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Longtime fan, first time poster

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  • Member since
    January 2022
  • 10 posts
Longtime fan, first time poster
Posted by Hoff on Wednesday, January 5, 2022 12:22 PM

Hi folks, I'm Hoff, from Pittsburgh, PA. I'm glad to see I'm not the only newbie posting. That's good news.

I started getting into garden railroading 10 or so years ago. I saw an issue of Garden Railways at the bookstore and took it home. I never knew such a thing existed, but daydreamer that I am, it pulled me in. Since then I've accumulated some track, some power and a handful of locomotives and rolling stock. For a couple of years, I had a crude oval set up among the pines next to my front porch - a great place to watch the trains go round at night - but not permanent. Now, after a few years of hard work in the backyard, this is the summer I hope to get those trains running outside for good! I have a 16x9-foot pond the mainline will loop around, with stops at my wife's fairy garden on one side, and my son's and my beach town on the other. It's a surfer's paradise for 3 inch people!

I have to admit I felt a little lost when GR stopped the magazine. It was one of the things I really looked forward to getting and reading on the porch swing as I planned my own line in my head.

Good to know there's a lively, friendly and active community here.

Cheers.

Tags: greetings , new

Hoff

  • Member since
    August 2021
  • 110 posts
Posted by Swiss-Colorado-Lines on Wednesday, January 5, 2022 5:57 PM

Hoff,

welcome. It's fun here, nothing beats relaxing outside with a couple of trains chugging around! Can't beat it!

The magazine is gone, but G has a dedicated following, it's not going anywhere.... Reminds me of American Flyer S gauge: they stopped making the originals back in the '60's, but still a dedicated following ( including me)!

I would love to hear of your progress, and any questions you might think of....

Paul

  • Member since
    February 2013
  • 847 posts
Posted by PVT Kanaka on Thursday, January 6, 2022 1:07 AM

Aloha, Hoff!

 

We look forward to seeing your progress.  

 

Eric

  • Member since
    November 2012
  • From: Kokomo, Indiana
  • 1,463 posts
Posted by emdmike on Thursday, January 6, 2022 9:03 AM

Welcome aboard.  Yes it was a sad day when Garden Railways stopped being published.   But plenty of used older issues out there, I have a stack going back to before Kalmbach was publishing/owning the magazine.  Most are very tatty from being read several times.  Another facet that can suck you in is Live Steam on a garden railway.  I would also suggest you look hard into onboard battery RC control as the upkeep of rails and rail joints gets time comsuming as the years go by to keep track powered trains running smooth.  I did this at the same time that I started with Live Steam operation and I use the same palm size controler for both of my motive power.   Roundhouse Engineering in the UK, Regner and Accucraft are the big names in ready to run live steam.  Regner makes a nice little baby Heisler logging engine or the freelance Lumberjack geared logging engine.   Roundhouse does the little Sammie USA style saddle tank engine in their basic series, and the  Davenport saddle tank in the Classic range of models.   The sights, sounds and the smell of hot oil and steam is very hard to resist.   I am looking forward to pictures of your railway once you start construction.    Good luck and welcome aboard.  You can also check out mylargescale forum, it has a very active bunch of guys and the live steam catagory is the most active of any online forum.     Mike

Silly NT's, I have Asperger's Syndrome

  • Member since
    January 2022
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Posted by Hoff on Thursday, January 6, 2022 9:54 AM

Thanks, Paul! I'm glad to know G is still thriving. It is a great time. I'll update and post photos if possible.

Hoff

Hoff

  • Member since
    January 2022
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Posted by Hoff on Thursday, January 6, 2022 9:55 AM

Aloha, Eric!

I just read your blog about the Tripple O and loved it. 

Hoff

Hoff

  • Member since
    January 2022
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Posted by Hoff on Thursday, January 6, 2022 9:57 AM

Thanks Mike.

My issues are getting a little tattered as well. I pull them out every year at this time to refresh my memory. I haven't gone battery or tried live steam yet, but no doubt at some point I will!

Hoff

Hoff

  • Member since
    February 2013
  • 847 posts
Posted by PVT Kanaka on Friday, January 7, 2022 1:08 AM

Hoff

Aloha, Eric!

I just read your blog about the Tripple O and loved it. 

Hoff

 

 

Thank you for your kind words!  It was a sad day when I drew the blog to a close, but it was time given the project's maturation, Tom's passing, and the magazine's ending.  We are all still active though maintaining and upgrading our little railroad!

