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Hi.

As a kid I used to have a very basic Lima railway set (it was more or less just an oval) but remember the hours of fun I used to have on it once my dad had built the track for the 100th time


For a long time now I've been wanting get into model railway, and now I've decided that I want to take the bull by the horns and do what I've alwasy wanted to do and get myself a trainset once again (something that can carry on growing - hopefully)

Just a couple of questions though to start off with...

I'm guessing that most serious model railway users will have a permenent place for their railways, and if so I'm trying to figure out where the best place would be for me to have the model railway... I'm thinking about building it in my room, but the space in there is somewhat limited to around 1m x 1m, which I'm guessing wouldn't be much space for a railroad, but could this possibly be ideal for starting out?

My preferred model railway would be hornby, my prefer the old steam locomotives to the modern stuff. (although the I'd consider the old diesel trains.

I'm really looking for some advice regarding starting out and just some general tips.

thanks in anticipation


YT.
 

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Hi YT,Im quite new to this also but have built a layout.You've done the right thing by asking questions first as it may well stop you making mistakes as I did,in my opinion,and if I started again I would build a small layout or diarama to gain experience. All your questions will be answered by someone on here "cos"they know what they are doing
Welcome,good luck and happy railwaying,Frame in sunny Padstow
 

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Hi YT & welcome to the forum
. May I make a suggestion and advise you to purchase a couple of books. This is the way
I went when restarting the hobby. Don't get me wrong , there are a lot of 1st class modellers on this forum and are very free with advise but a book or two can actually show you plans and where an ideal place would be. A quick look on Amazon has come up with "Simple model railway layouts: Big ideas for small spaces". An author called Cyril Freezer has helped me out too with track plans
.
 

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hi, welcome...

you mention a space of approx. 1 metre by 1 metre?

would this include any available spaces above room furniture?

for example, above bookshelves, or across drawer units or cupboards?

or even a bed?

It really is amazing , with a little imagination, where space can be found.

as an example, visualise the possibiity of having shelves all around the room, above normal furniture height?

Another thing to consider is that a model railway doesn't HAVE to be an oval or a roundy-roundy........it could also simply be, from one end to another.
sure, the latter means you cannot just set a train moving, and leave it to its own devices......but this is where 'operation' comes into play.

First thing to remember is that even a 'model of a railway', let alone a model railway, is really no more than a piece of 'theatre'.....and as a whole should be considered as such......the stage is the board, with its scenery, and the trains are the actors, who come on and go off at a whim.
But, like theatre, modelrailways are also highly technical in nature.

As an example, taking your quoted 1x1metres space?

One way of treating this is to create a square board of those dimensions, but divide it diagonally [or to suit] down the middle with a vertical divider.

this becomes a 'skyboard' or backscene, dividing the main baseboard into two individual halves...[more or less to suit.]

Lay a circle of track around the board, of roughly 3 foot diameter..[perhaps using set track curves of a large radius]

then, utilising set track CURVED points, lay in a siding or two, maybe a passing loop, or whatever fits without over-crowding, on each side of the divider.

Now, with this limited size, only small [steam?] locos would fit the bill......Hornby, Bachymann, etc make plenty to chose from....if modelling UK railways.

small diseasel shunters can also do nicely...and stock should be of the older type [prototypically], goods stock....maybe find some 'shorty' coaches [Ratio make some nice 4 wheeler kits, better looking than Hornby's......although the old Hornby/Tri-ang clerestory coaches would fit nicely too]...

thus, you have a continuous run for those times you just want to sit back and watch the trains go by......plus operation for those times when you've gotten into shunting.

the two separate scenes [joined by the one circle of track] mean twice the bang for your bucks.....and can be totally different.....as an example, one side could be a small stration, platform, maybe a goods siding or passing loop......the other side could be industrial, maybe a harbour or factory, with a 'main line' passing through, and asiding or two?

