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Hi there,

New to posting on the forums - I have been a 'reader' for a while (mainly the DCC forum after getting back into the hobby with my father and picking up some Digtrax kit from the States) but when I saw a post asking for information on the Athearn N Big Boys I thought I should register and 'give something back' for all the useful tips I have picked up.

So a bit about me:

Like most I started back with a passing interest after being brought a train set as a gift - in my case an LGB Garden Starter set by my ex-girlfriend. My father has always maintained an interest so it was nice to be able to do something together - we got a real kick out of the first Warley show we went to about three years back now. I hate stereotyping but even I had to admit you could easily spot the train fans on the platform at Bham International - it was the same time as the Clothes Show so anybody 18, female, with a pile of designer gear and shoes I guess wasn't exhibiting a layout! Warley was great and it was nice to be welcomed back as it were - you are a very friendly and helpful bunch and I haven't looked back.

After Warley Dad and I became a 'collector/magpies' basically buying locos and stock that interested us over the last few years whilst planning 'the layout', so we built up a fair collection of G, OO and N bits over time between us - including some of the stuff he had kept from when I started as a child.

I have to admit to being a bit disappointed when I first returned as some of the locos and rolling stock etc that I came across - particularly the British outline stuff in both N and OO didn't seem that different from when I left the hobby as a teenager - old tooling, 'interesting' running characteristics etc. That said after spending some time I can see the industry is changing and reacting to the demands of its customers which can only be a good thing going forward.

We now a have a British outline (no period we just run what takes us) taking shape using mainly Hornby and Bachmann RTR. Some of the new stuff from both of these companies I think is great and is really moving things forward for the benefit of everybody in the hobby.

We also have an American Outline N layout using Kato unitrack taking shape. We are fortunate enough that we have family in the States and through these links got into Kato US, Atlas and recently Athearn. I have to say I have been staggered by the quality of these N models - nearly all DCC friendly, run really well, flywheel drive, lighting, etc and in case of the Athearn DCC sound, and all (I feel) at a competitive price when compared to their UK cousins.

I suppose that brings me onto the reason I registered. I have just imported two N Athearn Big Boys from the States (no I am not a closet millionaire one for me one as a surprise Christmas present for my father which I have saved for a while for). They arrived this morning and on first appearance I can confirm everything that the reviews have said - they are really impressive.

Well I have typed more than enough - maybe I should have registered sooner when I had less to tell!

Thanks for the inspiration, advice and encouragement. It's good to be back.

M
 
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