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Starting a Train Set

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  • 07-10-2010 12:30pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 18


    Hi,
    I want to start a train set for my new son by buying him a bit every xmas and bday so that by the time he's old enough we should have quite a good set. I'd be able to place it permantley in the loft so it wouldnt need to be taken up and down.
    Are there all different scales and gauges, and if so what is the best to go for? Is Hornby the best make to go for?
    Thanks to everyone


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,496 ✭✭✭✭Cookie_Monster


    00 gauge is the most common and easiest to do cheaply and widest variety of UK and Irish trains.

    Hornby are ok, bachmann are miles better (IMO) both do decent starter sets aimed at kids, less detailed sturdier locos.

    have a look at sets on the web (ehattons.com, rails of sheffield) to get an idea then buy them online or in your local models shop.

    a good basic set with digital control is this: http://www.ehattons.com/StockDetail.aspx?SID=26443 though is a bit expensive, a more basic would be this: http://www.ehattons.com/StockDetail.aspx?SID=21216

    if you can, get to the exhibition in Dublin on the 24th/ 25th and get chatting to those displaying their layouts, you will learn a huge amount about how to go about it and what would suit you and your son (though I imagine they're for you to play with in the short term ;)) details of the show are in another thread here


  • Registered Users Posts: 18 troybadoo


    Cookie Monster, thank you so much for your excellent reply you have been a great help to get me started and the links you gave are fantastic, cheers :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 402 ✭✭king2


    troybadoo wrote: »
    Hi,
    I want to start a train set for my new son by buying him a bit every xmas and bday so that by the time he's old enough we should have quite a good set. I'd be able to place it permantley in the loft so it wouldnt need to be taken up and down.
    Are there all different scales and gauges, and if so what is the best to go for? Is Hornby the best make to go for?
    Thanks to everyone

    I remember getting a hornby train set from my uncle when I was 7, best present I ever got! was the start of a hobby for me until I was 14. stopped then due to adolescence! was a very expensive hobby though and still is. I can remember hornby Locomotives costing £70 in the early 80s! a weeks wages at the time for alot of people.

    Production in the far east has made radio control model flying alot cheaper but this does not seemed to have happened with model trains. Have you looked on ebay ? you can save alot by buying second hand there


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,496 ✭✭✭✭Cookie_Monster


    king2 wrote: »

    Production in the far east has made radio control model flying alot cheaper but this does not seemed to have happened with model trains. Have you looked on ebay ? you can save alot by buying second hand there

    it has, the level of performance and detail is far superior to the 80's and the price is generally around the €100-120 mark, considering 70 inflated from the 80's that quite cheap IMO.

    I try to buy online if I can though as Irish shop prices are still very very high compared to UK or EU online prices


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,372 ✭✭✭steamengine


    king2 wrote: »
    I remember getting a hornby train set from my uncle when I was 7, best present I ever got! was the start of a hobby for me until I was 14. stopped then due to adolescence! was a very expensive hobby though and still is. I can remember hornby Locomotives costing £70 in the early 80s! a weeks wages at the time for alot of people.

    Production in the far east has made radio control model flying alot cheaper but this does not seemed to have happened with model trains. Have you looked on ebay ? you can save alot by buying second hand there

    Much the same story, got a Hornby clockwork '0' gauge set from Santa first then later on a Hornby electric '00' gauge set for Christmas from my father. Stopped then around 14 and switched over to aero modelling. Fast forward to early noughties and away again for the third time and still going.

    Hornby locos and rolling stock are fine IMO, but then I'm biased due largely to nostalgia. I do have 1 Bachmann loco and a few wagons though. Be warned - model railways are addictive ! ;)
    http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?p=68569688#post68569688

    Still have this old Hornby certificate from the sixties with Roland Hornby's signature.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 37 mrjaygibbs


    it has, the level of performance and detail is far superior to the 80's and the price is generally around the €100-120 mark, considering 70 inflated from the 80's that quite cheap IMO.

    I try to buy online if I can though as Irish shop prices are still very very high compared to UK or EU online prices


    I got a train set as a gift in the late 80s(HST125) and loved it! Was a bit too young to to really get into it but years later i found it and it started the lov of the hobby again! I now have a 25 by 6ft mini city which took some time. It's a time consuming and expensive hobby but well worth the effort! And strongly recommend buying at expos etc, the modelling shops here are way too expensive(what's new) and won't give u any good advice to save money and time!


