Author Topic: Advice for a newbie  (Read 1205 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

csolivais1979

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 65
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: 0
Advice for a newbie
« on: December 15, 2008, 08:56:23 AM »
0
What would be your advice for someone who is working on there first railroad.  For example what track is best, code 55 or code 80?  I know that I want it to be N scale and the location will be either western Michigan or central to northwest Indiana, if that matters. I haven’t bought any track or rolling stock yet. My only limits, besides ability to do the things you guys show, is money and space. I live in an apartment and will be moving sometime in the future, so I would like it to be somewhat mobile, maybe modules?  Any help would be greatly beneficial. Also, thanks to those of you who give tips and pics of the work that you   do, they are a great help to this newbie!

inkaneer

  • Guest
Re: Advice for a newbie
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2008, 10:32:02 AM »
0
Best advice if you are going to move it is to make it modular and keep it light.  Using doors as a base is out, too heavy,  Don't use a sheet of plywood either.  Too heavy and too ackward to move.  Modules should be no longer than 6 feet and no wider than 3 feet.  These you will be able to move through doorways and around corners.  Use open grid construction with gussets to prevent racking.  Sub roadbed is 1/4 plywood with a support 6 inches in from both ends then every 12 inches. Use foam on the other areas.  Use cork for roadbed not the new foam roadbed.  Just in case someone desides to put their hand on the track and lean on it.  As for track that is your decision.  Atlas code 80 will handled anything.  Their code 55 has some flange issues.     

3rdrail

  • Guest
Re: Advice for a newbie
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2008, 10:38:58 AM »
0
The choice is much wider ranging than just Code 55 or Code 80. First, N scale track is offered in Code 40, Code 55, Code 65, Code 70, and Code 80. It is also available as flextrack - 29 to 36 inch long bendable sections (40, 55, 70, 80), sectional track - 2 to 12 inch long straight and precurved rigid sections (55, 80), and sectional track with integral roadbed - again 2 to 12 inch rigid sections. Some brands are interchangeable, some are not. For example, PECO Code 55 is a different system than Atlas or Micro Engineering Code 55.

Most accomplished modelers use flextrack, but it does require cutting the rail to make curves, which must be done carefully to make sure the track stays in gauge and level. In Japan, there is not room for permanent layouts, so Kato Unitrack is used on the floor. Those who have trouble laying track here use this type of Code 80 track. Atlas has just started a comparable line of Code 65 track that follows North American practice, but the variety of track sections is limited since it is so new. Do NOT consider either Bachmann's or Life-Like's sectional track. I may be prejudiced, but I'd suggest limiting your track purchases to Micro Engineering, Atlas, PECO, or Kato - the quality just isn't there in other brands.

I am using Micro Engineering Code 70, as I have a lot of ancient equipment. Here's a photo:

ednadolski

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 3036
  • Respect: +360
Re: Advice for a newbie
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2008, 12:02:36 PM »
0
If you're looking for a short answer:  I'd recommend the Atlas Code55.  The flange issues are basically with the Micro-Trains oversize wheels, but these are easily replaceable with low-profile wheels.   Some older locos can have flange problems too, but you'll be fine since you're buying newer stuff anyway.

I'd recommend downloading the Atlas RTS 8.0 software which is free from: http://www.atlasrr.com/righttrack.htm.

Also see Mike's Small Trackplans webpage: http://www.cke1st.com/m_train2.htm#code_55  This features some code55 plans on a 30"x60" -- more space than the 'conventional' 24"x48", yet no so large to be hard to move.

Here is one of the more interesting ones.  One cool thing is that you can add staging/storage tracks at both levels off the upper right corner

« Last Edit: December 15, 2008, 12:05:55 PM by ednadolski »

davefoxx

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 8507
  • Gender: Male
  • "I like trains!"
  • Respect: +1903
Re: Advice for a newbie
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2008, 06:12:56 PM »
0
Best advice if you are going to move it is to make it modular and keep it light.  Using doors as a base is out, too heavy,  Don't use a sheet of plywood either.  Too heavy and too ackward to move. . . .  Use open grid construction with gussets to prevent racking.

I absolutely agree that modular and lightweight is the way to go, but I disagree that using hollow core doors is out.  My mother (who is 66 years old, only 5'2" tall, and weighs about 105 pounds) and I moved my door layout from its previous location to its current location in my home.  I'm not so sure that you could build a layout using open grid that is going to be much lighter than a hollow core door, and I think that the door will be stiffer.  Obviously, a door layout is not the perfect answer to every layout design (e.g., limited to rectangular shapes), but they make for a darn good table layout.

Dave Foxx

General Counsel to the Laurel Valley Ry.
Member: ACL/SAL Historical Society
A Proud HOer

csolivais1979

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 65
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: 0
Re: Advice for a newbie
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2008, 08:07:38 AM »
0
Thank you all for the help.

Nato

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 2082
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +60
Re: Advice for a newbie
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2008, 01:06:02 PM »
0
  How about considering one of the Layouts like Terrain For Trains, or Woodland Scenics layouts like Scenic Ridge. They use very light weigjht bases,both companies offer add on sections for expanding. I know some purists would say Nay build it all from scratch including the land forms, but if I was just starting out now  I think this is the way I would now go. Nate Goodman (Nato).