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The reason I'm becoming a model railroader is...................

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The reason I'm becoming a model railroader is...................
Posted by Slowmodem on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 10:21 AM

Hello,

Im new here and to model railroading.  Sure, I had the 3-track Lionel electric train back in the 60s for Christmas.  But it just went in an oval over and over and finally the transformer conked out and it got tossed.

But recently my wife's son and his son came to visit. I took my grandson (age 6) to the outlet mall in Crossville, TN. There is a giant sized model railroad display in an empty store. His eyes were as big as saucers the whole time we were there. He still talks about it!
 
So being the soft touch that I am, I decided to get some trains and start into model railroading. Both of my grandfathers and my wife's grandfather worked for railroads, so it's not such a random indulgence.  Also,periodically I unload coal cars at a coal-burning power plant, so there's a personal connection.  I can teach him all those things when he visits along with playing with the trains.
 
I am a veteran of the cold war in Germany in Alpha Troop, 1/11 ACR, Fulda Germany guarding the Fulda Gap.  I ran across some great items for my setup, which I couldn't resist. I had to get some flatcars, M551 Sheridans, M60 tanks, 113s, 114s, gamma goats, and M578 and M88 recovery vehicles. There's even a M48 style bridge. I know my grandson isn't old enough to appreciate it, but I will appreciate it. And my step-son spent a year in Iraq and he will appreciate it.
 
So there, I thought I'd introduce myself.  So far I have a hundred cars or so and a few engines.  I don't have any track or transformers yet.  From what I've read, the transformers have really changed, and there's sound, now, too!  So I've got a lot to learn.  I'll be doind a lot of reading''
 
Thanks for reading and any future help.  :)
 
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Posted by RR_Mel on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 6:27 PM

 Welcome
 
Welcome to the Forum!  Your first few post are moderated so don’t expect to be able to reply quickly.
 
You didn’t mention the scale you are modeling.  I am an Southern Pacific HO nut for over 68 years (early to mid 50s era) and Lionel 027 three rail for 6 years before I cutover to HO.
 
 
Mel
 
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 
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Posted by PC101 on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 6:42 PM

Slowmodem, first in order, THANK YOU and your step son for your Service. Military vehicals on flats chocked and chained are exciting to watch go down the rail. I model the Penn Central Transportation Co. in HO, so looks like we ship the same payloads.  Welcome here.  

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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 8:37 PM

Hi Slowmodem!

Welcome to the hobby and to the forums!    Welcome

I will also thank you and your step son for your service.Thumbs Up

You have lots to learn. Feel free to ask your questions here, and if anybody whines about the questions having been asked before, ignore them!

Just briefly, if you want sound then you will be using Digital Command Control (DCC) as opposed to "transformers" which are used in Direct Current (DC) layouts. There is nothing wrong with either system, but with DCC you get to run your trains, and with DC you tend to spend a fair bit of time flipping switches to control the layout (unless you get into highly complicated systems like our friend Sheldon uses).

I like your choice of loads so far. A few years ago I scored six HO scale Sherman tanks for peanuts so at least I have a start for a decent military train. The Shermans are now above my pay grade so unless I get lucky again it will be a short train!Smile, Wink & GrinLaughLaugh

Cheers!!

Dave

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Posted by doctorwayne on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 10:00 PM

Welcome to the Model Railroader Forums, Slowmodem!

hon30critter
.....There is nothing wrong with either system, but with DCC you get to run your trains, and with DC you tend to spend a fair bit of time flipping switches to control the layout (unless you get into highly complicated systems like our friend Sheldon uses).....

...or the very simple DC system that I use.  Pick a train to run, throw a turnout or two along the way and maybe flip a switch to energise the track you wish to use.  You'd be running only one train at a time, so nothing too complicated at all. 
If your layout is interesting enough, and you're the sole operator, one train running at a time will provide plenty of interest and as much activity as you wish to create.

Wayne

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Posted by Slowmodem on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 10:36 PM

Oops, you're right.  I am going HO scale.  I have mainly L&N for me and DT&I where my wife's grandfather worked.  I also have some Southern and Norfolk Southern.  Although, I noticed a "Central Of Georgia" locomotive pushing on a coal train at work the other day, so I'm looking at getting one of those locomotives.  Thanks for the welcome!  Smile

 

RR_Mel

 Welcome
 
Welcome to the Forum!  Your first few post are moderated so don’t expect to be able to reply quickly.
 
You didn’t mention the scale you are modeling.  I am an Southern Pacific HO nut for over 68 years (early to mid 50s era) and Lionel 027 three rail for 6 years before I cutover to HO.
 