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,496 ✭✭✭✭Cookie_Monster


    stick up some photos of that layout, sounds interesting :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,863 ✭✭✭✭crosstownk


    I'm gonna get my little boy a train set this year as his 'surprise' from Santa. I'm going with a Hornby - LMS Night Mail Train. It's a basic layout - oval with a siding - but the fact that it 'picks up' and 'drops off' the mailbags may add some interest. The R605 bends are unnatural but that's hardly relevant to a child and keeps the space required to a minimum.

    I've a serious amount of model railway (Hornby/Lima/Bachmann/Jouef) back in my parents house so if he takes to it he'll have expansion.

    And if he doesn't take to it then I will (again) :pac:


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,496 ✭✭✭✭Cookie_Monster


    Good choice, 64 GBP on ehattons.com

    this
    http://www.ehattons.com/StockDetail.aspx?SID=21216
    could be another option, as you get two locos but very basic details. Its DCC though which means you can have 2 trains running on the same track at once, something the older "standard" DC control does not allow.

    Have a search of the option for train sets and train packs on eHattons, good indication of whats available and a whole lot cheaper than Irish stores.
    Any Q's, just ask away


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,372 ✭✭✭steamengine


    crosstownk wrote: »
    I'm gonna get my little boy a train set this year as his 'surprise' from Santa. I'm going with a Hornby - LMS Night Mail Train. It's a basic layout - oval with a siding - but the fact that it 'picks up' and 'drops off' the mailbags may add some interest. The R605 bends are unnatural but that's hardly relevant to a child and keeps the space required to a minimum.

    I've a serious amount of model railway (Hornby/Lima/Bachmann/Jouef) back in my parents house so if he takes to it he'll have expansion.

    And if he doesn't take to it then I will (again) :pac:

    Looks good that set - like the LMS maroon livery and the engine. If you have a retro layout yourself, that would fit in very nicely but I'm sure that's not the intention. ;):) These starter sets come with a scenic trackmat which has the effect of making the package look like a layout from the start.

    IMO it's best to pin the tracks and mat on to a suitable board as the tracks don't take kindly to repeated dismantling and assembly, especially the fishplates (connectors). The mail coach is good fun ok - one of my sons gave me one as a Christmas present two years ago. A starter train set can be the start of a lifetime hobby for your son - best wishes ! :)


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 37 mrjaygibbs


    crosstownk wrote: »
    I'm gonna get my little boy a train set this year as his 'surprise' from Santa. I'm going with a Hornby - LMS Night Mail Train. It's a basic layout - oval with a siding - but the fact that it 'picks up' and 'drops off' the mailbags may add some interest. The R605 bends are unnatural but that's hardly relevant to a child and keeps the space required to a minimum.

    I've a serious amount of model railway (Hornby/Lima/Bachmann/Jouef) back in my parents house so if he takes to it he'll have expansion.

    And if he doesn't take to it then I will (again) :pac:


    I would recommend the bachmann DCC passenger set. It's a bit more money (€140) but it's a great set, so much better with detail and if u want to expand it comes with the EZ controller with is a lot better than hornby's.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 37 mrjaygibbs


    stick up some photos of that layout, sounds interesting :)

    I try get some photos up soon. Started a new project which I'll show off too!


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,863 ✭✭✭✭crosstownk


    Looks good that set - like the LMS maroon livery and the engine. If you have a retro layout yourself, that would fit in very nicely but I'm sure that's not the intention. ;):) These starter sets come with a scenic trackmat which has the effect of making the package look like a layout from the start.

    IMO it's best to pin the tracks and mat on to a suitable board as the tracks don't take kindly to repeated dismantling and assembly, especially the fishplates (connectors). The mail coach is good fun ok - one of my sons gave me one as a Christmas present two years ago. A starter train set can be the start of a lifetime hobby for your son - best wishes ! :)

    I bought the set today in Mark's Models - €95.00. Dearer than the UK source suggested by Cookie Monster but not that much when the exchange rate is taken into account and I feel happier buying in Ireland.

    I have a mail train in my old collection. (Inter City Mail Action Set) It's hauled by a BR Class 37 Co-Co locomotive. Santa brought it to me in 1977!!!!!

    I do intend to tack the tracks down - I bought a pack of tacks too. Now I've to get a suitable sized board from a builders providers to lay it on.

