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Model trains cost an arm and a leg

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Posted by Track fiddler on Monday, May 23, 2022 10:09 AM

I wonder if I can get it locked to put the complaining away.

If something's too expensive, here's a song that explains how to fix that.

Years in a court battle they spent millions without batting an eye to win the rights to keep their name alive to continue what they love to do.

Nobody ever thought the two main members (in dispute as one of them wanted to make the music too negative) would ever come together again for just one more.

The indoor stadiums that are huge we're not large enough capacity to accommodate how many people wanted to go watch four old men play and have fun.

So here's four old guys having fun doing what they love, never complaining about a thing.

 

https://youtu.be/Kjgwjh4H7wg

 

If you like trains, never complain while paying the piper.  Just continue to have fun doing what you love to doYes

 

 

PF not TF

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Posted by John-NYBW on Monday, May 23, 2022 10:47 AM

Track fiddler

I wonder if I can get it locked and put all the complaining away.

If something's too expensive for you, here's a song that explains how to fix that.

Years in a court battle they spent millions without batting an eye to win the rights to keep their name and continue what they love to do.

Nobody ever thought the two main members (in dispute as one of them wanted to make the music too negative) would ever come together for just one more.

The indoor stadiums that are huge we're not large enough capacity to accommodate how many people wanted to go watch four old men play and have fun.

So here's four old guys doing what they love, never complaining about a thing.

 

https://youtu.be/Kjgwjh4H7wg

 

If you like trains, never complain while paying the piper and continue doing what you love to doYes

 

 

PF not TF

 

The Ohio State Fair has long put on grandstand shows featuring A-list stars. They used to be held at an outdoor grandstand free of charge to fairgoers. When they tore that down and replaced it with an indoor venue, seating was more limited and they started charging $10 a person. One of the acts they booked was the Highwaymen, a group composed of Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, and Waylon Jennings. It sold out almost immediately. I went there anyway, hoping I could get a ticket from a scalper at a reasonable cost. I ended up running into a guy who had just had a fight with his girlfriend and she left him. He was selling her ticket at face value. It gets better. The ticket was in the second row, right in front of the stage. I wasn't 20 feet from the performers the whole show and what a great show it was. Sometimes you just have to be in the right place at the right time. 

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Posted by Track fiddler on Monday, May 23, 2022 11:20 AM

Sweet!  I like all the members listed and would have been in on that one John.  

My brother used to work for a professional photography company and got assigned on some shoots for some big has been bands that performed around here. 

His assistant got transfered and I went to sub for him on a few shoots.  I didn't care if they were has beens since I got to meet Willie Nelson, The Oak Ridge Boys, and Alabama.

I know this is a forum that strictly enforces only subjects of model railroads and trains with exception of the Diner.  I wonder if we'd get away with a thread for posting songs about trains as it might be kind of fun as there is a lot of them.

This may be a little too upbeat for some here but holds some good memories of Good Times as other train songs do as well.

 

https://youtu.be/IPjVThtwWqo

 

 

TF

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Posted by wjstix on Monday, May 23, 2022 11:52 AM

First re prices, it's true the "up front" costs can be high. Building materials for benchwork, DCC systems, etc. can be costly. However, you don't have to start with the most expensive items. It's kinda like saying I can't afford an automobile because I can't afford a new Cadillac or Mercedes. There are alternatives.

BroadwayLion
I remember buying new AHM pax cars at $4.00 each...

You can still get AHM / Rivarossi cars - sometimes with interiors - for $10-$20 if you shop around railroad flea markets or online. Yes you can buy state-of-the-art passenger cars for $80, but you don't have to. Just for fun, I created a 7-car heavyweight GN Empire Builder, see how little money I could spend. Most of the cars are AHM/Rivarossi cars (fortunately their Baggage car is pretty close to the GN ones) which I bought for an average of about $10 each. I bought two Walthers car - a sleeper and the solarium observation - for about $30 each, since there weren't other / cheaper versions of those cars.

Stix
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Posted by John-NYBW on Monday, May 23, 2022 12:24 PM

I was at a train show a couple years ago and I found a set of Rivarossi B&O heavyweights with interiors for $10 apiece. I don't even model the B&O but at that price I couldn't resist. I bought all five and now have the basis of a nice train. They need some upgrades like body mounted KDs and metal wheels but even then I'll have less than $20 per car. I'm sure I could come up with some excuse to run them on my layout. 

