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1  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Small Layout on: December 11, 2013, 11:28:46 AM
Hi Dave
What part of Utah do you live?
What is EZ track?  I am trying to find space for a 4x8 but having a hard time doing that.

i also live close to SlC and have dealt with the  low numbers of retailers there and up in Ogden.    i did like the shop in clearfield .   if i was going to do a small layout i would go up just a hair more  5 x 8 or even 9 or 10      width is the killer on 4 ft wide.   and what type of track are you going to use  EZ track?       and  i would also have 2 switches so i could add a extension table  for a temp rail extension when you have more time to run the trains.       Dave

2  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Small Layout on: December 10, 2013, 04:34:45 PM
Thanks Morgun, that is a good thread.  I think I need to really think about this a bit.  I am trying to figure out where I can put up a track where I will not have to tear it down every few days.  Even a 4x8 is going to be tight.  I guess maybe I should just build an outbuilding just for trains, right? Smiley

3  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: 4x8 track plans on: December 10, 2013, 04:32:39 PM
This is a good thread Jerry so thanks for stating it.  I look forward to seeing more layouts as you post them.  I live a long way from a hobby shop, and yes I could order a book online but seeing it here helps.  gave me some ideas.

Thanks again

4  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: My Fathers Collection on: December 10, 2013, 03:19:24 PM
Thank you Les for your encouragement.  As it turns out I did stop by another hobby shop that sold trains.  They did not have too many or know much about them (more than I did though).  I purchase 1 engine that was recommended and some other items that I was told I needed.  I may have made a mistake on the oil and cleaner as they are in little tiny bottles with home made lables.  They were $16 each.  Is that normal?  One is called "Atlas Motor bearing lube" and the other one is " Atlas Conductalube-cleaner".  Seemed kinda expensive to me.  Any way I spent just over $100 there.  I probably would have spent more at the Train shoppe if they would have even talked nice at all.



If that guy really was the shop owner, he was indeed a poor one.  Apparently, his business was going so well that day that he felt he could insult a potential customer.  After the Christmas season, when people are preoccupied with outdoor activities and his store is relatively empty, would he be so rude?

In today's world, it is so easy to order items on-line that conventional hobby shops have to try all the harder to get and keep customers.  Even big, successful hobby shops have knowledgeable staff that will take time with their customers.  I deal with what is probably the biggest train store in the country and always get treated well.

f I were you, I would look for a smaller train shop that would appreciate your business.  There are some brick and mortar shops that also sell on the Internet.  I can personally recommend Caboose Hobbies in Denver and Fifer Hobbies in Las Cruces, NM.  These places will not insult you or your equipment.

If you can get your older units running smoothly, there is no reason you cannot run and enjoy them.  There is even an emerging group in this hobby who specialize in restoring and operating the type of locos your father had in his collection.

When I was in college, I had a model railroad that had a Tyco GP20 like your "Chatanooga" .  While no mechanical marvel, it ran smooth and quietly, and pulled well.  It served me well alongside an Athearn F7.

If I were you, I would fix up my old locos and get them running, and convert your horn-hook couplers to knuckle couplers.  They will work better if you either mount all of them to the car frames or the trucks.  Then, try a lower-priced modern model and see how you like it.

The locos like you have now are still readily available used at swap meets.  Just be careful of what you buy, as many are worn out by now.

Please don't give p on the hobby because of one bad experience.

5  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: My Fathers Collection on: December 10, 2013, 02:38:57 PM
Ya that is what I was thinking.  I would like to buy locally if there was a place.  As it was I drove 5 hours to get to this place only to be treated that way.

Sheesh, no wonder hobby shops go out of business.  Sad
6  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Small Layout on: December 10, 2013, 01:16:20 PM
Thanks Jeff for the reply.  I was looking here hoping somone would have a few suggestions as I do not live any where near a hobby shop.
7  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: My Fathers Collection on: December 10, 2013, 01:12:23 PM
Sorry for the silly question but which engine do you say is the "Dwitt Clinton"?  The Old west that you are talking about, is that the set that is in the box?  That set is new and never put on a track.  Thanks for the help.

I guess I didn't even remember the post I made with those images.  Both of the trains in the boxes are new (old) and haven't been run so they should work fine.  I haven't tested them yet.  The engine I was asking about is this one.

The Dewitt Clinton is still in the product line and can be repaired if need be. The Old West 4-4-0 is most likely an older version of this locomotive since it has been upgraded in the past and parts may or may not be available. One thing to keep in mind is that the couplers on the cars may also be older types that need to be changed to more current knuckle couplers.
8  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: My Fathers Collection on: December 10, 2013, 12:57:56 PM
I agree with you 100% and what you say makes perfect sense. I guess what I was just wanting to find out is if the things that I have are considered toys or are they worth putting a bit of money into.  It looks like they probably are not worth fixing up and I am just fine with that.  I would not mind purchasing new items I just am to new to all of this to know which way to go or what to buy.  The other thing is that I am not sure if I want to start from scratch at a new hobby.  This forum makes me want to start one.
does that Bachmann engine look to be a toy and not worth fixing?