    I used to be quite the model railway enthusiast (and hope my son gets the bug) but for now his new Hornby set is his and my stuff remains in my parents attic. I had a large 3.5m X 3m layout with a village made from the Superquick range, a goods yard, a country station and a city terminus. I even built the end of a runway complete with over 150 landing lights and an approaching Revell kit Lufthansa Boeing 747-200!! Unfortunately that was all in the days before digital photography and I haven't a single photo to look at and get all nostalgic.

    Thankfully, I've a spare box room in my house so if crosstownk junior gets hooked we'll build one from scratch - if he shows no interest then I'll resurrect my extensive locomotive and rolling stock collection, all my superquick stuff, buy lots of timber and get to work!!! This time I'll take copious amounts of photos!! Then I'll need to convert all my old stuff to DCC.

    My oldest Locomotive is a Hornby/Triang LMS Princess Elizabeth 4-6-2 complete with a smoke box and element to produce smoke - can this be DCC converted?


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,863 ✭✭✭✭crosstownk


    mrjaygibbs wrote: »
    I would recommend the bachmann DCC passenger set. It's a bit more money (€140) but it's a great set, so much better with detail and if u want to expand it comes with the EZ controller with is a lot better than hornby's.

    Yeah - the Bachmann is more detailed, no doubt. I don't want to move to DCC until I find he's actually interested. He may just see it as a toy in which case the Hornby will do the job. If he shows any further interest then any future expansion would include Bachmann & DCC.


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,496 ✭✭✭✭Cookie_Monster


    crosstownk wrote: »
    Yeah - the Bachmann is more detailed, no doubt. I don't want to move to DCC until I find he's actually interested. He may just see it as a toy in which case the Hornby will do the job. If he shows any further interest then any future expansion would include Bachmann & DCC.

    enjoy, if you do good down that route don't touch the EZ or Hornby select, both are very basic and pretty crappy. Go for the Dynamis, more expensive but 100 times better.

    This is an excellent set containing it if you choose to go there at a later stage:
    http://railsofsheffield.com/class-150-dmu-dynamis-digital-set-144-50-30-046-JJJA12757.aspx


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 37 mrjaygibbs


    enjoy, if you do good down that route don't touch the EZ or Hornby select, both are very basic and pretty crappy. Go for the Dynamis, more expensive but 100 times better.

    This is an excellent set containing it if you choose to go there at a later stage:
    http://railsofsheffield.com/class-150-dmu-dynamis-digital-set-144-50-30-046-JJJA12757.aspx

    The dynamis is a great kit snd well worth the money, I bought some more Irish locos including the commuter DMU so put off buying the class 150 dynamis set for now so will convert to all the wireless controllers. The EZ controllers is great for starting out without over complicating things. I think bachmann have it done right because it's so easy to upgrade sets and layouts!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 37 mrjaygibbs


    And crosstownk, the idea with the runway sounds brilliant. I've only ever seen one example of a fully lit runway and it instantly becomes a centre piece on a layout! I what to make an electrical sub station with pilons running from it to a main town with "flashing LEDs" to give the impression of sparks from damaged wires along the circuit. I've seen something similar and looks great when finished, but the runway sounds very tempting!


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,496 ✭✭✭✭Cookie_Monster


    mrjaygibbs wrote: »
    The dynamis is a great kit snd well worth the money, I bought some more Irish locos including the commuter DMU so put off buying the class 150 dynamis set for now so will convert to all the wireless controllers. The EZ controllers is great for starting out without over complicating things. I think bachmann have it done right because it's so easy to upgrade sets and layouts!

    the other thing is that the class 150 can be repainted to a irish 2700 much more accurately than most other UK stock, the 158 that Bachmann are doing for example is totally and utterly wrong in many ways


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,372 ✭✭✭steamengine


    crosstownk wrote: »
    I bought the set today in Mark's Models - €95.00. Dearer than the UK source suggested by Cookie Monster but not that much when the exchange rate is taken into account and I feel happier buying in Ireland.

    I have a mail train in my old collection. (Inter City Mail Action Set) It's hauled by a BR Class 37 Co-Co locomotive. Santa brought it to me in 1977!!!!!

    I do intend to tack the tracks down - I bought a pack of tacks too. Now I've to get a suitable sized board from a builders providers to lay it on.

    I used to be quite the model railway enthusiast (and hope my son gets the bug) but for now his new Hornby set is his and my stuff remains in my parents attic. I had a large 3.5m X 3m layout with a village made from the Superquick range, a goods yard, a country station and a city terminus. I even built the end of a runway complete with over 150 landing lights and an approaching Revell kit Lufthansa Boeing 747-200!! Unfortunately that was all in the days before digital photography and I haven't a single photo to look at and get all nostalgic.