 
Mel
 
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 
 

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Posted by Slowmodem on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 10:54 PM

Thank you for your reply and your welcome.  I did quite a bit of rail loading with tanks when I was in Germany.  We had to go from Fulda to either Wildflecken or Graf to qualify on our vehicles.

 

 

 

PC101

Slowmodem, first in order, THANK YOU and your step son for your Service. Military vehicals on flats chocked and chained are exciting to watch go down the rail. I model the Penn Central Transportation Co. in HO, so looks like we ship the same payloads.  Welcome here.  

 

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Posted by Slowmodem on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 11:10 PM

Thanks for the reply and welcome.  I have discovered DCC and some of my locomotives that I have came with it.  I don't have any track or controllers yet.  I think I'll be able to figure out the DCC.  They've really came a long way with trains since the 1960s!

 

hon30critter

Hi Slowmodem!

Welcome to the hobby and to the forums!    Welcome

I will also thank you and your step son for your service.Thumbs Up

You have lots to learn. Feel free to ask your questions here, and if anybody whines about the questions having been asked before, ignore them!

Just briefly, if you want sound then you will be using Digital Command Control (DCC) as opposed to "transformers" which are used in Direct Current (DC) layouts. There is nothing wrong with either system, but with DCC you get to run your trains, and with DC you tend to spend a fair bit of time flipping switches to control the layout (unless you get into highly complicated systems like our friend Sheldon uses).

I like your choice of loads so far. A few years ago I scored six HO scale Sherman tanks for peanuts so at least I have a start for a decent military train. The Shermans are now above my pay grade so unless I get lucky again it will be a short train!Smile, Wink & GrinLaughLaugh

Cheers!!

Dave

 

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Posted by Slowmodem on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 11:24 PM

Thank you for your reply and your welcome.  I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet.  I may have cars hooked up and sitting on a shelf for now.  Eventually I will get some plywood or something and make a layout.  I'm going to get my grandson to help when he visits (They live in Indianapolis).

I have bought several dummy engines which, I guess, is the cheap way out to make a long train.

There are some great scenery items nowadays.  Since I work at a power plant, it was hard to resist the Walthers Cornerstone HO Scale Northern Light Power Plant.  I was really surprised at the detail.  I can already see my money going down a hole!  Smile

 

 

doctorwayne

Welcome to the Model Railroader Forums, Slowmodem!

 

 
hon30critter
.....There is nothing wrong with either system, but with DCC you get to run your trains, and with DC you tend to spend a fair bit of time flipping switches to control the layout (unless you get into highly complicated systems like our friend Sheldon uses).....

 

...or the very simple DC system that I use.  Pick a train to run, throw a turnout or two along the way and maybe flip a switch to energise the track you wish to use.  You'd be running only one train at a time, so nothing too complicated at all. 
If your layout is interesting enough, and you're the sole operator, one train running at a time will provide plenty of interest and as much activity as you wish to create.

Wayne

 

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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 11:43 PM

post deleted

Edit: I deleted my comments because I didn't want to seem to be condescending about DC railroads. That wasn't my intention, but I couldn't find the right words to express my thoughts without seeming to be so.

Dave

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Posted by Slowmodem on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 11:46 PM

I've not been able to find the right way to post.  Is there a way to upload a photo from my hard drive into a message here?  I clicked insert image, but it seem to be for adding photos that are already on the internet.  Thanks!  :)

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Posted by NVSRR on Thursday, September 12, 2019 7:20 AM

I was infected by a lionel postwar 6110 set that was my grandfathers.  A way back when i was 4.    I recently got into postwar.  Ontop of the Ho layout. And largescale

A pessimist sees a dark tunnel

An optimist sees the light at the end of the tunnel

A realist sees a frieght train

An engineer sees three idiots standing on the tracks stairing blankly in space

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Posted by SPSOT fan on Thursday, September 12, 2019 7:52 AM

Firstly Welcome to the MR forums! Hope you stick around!

You have a lot of good reasons to be in model railroading! And a couple of good ideas of the things you’d like to run!

The very first thing you’ll need to decide when you get into the hobby is what scale you are going to model in. You haven’t told us what your scale is, but your using a lot of 3rail O scale terminology (i.e. Transformer, which in HO and smaller is generally called a powerpack, though we still get your meaning!) so am I correct in assuming your in 3 rail O?

Also era and location are important, they are what really define what kind of trains you will run and make your railroad seem like a realistic railroad system and not a random mix of trains. Of course if you do want a varied mix of trains from all different era/location, that is fine. I suspect if you stick around you will often hear (read?) it your railroad or something similar. This is VERY applicable here.

