New Gal

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Aberdabr, Nov 12, 2007.

  1. Aberdabr

    Aberdabr New Member

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    Howdy all I am a stay at home mom and so new to collecting trains. I started with buying a few Dept 56 buildings for Christmas then thought a train would be nice. Well my eyes were opened and I am hooked. But I received a free train HO scale and I am clueless. I have the track together (thats the easy part) but my train is not together and I am looking at it and some cars have hooks (wrong term) and some dont. I dont know if that is considered broken or is it easy to replace? :eek: sooo I am looking for support and I will just "watch" and learn terminology. I do have total lack of knowledge :confused: and have alot of questions just make sure my train runs for under the tree this year.. but next year I hope to have grand display.

    Thank everyone in advance!

    Aberdabr

  2. countyofficer

    countyofficer New Member

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    Welcome to The Gauge!!!! This is the best place to be to learn everything there is to learn. The hooks are called " couplers " and are fairly easy to replace. Have you tried to run your Engine ( or also called locomotive, or just Loco ) on the track that you have laid? But for plenty of information browse around and don't be afraid to ask. The only dumb question is the one never asked!! Also try the search engine for specific answers you may find helpful.:wave:
  3. diesel

    diesel Member

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    welcome abord Aberdabr,

    The hooks you are asking about are called couplers, they're not usually hard to replace. (u probably have the standard horn hook type, but maybe have plastic knuckles) Anyway a hobby shop will be able to help you with that.

    HO isn't usually the under the tree type of thing but it can work.

    If you are truly hooked on trains you're in the right place, lots of stuff to learn here. Just remember, you can do whatever you want, as much or as little as you want.
  4. Aberdabr

    Aberdabr New Member

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    <<HO isn't usually the under the tree type of thing but it can work.>>

    I am going have the train way outside the tree and the Dept 56 inside the the track. I didnt realize that it was a bad idea untill I received the train from a friend and here I am. But the tree is only for this year I hope!

    Couplers... do I need a special tool to connect the train together? I have no instruction book.

    I am very fortunate that my dad liked trains as child but he is 75 years old and retired.. he is busier than me! I have made an appoinment for him to visit on Tuesday.

    I am hoping to have power to the track by then. I am using a couple straight tracks and mostly 18 turns.. what is with the 18 15 I dont get that... is an angle of inches of radius

    Thanks for the warm welcome!!!

    Aberdabr:oops:
  5. wpyr

    wpyr Member

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  6. Aberdabr

    Aberdabr New Member

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  7. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

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    18 is the radius in inches, not the angle in degrees. 18 determines how large of a circle the tracks can make. Degrees would specify how many sections make a circle. With typical 30-degree sections, 12 make 360 degrees, or a circle. But you can forget about degrees for the moment.
  8. Aberdabr

    Aberdabr New Member

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    18 determines how large of a circle the tracks can make. With typical 30-degree sections, 12 make 360 degrees, or a circle. But you can forget about degrees for the moment.[/quote]

    Okay that I got! I have made an oval with the #18 curve pieces

    did I say that right?


    Aberdabr
  9. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

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    If you want to run HO under the tree, I suggest buying Bachmann EZ track. unlike normal track, which is just plastic ties and metal rails, EZ track has Roadbed (bevelled grey plastic with a stone texture to look like the ballast in real life).

    This roadbed shields your cars and locomotives from the dust and hair on the floor (which would otherwise stick through the ties in normal track, and get tangled up in your engine's gears). Its also pretty easy to set up and store away until next year, and if you want to build a layout, there is enough variety in this brand now that you could make very interesting track plans with it.

    As far as your current set, if you have the boxes or can find the manufacturer, it would help a bundle! If not, pictures would be very helpful in identifying what needs fixing.

    AS far as the engine goes, was it in a blue box that says "Athearn" on it? it sounds like either your equipment is in kit form, or has been rather battered. Almost any part can be easily fixed or replaced, so do not worry!

    Now i personally do have HO trains ( and a Lionel O-27 set i got when i was 6) that i use in my christmas tree trains, and every year i get more lavish and encroach farther away from the tree.

    Here Is a video of my HO trains (should have ran the Lionel O-27 behind it!), and some pictures for ideas. In my personal opinion, the Polar Express has nothing on the Challenger Steam engine in the video. Its also fun run passenger trains so that families and last minute gift shipments go where they need to go on time.

    The track used in the video is all EZ track, so that you have an idea what its like.

    YouTube - Christmas Tree Train 2006
  10. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

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    yep, its 18 inch radius, which translates to a circle 36 inches across more or less. the horn hook couplers you chose are good for the christmas tree train since they will hold together.