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Posted by selector on Monday, May 23, 2022 2:57 PM

wjstix

First re prices, it's true the "up front" costs can be high. Building materials for benchwork, DCC systems, etc. can be costly... 

I can't honestly recall, it has been 16 years, but I must have spent $500+ just on tools before I began construction on my first layout.  I left the military with just a small knapsack with some drivers and wrenches, maybe a locking plier. I had to get an orbital sander, files, needlenosed pliers, circular saw,... When I built the second layout, about 16 months later (basement was finished per SWMBO's 'request'), I decided on splined roadbed and frame construction.  I needed power drivers/drill, table saw, etc.  

It all adds up!

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Posted by Doughless on Monday, May 23, 2022 3:13 PM

An expensive way to approach the hobby is to lock yourself into modeling a specific railroad, in a specific location, at a specific time point.  An exact replica of something that happened. 

You'll spend your time searching for the correct components, and paying for those exact components once you find them...often times paying a premium for the only model available.

If you freelance, or make up your own railroad, you have a broader universe of models with which to find good deals.

If I was starting out and on a budget, I would model a small to medium sized railroad and buy a couple of Walthers Mainline NW2s or SW7s.  Nice little runners with ESU sound for about $150 each.  

You can scrounge around for deals on rolling stock.

Ebay often has used track...check the condition....sometimes about 1/3 to 1/4 the price you'd buy new.

- Douglas

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Posted by Doughless on Monday, May 23, 2022 3:28 PM

selector

 

 
wjstix

First re prices, it's true the "up front" costs can be high. Building materials for benchwork, DCC systems, etc. can be costly... 

 

 

I can't honestly recall, it has been 16 years, but I must have spent $500+ just on tools before I began construction on my first layout.  I left the military with just a small knapsack with some drivers and wrenches, maybe a locking plier. I had to get an orbital sander, files, needlenosed pliers, circular saw,... When I built the second layout, about 16 months later (basement was finished per SWMBO's 'request'), I decided on splined roadbed and frame construction.  I needed power drivers/drill, table saw, etc.  

It all adds up!

 

My tools used for this hobby over the past 25 years have been:

Jig saw

Chop saw

Cordless drill.  An unneeded luxury compared to a corded drill since building a layout is not a mobile effort.  Extension cords cost about $8.

Drill screw driver bits.

For the trains:

One small pliers that I used for just about everything model maintenance wise,  curved at the tip that cost about $5.00 20 years ago.

Two other small pliers.

Two small household "jewelers" screw driver sets...one phillips head and one slotted head.

A hobby knife, with a regular blade, chisel blade, and curved blade.

A few small drill bits....number 78 and 65 come to mind.

A pin vise, when needed.

A small paint brush set.  Not el cheapo kind but not world class artist quality either.

91% alcohol and qtips.

- Douglas

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Posted by wjstix on Monday, May 23, 2022 3:49 PM

Well, I was really talking about building the layout, not the fine tools needed to work on models. I built my layout with basically just a handsaw, electric drill, and big screwdriver. However, you now have to pay more than in the past to find straight 'stick' lumber, and plywood costs a lot more too (although most of my layout is built on 16" shelfs attached to hangers on the wall).

I started with a small section of the layout and operated it as a switching layout, then expanded over time. If I had tried to do it all at once, the cost would more than I could afford. But doing some now and some later worked fine. It's easy to try to do too much right at the start.

Stix
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Posted by John-NYBW on Monday, May 23, 2022 3:53 PM

Track fiddler

Sweet!  I like all the members listed and would have been in on that one John.  

I had seen both Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson perform individually at the state fair when it was still a free outdoor show. Johnny Cash played there in the late 1960s. I saw Willie Nelson some time in the 1990s. I also ran into Willie Nelson on a golf course. I had sprayed my shot over into his fairway as his group was coming the opposite direction. Fortunately I didn't come close to hitting anybody.

 

I know this is a forum that strictly enforces only subjects of model railroads and trains with exception of the Diner.  I wonder if we'd get away with a thread for posting songs about trains as it might be kind of fun as there is a lot of them.

This may be a little too upbeat for some here but holds some good memories of Good Times as other train songs do as well.