In regard to older products it is sometimes difficult to repair them due to the fact that parts are no longer available. Toy train technology has advanced since the 1960s and 70s. Back then toy trains were just that - toy trains. They were designed as children's toys and sold in toy stores. Electric motors, design methods, plastic molding technologies and electronics have improved drastically over the last few decades as evidenced by the digital age and model trains have also dramatically changed. What you have should not be considered "junk" but they are also not up to todays standards - much the same as a 20 year old computer has become pretty useless unless you are happy with a 20 year old operating system, limited memory and a tiny hard drive. My suggestion would be to keep any rolling stock (cars) and look into purchasing a new loco or two. I personally have my father's original Lionel locomotive from the 1930s which sits in a prominent place in my office (and is not operated). You might want to keeps his locos as a reminder of a special person in your life and start a new railroad empire.
9  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: My Fathers Collection on: December 10, 2013, 12:30:53 PM
He showed allot of "O" there but really had a bit of everything, including a big room with track set ups and even a train big enough for kids to ride on.
This guy may have just been having a bad day but he really took it out on me and my family.  He didn't even give me a chance to buy anything.  I really wanted to.  I will now buy online.  He lost my support not that he needed it because he looked busy.

HO is the most popular for various reasons. If I had to guess I'd like to say 75% adults to 25% kids (I am only speculating)

The shop owner must be into a scale that is larger.
10  Discussion Boards / HO / Small Layout on: December 10, 2013, 12:27:33 PM
This may have already been asked here but I did not see it so here goes.

Are there any good examples of a small track layout for a 4x8?  I am looking for a way that I can enjoy this hobby but my home really has no space to put up a  large track layout.  My garage is too cold in the winter and would have to leave my car outside to do it.  I am just looking for some good ideas on track layouts that do not take allot of space but still fun.
11  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Wheel falling off on: December 10, 2013, 12:24:13 PM
Great.  Thank you

During the Christmas season it would be best to call the direct number (215) 533-1600 and ask for the service manager. You will get a quicker response this way.
12  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: My Fathers Collection on: December 10, 2013, 12:19:20 PM
Wow, that looks like a pretty nice shop.  The one in Saltlake City is pretty big as well.  The owner told me that HO is only for kids because it is all junk.
13  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Wheel falling off on: December 10, 2013, 11:44:45 AM
Well I have called Bachmann again.  I hope I get a call back this time.
Thank you everyone for all of your help and support.
14  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: My Fathers Collection on: December 10, 2013, 11:40:04 AM
So with all of this being new to me I decided to go to a train store and see if they could answer a few questions.  BIG MISTAKE!!!
I called a store called "the Train Shoppe" in Saltlake City.  This is a 5 hour drive from my home but is supposed to be one of the biggest stores in the area.  I explained my situation to the guy on the phone and he said to bring some of my engines down and he would have a look at them.  I told him I would be there Saturday.  On Saturday when I got to the store they were busy so I waited, and waited, and waited, and 45 min. later one of the guys came up to me and ask what I needed.  I told him about the phone conversation I had and he sad he was not the repair guy but he could have a look.  I had 9 engines  wrapped up in  a towel.  As I unwrapped them the guy started laughing.  I asked what was funny and he said these are all JUNK.  I said what do you mean.  He said that if they were running they would only be worth$3.  I told him that if he had any on hand I would pay him $5 for them.  Any way he began to look at them very quickly and said that they are all trash and will not work.  I told him that a couple of them did work and I just wanted to know more about them.  Then this is what he said "Why would I help you with anything you are not going to buy anything from me".  I was in shock at how rude this guy was and asked him how he knew what I was or was not going to do?  I was prepaired to leave several of them to have repaired if possable.  I was going to buy a NEW engine so I could see how they were supposed to run.  I wanted to buy some other supplies but now will not.  I left telling him that he was very rude.  He said he is the owner of the store.  The sad part of this story is that I had my wife and 3 daughters with me.  They all walked out upset at how I was treated.  I have never been treated this way at any store no matter what.
Sorry for letting this out so long there were many more things but this is long enough already.
Needles to say I will not go back to another train store and I felt like just putting the things back into the boxes and storing them for whomever.

15  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: My Fathers Collection on: December 10, 2013, 11:27:55 AM
Thank you everyone for the help.  There is definitely a learning curve for me.

David, if all this sounds like Greek to you, the best place to start learning about model trains and wiring is here Simple easy language and several diagrams explaining things as you go. If you follow the topics as presented you go from basic to advanced concepts and layouts.
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