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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello!

I'm about to get my first train set, it's a completley new to me so I am feeling a little lost. I'm thinking about getting the hornby east coast pullman set, is that a good place to start? I'm really looking for this to be a new hobby so it will be set up on a board in the den. Any advice for a complete beginner would be very welcome.

I did go to a train shop this morning & spent ages having a good look round. I was hoping to get some advice there but all I was told was not to use the track mat although I could use that layout, put in on a board that I was advised to paint grey first.

Many thanks, Anna
 

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QUOTE (Anna_B @ 28 Aug 2008, 11:03) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hello!

I'm about to get my first train set, it's a completley new to me so I am feeling a little lost. I'm thinking about getting the hornby east coast pullman set, is that a good place to start? I'm really looking for this to be a new hobby so it will be set up on a board in the den. Any advice for a complete beginner would be very welcome.

I did go to a train shop this morning & spent ages having a good look round. I was hoping to get some advice there but all I was told was not to use the track mat although I could use that layout, put in on a board that I was advised to paint grey first.

Many thanks, Anna

Go treat yourself to a copy of 'First Steps In Railway Modelling', published by Midland Counties Publishing.
Paul Mays
 

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DT
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Hi and welcome to the forum


Yes, a beginners book would help in deciding on what type of layout you would like.

It is perhaps best to start with a simple layout and then you can move on to a more complex one when you feel you need more complexity. If you start off with a too complicated layout (in design, detail or railwork), you'll end up stalling and giving it all up.

Take a browse through the Tracks, Layouts & Scenery area for some ideas.
 

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Hi Anna & welcome to MRF.

Advice in shops can vary from non-existant to over complicated. Doug's advice is well sound - starting off simple to gain some experience will pay off later. If you can visit a few shows/exhibitions to get come idea's & you may even pick up a starter set for a good price.

As well as the recommended books try one or two magazines - personally I would recommend Hornby Magazine.

Other advice & help is here in abundance - just ask away, no matter how "silly" you may think the question is - we don't bite (well rarely anyway).

Most important thing - enjoy the hobby.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks everyone. I've ordered the book & have decided to go ahead & get the Hornby East Coast Pullman set with track pack extensions C & D. Do I need to put underlay down under the track? I'm off to a discount store so need a shopping list...

Many thanks, Anna
 

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Ian Wigglesworth
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Hi Anna,

You can put underlay down.
It does help with uneven track and reduces the noise a little bit, On my OO layout I covered the whole baseboard in cork tiles, much cheaper than just using strips of underlay below the track.
On my N-gauge layout I fixed the track directly to the baseboard without using any underlay!
I have used the foam underlay, but took it all up, it just doesn't look very good, proper ballasting is really the only way to go, IMHO.

As for not using the TrakMat...why it's a great way to start building a layout IMHO

The only addition I would make to it, is to install another crossover at the back of the layout behind the signal box.
Once a loco has driven forwards from the inner track to outer track on the front cross over the only way to get back is by reversing from the outer track back to the inner
You can fit another cross over behind the signal box position without effecting anything, you would just take out a couple of short straights, so that when on the outer track going forwards (anti-clockwise) the cross-over would take you from the outer track back to the inner track.
Thats about it really, in the Hornby plans book there are another 3 extensions that can be added to this layout using the two sidings that go into the engine shed, down the right hand side.
The shed is removed and another board put at the back of the layout, so it can easily be expanded upon.

If you click on the "my layout" link below in the signature bar, this is a complete TrakMat layout including all the equivalent extension packs only it's in N-gauge and not OO.
It should make it easier to see what I mean about the cross-over.

Any questions just ask away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the advice about the underlay. I've now got the train set still in it's box until my toddler goes to bed!

What about the baseboard? My husband said all I need is some chipboard the right size from B&Q but I'm guessing it might not be as simple as that? He's all set to go & buy it but I don't want to make a mistake so once again any adice would be welcome.
 

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Ian Wigglesworth
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Baseboards!

I've used 12mm thick MDF, although this isn't popular with some people, it is prone to warping, although I've had no problems.

Most folk recommend plywood same sort of thickness, build a frame from 2inch x 1inch timber glued and screwed with cross braces then glue/screw the baseboard to the frame.

This photo shows the frame where the cross is, the baseboard is on top of this, the sides have been built quite substantially so it can incorporate the folding legs.

Table Wood Sleeve Flooring Hardwood

You can just use the 2" X 1" timber all the way around the edge of the board with cross bracing every 300mm or so, best to mark out the track on the baseboard first so the bracing can be fitted either side of where you may want to fit point motors.
These fit onto the points so they can be operated electrically.
This shows the hole cut out of the baseboard (note the cork covering the baseboard!) for the point motor to fit through, the point motor is attached directly to the point itself, you can fit the point mtotors on top of the baseboard then cover them with a hut, choice is yours I just I'd let you know the choices.
You need to think about this as it's easier to cut holes in the baseboard now, than if you get way down the build then decide to fit motors.

Wood Beige Rectangle Metal Engineering

Hope it helps
 

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Administrator
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Hi Anna and welcome to the Forum.

When my brothers and I got our first train set, my Dad bought an 8' x 4' sheet of chipboard which was put propped up somehow in the spare room. I think a couple of large wooden boxes formed the supports. It was make shift but it never collapsed or fell over. The point is that it gave us a dust free flat surface with no uneven joins.

On this surface we would build layouts with the track from the train set and expansion packs and drive trains to our hearts' content. We added a few buildings to create towns, painted roads, fields and so on. Nothing was nailed or glued down because if Grandma came to stay overnight babysitting, the whole thing had to be packed away.

After a few years of this, I negotiated a change in bedroom allocations to free up a bedroom in exchange for a permanent layout. By that time I knew what kind of railway operation interested me and had a better idea of what I wanted to do.

What I'm saying is, take your time don't rush. Try a bit of this or that and find out what you really like about the hobby. There are so many different "occupations" from layout design, scenery, wiring, electronics, house building, wagon building, coach building, loco building, historical research, etc. that there is bound to be something that captivates you and gives you enormous pleasure as a result.

David
 

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Hi Anna,

There a a number of companies that produce ready made baseboards - have a look at www.modelshopuk.com or phone them on 01233 860008 - that will give you an option for the baseboard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks to everyone's advice I now have my baseboard set up in the den & I've just put the track together to have a quick play before I get it all set in place. Frustratingly one of the engines is faulty so I'll need to get that dealt with but the other one is running fine much to the delight of my toddler.

I've been to a couple of model railway exhibitions & have some more planned over the next few weeks so I can get some ideas & hopefully learn a few things along the way. Thankfully my husband is happy to be dragged along & is starting to get quite involved himself.

I appreciate the warm welcome, thanks everyone

Anna
 

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Hi Anna,
Welcome to the forum, glad your making progress on the layout .. sure you will find plenty of answers here from all our helpful members.
 
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