Chris Ellis, who used to run the magasine ''scale model trains'' often promoted the above idea, as an alternative for those strapped for space.

http://www.carendt.us/index.html

is a website which specialises in minimum space models from the world over...may give you an idea??
 

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Hi and welcome
Steve
 

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Thanks for the warm welcome and thanks alastairq for helping me to realise the limitless limitations this room has to offer when you think out of the box!


I absolutley love the idea of shelving! This idea alone opens up for me tonns and tonns of ideas and options for creating a model railway in the space that I have. You mention running the railway along shelves above furniture height!! (fantastic idea!) Although I possibly wouldn't be able to run one right around the due to the cabin bed obstructing part of the route around the room I would still have very much most of the rest of the perimeter of the room to play with. The corners of the rooms would make a nice place to create some garages where I could have a number of engines parked up. (although I'm not sure how I'd work the points - unless model railways have advanced since I was a kid.)

Under the cabin bed, there is stacks of room to create a couple of shelves going from one end to the other, which would also give me plenty of options for creating some lines for trains to run along from one end of the rom to the other - and with all these spaces mentioned I would still have that 1m by 1m space that I was talking about earlier to play with too!

Any more ideas or tips would be most welcome
YT.
 

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QUOTE (yorkshiretyker @ 30 Mar 2009, 16:28) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>..My preferred model railway would be hornby, prefer the old steam locomotives to the modern stuff. (although the I'd consider the old diesel trains. ..
One of the best developments in UK RTR railway modelling over the past couple of decades has been the emergence of significant competition for Hornby, first from Bachmann, and subsequently Heljan, Dapol and Vi-Trains, all of which are fully compatible and have broadened the choice of what is available. Hornby and Bachmann are the only two offering steam at the moment, and between them offer fair coverage of types: the steam models these two companies have brought out in the last ten years are a day over night improvement on what was previously available. For the earlier BR diesels there is now a very large choice, and more promised. Most diesel locos now come with a vastly better mechanism than the shriek-along power bogies of yore, instead a central motor with flywheels has shaft drives to both bogies: quiet, very smooth, all the tractive power anyone could reasonably want. There have been matching improvements to rolling stock too.
QUOTE .. although I'm not sure how I'd work the points - unless model railways have advanced since I was a kid ..
Just a little. Point motors are usual on layouts, and digital command control gives much greater operational flexibility, see the DCC section on this site.
 

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I went up into the atic yesterday to see if I can salvage some of my old trainset as a kid, and found that there were quite a few bits and peices that seemed to be usable, so I went out and bought a new power track and transmitter, and "Smokie Joe" to see how much of the track still operates well, to my supprise, there is a decent amount of track that does still work very niceley.

It's nice to know that there is competiton out there for hornby that is "compatible" and that Bachmann do have a selection of steam locos. Perhaps I'll create a couple of different layouts in the way that alastairq mentioned using shelfing and wouldn't mind having a couple of lines running diesel engines... (I can see how this is going to become very addictive!)

when I was in the model shop I noticed the DCC, and will need to look into this further on the site's section, but just as a thought - would I be able to run a DCC transmitter on normal line - aslong as I have DCC ready locos? or does the track also need to be digital in some way - - - (sorry to sound dumb at this point, but as I'm beginning to form ideas, questions are arising)

Thanks again
YT.
 

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Any track will work with DCC, though I would recommend that power feeds be dropped thru the base boards every couple of feet or so and connect to a heavy duty track power feed, this will ensure that locos run well no matter how far they are from the power source. I would also recommend using live frog points as opposed to insulfrog.
Take a look on the DCC forum on this web site for more indepth information.
Steve
 

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Hi YT and welcome to the MRF.

I realise that you seem to already have some 00 gauge track but before you go too far down that line, have you given any thought to building your layout in a smaller gauge such as 'N'. You can get 4 times as much layout into your 1m x 1m space with N Gauge as you can with 00.

