn the transformer up. as getting a smaller engine isn't going to make it go slower around the track. your smaller engine may even go faster. Just make sure what your buying isn't a lionchief set

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