View Full Version : So overwhelming really
04-01-2009, 10:27 AM
Ok guys, I posted on here a few times back before the holidays and you all were really helpful in helping me pickup mu first train set. I purchased an "N Trainman Train Set" by Atlas and have been really happy with it so far. Of course all I did was put it up for the holidays running through my Christmas Village. The train was nowhere near to scale with the houses and I only ran an oval layout, but hey, its a start!
From what I remember, it cam with Atlas Code 55 track. Will ANY code 55 track connect up with this or do I need Atlas Track all the time? Also, why should I run code 55 vs code 80 (or any other code). i think code means Height, but am not 100%.
I have seen videos on youtube that have some amazing scenery. I mean just blows me away. Hopefully one day I will get to that point. I have a countertop in my office (home) that is 29"X150" that i want to do a layout on. Evidently I will need LOTS more track. Where would be the best place maybe to buy track in bulk? I dont care what lengths and all right off, just as long as it will all work together i guess. I assume I can buy it cheaper in bulk, rt? Also, should I stay away from used track Can track go bad?
I have done alot of reading but like I said before, its kind of overwhelming. Not 100% on the layout I want other than it being divided into two (or three if possible) seperate sections (connected of course but different scenes). How do you guys come up with your layouts? I like the mountainous, coal mining trains. Need to pick me up one of thos engines that are round like a cigar, haha. the one I have is like the current trains (block style).
Any help or advice is appreciated.
04-01-2009, 11:15 AM
code refers to track hight. the lower the code the more scale and prototipical it will look. the draw back is that some wheels have deeper flanges and need taller rails to run on.
you can mix track as long as they are the same code. if they are not you need to place shims under the joints to keep the rail hights the same. You can buy from a hobby shop or online. IMO buy sectional track for tight radius and flex for your straight sections
04-01-2009, 11:17 AM
Ok thx for the info on track and advice. So the lower the number, the shorter the rail?
04-01-2009, 11:21 AM
that is correct lower number shorter rail. Some like to use say a code 55 on a siding and code 80 on the mainline. In real world the mainline will be heavy rail as it sees alot more traffic than a siding. It just helps keep things looking prototipical
I am a HO scale guy so cant comment on what rail is best for you. Im sure others will reply with N scale advice
04-01-2009, 11:23 AM
Hello, welcome back!
Code is rail height Some will argue what is true to scale. It's your choice. If your new and not building a prize winning layout that will be picked apart by others, don't worry about the code. Just make sure your wheels are for that code of track or your flanged wheels will bump along the ties/spikes.
Yes any brand will match up as long as the code is the same. You can mix code with little tricks when you lay it but if your new, stay with all same code.
Old track doesn't really go bad. Just that brass tarnishes before nickel silver (less cleaning) Bulk is the way to buy but learn what a deal is before you search eBay so you don't overpay when a local hobby shop is cheaper.
Layouts can be found in books and online. Just don't randomly lay track with no plan or your gonna end up with a train stuck in a yard with nowhere to go but back up. You have to have an idea of how tracks are laid out and function for real operation. Check out Spacemouse's guide that explains what your guideline should be.
You layout should include the areas that you have in your mind. (mountains,water,coal industries..whatever) The Sky's the limit so incorporate what interests YOU in your world. Oh Don't forget to have fun too...LOL
04-01-2009, 11:40 AM
Thx to both of you for the input. So i guess before I do anything, I really need to come up with a basic idea of what kind of layout i want, right? If i were to split this twelve feet into, say two sections, make one of them mountainous (for coal industries and whatnot) and maybe make the other half an old city. One main line circling the entire 12 ft section with two inner loops of some sort.
being i am only 29" wide, i assume I can make an outer loop with two inner loops? Also being I am going to mount this on plywood which will sit on top of the counter, i guess i could actually come out a little more than 29 inches if need be. I could feasibly hit as much as 36" but might then be tough to reach other side.
04-01-2009, 11:49 AM
Yep that's step one. I seen some great layouts in N on a hollow door. Type "N scale track plans" in search. You may find something that fits or can be incorporated into your build. That or give the guys here your bench work layout and there are plenty of guys here that will sharpen their pencils and tell you what will work. I think an outer and 2 inner loops wont fit on 29 inches. You want to stay with shorter engines and rolling stock so more will fit the yard/sidings and work well thru the smallest of turn radius.
04-01-2009, 12:01 PM
A few things to consider. you can really only control 2 trains at once with a small space. one loop for a train to do alow laps is great as you can run the 2nd train for switching and stuff. adding 3 loops IMO just takes up space that can be better used for sidings and spur tracks. also look at it this way. how much fun will it be to just have 3 circles of track to watch trains run? Most modlers like to operate a train around the layout not just let them do laps. This is where switch tracks and sidings add intrest to the layout.
Running 2 trains in oppicete directions and using sidings to pass each train brings intrest and adds to the fun of running a railroad.
I like your idea to have the layout split with mountains on one side and city on the other. You could bring the coal do the town and emptys back to the coal mine. you dont have to put up a divider or build a huge mountain just let the track flow to each side the best you can in that space you have.
If you build the layout to have a function you will have more enjoyment.
and I agree... make sure you remember to have Fun!!!!
04-01-2009, 12:12 PM
Two things. The Trainman sets come with True-track so not just any track will line up if unless you ditch the ballast. I've never done that on True-Track.
Second. If are building your layout on a piece of furniture. You either have to frame it up and have poor access to wiring or you run the wiring across the layout.
Last check out my Beginner's Guide clickable in my link. Might save you some $$,
04-01-2009, 12:22 PM
Last check out my Beginner's Guide clickable in my link. Might save you some $$,
says "page cannot be found"?
Also, i assume i would be better off going without this "tru-track"? What is it about this track that amkes it "tru-track"?
04-01-2009, 01:08 PM
Sorry about the link, I forgot, my site is in transition. Should be up shortly.
True-Track is a prefab track that has the ballast preformed to it. Most of the manufacturers have gone to a version of it, especially in kits where many times the user does not anchor the track to anything. None of the manufacturers pre-fabs line up with one another.
I personally recommend going with a combination of flex and turnouts. Sectional track has a lot of joints. The more joints, the more chance of electrical problems or derailment.
Start simple. You're new and don't know what you like. You probably don't even know what the growth possibilities are. Maybe for now all you really need to do is add a few pieces of track and build a few building kits while you are exploring.
A common beginner myth is that more track = less boredom. The reality is the more things to do the less boredom. These things to do need to make sense or you will get bored with them.
Hopefully my site will be up again soon.
04-01-2009, 06:10 PM
Let me ask this, as a beginner, is it even feasible for me to attempt a mountain with a couple different tunnels in it and maybe a helix inside? Or am i thinking way out of my league for a beginner?
I can see some coal mining being done and some steel mills around. Plus a small city if at all possible.
I think i should stick to just an oval layout after looking at a ton of track plans and getting frustrated, haha. Heck, I dont even have near enough track or buildings for what I want to do.
04-05-2009, 09:12 PM
Let me ask this, as a beginner, is it even feasible for me to attempt a mountain with a couple different tunnels in it and maybe a helix inside? Or am i thinking way out of my league for a beginner?The tunnels are good, just make sure you leave room to get at the track and trains inside the mountain. The helix, not so much.
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