 

Echoing Mike's notes about battery power, in the "grand do over," I'd have invested in a battery charger and a good radio control system.  You don't know what you don't know, though, and, to be fair, I have a large collection of old LGB models that I enjoy running, which would make converting them all to R/C cost-prohibitive.

 

There are numerous e-food fights out there about track vs. battery power, and I've no intention to throw a snadwich into cyber space!  Still, you should at least look at your options.  In my case,  to get my track-powered RR to run reliably, I have had to spend about as much on railclamps as I would have to convert one or two locos to battery power with R/C control, and I am only half way done clamping!  On the other hand, I was able to spread the cost out over time, and as mentioned, I am able to run all of my locos from yesteryear, which is important to me as they are little time capsules.

 

If you go with battery power, you will also want to consider how you plan to enjoy your railroad.  If operations are in your future, I would guess that R/C is your best bet.  Or pike is for visual enjoyment, entertainment, and "hands-on" interaction, so fine control is less an issue.  We have a battery powered loco that uses a magnet to turn it on and off and switch to reverse it (See this product:   Magnetic Critter Control (gscalegraphics.net)).  It is a delightful and easy to use device!

 

Eric

  • Member since
    April 2002
  • From: Wisconsin
  • 1,810 posts
Posted by Rene Schweitzer on Friday, January 7, 2022 12:39 PM

Hello all,

I'd like to remind everyone that, though there isn't a print magazine anymore, we are still purchasing and posting NEW articles online every week! We also post product news weekly (or when they are new items to share).  If you're not a member of Trains.com, you can view 8 free articles per month.

That being said, we are also buying manuscripts for online publication. At the moment, we are looking for articles about track (laying track, roadbed, track planning, wiring track, etc). Submission information is here: https://www.trains.com/grw/magazine/contributor-guidelines/

 

Rene

Rene Schweitzer

Classic Toy Trains/Garden Railways/Model Railroader

  • Member since
    January 2022
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Posted by Hoff on Friday, January 7, 2022 3:17 PM

Thank you, Rene!

I've been keeping up to date, and really enjoy the video series you've been doing. They're a big help!

Hoff

Hoff

  • Member since
    January 2022
  • 10 posts
Posted by Hoff on Friday, January 7, 2022 3:21 PM

Hi Eric,

I think my biggest aprehension about going battery is my lack of knowledge and/or fear of messing up some expensive engines! Unfortunately, there are very few...maybe no...hobby shops around here that carry or service G-scale. 

I am good at YouTube, however, so at some point I will probably try it out.

I'm not huge into prototypical action. I'm more of a "grab a beer and watch it go" guy. But you never know how it'll play out.

Regards,
Hoff

Hoff

  • Member since
    February 2013
  • 847 posts
Posted by PVT Kanaka on Friday, January 7, 2022 10:43 PM

@Rene:  Thanks for the reminder!

 

@Hoff:  I am gradually slipping towards battery power. Like you, eletrical  stuff scares me!  I did have some success installing one of thos critter controllers in a PIKO clean machine: Anybody ever put a Magnetic Critter Controller into a PIKO Clean Machine? Anybody ever put a Magnetic Critter Controller into a PIKO Clean Machine? - Garden Railways Magazine (trains.com).  This is as basic as it gets, and it has made an enjoyable little loco even more enjoyable.  

 

Eric

  • Member since
    November 2012
  • From: Kokomo, Indiana
  • 1,463 posts
Posted by emdmike on Saturday, January 8, 2022 4:29 PM

Hoff, RLD hobbies in Albion IL will do the rc install for you in your chosen locomotive.  Robbie and his staff are experts at battery RC.  I highly recommend the Crest Revolution but if something better has come along, Robbie will know about it and can advise you.  His shop is nothing but G scale.  He has a massive outdoor railway and holds open houses in the spring and fall.  Guys come to it from all over the country, its that good of an event.  Some guys, mostly in the UK run nothing but live steam.   Then there is zero need for power on the railway unless its to light up buildings and street lights.   The railway is a living and breathing steam railway, just as it was many years ago.   There are lots of options, but I can speak from experience that track power outdoors becomes a pain in the butt as time goes on.  Once I went battery, I never once looked back.  

Silly NT's, I have Asperger's Syndrome

  • Member since
    January 2022
  • 10 posts
Posted by Hoff on Monday, January 10, 2022 11:04 AM

Thanks, Mike - this is great information. I may have to take a road trip.

 

Hoff

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