Several years ago, maybe more than several, I started a thread about favorite train songs. As I recall it got a lot of responses. My all time favorite is City of New Orleans.

UPDATE: I came across these two videos. The first is The City of New Orleans being performed by the Highwaymen.

The Highwaymen - City of New Orleans (American Outlaws: Live at Nassau Coliseum, 1990) - YouTube

The second is Arlo Guthrie performing the song with video of what I am guessing is an Illinois Central excursion plus other vintage IC footage.

City of New Orleans, Arlo Guthrie - YouTube

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Posted by jjdamnit on Monday, May 23, 2022 4:04 PM

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

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Posted by southernpacificgs4 on Monday, May 23, 2022 5:31 PM

I do not want to rain on the parade of some posters here.

Today I received a mail from a seller well know in the US for selling model trains; you can pre-order some passenger cars with sound and interor lights or with interor lights only.

sound and light: $169.99 iso $199.99 

lights only : $127.49 iso $149.99

So the normal selling price will $199.99 and $149.99 but if I understand it those cars are now on sale in pre-order, before they are availible.

That you need some money for a hobby I can understand but this is more than crossing a line.

If you buy on flea markets, ebay and others, at model train show, etc... you can buy cheap trains but they are not selling new products at super bargain prices.

Who will buy this? I think that there are a lot of people who will buy this otherwise the manufacture will not invest in it to make those models.

Imagine if you have a layout with 3 or 4 trains running at the same time all with sound in locomotives and passenger cars, this is a complete cacophony.

In our club on the big club layout where it was possible to run with 10 to 15 trains at the same time we made a test years ago with 10 locomotives with sound and it was annoying all those sounds together of different locomotives.

The point is that if someone is interested in those cars he has no choice to buy those without the gimmicks, he is forced to buy with lights and sound or lights only an other option is not available.

The same with locomotives years ago it was possible to buy a dummy unit(A & B) now every unit is motorized.

Last question: can someone tell me how it is possible that a product that will be released in August 2022 now already is on sale.

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Posted by NittanyLion on Monday, May 23, 2022 6:34 PM

The only thing I'll ever not understand is sound in rolling stock. At least a locomotive has a few noisemakers in real life and they're under the control of a person in contexts that can be duplicated on a layout. Buying the ones rolling stock makes are all "natural." There's not really a way, without getting ridiculous, to be like "flange squeal here" and "slack run in." 

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Posted by Pruitt on Monday, May 23, 2022 6:52 PM

The current rather expensive parts of Model Railroading (rolling stock, locomotives, etc.) is a pretty big fraction of the entire hobby right now, but that's a temporary blip on the screen.

There will always be the expensive side, like there was in the 1960's and 70's with brass locomotives, while most of the rest was $30-60 Athearn, Rivarossi, and later Kato and Atlas locos. But the relatively large expensive side of the hobby won't last.

Here's why. 

There are a lot of old far... uh, folks (like me) in the hobby right now. We're retired, and as a group we generally have decent retirement packages, meaning we have a fairly large amount of discretionary cash to spend on our hobby (at least, that's my impression), so we do. That means the market for rather expensive items is well supported.

As we start to croak, that market will begin to shrink. The more expensive side of the hobby will contract, and I think the hobby will go back to something like it was in the 1960's and 70's - some expensive items for those with significant resources, but the biggest market will be for the low-to-mid-priced equipment from companies like Bachmann, IHC, etc. I also think rolling stock kits will make a comeback. Accurail and other kit makers will find their market share growing, while the high priced RTR market will contract.

Or maybe I'm just full of crap.

DrW
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Posted by DrW on Monday, May 23, 2022 7:02 PM

southernpacificgs4

The same with locomotives years ago it was possible to buy a dummy unit(A & B) now every unit is motorized.

For BLI, this is not completely true. Their AB sets of E or F units have an unpowered B unit. You can buy powered B units for extra $$$. Where you are correct is the fact that they do not sell the unpowered B units individually.

JW

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Posted by Track fiddler on Monday, May 23, 2022 7:20 PM

Evening John

I gotta say I don't own a copy of City of New Orleans or was even aware of the name of the song but always enjoyed that one whenever it played on the radio.  Great song and liked the videos you posted as well.

 

 

TF

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Posted by John-NYBW on Monday, May 23, 2022 9:14 PM

southernpacificgs4

I do not want to rain on the parade of some posters here.

