Hello from America

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sudoggie
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Hello from America

Postby sudoggie » Thu May 06, 2021 4:44 am

By way of introduction, I'm brand new to model rail. An awfully long time ago, when I was about 10 or 11, I had a Hornby train set which I remember fondly to this day. It was very basic--a steam engine, some goods wagons, and a small oval track. I enjoyed it thoroughly but briefly because all it did was go around in a loop yet I decided then that I'd like to put together something more involving and challenging one day.

I suppose that thought has never left me--so here I am 40 years on, now living in America, on the verge of following through. Gosh, aren't things ever so complicated? So many manufacturers, gauges, models etc. etc.--where does one begin? My approach is to go with what little I know which brought me to hornby.com.

I have learned that Hornby uses a OO gauge which is apparently not very common over here. Still, there is a Hornby US website and since this is an exercise in nostalgia I'd like to believe I'm on the right track. I do have quite a lot of questions and I hope they aren't entirely stupid.

Glad to meet all of you. :D

--SM
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SRman
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Re: Hello from America

Postby SRman » Thu May 06, 2021 7:17 am

Welcome, SM.

If it is of any help, OO and HO use the same track gauge of 16.5mm, even though the actual model scales are different - OO = 1/76, HO = 1.87 scales.

I do mix both scales by running British OO and Continental European HO trains, sometimes even at the same time! My layout is predominantly British, with left-hand running and British scenery, buildings and signals, but I do like some fo the European models, so they get a run too.

If you are modelling British stuff, OO is the most common scale/gauge, while American, European and Australian (among others) are usually HO. I believe the Japanese use an in-between scale of 1/80, but am open to correction on that.

Of course, there are many other scales and gauges to choose from as well, but personally, I think OO and HO offer the best value for money.

Good luck with your modelling. Don't get discouraged if you have the odd failure, we have all learnt by making mistakes as we go along. I'm still making mistakes now! :lol: :lol:
Last edited by SRman on Thu May 06, 2021 10:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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glencairn
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Re: Hello from America

Postby glencairn » Thu May 06, 2021 9:44 am

Welcome on board, SM.
As SRman says OO and HO use the same track gauge.
Over in the U.S.A. you can get Peco track (as well as American makes).

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Bufferstop
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Re: Hello from America

Postby Bufferstop » Thu May 06, 2021 10:55 am

Welcome to the forum, we have a few States side modellers, who model UK 00 gauge models. I suppose if you don't want to specifically model the UK scene, working in H0 with US designs is going to be easier and less expensive, I hesitate to say cheaper modern models are very good compared to what was available 40 years ago, but quality and complexity costs. As someone has already pointed out Peco track is available in the US, they actually produce a specifically American design of H0 track, the basic range with code 100 rail although the same gauge is a representation of European track which generally has to cope with smaller, lighter, faster trains. Take your time, study a few layouts and work out what interests you most.

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Bigmet
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Re: Hello from America

Postby Bigmet » Thu May 06, 2021 12:42 pm

sudoggie wrote:... Still, there is a Hornby US website and since this is an exercise in nostalgia I'd like to believe I'm on the right track...

And then there is this organisation, 'British Railway Modellers of North America'. http://www.brmna.org/

Have fun, and ask any questions that occur without fear of ridicule: we all started knowing nothing.

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End2end
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Re: Hello from America

Postby End2end » Thu May 06, 2021 5:23 pm

Hi and welcome to the forum sudoggie. :)
Thanks
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sudoggie
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Re: Hello from America

Postby sudoggie » Thu May 06, 2021 11:22 pm

Thanks for all your responses.

If I'm honest this is largely an exercise in nostalgia for me--which makes me wonder whether I even have the right motivations going in. I don't know much about trains or railways (railroads?) in general. I have virtually no background in any sort of modeling or crafting--my hands are made from ham and I have sausages for fingers. I do have an interest in machinery and engineering and make my living in the technology business--so I suppose there is that somewhat tenuous link.