    Thankfully, I've a spare box room in my house so if crosstownk junior gets hooked we'll build one from scratch - if he shows no interest then I'll resurrect my extensive locomotive and rolling stock collection, all my superquick stuff, buy lots of timber and get to work!!! This time I'll take copious amounts of photos!! Then I'll need to convert all my old stuff to DCC.

    My oldest Locomotive is a Hornby/Triang LMS Princess Elizabeth 4-6-2 complete with a smoke box and element to produce smoke - can this be DCC converted?

    Taking into account the currency conversion that price is ok. Hornby sell decoders for locos ok - loads of info on the net. The main guy in Mark's Models should be able to advise you also as I have found him to be very knowledgeable indeed especially about locomotives. He had the required brushes and springs in stock for my (sorry steamengine junior's) old Lima tank engine, when I needed them.

    I don't think there is any mystery about DCC, even though I personally havn't got round to it. The decoder, a small pcb is fitted electrically between the wheel pick ups and the motor brushes. Basically it should have two power inputs (from the pick ups), which will include a signal input from from one of the power inputs and two outputs to the motor brushes. The address, other than the default address can then be programmed in via the controller. Other posters may wish to expand or indeed correct me on this, as I only understand the basics. :)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 37 mrjaygibbs


    the other thing is that the class 150 can be repainted to a irish 2700 much more accurately than most other UK stock, the 158 that Bachmann are doing for example is totally and utterly wrong in many ways

    Agree with u there, the 150 cl would have been a better pick than the 158! Paint the 158 in the old german "arrow" DMU and it would look somewhat better. The new class201 looks the part and u can have it a choice of liveries (enterprise, IE intercity and NI rail) It's set to be released in dec/jan RRP €150


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  • Registered Users Posts: 24,496 ✭✭✭✭Cookie_Monster


    mrjaygibbs wrote: »
    Agree with u there, the 150 cl would have been a better pick than the 158! Paint the 158 in the old german "arrow" DMU and it would look somewhat better. The new class201 looks the part and u can have it a choice of liveries (enterprise, IE intercity and NI rail) It's set to be released in dec/jan RRP €150

    won't be jan/feb, will be Easter at least (and generally with MM they're a bit late :p) Can't wait though


  • Registered Users Posts: 665 ✭✭✭sponge_bob


    hi

    iam thinking of getting a train set for myself this christmas. been thinking about it for a while and the youngfellah was on about one the other day, so iam goin to take the plunge with a hornby east coast pullman digital set. it offers 2 trains and 2 sidings so should keep the 2 of us interested for a while. there is also expansion kits for the track so that we could addon to it if we felt we liked it.
    what do ye think of this set, does it look like a good bargain or is there better sets for less money.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,863 ✭✭✭✭crosstownk


    That looks cool! I'd go for that if Jnr was a little older.

    If I was you I'd get an expansion pack that allowed 2 circuits so you can run both locos continuously. From looking at the layout illustration, you'll need 4x R607, 2x R601 and another right hand point. You can expand further if you want an inner first radius siding.

    That set is €324 from Mark's Models.


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,496 ✭✭✭✭Cookie_Monster


    you can run both trains at the same time in the single line as its DCC.
    check out hte price of that set of ehattons.com and rails of shefield, usually a decent bit lower. Marks is stupidly expensive for even the most basic bit of train kit.


  • Registered Users Posts: 665 ✭✭✭sponge_bob


    crosstownk wrote: »
    That looks cool! I'd go for that if Jnr was a little older.

    If I was you I'd get an expansion pack that allowed 2 circuits so you can run both locos continuously. From looking at the layout illustration, you'll need 4x R607, 2x R601 and another right hand point. You can expand further if you want an inner first radius siding.

    That set is €324 from Mark's Models.
    you can run both trains at the same time in the single line as its DCC.
    check out hte price of that set of ehattons.com and rails of shefield, usually a decent bit lower. Marks is stupidly expensive for even the most basic bit of train kit.


    hi guys thanks for the info. managed to pick one up on ebay, contacted the buyer and he informed me that it was opened but never used and everything was still in its original packaging. it cost 210+20p&p GBP about 280 euros.

    checked ehattons and they didn't have that set which was amazing as they seem to have a huge selection. and from what i could see on the other sites cheapest for that set new was about 250ish GBP + P&P again all quoting about 20pounds, so i think/hopefully i done allright.


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