Today I received a mail from a seller well know in the US for selling model trains; you can pre-order some passenger cars with sound and interor lights or with interor lights only.

sound and light: $169.99 iso $199.99 

lights only : $127.49 iso $149.99

So the normal selling price will $199.99 and $149.99 but if I understand it those cars are now on sale in pre-order, before they are availible.

That you need some money for a hobby I can understand but this is more than crossing a line.

If you buy on flea markets, ebay and others, at model train show, etc... you can buy cheap trains but they are not selling new products at super bargain prices.

Who will buy this? I think that there are a lot of people who will buy this otherwise the manufacture will not invest in it to make those models.

Imagine if you have a layout with 3 or 4 trains running at the same time all with sound in locomotives and passenger cars, this is a complete cacophony.

In our club on the big club layout where it was possible to run with 10 to 15 trains at the same time we made a test years ago with 10 locomotives with sound and it was annoying all those sounds together of different locomotives.

The point is that if someone is interested in those cars he has no choice to buy those without the gimmicks, he is forced to buy with lights and sound or lights only an other option is not available.

The same with locomotives years ago it was possible to buy a dummy unit(A & B) now every unit is motorized.

Last question: can someone tell me how it is possible that a product that will be released in August 2022 now already is on sale.

 

Why would someone need/want sound on a passenger car. If you spend the money on that, you indeed have money to burn. I wouldn't even consider for one second paying that kind of price for any piece of rolling stock. I'm betting their lack of pre-orders will tell them the same thing. If there are people willing to pay that kind of money for frills, more power to them but I doubt it will happen. I'll also gladly wager that these products are not going to be released in their announced date of August 2022. I doubt they will be released any time in 2022. Maybe not even 2023. Maybe not ever. 

The great thing about the free enterprise system is that nobody is forced to buy anything. If you think something is too expensive, don't buy it. If you are willing to pay the seller's asking price, you are saying the product is worth the asking price. 

My other hobby is golf. We see the same thing with golf clubs. Every year the manufacturers come out with new models of golf clubs and they tell golfers these new clubs are so much better than the clubs they sold last year as the greatest ever. Last I checked, the MSRP for a new top of the line driver is $500. There has never been a golf club made that I would pay $500 for. A few years ago, I broke the shaft on my driver. I discovered that the shaft that fit my driver was no longer being produced and I would probably have to pay more than $100 if I could find someone who still sold that shaft. Instead I went out to ebay and found a used driver very similar to the one I broke for $80. If I make a good swing with it, I get a good shot and if I make a bad swing, I will get a bad shot. The same thing would be true if I bought the latest and greatest $500 driver. We don't do ourselves any favors when we convince ourselves we always have to get the top of the line of any product. I leave that to the rich people who can afford it. 

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Posted by Pruitt on Monday, May 23, 2022 9:33 PM

John-NYBW
Why would someone need/want sound on a passenger car. 

In a nutshell, because everyone is different. People want different things.

The sounds of a passenger car may be very nostalgic to some, recalling fading childhood memories, or maybe a vacation trip with a loved one now gone. 

Or maybe those sounds are what they need to make their romantic illusions of a time long past complete in their minds.

There are probably at least a thousand other reasons that are perfectly valid, and to those folks the cost is secondary to possession. Maybe they'll eat potato soup for a month in order to buy such a high-priced item. If it's worth it to them, that's all that matters.

I wouldn't spend a good chunk of money on a sound-equipped passenger car, and apparently, John, neither would you. I'd wager that most of us wouldn't. But if there's enough of a merket out there to support manufacturing such an item, more power to them. I'm not going to look askance at them for wanting something I can't fathom the desire for.

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Posted by Paul3 on Monday, May 23, 2022 9:58 PM

Doughless,
You say that modeling a specific railroad & era is "expensive".  My experience has been exactly the opposite.  I model the NH almost exclusively (and pre-1969).  My non-NH locos number less than 10 (after 30+ years in the hobby), and half of those were gifts.  I have almost no post-1968 freight cars (just "modern" club cars purchased for the fund raising aspect).

My NH interest means that I can go years without buying any engines or passenger cars.  I see a lot of nice products come out for so many railroads that I could see myself buying...except for the fact that they aren't NH.  Many times I've been to a hobby shop or train show and not bought anything other than couplers or tools due to the lack of NH.  It sure has saved me a lot of money over the last 30 years.

