Model railroaders, advice for a newb, please!


I double-dog dare you to run a spur into the kitchen with a note attached to the train saying Please send dinner! :rofl:

There needs to be a thread of Famous Railroad Quotes. Here’s my contribution:

“You better do something you idiot, because in ten minutes; you’re going to have 200 tons of locomotive smashing into Central Station on its way to Marshall Fields!”

No Judy Garland song that I know of, but “Indian Love Call” in Rose Marie is set in the Canadian Rockies

Can anyone share an opinion on Athearn locomotives? I remember them as basic but well made with brass flywheels and a heavy frame.

Now for some of my opinions:

Consider if you will be running the trains with the room lights shut off, and only the tree lights on. Passenger cars with interior lighting, locomotives with headlamps, give the scene that much more magic. You might also want to string some tree lights around at track level.

Although you have mentioned HO (1:87) scale, and I have no argument with that, I’d recommend that anyone else looking for a “train around the tree” consider the larger O or G scales. The larger scales just have a better appearance under a tree.

I have a Lionel 027 set, which I got about 25 years ago. At that time, I was working for Quaker Oats, and an employee group at Quaker contracted with Lionel to do some custom train sets for us. It’s all standard entry-level Lionel stuff (steam locomotive, a few cars, and an oval of track), but all of the rolling stock is custom-printed for Quaker (a Quaker Oatmeal box car, a Gatorade tank car, etc.)

I don’t set it up every year, but it does make an excellent set for running around the Christmas tree.

Peco makes excellent track and turnouts (switches). Available in the US.

Good to know, thanks for setting me straight on that one!

Athearn is ok. They have a basic line (RTR, or ready to run) and the more expensive Genesis line. Some of the old Athearn locomotives still exist in the RTR line.

You could run a program called DecoderPro on your computer, and connect to a command station made with inexpensive Arduino Boards for a DCC++EX system.

Relevant portion begins at 5 minutes, but the whole thing is good.

^ THAT WAS GREAT!! Better than I imagined it. Thanks for sharing!

The switching station McDoakes was so desperate to own? The aforementioned Rosenberg Railroad Museum has an actual switching station (life size) as an exhibit – they had it moved from several miles down the track.

Milhouse: Cool train. Where does it go?

Bart: Beats me. But it won’t be back for three hours and 40 minutes. Once it had snow on it.

I’m done! :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

Silver Streak, right?

You got it!

I wonder how long a thread of Famous RR Quotes in Thread Games could last? I may have my project for tomorrow. Stay tuned.

My email inbox has been flooded (relatively speaking) with Black Friday sales from the various online model railroad stores I shop with, as well as from my local shop. Might be a good week to take a browse and see if they have any good deals on things you would want!

I run an N-scale set that sits on a folding table near our tree. I used a white stretch cover for the table (available on Amazon) and kept the layout very simple. It is not secured to the table in any way. What I enjoy most, as others have mentioned, is creating the village and landscaping. I have made it very personal, building paper buildings that resemble buildings where I grew up, adding cars and vehicles that look like cars I’ve owned, and then adding features/vehicles that figure prominently in Christmas movies. (I have an N-scale RV that looks exactly like Cousin Eddie’s in Christmas Vacation.) Loads of fun.

Here’s a good building for a Christmas layout:

I agree about the track with roadbed.

The OP asked about cats. One of my cats swats at the trains. When he was a kitten the fur on his paw got stuck in a loco mechanism one time and he was very unhappy.

^ Here’s a factoid you can use to stifle the pedants you know: the Christmas Story house IRL isn’t near a train, but in the scene where they’re filming The Old Man admiring his Lamp outside across the street with the neighbors, a trolley car on rails scoots along behind them. This was filmed in Toronto (?), so if you have the tracks in front of the model house with a trolley, you’re covered. A helpful tip from your friends at the SDMB. :wink:

It isn’t in Indiana, either. :slight_smile:

The house is in Cleveland, though not on Hohman street.

Too bad…it’s in HO scale.

But I do have a trolley running down the center of one of my streets. It was an SOB to make it, since nothing is fastened down to the table and the roads are made of laminated cardstock.

They have an N scale version, too: