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very very basic questions

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    Posted: 27 Oct 2015 at 7:54pm
Hi

For a long time like 5 years I only been thinking about buying a train set.

I have been trying to search searching online for literature about mini trix N scale trains.

Then it occurred to me that there must be a users' group club , and I found your blog:

Do you know any book or website that explains some basic or introduction about this hobby?

Specifically, if when I finally plan to buy a set, I think N scale will fit better in a room corner.

I have been looking at sites like:
eurorail hobbies or reynaulds that sell most european branded sets and trains.

I found out that the starter train sets looks pretty boring in look. (like a locomotive and a 3 freight cars that look exactly the same!)

But is it much cheaper to buy a starter train set than buying everything a la carte?

I am pretty decided that I want a DCC, with lights inside the trains, and sound, all the bells and whistles! :)

Every time I go to the website, and I see something that is DCC and with sound, it is either discontinued or sold out.
So in lack of available interesting starter sets, can I buy fleischmann , roco , trix N-scale mix and match, and run all of them pulling different branded freight cars?

such as getting a trix locomotive pulling a fleishmann cargo then trix cargo then roco cargo then brawa cargo? etc.....

Thanks

Vic (in silicon valley/san jose)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Model Train Projects Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Oct 2015 at 10:02pm
Hey Vic,

first off all, in N scale you can run everything with everything, the last locos I had for repair or decoder install all had the same coupler. Look further, there are a lot great starter sets, more of the high end. Look for Fleischmann piccolo starter sets with the z21 control station.

Like:

Fleischmann 931484 or Fleischmann 931581

Br

Leif


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Railwriter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Oct 2015 at 10:14pm

Hello Vic,

Welcome to the forum. Yes, this is the Reynauld’s forum, not the Blog. The reason I mention this is that Reynauld’s also has a Blog. The latter has been somewhat quiet lately, but there are lots of articles about both modeling and prototype railroads that you can find there.

You can get to the Blog from most pages on the Reynauld’s site. On the home page, the link is on the right hand side. You may need to scroll down some to get to it.

 

You ask a lot of good questions. Some are not that easy to answer, and, for some there is a more detailed discussion in one or more Blog articles.

 

Choice of scale: Yes, N scale will let you get more – more trains, more scenery, etc. – into a smaller space. HO offers somewhat more detail and some of the mechanisms are slightly larger. There is slightly more selection in HO, though N is not far behind.

There are members of this forum that model in HO and some that model in N. It’s a matter of preference – and, in some cases, what you started with long ago.

I model in HO, but would not want to try to convert anyone from one scale to another. When I go to train shows, I enjoy seeing all the scales.

Most of your other questions aren’t really scale-dependent, so I will give some of them a try.

 

Start sets: Yes, most start sets are an extremely good value. I wrote a Blog article about this a while back. Look for a Blog article entitled "Christmas in July."

Whether any particular start set is a good value to you depend on whether you are interested in the components being offered in the set – and particularly how the control system being offered with the set fits into your future plans.

(I use the Roco Multimaus system, which is offered by both Roco and Fleischmann – they are part of the same holding company now – and which can be used for both HO and N scales, among others.)

 

Contents of start sets: If you get a start set with a loco and several of the same types of freight or passenger cars, this is actually a plus because the cars in the set will (normally) have different operating numbers. Prototypical trains frequently have several of the same type of car in one train – and it would be unprototypical for a model train to have multiple cars with the same number. The cars in start sets will also typically have different numbers from the same types of cars offered individually by the same manufacturer.

You can quickly add a few more cars to get more prototypical trains and to have more opportunities for operation and switching.

 

Availability of items: There are literally hundreds of thousands of model railroad items being produced every year. Even the largest hobby shops cannot have all of them in stock at the same time.

Also, manufacturers announce many items well before they are actually produced. So, an item may be shown in a catalog or on a Web site before it is available. Manufacturers’ Web sites and printed catalogs often show the approximate availability date for new items – but, there are many factors that can affect production schedules. Those projected dates are when the items are expected to be available in Europe. Add about another month for these items to make their way to the U.S.

(I am currently waiting for a couple of Piko cars that I pre-ordered long ago, and for which the projected availability was third quarter of 2015. Well, it’s now the fourth quarter of the year, and the Piko factory site still does not show these cars as being in stock. So, it will probably be another month or two before they get to Reynauld’s.)

You have a couple of basic choices: Check with the dealer of your choice to see if (and when) an item is available, and if not, either select another item or pre-order it and wait a little while.

Model railroading requires some patience. Once you have some engines and cars that you can already run, waiting a few months for some engine or car that you really want is not that big a deal. It just gives you something to look forward to – knowing you are getting the exact item that you really want. (I am also waiting on some engines to arrive that Reynauld’s did not have in stock.)

 

Sound: Getting sound into some engines, particularly in smaller scales, such as N or HOe takes a lot of creativity and effort on the part of the manufacturer. So, you are not going to find all engines with the option of sound. Sound also adds to the production cost of a model, so you will only find limited number of models – particularly in start sets – that offer sound. (Many modern prototype electric and diesel locomotives are surprisingly quiet.)