If you need help deciding these things please give us some more about you model railrailroading specific interest, I’m sure we’ll be happy to help!

Regards, Isaac

I model my railroad and you model yours! I model my way and you model yours!

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Thursday, September 12, 2019 8:21 AM

hon30critter

post deleted

Edit: I deleted my comments because I didn't want to seem to be condescending about DC railroads. That wasn't my intention, but I couldn't find the right words to express my thoughts without seeming to be so.

Dave

 

Dave, I thought you comment was just fine. Here is the thing, we tend to view this issue of control systems based on our own goals, and our own previous experiences.

Unfortunately, a lot of guys never had a chance to operate on a well designed DC system for multi train operation, so they tend to have "toggle flipping syndrome" regarding DC.

But take Dr Wayne for instance, he has no interest in sound, no interest even in lighting effects, he only runs one train at a time. Good DC throttles provide speed control just as good as DCC.

What possible advantage would he gain with DCC?

You on the other hand are managing a club, DCC is a no brainer, you NEED it.

My goals focus around CTC and signaling, you need blocks for that anyway, you will have a lot of wiring with DCC or DC, so, considering my dis interest in sound, and the availability of wireless DC throttles, combined with my electronics skill set, that made advanced DC cab control the right choice for me.

Not to mention I already had 100 newer, but not DCC equipped locos.......

People who had poor experiences with DC multi train operations will naturally see DCC as the solution, and that is fine.

My point has always been simply that "one size does not fit all".

DCC is also good for those who are at some "intermediate" point in the hobby, but not yet sure of their long term goals, it is flexible.

A system like mine requires you to understand in advance what you want, and what you don't want or need, and to design the control system details based on that.

Take care,

Sheldon

    

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Thursday, September 12, 2019 8:23 AM

Slowmodem,

Welcome to the the hobby and the forum. Ask all the questions you can, you will get lots of opinions and good advice here.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Thursday, September 12, 2019 8:59 AM

Welcome

.

I hope to see you around and joining in our discussions.

.

-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.

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Posted by RR_Mel on Thursday, September 12, 2019 9:17 AM

Slowmodem

Check out Steven Otte’s How to Post a Photo to the Forums
 
 
 
 
Mel
 
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 
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Posted by wjstix on Thursday, September 12, 2019 9:21 AM

Slowmodem
I have mainly L&N for me and DT&I where my wife's grandfather worked. I also have some Southern and Norfolk Southern. Although, I noticed a "Central Of Georgia" locomotive pushing on a coal train at work the other day, so I'm looking at getting one of those locomotives.

A few years ago Norfolk Southern created some "heritage units", modern diesels decorated in paint schemes saluting the various railroads that make up today's Norfolk Southern. Central of Georgia was one of the units, as were engines decorated for the Southern, Norfolk & Western, the old (original) Norfolk Southern, and others.

One thing I would do first is pause. Read as much as you can, learn about the hobby and railroading before diving headfirst into buying a lot of stuff. It can be hard to do, but taking time to decide what you want to do (location, era, railroad(s) to model, etc.) will pay off in the long run.

BTW sorry to hear that 1960's Lionel train got "tossed" when the transformer failed. "Pre-MPC" trains (Lionel trains made before about 1970) can be worth more money than you might think.

Stix
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Posted by PC101 on Thursday, September 12, 2019 11:54 PM

If I had to guess, I'd say HO, reason being Slowmodem mentioned what Military vehicals he intended to haul. Those may be ROCO/ MINITANKS. I haul those same type of vehicals over the PC's rails. Just my guess. 

Edit: I just went back up and see Slowmodem said he is HO. Oh well my post here will stay.

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Posted by BRAKIE on Friday, September 13, 2019 9:50 AM

Welcome to the Forum and a great hobby! 

As a new comer I will suggest a subscription to Model Railroader  and suggest the following book from Kalmbach.

1.4x8 Track Plans Vol.2

The reason I suggest a 4x8 foot layout is to gain experience  in track laying and scenery.

There is no rules stating you can't buy the locomotives of you choice but, as a pondering thought the  majority of us choose a railroad to model and buy locomotives for that road name.

Again you are cerntainly free to buy whatever fancies your eye after all its your hobby to enjoy in the manner that pleases you.

Larry

SSRy

Conductor

“Shut one’s eyes tight or open one’s arms wide, either way, one’s a fool.” Flemeth-the witch of the Wilds.
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Posted by riogrande5761 on Friday, September 13, 2019 10:53 AM

The reason I'm becoming a model railroader is.................

The Reason is quite simple for many of us: 

Model Railroading is Fun!

