G Scale Model Train Forum banner
1 - 4 of 4 Posts

· Premium Member
132 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'd like to start by saying THANK YOU to all of those who have helped me into this hobby by answering questions and say a heart felt thank you for your time and the valuable insight you provided.

To those just getting in to this hobby or interested in getting started... here is what I have gleaned thus far.

Lesson # 1. Don’t be afraid to Ask Questions
If you’re here, your interested. Why not investigate more and ask some questions.
I have posted lots of questions here and the response has always been FANTASTIC. You will get rock solid information and lots of good opinions offered.
So if your new to this like I am… Don’t be bashful – ASK ASK ASK. Ask as many questions as you want. No one will make you feel dumb for not knowing and most will offer and detailed explanations to your questions.

Lesson # 2 – Don’t wait, get started. I spent years contemplating and then months researching and asking questions. My research while was well worth it, seemed to open a Pandora’s Box of additional questions and I seemed to be caught in a circle. Bottom line – 90% of my questions have been answered by putting track on the ground, running a train around and seeing first hand why rail clamps are better and why track has to be level side to side and why running more then one set of power lines to your track is helpful… Getting a train on the track and running it will actually help you make decisions and understand what most of these guys are talking about.

Lesson # 3 – None of this stuff is cheap. So start small and see what you like. Your biggest investment out of the gate will be track and a loco. Who cares if it is battery or track power, brass or stainless... Your just getting started - Pick the one you are leaning toward and see how you like it.
Lucky for me my first order of track got screwed up and ordered twice… by the time we realized it I had twice the track I originally intended (ahhh poor Todd right :eek:) so I have about 300 feet of brass 332 that I am happy with. Yes I have learned (as some heeded) that it takes some cleaning, but I wanted track power and couldn’t afford Stainless. Point being – if I decided now to change it would be pretty expensive. So start small and see what you like.

Lesson # 4 – Start Small with a starter set. You get everything you need to get a train running for say about $300. It is a great way to see what you like and why the say to sue rail clamps and why the quality of track is important and so on. Note of caution on the starter sets… find one that has track made for outdoors. I know some of them come with a small oval of track that is really intended for indoor use and after the first rain, the track will corrode pretty bad. So get a good starter set you can get lots of recommendations here about a good set). Also if you can afford it get an additional box of 3’ straight sections. That will allow you to expand to a bit lager then the 4’ oval that comes in the box and get a better feel for a potential layout. Plus when your train derails (and it will) your not risking damage to an expensive loco.

Lesson # 5 – Go to St. Aubins or one of the many other on line stores and create a “Wish List”. Then send that list to your loved ones and friends. I can tell you first hand I made out like a bandit on train stuff this Christmas instead of getting bunch of stuff I didn’t really need or things I like but was not excited about. Instead my wife and other family members got me things off my wish list. Of course they had no idea what exactly they gave me but… I sure did and I got exactly what I wanted.
Trust me, when rail clamps are $80 for 50 or 10 bucks for a set steel wheels - if you get a few here and there as gifts it works out great.
Of course put your big ticket items on your list to - you never know :eek:)

Bottom line is it is great hobby but can be a overwhelming to jump into. However you have found one of the greatest resources available on the hobby of Larger Scale Railroading. So take advantage of this site and the wisdom these guys have and get a train on the ground running. You will not be sorry. Sort of like having kids -if you wait untill you think your ready and can afford them.. you never will :eek:) So take the leap and buy a starer set...

P.S – I am by no means all of that. Heck I still don’t have a permanent layout started. I learned most of this by throwing my track out on the front lawn and running two trains in conjunction with our Christmas lights.
Lots of houses had twinkling lights… I had twinkle lights and TRAINS. Needless to say we had a whole slew of people stopping by every night to watch them run…. Young, old, a lady from China, a pastor from Israel and another lady from Germany. They loved the house but were just enamored but the trains…

I can’t wait to start getting may permanent layout started….

Happy New Year to you all may it be blessed beyond your greatest expectations…

· Premium Member
3,134 Posts
Nice post! reminds me of my own experiences about a year ago. We inherited a bunch of starter sets and some track and a few cars, and set up train in the garden for Christmas. I had no idea what I was doing and I got a lot of answers here. But like you say, you have to just do it. Now we have a permanent layout and we set up seasonal variations. We had an open house Christmas day and people stopped by all day long, and into the night

I've learned so much here and now I try to return thw little I know

· Premium Member
7,276 Posts
create a “Wish List”. Then send that list to your loved ones and friends

An excellent system, which I learned a few years ago. I discovered that the family would much rather buy me something I asked for, even though it wasn't a surprise, than go to the effort of finding me something themselves!

I have asked for tools - the Micromark catalog is great for that. Just give them the item number or a link to the page. Last year I was collecting Accucraft 4-wheel flat cars, so I gave Clem's phone number (Warrior Run Loco Works) to my daughter and told him what I wanted. This year it was books from Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.