Need advice on 1st Purchase

Discussion in 'G / O / S Scale Model Trains' started by baze7, Dec 23, 2006.

  1. baze7

    baze7 New Member

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    I am thinking about getting a train set for my son and myself to start doing together. My question is, HO or O scale. I have plenty of room and cost is not a big issue. I would like to expand in the future. Any recommendations, advice would be great.

    Thanks
    Baze
  2. Dave Farquhar

    Dave Farquhar Member

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    How old is your son? O scale is better suited for smaller hands and tends to stand up to abuse a little bit better. If you want to make a detailed, realistic layout, HO is more widely available and has by far the largest selection of buildings, figures and vehicles. If you want lots of operating accessories to load and unload the train, there's a better variety of that kind of stuff in O.

    Although HO scale is smaller, a Lionel or similar 3-rail layout takes about the same amount of space. The track is made a bit sharper so you can have a big train without needing 6 feet to turn the train around. If realism is a primary concern, that's a big knock against 3-rail O scale (at least if you're buying a starter set). When I was 12, I was perfectly happy building a layout with Dad's postwar Lionel trains and Plasticville buildings and my Matchbox and Hot Wheels cars. The scale fidelity left something to be desired but I sure had a lot of fun with it. So did Dad, for that matter.

    Expansion shouldn't be an issue with either scale. You can start out with a 4x8 table (or smaller if need be) and expand to fill the basement if that's what you want to do.
  3. Elcoholic

    Elcoholic New Member

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    Size Matters

    Choosing a gauge is a MAJOR decision. Once you're "in", you're in. Changing gauges may be worse than changing wives......and probably more expensive! You said the magic words....you have space and money! With tongue firmly planted in cheek and soapbox firmly under foot, I will now expound upon the virtues of
    THE gauge.....O!

    HO trains are 1/2 the SCALE of O gauge trains. In other words, all three dimentions are 1/2 the size of O gauge, making HO scale trains ONE EIGHTH the SIZE of O scale trains! O gauge trains are massive. When you hold a DD-40AX or a Big Boy, it's HEAVY!
    Additional thoughts to consider:

    1. O gauge is the size that trains are SUPPOSED to be.
    2. Vintage Lionel trains are O gauge, which opens up an entire additional niche' of
    the hobby.......searching for, collecting and operating vintage trains.
    3. O gauge trains do not require superior eyesight to put on the track or work on.
    4. Children find them easier to use are are more impressed because, depending upon
    the size of the child, an engine can weigh about 20% of their body weight.
    5. Visitors to your layout can not steal your engines and rolling stock by putting them
    in their pants pocket.
    6. A little-known fact is that people who collect and/or operate other gauges are
    either un-American or outright Communists.

    I am confident that you will choose O gauge........it's a no-brainer!
  4. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

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    Hi Baze, :wave: and welcome to The-Gauge!!

    The best thing to do is to visit some hobby shops, get a handle on local guys with layouts,
    look at a few set-ups in person, if possible. You will soon pick up on the differences in
    equipment appearance and "modeling philosophy", so to speak. It's difficult to make a
    decision without some comparative information. Even then, the scale decision is a
    personal one, based on your own preferences and motovations. If steam engines are
    something you want on your layout, take a close look at the detail and variety offered in
    the different scales. There are lots of photos on-line as well, which demonstrate the
    potential of HO and O layouts.

    Good Luck!!:) :)

    Post Scriptum:
    According to the previous post, I guess I've got no brain at all!!:D

    Post Post Scriptum:
    Get the Christmas Spirit!! HO, HO, HO!!
  5. joesho

    joesho Member

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    :D i'd choose ho anyday:D good luck with the decision




    merry christmas
  6. Elcoholic

    Elcoholic New Member

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    "With tongue firmly planted in cheek............"
  7. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

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    You are truly a man of inspired genius. :D
  8. Meiriongwril

    Meiriongwril Member

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    The advice about actually seeing/handling different gauged engines is good; the trouble may be that, like here in Lafayette Louisiana, there are no railroad hobby stores. Maybe Baze7 could let the-gauge know where he is and there might be a member near by who could help?
    A good site to visit would be Atlas, (www.atlasrr.com) as they make O, HO (and indeed N - which I find Ntrancing)
  9. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

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  10. Meiriongwril

    Meiriongwril Member

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    Thanks Cidchase; and there is one also in Baton Rouge, and used to be some in New Orleans; but they're 80, 50, and 120 miles from here, and no regular train service!!!
    They're used to be a store just outside town, but it closed a few years ago, and America's Train Yard in Baton Rouge has just closed! Hrrumpphh
    Happy Yule everyone
  11. Meiriongwril

    Meiriongwril Member

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    Thanks Cidchase; and there is one also in Baton Rouge, and used to be some in New Orleans; but they're 80, 50, and 120 miles from here, and no regular train service!!!
    There used to be a store just outside town, but it closed a few years ago, and America's Train Yard in Baton Rouge has just closed! Hrrumpphh
    Happy Yule everyone