Freelance?  Sure, it can save you money, too, but if you're trying to build a realistic fleet it can get pricey (just like any prototypical road). 

southernpacificgs4,
What passenger cars are you talking about?

Rapido's passenger cars are $100, $110, $120, or $130 and they all have lights.  Who is selling passenger cars with sound?

Yes, I agree that running more than a couple sound-equipped trains on a layout can be a cacophony.  The secret is to turn down the sound or have a giant layout.  When I had my own layout (in a very quiet room), I turned the sound down (or just ran one or two sound equipped trains at a time).  At my noisy 65-member, 6300 sq. ft. club with 12' ceilings during an open house with a couple hundred people inside, I crank 'em up.  If you're lucky, you might hear them as they go by.

And no one is "forced" to do anything in this hobby.  If you want the product, you buy it.  If you don't want it, you don't buy it. 

The reason for the death of the dummy is that the difference in cost is about 10% of a powered model these days (about $20 less).  Way back in 1991, a dummy was about 1/2 to 2/3rds of the powered version.  A powered Athearn SD40T-2 was $35; the dummy was just $14 (about $20 less).

NittanyLion & John-NYBW,
I have a few sound decoders in my passenger cab cars (for push-pull trains) for horns and bells.  It also has "clickety clack" sounds and brake squeal, etc.  How it works is that you're supposed to connect it to the loco using a magnetic wand (you wave the wand over the car and hear a noise then select a loco; the car decoder is smart enough to know it is now connected to that address).  So when you accelerate or slow down, the car decoder gets the message, too, and plays the various sounds automatically.  I'm not about to put it into any freight cars, but that's how it works on my passenger cars.

I think in cab cars, the sound decoder is totally worth it.  Blowing the horn or ringing the bell for a grade crossing using the loco speaker that is 8 cars away ruins the illusion for me.  For any other cars...yeah, not so much.

Pruitt,
I'm sorry, but I think you're incorrect.  While the hobby will change, I think it will change to become more modern vs. the transition era.  The money will still be there, just spent differently.  To make money in this hobby, you only need to sell 3000 units (more or less). 

I don't think traditional kits will make a big comeback, I think the future is 3D printing.  I can see a Shapeways-like "manufacturer" coming some day, where we modelers buy a 3D printer and then buy CAD files to run it with.  The hold up is the expense and the print quality.  Once they lick that, this hobby will change.  And if they can print art on the cars in realistic colors?  It will be interesting to see if or when that happens.


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Posted by gmpullman on Monday, May 23, 2022 10:05 PM

Pruitt
Or maybe those sounds are what they need to make their romantic illusions of a time long past complete in their minds.

I have sound in my C&NW cab car.

 C_NW_PS-bilevel_166 by Edmund, on Flickr

I rode these on several visits to Chicago. I model mostly the NYC, PRR, B&O, Erie and Bessemer but I like to run this six-car set of push-pull cars for the very reason Pruitt mentions.

The Soundtraxx "Soundcar" decoder cost me $25 and I used a speaker I already had on hand.

Bonus, the deocder has lighting effects so the yellow beacon realistically flashes, the markers come on when the car is trailing and the headlight comes on when the car is leading. The interior lights can be turned on or off using a function button.

I also have a horn and bell as these cars were so equipped. I really enjoy seeing this car leading into the station with the bell ringing or approaching crossings with the horn sounding. I find it adds to the realism.

Others may think I'm crazy for spending so much loose cash on a whim.

I really enjoy it.

Cheers, Ed

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, May 23, 2022 11:28 PM

NittanyLion
The only thing I'll ever not understand is sound in rolling stock. At least a locomotive has a few noisemakers in real life and they're under the control of a person in contexts that can be duplicated on a layout.

I don't have sound in anything, but I have seen layouts with sound from Mechanical Refigerators. This makes sense to me. I remember hearing those 2-71 Detroit Diesels making racket in Waldo, Florida when we would go out there.

Of course, it was not until much later I learned exactly what a 2-71 Detroit was.

I have never been around loaded cattle cars, but maybe they moo?

Pruitt
The sounds of a passenger car may be very nostalgic to some, recalling fading childhood memories, or maybe a vacation trip with a loved one now gone. 

