Hello!!! Newbie Railroader

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Hello!!! Newbie Railroader
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, January 24, 2004 11:09 AM

I've been reading this board for a month or more now and thought it would be a great time to start posting. I've been wanting to jump into this hobby for a year or so now. My gf bought me a cheap HO set for Chrsitmas, but I learned recently about G scale. Well, I bought a starter G set yesterday. It's the Bachman Big Hauler Tweetsie set. I know many people on here hate Bachman, but I have sentimental reasons for buying this set as I've grown up 20 minutes from Tweetsie Railroad with many memories from my childhood.

I have a few questions.

1) What scale is this? 1:2x.x?

2)What maintenance do I need to do? Does anything need greasing? What maintenence needs to be done to the smoke unit?

3)What are good online sites to order train accessories/track from?

4)Anyone have catalogs they mail out? I already have a Walthers catalog.

This set was just to get my feet wet in the hobby. I plan on buying a better loco later on, probably this summer. I would eventually like to build an outdoor setup for the new loco when I buy it. What material/brand track is recommended for outdoor use? Thanks.
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Posted by bman36 on Saturday, January 24, 2004 3:23 PM
Welcome Tom,
Glad to have you aboard. I for one do not hate Bachmann. I own a ton of it in HO. In Large Scale I also own a Shay as well as some rolling stock. To be perfectly honest I'm not sure what scale the Big Haulers are. My Shay is 1:20.3. Nothing wrong with starting out the way you are. Expand as you can afford it. As for track everyone here has their favorites. I use both LGB and AristoCraft. Like them both. LGB does make better turnouts for outdoor use. Aristo now has really nice stainless track.Bachmann's web site can give you specifics on scale and lubrication. Enjoy! Later eh...Brian.
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Posted by Grefflyn on Saturday, January 24, 2004 9:04 PM
Dear Newbie
Nothing wrong with Bachmann.
Ever here of the 10' rule?
If it looks good at 10' its perfect.
I will say from my experience so far that not all manufactures rolling stock look good
next to each other.
Personally i like Bachmann,USA together with some of the Aristo's. Delton does not
seem to be in the same scale. Oh and by the way avoid New Bright unless thats all you
have. Also keep an eye on Ebay every once and a while you can get great bargains
to build up your stock.
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Posted by BudSteinhoff on Saturday, January 24, 2004 9:17 PM
I have Bachman Shay, Climax, 4-4-0, 2-8-0 and Heisler and love them all.
All narrow gauge style and 1:20 scale.
For standard gauge I prefer Aristo products, 1:29 scale.
There are other mfg's that have good products also.
Did you look in the Garden Railway mag. for good deals and dealers to order from? That's the place to start. compare prices.
Have fun
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Posted by Marty Cozad on Saturday, January 24, 2004 10:40 PM
Tom, I just want to say Welcome to the world of G scale. Theres so many choices and getting to be more and more products avaliable. I know you'll get many ansawers, my main thought is to always look for sales and factory offers. That will help $$ wise. Then space and where to build it will be the next hard Qs .
Have fun.

Is it REAL? or Just 1:29 scale?

Long live Outdoor Model Railroading.

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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, January 25, 2004 12:15 AM
Thanks guys. I think I'm addicted now! I don't think I'll ever go back to using my HO set anymore. I picked up a copy of Garden Railway mag with my set. Are there any hard back books I should get to learn more basics?

Stainless steel is a good setup for outdoor track? I saw that in GRM in one of the ads. Any place in particular that I should shop for track?
Thanks again. Sorry for all of the questions, but that's the only way to learn. :)
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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, January 27, 2004 12:43 AM
Hi The best bit of advice I can give you is to do things in a small way and then your mistakes will be small or you may change your mind. I am an Aussie and I got this advice from your American magazines and it is the best thing to follow.

Like everyone else I though this didn't apply to me but it did, I have made some minor mistakes which took a helluva lot to fix and I have changed my mind too. I hav even changed my address and and my intended address.

Another thing I am comvinced of, it its just plain non productive to get rail in discreet sections, try to get continuos rail and bend it to suit your layout. I am committed to making my railway fit my garden, not the other way around and its just too hard to do, unless you can have your rail in any length and/or shape.

A lot of people in this country have doubts about any type of trains but LGB and I am one of those, They cost a bomb and the people involved are hard to egt on with at times but you wouldn't risk wasting your money on something that doesn't work.

Have a good look at the LGB MTS system, its all by itself but very expensive to start with but once you have it you will be entranced as am I.


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Posted by vsmith on Tuesday, January 27, 2004 1:56 PM
Hello TomC,

Bachmann's are good, it was there older 1st generation stuff that was pretty bad, but there newer stuff is quite good for the garden....

I replied with this on another thread but it seams to apply here also, so....

Welcome to Garden RRing, some helpfull hints for a novice...


Garden Railways magazine is the best place to start. There are also several book out there, any and all are good resources, they will help you with the hows to's, and why-that's.


maybe a 20'x30' to start, sounds big, but in G scale it actually quite managable. it allows you to get operating without getting overtly complicated and you can develop your skills for later expansion.

KISS-Keep It Stupidly Simple

A loop with one or two sidings, basic wiring, is the best way to start. Any model RR can get VERY complicated VERY fast if the builders ambitions are greater than their skill. Take the time to learn, and get versed in the ways of building. Many HO and N model RR's never finish a layout because they want the huge room sized pike and they think they can do it all at once, get frustrated, and give up. Start simple, with a single line weaving thru the garden. Its better to have something that you can actually use then to keep saying, " I will finish it next year"


This is perhaps to newest and biggest single rule to a fun layout. This is the biggest "if I could start over or make one change" issues Large Scale modelers say. The reason is because most every maker of trains is moving towards engines and cars that need the bigger radius turns. Better to plan for future locomotives now before you start than to get stuck down the road and having to rebuild or make do with smaller engines.


Its a fact, we can spend alot of $$ in this hobby, but dont panic. The single most expensive item is TRACK. Track and switches are expensive, BUT they are also one of the most durable items we buy, and once you have it you HAVE IT. Also the sectional track covers a great deal of space with a relatively small number of pieces, so the cost is not as much as it might seam


Dont buy boxes and boxes of 12" sectional track. Get it in 3' or 5' lenths, whichever work best for the layout you will plan. The longest sections are the most cost effective. For example a simple 20' x 30' loop with 8' dia curves would only need 6 sections of 5' straight track. Longer works better for electrical conductivity also, less joints and use rail clamps if you can afford to, the little beggers really do work well.

And finally, HAVE FUN! Its your railroad, have fun with it.

Gnomes, birdhouses, fishponds, all are fair game in the garden. GOOD LUCK

   Have fun with your trains

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Posted by RhB_HJ on Tuesday, January 27, 2004 2:14 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by iandor

Have a good look at the LGB MTS system, its all by itself but very expensive to start with but once you have it you will be entranced as am I.




Until MTS3 is being rolled out I'd be very reluctant to recommend MTS. At the moment it is an entry level system with a midrange price tag. The technical information as well as the manuals leave much to be desired.
In many ways it reminds me of very ancient NC machine tools, you take the standard equipment and hang a control on it. Then you start improving step by step (MTS1, MTS2 ......MTS3?)

Not what I call the cat's meow, especially since there are various DCC systems that run circles around MTS and when all is added up (said and done) they are no more expensive than the MTS piece meal approach.
Cheers HJ

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