    However, if you want to continue with the hobby, the standard coupler type are knuckle couplers, which look more realistic and operate better, so keep that in mind when you buy replacements.
  11. Aberdabr

    Aberdabr New Member

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    If you want to run HO under the tree, I suggest buying Bachmann EZ track. unlike normal track, which is just plastic ties and metal rails, EZ track has Roadbed (bevelled grey plastic with a stone texture to look like the ballast in real life). I have an Atlas train set. The track is plastic ties with metal rails.

    This roadbed shields your cars and locomotives from the dust and hair on the floor (which would otherwise stick through the ties in normal track, and get tangled up in your engine's gears). Its also pretty easy to set up and store away until next year, and if you want to build a layout, there is enough variety in this brand now that you could make very interesting track plans with it. I am putting the train on 1/4 hard board for its base.

    As far as your current set, if you have the boxes or can find the manufacturer, it would help a bundle! If not, pictures would be very helpful in identifying what needs fixing. Atlas train manual so I think its an Atlas train, Tyco power box The Loco seems to be a early coal train.

    AS far as the engine goes, was it in a blue box that says "Athearn" on it? it sounds like either your equipment is in kit form, or has been rather battered. Almost any part can be easily fixed or replaced, so do not worry! Nope

    Now i personally do have HO trains ( and a Lionel O-27 set i got when i was 6) that i use in my christmas tree trains, and every year i get more lavish and encroach farther away from the tree. Have you heard of atlas?

    Here Is a video of my HO trains (should have ran the Lionel O-27 behind it!), and some pictures for ideas. In my personal opinion, the Polar Express has nothing on the Challenger Steam engine in the video. Its also fun run passenger trains so that families and last minute gift shipments go where they need to go on time.

    The track used in the video is all EZ track, so that you have an idea what its like.

    YouTube - Christmas Tree Train 2006[/quote]

    That looks awesome!

    Thanks
    Aberdabr
  12. Spawn of Chaos

    Spawn of Chaos Member

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    Atlas is a well-known company in this world, as is Walthers, Athearn, etc.

    I don't want to confuse you though.

    Hmm...Are you nailing the track down or just letting it sit? Because if you don't nail it down and it's not EZ-Track, it'll work its way apart and you'll derail!
  13. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

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    Welcome to the board!
  14. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

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    Yep! the Amtrak train in the video is an Atlas locomotive. Speaking of which, it sounds like your steamer may be something else, since Atlas does not produce models of HO steam engines, although it does make high quality diesel/electric locomotives and freight cars.

    Atlas track is pretty good (its what i use for my layout), and thats good you will have your trains on a board, it will be a much smoother surface for your trains!

    Your steamer though seems like it may be a tyco/Life Like steam engine. Its likely that Atlas "snap" track came with the trains, since it is probably the most abundant HO track you will find anywhere. That would explain alot of it. If you have any good hobby shops that sell railroad items, they should be able to get you the horn hook couplers you need for them to match up for now.
  15. Aberdabr

    Aberdabr New Member

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    Hmm...Are you nailing the track down

    Yes I am nailing it down just in a few places.


    Aberdabr:wave:
  16. who_dat73

    who_dat73 Member

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    Welcome to the abord and I hope this leads to a long and happy Train experance for you.:thumb:
  17. Aberdabr

    Aberdabr New Member

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    I have a 2 great big hobby stores near me! I hope to be able to call the owners/managers by their first name by Christmas.:twisted:

    Thanks Aberdabr
  18. diesel

    diesel Member

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    really? by christmas? OK, you're hooked! remember - at your own pace, it makes it way more fun.

    Important sites for you:

    National Model Railroad Association
    NMRA Knuckle Couplers
    Kadee® Quality Products Co. - The Coupler People® - HOn3, HO, S, On3, O, #1, G Scale Couplers - HO Couplers - Magne-Matic® - HO Cars - HO Trucks & HO Wheelsets - Uncouplers - Coupler Conversions - Decals - HO Scale
    atlasrr.com
    Athearn.com
  19. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

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    Glad you could join us Aberdabr!
    Ralph
  20. chooch.42

    chooch.42 Member

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    Aberdabr, Greetings, and welcome to the Gauge ! Please forgive us and have a little patience with our "Train-Brains". We all want to HELP, but don't know how to see things from your viewpoint, perhaps. Some good basic info on scale/gauge of your new trains, and basic technical data can most easily be gotten at those hobby shops. They should be able to answersome of the primary questions, show/sell you some beginners books ("Basic Model Railroading", Kalmbach Publishing, etc.) to help you get a frame of reference. It'll help you understand the arcane and esoteric stuff we're going to give you as "assistance". Meanwhile, ask away, and enjoy, as we do our best! Glad to have you with us! Bob C.