For the illusion to be convincing for me, it would need to be sounds you could hear trackside from outside the passenger car.

Hearing clinking glasses and people eating in a diner car would be silly. Would snoring sounds come from a sleeper?

What noises would come from a passenger car that you would hear as the train rolled past?

-Kevin

Living the dream and happily modeling my STRATTON AND GILLETTE Railroad in HO scale. The SGRR is a freelanced Class A railroad as it would have appeared on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954, in my personal fantasy world of plausible nonsense.

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Posted by gmpullman on Tuesday, May 24, 2022 2:07 AM

SeeYou190
What noises would come from a passenger car that you would hear as the train rolled past?

When I bought the aforementioned "Soundcar" decoders they were sold as a pack of four at reduced cost.

I installed one in a "Super Dome" as these had a Waukesha diesel-driven air conditioning system. Another went in a mechanical reefer as you mentioned above. It is set to randomly turn on and off as needed. I keep the volumes of these very low (as with all my sound).

 Super-Dome by Edmund, on Flickr

I like the effect and take some pleasure in hearing these as the train passes.

Regards, Ed

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, May 24, 2022 2:26 AM

gmpullman
I installed one in a "Super Dome" as these had a Waukesha diesel-driven air conditioning system.

That makes perfect sense. I had no idea that passenger cars could be equipped with diesel powered mechanical refrigeration units.

There are School Buses down here with three cylinder diesels driving AC units. That is another story.

Do you know what sounds come from the passenger cars that come equipped with sound?

-Kevin

Living the dream and happily modeling my STRATTON AND GILLETTE Railroad in HO scale. The SGRR is a freelanced Class A railroad as it would have appeared on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954, in my personal fantasy world of plausible nonsense.

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Posted by FRRYKid on Tuesday, May 24, 2022 3:49 AM

I use eBay quite extensively for my modeling. As I don't have an LHS, I have to order everything. There is a shop relatively close, but I tried to order some decal solution from them about a year ago and the shipping quote was more than the solution itself!

I do preorder cars occasionally if the car fits a need. However, I haven't bought a new engine this century IMS. The last "new" engine I built from parts onhand and ordered new (power trucks). It files in the category of rehab/rebuild. An old Tyco/Mantua GP20 shell that I bashed onto an Athearn BB GP35 frame. I have a number of those engines (9 now IMS) that I have built over the years due to cost.

I also have been lucky enough to have people give me cars and engines that they don't need or can't use anymore. That has added >25 pieces of rolling stock to my collection. Some had needed major rebuild (caboose to match a different prototype or repaint of an engine that fit my protolanced raod) to minor (renumbering for new owner).

I try to keep the budget under control but every once in awhile the money slips out if see something interesting but I try to keep it from running away.

"The only stupid question is the unasked question."
Brain waves can power an electric train. RealFact #832 from Snapple.
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Posted by gmpullman on Tuesday, May 24, 2022 4:48 AM

SeeYou190
Do you know what sounds come from the passenger cars that come equipped with sound?

 

No I do not.

SPGS4       was quite evasive on those details other than the price and the "iso" price.

(International Standards Organization?)

southernpacificgs4
Today I received a mail from a seller well know in the US for selling model trains; you can pre-order some passenger cars with sound and interor lights or with interor lights only. sound and light: $169.99 iso $199.99  lights only : $127.49 iso $149.99

Doing a search for "$199.99" did not result in any lighted-sound passenger cars.

I generally watch for any new announcements in regards to HO passenger equipment. I'm not cognizant of any future offerings in that price category.

Regards, Ed

  • Member since
    February 2015
  • From: Ludington, MI
  • 1,333 posts
Posted by Water Level Route on Tuesday, May 24, 2022 5:53 AM

Looks like the OP is referring to some upcoming Athearn Surfliner cars, that sound frighteningly similar to Ed's C&NW cab cars.  Here is the list from Athearn's website:

  • Soundtraxx Tsunami SoundCar decoder w/ exclusive sounds recorded from actual Surfliner cars:
  • A/C compressor operation
  • Doors opening & closing with associated “beep”
  • Generic station announcements with associated “beep” for PA system use
  • Vacuum toilet operation sound
  • “Clickety Clack” rail sound
  • Brake system sounds including brake set & application, and emergency brake air dump sound
  • Cab cars feature authentic K5LA horn and bell
  • Interior LED lights on upper & lower levels
  • Working marker lights on car ends
  • Cab cars feature working head & ditch lights

Mike

  • Member since
    June 2002
  • 503 posts
Posted by drgwcs on Tuesday, May 24, 2022 6:29 AM

Doughless

An expensive way to approach the hobby is to lock yourself into modeling a specific railroad, in a specific location, at a specific time point.  An exact replica of something that happened. 

