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Started and stayed with track power. Always admired G gauge from back in the time when it was called K gauge, but with HO and Lionel layouts using up all the train budget, I never pushed to start extending our train hobby into the back yard. Then, Bachman came out with a Shay locomotive. I love geared locos. Cass, WV is one of my favorite places. So, I had to have it and naturally, I had to have a railroad to run it on. My family has been very supportive and generous and I have a lot of fun with my little world, but budgetary considerations dictate we stay the course.
 

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I started with track power, saw a friends battery setup, wasn't impressed, neither was he, we're both running Bridgewerks track power now. Combination of DCC and DCS. Live Steam doesn't do it for me because I think it has no realism as far as sound and appearance. Watching trains running at 500 SMPH with steam racing out of the stack 500 times faster than the real thing is interesting, but not what I want, though I think running trains with natural resources is kind of neat. All 3 have their purpose and audience, I'm not dissing the others.

-Will
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
Hey Will
You and I are pretty close in thinking.
If I could run a live steam engine with a tender full of water and fuel for 3 or 4 hours like I do battery power, I would run live steam and do switching like I do with my Deisels.
I too am not dising any one.

It was a beautiful night at Marty's last Sept when they guys were running live steam at 11 at night when the Plume of steam hung over th engine as it made it's way around the steam up track. It looked great
 

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Started indoors with analog DC track power, a small layout with R1 curves, first engine was a Bachmann Climax. About the time the roster expanded to 5 locomotives, I converted to DCC. :)

Then I bought my first live steamer (Accucraft 3-cylinder Shay); after some "negotiations" ;) with the family, started construction on my present-day outdoor layout (my "Watuppa Railway").

While construction was in its early stages, ONLY ran the live-steam Shay; as soon as a small initial loop was completed, I mounted the DCC command station, booster & power supply in a plastic tote, enabling it to do "double duty" on both the indoor & outdoor layouts. Took approximately a year of construction to complete the full outdoor layout mainline (@ 160 feet of track with 2 long passing sidings, elevated @ 2 feet off the ground). The 3-cylinder Accucraft Shay has insulated drivers, so frequently runs side-by-side (or even double-heads with) my DCC-powered locos.

The roster has expanded to over 20 locos (!); the indoor layout is now mainly a "parking lot" :D for storing equipment to run outside & rarely runs. My 2 additional live steamers (Accucraft Mich-Cal #2 2-cylinder Shay, & Ruby #11 2-4-2) do NOT have insulated drivers, requiring shutting down the DCC system if I'm running them; I may convert one of my 3 Bachmann 2-truck Shays to battery / RC to run with them. Also, all 3 live-steamers have been converted to RC. ;) Tom
 

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Posted By John J on 30 Mar 2008 08:17 AM


Ok Three simple catagories.
WHO  STARTED WITH   TRACK POWER AND WENT TO   BATTERY ?
WHO STARTED  RIGHT  OFF  WITH  BATTERY POWER?
WHO STARTED RIGHT OFF  WITH   LIVE STEAM? 




Hi John,

You forgot the 4th category:

WHO STARTED OUT WITH TRACK POWER AND KEEPS RETURNING TO TRACK POWER?

1. Tried batteries but went back to track power?

Why? I never had a battery pack that was ready to run when I was. I'm even changing my Sierra Soundtraxx sound systems to capacitors because their batteries are always dead when I want to run them.

2. Tried DCC/MTS but then went back to track power?

I keep/kept running into the 5 amp limit of MTS (or higher DCC) because I like lots of lighted passenger cars and did not like to trust 4 decoders to link an ABBA set. Also I can never remember what number a loco is and spend half my time trying to figure out what number each loco is.

3. Tried live steam but then went back to battery power?

Same problem as with batteries - it was never ready to run when I was.

On the other hand I can take a track powered loco that has not been run in years, put it on the track and start running it without problems.

This is not to put down anything. I still have the Battery, MTS, DCC, and Live Steam locos and they still get run every so often but 90% of the time it is the plain old analog track power that gets used.

TRACK POWER FOR DUMMIES - and for people who just wanna run trains hassle (complication) free.

Regards,

Jerry
 

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I started by building an HO electric layout for my son. It's been more than 20 years and he is still waiting to play with it.

Went from there to G scale track power, first an LGB motor block and then an early Bachmann Big Hauler. Another ten years of temporary layouts and aroudn the Christmas tree.

Garden Railways and Steam in the Garden hooked me and I got a Ruby about 1999. No turning back since. Except for those several part-built battery electrics. And the clockwork stuff. God must like me. He showed me really neat toys.

I tell people outside the hobby that most people think train people are silly. Train people shake their head about the guys who run outside. The guys who run outside can't understand the guys who run live steam. But even the steamers think the guys who burn coal are crazy. Now if I could just find a stait jacket in my size . .

Best to all, Mike
 

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Well, now I can show instead of just telling. I got my first train when I was about 2 or 3 years old. It was a pre-war Lionel 1688 freight set (O27). It must have been second hand, because I was born about 9 days after World War II ended. My set had a figure 8 track layout, a mixture of box and latch couplers, and a whistling tender. I have been playing with trains ever since, which adds up to just over 60 years, supposing I got the set when I was 3.

Recently I found and bought a set that is almost identical to my first set. You can get an idea of it from the photos below.





I thought a close replica of that first set deserved a spot among my current large scale collection.

Yours,
David Meashey
 

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Started in 1995 by building rolling stock, while waiting to return from overseas assignment. Went straight to live steam and never anything else.

Inspiration was watching "Thomas the Tank Engine" about a thousand bizillion times with our son.
 

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Got back online too late to edit my original post, above.
I was so enthused about being able to post the photos that I forgot to answer the initial question. Well, the answer is track power and variable AC (obviously for Pre-War Lionel). Today it is mostly DC track power. Not opposed to the other means, but prefer KISS - and after 60 years, I understand track power pretty well. Got several smaller motorized units that would be hard to fit battery or DCC, even for large scale. Presently have one nominal 7/8ths scale whimsical battery unit, my D-Cell locomotive.



Would like to afford a Regner Willie someday. Anything larger in live steam would require greater curves than I have the real estate for at present. Besides, I am spoiled. I learned to fire and run on locomotives big enough to sit in the cab, so I'm used to running a steamer from within the cab.

Yours,
David Meashey
 
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