I need tips on starting a N-gage railroad



i want to make an inexpensive beginer layout set in the midwest (Colorado) with Rio Grande and BNSF engines (present day)
what is a good brand for engines and cars? I also want to get a Alco 1000 switching engine for my switch yard and i plan to have a coal mine and loader along with the coal hoppers to go with it. What is a good company to buy detailed prepainted buildings from? Also is it worth it to buy empty hopper cars and use artificial coal chunks or should i just buy plastic filled hoppers?
keep in mind that this is my first layout.
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Welcome aboard, Jadebullet! We have some very fine N Scale modelers here, so please make yourself at home, ask questions, and enjoy!

I removed your duplicate message from the General Discussions because I'm sure you'll get some good answers here, and it would confuse everyone if people post replies in both places.

Please enjoy the forums, and tell us all about your new layout as you get started with it. Feel free to ask questions! Folks here love to answer them.
do you know what a good site is to buy rio grande engines? i've checked a few sights but i cant find what i want
thanks for removing my othe post it would get confusing
and sorry about the wait i was eating dinner
Welcome to the Model Railroadforums Jade. Slow down a bit I'm sure you'll get all the answers you need right here, it does take a little time but the the advice is well worth the little wait. I'm not into N scale but there are a lot of members here who are. Your link takes us to an Atlas N scale loco and they can be easily found, and if you live in the US it's even easier to purchase them. There are mail order firms in most countrys who sell the items you want. It would help a great deal, if you let us know the size of layout you plan to have, and if you already have a trackplan, if not I'm sure you will get plenty of suggestions.
Cheers Willis
One place to get quality rolling stock and engines for a low cost is Tex N Rails

Some good quality buildings: look for DPM or Cornerstone (Walthers). You may also want to kit bash your own buildings.
What do you mean, ALCo 1000?
The only Nscale ALCo switcher available is the S2 by Arnold/Rivarossi.
There are quite a few ALCo RS units available though, which can certainly be used as switchers too.
As far as the hoppers are concerned; I think it's more important to get the cars you want or need, no matter the load, or lack of. It's easy enough to make, re-detail, or buy the loads of your choice later.