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Just Starting out

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  • Member since
    January 2020
  • 2 posts
Just Starting out
Posted by Train Fun on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 5:11 AM

Hi 

just joined the forum after spending several days reading different posts.  I to am just starting into working on a layout.  So far all I've managed to do is build the table for it 4' by 6' as space is limited.  I do have 2 O scale, 2 HO Scale and 2 N scale sets i've purchased over the last few years.  There are so many options out there it's a bit overwhelming but, I've pretty much decided to build N scale for the layout.  

I've seen so many posts and video's discussing track.  I was close to going with atlas and then I had all these choices of code track then looking more I saw Kato track and Peco as well.  Just looking for recent opinions on Track and power.

Thanks Smile

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • 142 posts
Posted by Trainzman2435 on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 9:38 AM

Train Fun

Hi 

just joined the forum after spending several days reading different posts.  I to am just starting into working on a layout.  So far all I've managed to do is build the table for it 4' by 6' as space is limited.  I do have 2 O scale, 2 HO Scale and 2 N scale sets i've purchased over the last few years.  There are so many options out there it's a bit overwhelming but, I've pretty much decided to build N scale for the layout.  

I've seen so many posts and video's discussing track.  I was close to going with atlas and then I had all these choices of code track then looking more I saw Kato track and Peco as well.  Just looking for recent opinions on Track and power.

Thanks Smile

 

Hello and welcome, you will find a ton of knowledgable and helpful people on this forumn. My personal experience, i have modeled both HO and now N scale over the years and have used Peco, Atlas, Kato Uni Track and never had any problems from any. I know Peco is a little more expensive but also a little more proto typical. Atlas has been around forever and im sure a lot of people including myself use it now with no issues either, its just maybe not as real looking as some of the more expensive brands but serves my purpose just fine. The Kato track is nice as it comes with its own built in roadbed and is easy to hook together but from what time i used it i thought it was a little pricy but good quality. There are a lot of track manufacturers out there and i guess a lot of it comes down to your budget and what looks good to you personally. Any of the above i mentioned are good track as far as i am concerned and i am sure there are some more experienced modelers that will chime in.......:)

  • Member since
    January 2009
  • 4,492 posts
Posted by RR_Mel on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 10:11 AM

Welcome to the Forum and the Greatest Hobby in the World. 
 
 
I’m older than dirt and have been modeling in HO scale since 1951.  I’ve never had a single problem with Atlas track in 69 years and as far as I’m concerned they all work great and once the ballast is done I can’t tell the difference between brands.
 
I kinda like the Peco Turnouts better than the Atlas, it’s not an operational preference I like the Peco switch machines over Atlas.
 
I’m glad I went with HO scale because old age and smaller don’t do well.  A year ago I had cataract surgery on both eyes so now I can see small stuff perfect but the loss of feeling it fingers still make it difficult to work on small stuff.
 
Take lots of pictures of your construction, they will come in handy later down the track.
 
 
 
Mel
 
 
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 
 
 
  • Member since
    March 2002
  • From: Milwaukee WI (Fox Point)
  • 10,246 posts
Posted by dknelson on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 11:18 AM

I am an HO scaler but I do have a bit of N scale stuff.  If I was in your shoes - first real layout, trying stuff out -- I'd think about Kato UniTrack.  The built in subroadbed enables you to try things, re-arrange, tear it all down and start over, while also giving a solid and reliable base for running trains.  Flex and sectional track with their rail joiners that get weak with every attachment/unattachment don't do that so well, and unless they are fastened in some manner to the top of the benchwork they tend to wander and tracks tend to separate. 

And it is possible to keep and use Kato UniTrack with regular sectional and flex track at a later time if you are willing to do a bit of tinkering with the transitions.

A local Milwaukee area N scaler uses Kato UniTrack exclusively and about every 3 years he tears down his very large and ambitious layout and creates a new track plan.  Perhaps the built in regularity and predictability of the Kato UniTrack, like any sectional track, is not the most beautifully flowing or creative looking track but it is very reliable, looks good and encourages experimentation with fewer "penalties" than with other sorts of track.

Dave Nelson

  • Member since
    July 2009
  • From: Newmarket, ON Canada
  • 309 posts
Posted by Aralai on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 2:18 PM

I have been modeling HO since the 1960's. I like HO especially now when my eyesight is not so good, as it's easier to see details. I use Atlas Code 100 track and Peco turnouts, as others have said - just a preference. I like the Atlas track but prefer the Peco turnouts.

Follow me on Instagram: http://instagram.com/stephenkingsmaine

  • Member since
    February 2002
  • From: Mpls/St.Paul
  • 11,412 posts
Posted by wjstix on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 4:08 PM

I'd second the vote for N-scale and Kato Unitrack. Unitrack is a lot easier to use than regular sectional or flextrack, with cork roadbed and ballasting and all that. Especially nice for a "flat top" layout as you can try out different track arrangements and run trains on them to see what works best. You can always later raise the track using Woodland Scenics foam risers, so you can put in bridges and scenery both above and below track level.

Stix
sol
  • Member since
    January 2007
  • 19 posts
Posted by sol on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 4:41 PM
4' by 6' is perfect for N scale. anything larger would look very toy like. Ron
  • Member since
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 6,456 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 4:45 PM

wjstix
I'd second the vote for N-scale and Kato Unitrack.

.

Third vote for N scale Kato Unitrack for your small first layout.

.

You will find enough things to be frustrating. This will save frustrations with track laying and ballasting, get trains running faster, and get you onto the more fun parts of the hobby.

.

-Kevin

.

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

  • Member since
    October 2007
  • From: Fullerton, California
  • 981 posts
Posted by hornblower on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 12:33 PM

Most of the N scale layouts I have operated use Atlas flex track and Peco turnouts.  The Atlas flex is usually less expensive than other brands.  The Peco turnouts use a built in over-center spring on the points meaning you really don't need switch motors or ground throws to operate them.  Just push the points to the desired direction and the over-center spring will hold the points in place. Although the Peco turnouts are more expensive than other brands, the ability to eliminate the switch motors tends to even out the installed price with other brands.

Hornblower

  • Member since
    January 2020
  • 2 posts
Posted by Train Fun on Thursday, January 16, 2020 3:46 AM

Thank you everyone for taking the time to share your thoughts.  I have to agree i'm liking the Kato unitrack as well to start with, prices vary depending on where I look (even Kato site).  Being in Hawaii we have a couole of hobby stores that don't carry much of anything and virtually nothing in N but, I can buy a Lionel HO scale north pole express LOL.  I've seen some layout ideas I like and the parts on Amazon and Ebay.  I figure start slow and small and as I build and play it will come to me and can keep in a budget as am interested in DCC as well, but one thing at a time.  I should be able to use the existing power supplies for now and go from there.

 

Mahalo!

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