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Small layouts , Planks and puzzles - Small Layouts,Planks and Micros - Model Railway Layouts. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Tue Feb 7th, 2017 07:52 am
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Passed Driver
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Hi All       I am thinking about a small North American Switch puzzle, with Boxcars, Gondolas and a Caboose.And definitely a very small Switch Loco, but do I have to go across the ""Pond" to get decent stock? and how about the track? will I have to build it myself and the rather unfamiliar lineside equipment.
All this is inspired by my attempts to get UK outline stock and code 75 track working with Kadee couplings and delayed action magnets, following my Phonecalls to Peters Spares when I was told "we don't know much about Continental and Foriegn stuff?" Followed by the suggestion "You'd be best going to Gaugamaster". Well, I took his advice and emailed Gaugemaster their response was just as bad and very similar to an email that I had received from Hattons. That is why "Personal Import" looks, if possible? Looks the only way to go.
All the best and Howdy ( however you say it?). Kevin



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 Posted: Tue Feb 7th, 2017 11:27 am
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I'm sure there's plenty of stuff on E bay.
Here's something to get you started. No connection with the seller.
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Roundhouse-HO-Gauge-Modern-US-outline-Freight-Cars-/192097227662?hash=item2cb9e3138e:g:b2QAAOSwjDZYe022

Code 83 in the American track I think so Peco make that & it should be readily available.



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 Posted: Tue Feb 7th, 2017 11:30 am
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Sol
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Kevin, you can still use Code 75 track ,
Gaugemaster has H0 http://www.gaugemaster.com/hogauge.html

Also have a read of Continental Modeller
http://www.pecopublications.co.uk/continental-modeller.html



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 Posted: Tue Feb 7th, 2017 12:29 pm
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Seems a bit drastic Kevin, building a US themed shunting puzzle because you can't get Kadee delayed uncoupling working on code 75 track :shock:

Bear in mind any US outline stock you buy may not have Kadees fitted, for example Bachmann stock will almost certainly have E-Z mates.

The simplest solution would be to use code 100 track and then the Kadee #321 between rails magnet will be the correct height.

Just need to make sure the couplings are at the right height with the Kadee #206 height gauge, whether it's US of UK outline stock.


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 Posted: Tue Feb 7th, 2017 01:30 pm
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Hi Ron. Thank you , it is just the attitude of some of the gaugemaster staff? on the odd occasion , as for theirpricing policy? Perhaps I will have to take a deep breath and try again.   Kevin



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 Posted: Tue Feb 7th, 2017 07:02 pm
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Hi Ed. Thank you for your reply. Drastic indeed but the cool reception that I received from the well respected U.K. Dealers left me feeling rather cold. I already suggested the code 100 idea, with code 100 in the sidings , with the 75/ 100 adaptors. Nigel has suggested either code 70 or code 85 , if I can get it? U S railroad/ way stock is just like scrumping apples? They always look sweeter. But as for Bachmann ? No never, for some reason the stock is regarded as "looking like toys?" But then again......Do not most "non believers" think that anyway?When someone had asked me why "Why did I purchase an ex GWR Pannier Tank in London Transport livery?"
My reply was, " then I could tell them that I am still driving for LT.  All the best. Kevin 



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 Posted: Tue Feb 7th, 2017 08:16 pm
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Hi Kevin,

If your railway passion was American outline, it would be clearer why you would want to build an American layout. If however you simply think it easier to build an NA layout because you can't get your current plank to work with Kadees, then you may well be facing an equal challenge with a change in direction.

Many people on this forum have given you their advice, based on extensive personal experience in making it work, so why throw it all away due to a couple of strangers on the phone not being able to understand your issues as well as the people offering you answers on here?

It's your railway of course and you can do just whatever you wish, but I can't help thinking you'll still be yearning for some good old fashioned LT action.

Good luck,

Bill
 

     



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 Posted: Tue Feb 7th, 2017 09:10 pm
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Hi Bill. Thank you for your reply.  Too true, I just fancied doing something different, out of pure b.mindedness. If you know what I mean? But I will have to stick with " British Outline ".  All the best. Kevin



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 Posted: Tue Feb 7th, 2017 09:44 pm
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I've long had an 'itch' to scratch regarding a North American switching layout. Over the years I've acquired some stock, have plenty of surplus code 100 track. I've even built the boards but it never seems to get any further, probably because it isn't really my passion, just a flight of fancy. Maybe one day it will get built. None of which of course helps you.

Anyway, try Model Junction in Slough for some advice. haven't used them myself but have heard very good things about them and they specialise in NAM outline.

Model Junction details 



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 Posted: Tue Feb 7th, 2017 09:54 pm
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Now I'm in O scale, a switching layout is really the best option for an inside layout.

Mine's based on John Allen's TimeSaver.

http://www.wymann.info/ShuntingPuzzles/sw-timesaver.html



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 Posted: Wed Feb 8th, 2017 12:15 am
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The CN line to New York runs behind my house, about 50' away.  No shortage of prototype information by standing at my back fence and photographing the trains.  However, I don't do that because NA trains leave me cold, I have no connection to them and no interest.

A quick glance at the site that Nick linked reveals the daunting research needed just to figure out who makes what and where it all goes.  Best to stick to what you know and what you're passionate about.