Having said all that I think I'd like to stick with the familiar which is Hornby and British trains. I can't say I have much of an interest in the North American side of things (sorry). I expect I'd focus on steam locomotives and goods wagons (nostalgia again) and more of a rural theme. I anticipate that that's going to pose a challenge being all the way over here in Oregon but then again that's all part of the adventure!
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Ironduke
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Re: Hello from America

Postby Ironduke » Fri May 07, 2021 12:15 am

sudoggie wrote:which makes me wonder whether I even have the right motivations going in


I can't think what a "right" motivation would be. People have all sorts of reasons and railway modelling has many different aspects that appeal to everyone in different ways. In this hobby, no part of what anyone does (in good faith) is any more or less "worthy" than what anyone else does. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
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captrees
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Re: Hello from America

Postby captrees » Fri May 07, 2021 12:34 am

sudoggie wrote:If I'm honest this is largely an exercise in nostalgia for me--which makes me wonder whether I even have the right motivations going in. I don't know much about trains or railways (railroads?) in general. I have virtually no background in any sort of modeling or crafting--.


Very familiar territory. Welcome home.

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Mountain
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Re: Hello from America

Postby Mountain » Fri May 07, 2021 10:37 am

Hello and welcome. I don't know what is available over there, but I often find nice Triang and Hornby items on Elaines Trains (See her website). She specializes in Triang and Triang/Hornby so it is worth a look, and she does test everythig and gives a good description of any faults if there are any. I don't know if she posts to the USA but you can always ask.
There are others like Hattons. They are usually ok and they do ship to the USA, but check prices as some of their secondhand models are pricey. (Hattons do have secondhand bargains as well on occasions but one needs to know the rough prices to know what is good value or not).

I am sure you will find more places to buy from. There is a gentleman from the USA on this site called "Chops". He is the one to ask about buying from the UK. He also has experience of what models to buy as he loves older models.

I model in 7mm narrow gauge so I also use little Hornby 0-4-0's as donor locos to convert to 7mm use. I tend to use chassis I know will work well and are easy to repair. (Ok, the older Hornby 0-4-0's are high speed machines, but a good clean of their wheels and pickups and they usually run quite well).

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Chops
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Re: Hello from America

Postby Chops » Sun May 09, 2021 1:55 am

Greetings Comrade. I recently figured out that by ordering directly from Hornby, orders over $75 have free shipping to the USA. Very nice. Ebay shipping costs from the UK are astronomical. I have been stung at one time or another by most (but NOT Rapido) major and minor manufacturers who have a rotten habit of releasing stink bombs into the market place. To avoid this flushing of money down the Crapper (hey, it was the British physician, Dr. John Crapper, don't blame me) I have found Sam's Train Reviews on Youtube to be indispensable.
Nessie rocks!

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sudoggie
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Re: Hello from America

Postby sudoggie » Mon May 10, 2021 6:44 pm

I stopped in at a local hobby shop (Tammie's Hobbies in Beaverton) since I happened to be in the neighborhood. Pretty large operation with a significant area devoted to model rail. They have virtually everything one might expect so long as it's N. American.

Still, the train expert was a helpful chap. He said he'd be happy to order in Hornby kit directly from the US distributor (so long as it's listed on the Hornby US website). Also said he could probably get it to me for a better price.

He suggested that I use Peco track but wasn't sure of it would connect with Hornby track pieces.
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Bufferstop
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Re: Hello from America

Postby Bufferstop » Mon May 10, 2021 7:31 pm

Hornby settrack and Peco code 100 are almost identical (Peco points have a slightly smaller dead spot than Hornby's). There are several online equivalents tables for the part numbers. Peco Streamline code 100 points in insulfrog and electrofrog versions are also compatible with Hornby.
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Ex-Pat
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Re: Hello from America

Postby Ex-Pat » Mon May 10, 2021 8:05 pm

sudoggie wrote:I stopped in at a local hobby shop (Tammie's Hobbies in Beaverton)



That brings back memories of a trip to Portland a few years ago - wet weather precluded a visit to the zoo, so we went to said shop instead.

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sudoggie
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Re: Hello from America

Postby sudoggie » Tue May 11, 2021 5:52 pm

Chops wrote: I have found Sam's Train Reviews on Youtube to be indispensable.


Yes, thanks, loads of great product feedback. He is not high on the Hornby control plane and I kind of get that.

I did receive the latest Hornby catalogs/guides in the mail and they're as compelling to me now as they were when I was 10 or 11. Still, I'm beginning to understand that they're not best of breed when it comes to the command & control side of things so I'll probably not be single-sourcing everything from them as I'd initially thought. I suppose, at this point, I should start posting further questions to the appropriate boards.

Also want to give a quick shout out to Hatton's who promptly and comprehensively answered my questions over email--they do ship to America, they will deduct VAT, and they actually provide 3-4 different shipping options some of which seem quite economical. They also have a neat 'trunk' option that allows you to bundle multiple purchases into a single shipment.
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