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by Slowmodem on Friday, September 13, 2019 3:36 PM

Here is a test.  I think the privacy is selected to public where it is stored.

I can see the picture in the post.  I think that's the way to go.  Thank you for your indulgence.  :)

My Grandfather on the Etowah, TN to Corbin, KY run for the L&N

 

Same photo from another host.

I would appreciate it if you would let me know if you can not see it.  Thanks.

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Posted by doctorwayne on Friday, September 13, 2019 4:07 PM

Slowmodem
...I would appreciate it if you would let me know if you can not see it....

The black & white photo of of an L&N ALCo FA heading-up a train shows just fine, for me.

Wayne

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Posted by Slowmodem on Friday, September 13, 2019 5:35 PM

Oh that's great!  Thank you.  That was my Papaw's last run, i believe in the early 70s.

doctorwayne

 

 
Slowmodem
...I would appreciate it if you would let me know if you can not see it....

 

The black & white photo of of an L&N ALCo FA heading-up a train shows just fine, for me.

Wayne

 

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Posted by Slowmodem on Friday, September 13, 2019 6:12 PM

Thank you.  I think I have it figured out.

I see you're from Bakersfield.  I've seen some railroad videos about Tehachapi Pass and loop.  A lot of folks here in TN don't realize that out west they have REAL mountains.

Of course here in TN, when we hear Bakersfield, we think of Buck Owens.  :)

We have a small loop in east TN not too far from here that was kind of famous back when the trains were running out of Copper Hill (which was the only desert east of the Mississippi before they reclaimed it with landscaping and greenery).  Copper Hill was a giant copper strip mine up until the 70s.

They have museum rides in the fall to see the leaves and scenery.  It's hard to see on Google maps.  But here is an old picture of it:

Hiwassee River Rail Loop

 

 

RR_Mel

Slowmodem

Check out Steven Otte’s How to Post a Photo to the Forums
 
 
 
 
Mel
 
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 
 

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Posted by Slowmodem on Friday, September 13, 2019 6:50 PM

Wow!  A quick scan of ebay and Amazon on model railroading layouts reveals hundreds of books on the subject.  That will take some pondering.  I couldn't find the exact title you recommended.  Much of my railroad will be in my garage which is around 800 sq ft.  But there's an old pickup in on e half of it, workbench, etc.  So I'll have to consider stuff like that for my layout.  But I will be consulting Google and a lot of books and this board for recommendations on how to do this.  A lot of it will depend on what things I can get for it and how they work.  Plus I'm sure I'll probably make it one way, then take it apart and make it another way.

There are two major railroads in my area:  CSX (formerly L&N) and Norfolk Southern (Formerly Southern).  Where I work has a railroad to haul coal cars in to the coal plant where I work.  I am going to set up a train like my grandfather drove (L&N), a train where my wife's grandfather worked (DT&I), and a train where I work (TVAX).  My profile picture is takin on a GP10 #4602.  I have the L&N engine in my grandfather's picture (although I'm going to have to change the number).  I have a DT&I Engine (the number isn't important, as her grandfather worked the telegraph/signals/etc).   I have the GP-10 where I work, but I need tto change the decal from US Army to TVAX (we bought it surplus from the army) and I need to change the number.

Thank you for your advice!  :)  This is going to be enjoyable.

BRAKIE

Welcome to the Forum and a great hobby! 

As a new comer I will suggest a subscription to Model Railroader  and suggest the following book from Kalmbach.

1.4x8 Track Plans Vol.2

The reason I suggest a 4x8 foot layout is to gain experience  in track laying and scenery.

There is no rules stating you can't buy the locomotives of you choice but, as a pondering thought the  majority of us choose a railroad to model and buy locomotives for that road name.

Again you are cerntainly free to buy whatever fancies your eye after all its your hobby to enjoy in the manner that pleases you.

 

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Posted by ShortCircuit on Friday, September 13, 2019 6:55 PM

Gosh I was looking at Train Stuff and had a Flashback to doing Fire Control stuff at Vilseck and Grafenwöhr on M48 A2'S after reading this.Whistling

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Posted by Slowmodem on Monday, September 16, 2019 4:23 AM

It's The Brotherhood of Tankers!  It never leaves you.  (right now, I'm dealing with the bad back!)  I got two trips to Graf while I was over there.

 

Great fun in the snow (yeahright)!

by 1979 we had M60s and 113s.

 

ShortCircuit

Gosh I was looking at Train Stuff and had a Flashback to doing Fire Control stuff at Vilseck and Grafenwöhr on M48 A2'S after reading this.Whistling

 

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