Another thought that comes to mind is the attic you mention. Is this a place where you might consider building your layout as it would probably give you more scope for exdpansion ?

Anyway, just a couple of thoughts and good luck with whichever you decide on. I look forward to seeing your progress.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Just an update on the present situation as after spending hours shifting stuff around in my room I come to realise that I may be able make clear a space of 7ft x 3ft. which I'm sure you'll agree will give me much more scope for a 'none circular' layout. and having read only part of the "shelf layout" section over on newrailwaymodellers.co.uk I'm beginning to realise that I would be able to create quite an interesting (none circular) model railway in such space.

As I'm a new comer to mode railways - I'm having trouble figuring out what the smallest diameter of a circular track would be.

QUOTE (Expat @ 31 Mar 2009, 15:55) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I realise that you seem to already have some 00 gauge track but before you go too far down that line, have you given any thought to building your layout in a smaller gauge such as 'N'. You can get 4 times as much layout into your 1m x 1m space with N Gauge as you can with 00.

Another thought that comes to mind is the attic you mention. Is this a place where you might consider building your layout as it would probably give you more scope for exdpansion ?

Anyway, just a couple of thoughts and good luck with whichever you decide on. I look forward to seeing your progress.

The attic really isn't suitable a model railway, it's full of junk with little space, it took me 3 hours to find the bits and peices of the 00 guage hornby that I had as a kid and another 10 minutes to rid it of dust... (unfortunatley my old loco had given up the ghost.)

I haven't really thought of 'N' gauge to be honest, and perhaps it may be work considering, the 00 guage stuff would still make for a nice shelf layout which could run along the back wall (this is around 7ft) so it certainly wouldn't go to waste.

As for 'N' Gauge.. I'm in the UK and wonder how easy it is to come by 'N' Gauge railways and how advaced it is compared with the 00 gauge? It is a possiblity and also can you get either decent (UK) steam/diesel locomotives in "N Gauge"?

Thanks for all the help so far - much appreciated
 

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QUOTE wonder how easy it is to come by 'N' Gauge railways and how advaced it is compared with the 00 gauge? It is a possiblity and also can you get either decent (UK) steam/diesel locomotives in "N Gauge"?

Given your login name, I'm hoping you are still based in Yorkshire and would be able to consider going to the York Model Railway show this Easter - that's just 10 days away. It's one of the larger shows in the country and you should get a good idea of what the different scales can offer. Here's a link to the website for the show.

David
 

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QUOTE (dwb @ 1 Apr 2009, 17:57) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Given your login name, I'm hoping you are still based in Yorkshire and would be able to consider going to the York Model Railway show this Easter - that's just 10 days away. It's one of the larger shows in the country and you should get a good idea of what the different scales can offer. Here's a link to the website for the show.

David

Hi David, Yeah I'm still based in Yorkshire, Leeds
It's funny you have mentioned that because I was thinking about paying a visit to the York Model Railway tomorrow, where I believe there are 4 oval based layouts, but now that I know that there is a model railway show on in Easter, then I'm going to wait until then as there may also be some none-circular layouts at the show.. which will have more inspirational value for my situation - although I'm still desperatley trying to work out if I could create an oval in my layout, but being a newby I don't know what the measurement of the smallest diameter possible in 00 gauge is as my max width is around 1m.

YT (Lee)
 

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QUOTE (yorkshiretyker @ 1 Apr 2009, 05:19) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I'm in the UK and wonder how easy it is to come by 'N' Gauge railways and how advaced it is compared with the 00 gauge? It is a possiblity and also can you get either decent (UK) steam/diesel locomotives in "N Gauge"?

Although I am in Dubai I get all of my N Gauge gear shipped out from the UK. The recent Peco Code 55 trackwork & points give a much finer look to the track and I have yet to come across an N Gauge loco that can't be chipped for DCC control. About the only thing that is not (yet) available in Britsh N Gauge is built in sound for steam locos though it is available for diesel/electric locos. Apart from that the standard of loco and rolling stock detail is excellent and far finer than it was as little as 5 years ago.
 