John



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 Posted: Wed Feb 8th, 2017 05:59 am
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Hi Nick.   Thank you for your reply, that is just the way with me, an itch to scratch. And maybe with all the good advice on Y M R C.  I'd better stick( or bust)  with what I've got?  All the best. Kevin



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 Posted: Wed Feb 8th, 2017 06:17 am
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Hi Max.  Thank you for your reply, I must admit with so many " fanciful ideas" in my head, and not much else??I have become " stuck " on building small OO / HO puzzle planks, and have two different set ups already.
I have made four "module type" baseboards that link together and loads of code 75 track. But my plans
have not come to fruition.  All the best. Kevin



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 Posted: Wed Feb 8th, 2017 06:28 am
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Hi John.  Thank you for your reply. Before I moved to my current address I lived close to a BR( as it was then)depot, with trains coming and going day and night. But of course after travelling on trains in both the US and
Canada on holiday I must admit there is a complete different set of rules to go by. Perhaps I'd better put the
whole U.S  idea on to a " back burner" for now?   All the best. Kevin



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 Posted: Wed Feb 8th, 2017 09:34 am
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Hi Ron.   After viewing the Gaugemaster link that you sent? I think apart from "putting the idea onto a back burner"If I do actually proceed with the "American/ Canadian Dream" I would consider either a different outlet or buy 
"Pre Owned at a Model Railway Show" from a reliable source?? And read more about the idea.
All the best. Kevin



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 Posted: Wed Feb 8th, 2017 02:30 pm
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Hi Kevin,

NA switching puzzle? Pretty much the same as a UK shunting puzzle. In fact you could with a bit of license use what you already have. The 3.5mm scale NA stock will certainly look a lot more at home on OO/HO track than 4mm scale OO stock. Take a look at the small railroad layout site of Carl Carendt (carendt.com) for some inspiration. One branchline and an industrial spur is all it takes.

The major issue is going to be the length of the freight cars (30-50 feet) and the switcher locomotive(s), most diesels are B-B designs, although there are some 0-6-0 (steam and diesel) available. The latest Plymouth 0-6-0 diesel switcher from BLI looks ideal for this, as does the B-B GE 44/45 or 70 ton switchers from Bachmann (both the BLI and Bachmann are DCC equipped). I go for GP-7s and -9s, bit bigger, but more room for a speaker if desired.

I've been in HO for over 10 years, it's now my major modeling focus. And I have to admit that it was the scale/gauge (4mm on OO gauge track is essentially 4' narrow gauge) and coupler issues (tension lock vs Kadee and the NEM 362 pocket fiasco) that got me into this scale. It's nice knowing that that freight cars from a range of manufacturers will couple (and uncouple) with precision. What is almost absent from the HO scene now are brass etch kits (locomotives or freight cars). This never really took off in the face of highly detailed RTR brass models from Japan and Korea. There are a reasonable number of freight car kit manufactures (Accurail and Tichy Train Group come to mind), but the range of RTR is enormous and these days highly detailed ("Rivet Counter" and "Museum Standard" really does apply here).

There are plenty of sources of NA stock in the UK. Although from the sound of things service may be an issue. Ordering direct from many US box-shifters is easy, getting them to use the most cost-effective method of shipment seems to require a telephone call. Airmailing a diesel locomotive weighing 2 lb or so can get expensive, but probably cost-effective given some of the bargains available for around $60-$80, often DCC equipped. Sending something back to have it repaired (unlikely) would get expensive.

Nigel



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 Posted: Wed Feb 8th, 2017 02:43 pm
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Hi Nigel.  I am not certain who it was?? But it had been suggested to me that " Bachmann " is regarded as notlooking real? more like toys in the US. So if that is correct? I would rather go to another manufacturer.
But I am more confused than ever.   All the best. Kevin



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 Posted: Wed Feb 8th, 2017 03:14 pm
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General question, wasn't that why Bachmann introduced the 'Spectrum' range back in the late 1980s ?




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 Posted: Wed Feb 8th, 2017 06:04 pm
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Hi Kevin,

Bachmann in the USA (unlike the UK) is probably regarded as the starter or entry level, you can certainly get a lot more detail with some of the other brands. They however have differing levels of detail and pricing.

Atlas: Master, Classic, Trainman.  ($$$ to $).
Athearn: Genesis, Ready to Roll, Roundhouse ($$$ to $).
Walthers: Proto, Mainline ($$$ to $).

The expensive ones normally come with DCC sound.

The higher end Bachman locomotives are getting near the other expensive ones with respect to detail. At shows many people find it difficult to tell a Bachmann from an Atlas Master or Athearn Genesis. Their range of switchers are good, reliable, and with a fair amount of detail.

BLI, Bowser, Intermountain, Kato, MTH and Rapido in general tend to be highly detailed with pricing to match, and do limited runs. Rivarossi are releasing some of their older models with a facelift (Hornby own Rivarossi).

I focus on older Proto models (originally Life Like Proto2000, now taken over by Walthers), great performance (there are issues with split gears with early models but it's a cheap repair), great body detail, and DCC sound is normally not an issue. I buy used, anywhere between $30-$60, and usually DCC them myself with an ESU Loksound Select, which adds another $100 including speaker. If I used a Digitrax 16 bit decoder I could save nearly $50. The latest is an SD-7 (switcher diesel, C-C) $30, needs a bit of body work, came with a $25 decoder. Previous to that I picked up an Alco RS-1 (road switcher, B-B), older Athearn model with a Kato drive train, molded steps and grabs, no windows but a great runner (due to that superb Kato chassis). $20.

Bottom line - HO doesn't have to be expensive.

Nigel

 



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 Posted: Wed Feb 8th, 2017 07:35 pm
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Hi Nigel.   There sure is a wide variety to choose from. I was reading about the "timesaver",  Some have calledIt timewaster? But it certainly has many possibilities , for shunting. I wii have to do more reading, before I commit to
anything.   All the best.  Kevin



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