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· In depth idiot
8,706 Posts
Hi, and welcome. If you want a continuous run then you need more space. Do you have garden shed / outbuilding / converted garage
possibilities? I would hope that what with the far North of New Zealand being pretty temperate in climate this might be possible?

If you go UK OO, then you have arrived at a very interesting moment. There's Bachmann and Hornby with extensive ranges, and
relatively little overlap between them. There's then quite a range of 'others': Heljan are well established, Dapol, Oxford Rail, Kernow
Hattons, Rails of Sheffield, Rapido, Olivias, Accurascale. Dependent on your interests, it could be any of these that are offering 'the very
thing' that you want.

From currently active RTR OO manufacturers I have locos from Bachmann, Dapol, Heljan, Hornby, Oxford Rail and Rapido on the layout
(and an eye on product announced by Accurascale and Rails of Sheffield) and it all works well together. Likewise rolling stock, mostly
Bachmann and Hornby, a little from Oxford Rail and Dapol. The general fitting of the NEM coupler pocket on current product makes
fitting compatible couplers simple. Couplers are something of a low spot in UK model railway. There isn't a standard! Each manufacturer
makes a version of the miniature tension lock, and they may look alike but are not necessarily fully compatible if reliability is a real
consideration for you.

Track, don't look at UK set track, it's appalling. Peco's Streamline ranges are much more the thing. Yes, it takes some acquisition of
skill to use a flexitrack system, but what you get is vastly better: points choices, and superior in appearance and operational reliability.

DCC, I wouldn't touch Bachmann or Hornby, and I live in the UK where both have offices! Simple fact is that the better products
come from the specialist DCC manufacturers, and I would look for whichever has at least an agent in NZ, from among Digitrax, NCE,
Lenz, etc.. It's an open standard system, and while your selected control system comes from one manufacturer, you can run decoders
from any maker.

You might, given your background in aeromodelling, want to look at what is emerging in radio control for model railway. I have zero
advice to offer, but it is pretty clear that various options are now emerging, and may have appeal.

And now a don't! Don't buy nice looking older second hand locos, however tempting the price. With a few exceptions everything made in
RTR OO before the move to Chinese manufacture is dross, you really have to know which are the gems lurking in a vast dunghill. There
is a very simple way to filter off this stuff: if it hasn't got an NEM coupler pocket, just walk away...

· In depth idiot
8,706 Posts
Simply, UK OO set track is only made with dead crossing points 'insulfrog', (and a very small selection of point types it is too).

Peco have until recently supplied their OO Steamline track systems in both dead crossing 'insulfrog' and live crossing 'electrofrog';
but their recently introduced bullhead range uses a 'unifrog' system which presumably is to be the new standard. If you had the
space, then the Streamline products would be the easy choice, but you really need 10x5 (and up) if going for a circuit as the
flexible track is best at 24" radius and up.

There are alternatives. Kato make a very capable set track system by all accounts, never used it, but have read good things of it.
In your position with nothing purchased, I would say it is worth looking at such alternatives in set track, the UK item is fifty years
since introduction, and was nothing special then compared to what was available in HO. My continental cousins had track pieces
such as double slips by 1960, and points with integrated motors not long after, greater choices in curve radii, and so on. I don't
use it, but others might have some direct experience to offer.

· In depth idiot
8,706 Posts
QUOTE (Adrian @ 23 May 2021, 23:26) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>...Another option that we southern hemisphere folk don't see anything of is FREMO...
Even though I am using marklin's three-rail system, I am seriously considering this as a layout option...
Nothing else for it, you will have to start the ball rolling. Do a version with Marklin and you could call it 'THREMO'... (Or has that already been done?)
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