You'll spend your time searching for the correct components, and paying for those exact components once you find them...often times paying a premium for the only model available.

If you freelance, or make up your own railroad, you have a broader universe of models with which to find good deals.

If I was starting out and on a budget, I would model a small to medium sized railroad and buy a couple of Walthers Mainline NW2s or SW7s.  Nice little runners with ESU sound for about $150 each.  

You can scrounge around for deals on rolling stock.

Ebay often has used track...check the condition....sometimes about 1/3 to 1/4 the price you'd buy new.

 

I don't know to me modeling a specific railroad keeps me from buying everything that I see that looks neat at a swap meet. Of course it helps that I model Rio Grande in HO standard gauge and Colorado and Southern in HOn3 in Virginia. I will seemaybe a couple of items in Rio Grande and very little in HOn3 at a meet. I have seen one C&S item in five years and it was a duplicate of a caboose I had. (Of course the narrow gauge convention in Hickory NC was an exception.) Modeling a specific road also makes me scratchbuild more which is far cheaper. When I built Black Hawk my main expense was track and windows. I had just a very few buildings I kitbashed and I got a building and parts for two flats out of one grandt line kit I got at a swap meet. There are ways to make the hobby cheaper if you try. 

  • Member since
    October 2005
  • From: Central Texas
  • 294 posts
Posted by MJ4562 on Tuesday, May 24, 2022 7:23 AM

Paul3

I don't think traditional kits will make a big comeback, I think the future is 3D printing.  I can see a Shapeways-like "manufacturer" coming some day, where we modelers buy a 3D printer and then buy CAD files to run it with.  The hold up is the expense and the print quality.  Once they lick that, this hobby will change.  And if they can print art on the cars in realistic colors?  It will be interesting to see if or when that happens.

Yeah, I agree 3D printing is the future.  You could make your own kit using 3D printing.  Build an exact replica of a prototype building.  I already see 3D printing making a big impact in other hobbies involving miniatures. 

  • Member since
    May 2020
  • 773 posts
Posted by wrench567 on Tuesday, May 24, 2022 7:23 AM

   Like I said earlier. It's all in what you consider expensive and the times we live in. When I started buying tools for my occupation, I thought they were expensive but necessary. I owed the Snap On, Mac, Matco, and Bonney tool trucks every week. Over fifty years I accumulated a ton of tools. No one starts out with everything they need. We're all born naked. I feel bad for the guys starting out that are paying nearly twenty times the price for new tools.

  I didn't buy a fleet of locomotives at one time. It took almost sixty years. And believe me none of them are top of the line super detailed museum quality, but they get the job done. Almost all of my rolling stock are kits. The few passenger equipment are Walther, Bachmann, or bought at train shows. I did take the time and effort to super detail one brass locomotive. I probably spent more money on the detail parts and paint than the locomotive itself. But it kept me entertained for months.

   My advice. If you think it's too expensive. Don't get it. If you really want it. Save up for it.

  With the weather warming up. I said to the wife. " How about a good steak and some veggies on the grill?"  So I jumped in the car and went to the store. Two ribeye steaks at 3.25 pounds $71.49. So we had burgers instead. And happy about it too even though the hamburger meat was still nearly $20.

    Compromise.

           Pete.

  • Member since
    September 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
  • 23,199 posts
Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, May 24, 2022 7:58 AM

wrench567

With the weather warming up. I said to the wife. " How about a good steak and some veggies on the grill?"  So I jumped in the car and went to the store. Two ribeye steaks at 3.25 pounds $71.49. So we had burgers instead. And happy about it too even though the hamburger meat was still nearly $20.

    Compromise.

           Pete. 

Yeah, but you wanted steaks and, at least in an indirect way, that is the point of this thread. You often have to settle for less.

Rich

Alton Junction

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