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QUOTE Hi David, Yeah I'm still based in Yorkshire, Leeds

The last time I went to the York Exhibition I was staying in Leeds with my great aunt and travelled by train from Crossgates. Mind you I only had to walk from the station to the Assembly rooms way back then. It's a bit of a hike from the station to the race course but no more than a mile and a half? Although my daughter was at York uni until last June and lived in a house that just about overlooked the back of the race course, I never went to the exhibition because she was always home for Easter!

As for smallest diameter circle - well first radius will fit but most of the better detailed and larger locomotives are only recommended for second radius or larger. Personally I try to stay at 2 foot radius as an absolute minimum but I have the luxury of the space for that.

Visit the exhibition and see what kind of layout arrangement floats your boat - to mix metaphors very badly. If it's large mainline stuff running without your intervention - ie just watching the trains go by - then I think n gauge would be the better route for you.

David
 

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QUOTE (dwb @ 1 Apr 2009, 19:08) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I never went to the exhibition because she was always home for Easter!

Damned unsporting!

Regards
 

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QUOTE (dwb @ 1 Apr 2009, 19:08) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>to mix metaphors very badly. If it's large mainline stuff running without your intervention - ie just watching the trains go by - then I think n gauge would be the better route for you

David

No not really, I would want to be able to operate my layouts, rather than just sitting watching trains going by, I Kind of like the idea of shunting and moving cargo about different rails, and maybe have a mainline train running into a station. (but would be nice to have a veriety so I really need to have a last look at the "N" gauge stuff before I make my final decision.

The reason I was asking about the diameter of the corner rails was because I'm planning on creating a layout with at least 1 fiddle yard and was contemplating this being behind the scene, but on second thought it would be much more asessible for me to create an 'L' shaped base board with the fiddle yard being at a right angle with sidings in it for different engines. If I were to go that way then I'm thinking that DCC system would be much easier to operate.

YT.

QUOTE (Expat)Although I am in Dubai I get all of my N Gauge gear shipped out from the UK. The recent Peco Code 55 trackwork & points give a much finer look to the track and I have yet to come across an N Gauge loco that can't be chipped for DCC control. About the only thing that is not (yet) available in Britsh N Gauge is built in sound for steam locos
It's encouraging to know as I'm still toying with the idea of going "N" Guage, that way I'd be able to create quite a big layout in the space that I have avilable and have a bit more of a veriety. (I don't think I'd ever want sound and steam anyway- - it's way above my budget!)
 

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QUOTE I Kind of like the idea of shunting and moving cargo about different rails, and maybe have a mainline train running into a station. (but would be nice to have a veriety

We all get those dilemmas!

You are sure to see some shunting going at the show. It will probably range from those who use three link couplings just like the prototype and use very fine hooks to lift them on and off the adjoining wagons to separate them, to a variety of different semi-automatic couplers where there is an un-coupler hidden at a certain point in the track with all adds and subtracts happening at these locations.

You should keep an eye out for how smoothly the locos are running, especially when shunting. There's nothing more frustrating than having to give a loco a nudge on the same bit of track all the time. Don't worry about the odd hitch, show layouts are run far more intensively than home ones and by the end of the day, gremlins can start creeping in.

There's plenty for you to think about

Have a great time at the show

David
 

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QUOTE There's nothing more frustrating than having to give a loco a nudge on the same bit of track all the time.

I always thought this was the purer form of digital command control...............................maybe that's what bachyman meant by ''Prod-diggy''control?
 

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The talk of the York Model Railway shos has made me think again about the way I should go about building the model railway - it would seem that a model railway does not need to be permenent to look good - and if I was to go for a model railway that I could keep in the garage and store away on it's side, then space won't be too much of an issue... I'm also wondering whether there would be a way to fold the base board in two without disconnecting any rails. (hope this doesn't sound too silly!)
 
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