One option may be to get a start set that gives you the basic components – control system, track, an engine and a few cars – even if it does not have sound and then add a sound engine as your next purchase.

 

Compatibility: Yes, you can run cars and engines (of the same scale and propulsion system) together even if they are produced by different manufacturers. Model railroading is now highly standardized, ensuring that items from several manufacturers will work together. When in doubt, ask before you purchase something.

Though most of my rolling stock (again in HO) is from Roco, I have cars and engines from at least five other manufacturers and will probably add items from even more manufacturers in the future – if those items fit exactly into my operating plans.

 

I hope that’s given you a start. You can always ask more questions and I am sure others will chime in with their views.

-- Ernest

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote el Gato Gordo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Oct 2015 at 10:20pm
Welcome, Vic -

I've only been at this for about 3 years, and started raw.  I found the book "Basic Model Railroading, Getting Started in the Hobby" to be of immense help.  It is published by Model Railroader Books.

Beginner sets may be a cheap way to get started, but I think they are bargain basement products.  For example, the z21 digital system (white) that comes with the starter sets is not as versatile as the Z21 system (black).  The locomotives may not be of superior quality, either.

One thing that you might start doing, though, (before jumping in financially), is evaluating the space you have, and using some track planning software, such as AnyRail or SCARM, to plan a layout. I find layout planning to be quite fun!  Different track manufacturers have different curve radii and different dimensions on turnouts.  Flex track allows you to use curves of non-standard dimensions.  Easy to use.  For European trains you probably ought to stick with a quality European track, such as Fleischmann Piccolo or Peco Streamline or Peco Set track.  There are other brands that other people can recommend, as well, but I have no experience with those.

The reason for avoiding American track with European trains (I am told) is that American trains do not use traction tires on their locos, thus a rougher track assists traction.  Euro loks have traction tires that wear out rapidly on American track.  I don't KNOW this as a fact, but I have heard it, and I know that my American HO loks have trouble making a 4% grade due to the lack of traction tires, while my Euro N scale trains usually have little problem with a 6 or 7% grade.

If you phone Reynauld's, they can tell you whether a particular digital sound lok is in stock.  I am particularly pleased with the Fleischmann DCC sound loks in my stable.

Cheers, amigo!
Gordon
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chip_designer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Nov 2015 at 9:20pm

Fleischmann Jubilee Startset "40 Years of Fleischmann N-gauge" with two trains 

https://www.reynaulds.com/products/Fleischmann/937181.aspx

when was this set available?

I want something like that. when will there be a set like this again?

Thanks,




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BR42 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Nov 2015 at 4:56pm
Hello Vic:

Welcome to the forum.  I do not know when and if such a set will be available again, but there are many other options on the market.  The first decision you need to make is about the time period you are interested in.  The shown set is Era III (roughly late 1950s - early 1970s), the currently available sets are for later eras.  There are some very nice on the market for these with one train only, you just need to buy some extra equipment.  Another one is to get two sets, one with a Z21 and one with a multi mouse, and use the multi mouse as a handheld controller: For instance 931403 together with 931481 both from Fleischmann would give you a great start. 

Ulrich
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chip_designer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Nov 2015 at 6:34pm
Thanks Ulrich


See this website:
https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/view/9027289/jubilee-loco-40-years-of-fleischmann-n-gauge-skala-ndk/3

I am late comer to this hobby, and I should have purchased back in 2009 when they celebrated a jubilee milestone, and released many nice sets.

I like old era like 3 or below.

If they celebrated jubilee for 40 years, then if I wait another 5 years, wonder what will they call a 50 year anniversary ? and probably release many nicer sets than what is currently available.

Thanks,
Vic



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BR42 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Nov 2015 at 1:00am
Dear Vic:

I checked a well-known German website too, there is nothing like this set available in N scale.  The only solution is to buy the individual cars from different manufacturers and locos till one has two similar trains, add the track and get a different DCC command station.  You can pick up a Digitrax Zephyr for about $180, and it should do the job. If you want to go HO, then the Marklin set 29442 is just the thing for you.

Ulrich
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chip_designer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Nov 2015 at 3:05pm
last night I visited the main fleischmann website, i read about Z1

how do we know which locomotives have the camera installed?

if using Z1 + a tablet, and I can see the field of view from inside the cab perspective, that is very cool.

are the N scale locomotives coming with this built in camera?

Thanks,
Vic




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Railwriter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Nov 2015 at 3:31pm
There is a separate Z21 Web site, too.
 
There is currently a Roco ICE start set (3 pieces of rolling stock HO, compressed 1:100) available as a start set that has the built in camera.
 
Roco locomotives with cameras are identified as such in the Roco catalgs.  As far as I can tell, about half a dozen versions with cameras have been produced so far -- most being fairly recent electric or diesel locomotives (Era IV-VI).
 
Don't know about N scale, though I imagine it would be a lot more difficut to get the camera and related electronics into an N scale model.
 
-- Ernest
 
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