Lessons learned!

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cujo600

New Member
Measure twice. cut once...

I have had trains for a very long time but haven't had a layout since I was 12 or so.

I recently started a lay out.
My plan was to have a 4x8 with another 4x8 in an L formation.

This Table would have left me with about 1' clearance to squeeze by a wall.

I measured and figured I could go to a 3' table for my L but when I started laying track... it was 2 short to complete a loop. I had to make a triangle addition to butt into the corner of the 2 tables.

Anyway. if i had measured twice before cuting I would have possibly seen my mistake...

haha, you described my exact layout, and no kidding I had the exact same issue. For some reason I thought I could make that turn in and make it out again within the four feet.

I also added the small triangle at the inside of the "L". I don't really think of this as a mistake, more of an "adjustment". It doesn't look to bad.

My biggest lesson learned has to do with you essentially get what you pay for in this hobby. I learned to stay away from train set quality "toys". More trouble than the few bucks you might save....
 
Many years ago. I bought a bunch of the cheap Atlas turnouts. However, I also bought the worthless manual switch machines that connect to the side of it. The switches arent so bad but the machines are a complete joke. Even though they all cost me less then a buck and some change each and I only have about 4 or 5.
 

sparkyftw

Member
I think my biggest mistake was buying the stuff I bought. Not because it is low quality, but because I have neither the time nor space for it, at least for awhile. Nice thing I have some things to build on my spare time (once I get them semi painted).

Also, I probably should of done N scale instead of HO. I could still switch if I wanted, but then I would have to get rid of the few things I already have.
 

Gary B

The Fox Valley Railroad
Well the one mistake that continues to bite me in the ASSumptions is having started my current layout using the 4X4 I had built for my son intact, as a starting point. This was already two levels and then I went for three. I expanded to an about 10X4 with a tunnel into another room. Then I more then doubled the size making it a big 'C' shape. My sons finally talked me out of the three level design and the result is a crappy track plan. I've decided not to redesign anymore and complete it as well as possible. Meanwhile, design an all new set up to build after I retire, in about ten years.
 

Lab Rat

19 and crazy
a big mistake i made was making benchwork with out figuring out where it was gonna go so now i am left with a cool design and no place to stick ick because of the way i will be setting up my layout
 

shesgone

New Member
Atlas snap turnouts, particularly with a Roundhouse 6-axle steam engine. Shelf layout around room with code 100 flex track on cork road base glued to 1" styrofoam base. Their operation is too fragile and unreliable. Most of my derails occur here.
 

Dualcore

Member
One day, seven years ago, I walked into my LHS for the first time. I walked out with the Sept '03 issue of MR in my pocket, featuring the new BLI 2-6-6-4. http://www.trains.com/mrr/objects/images/rpr0903_10.jpg
And $350 worth of HO B'mann EZ track.
Next, my best friend talked me into shoe-horning a 6x12ft layout table into a 13x17ft room. Using 2x6's, reinforced on 24in centers. Glued and screwed to 1/2in outdoor plywood. Then glued to 1/2in MDF. 35in high. weights a ton.

Didn't realize that a big loco like that just doesn't look right going around a 18in curve. Ripped out all the curves and put in flex track.
Three years later, a tree falls on the garage, my train table becomes my workshop, now, it's full of junk.
Then, I fall victim to diabetes, and lose both legs. I'm in a wheelchair, need 28in clearance to get around a table 6ft across that I can't see over.

Are we having fun yet?
 

RW&C

N Scale with Stone Tools
Dualcore, I think you just one-upped our problems for good. :(

My biggest mistakes thus far... starting without a track plan, using gravel from the driveway to shim the roadbed (no, really), trying to detail with Sharpies, attempting to do anything with cheap Life-Like and Bachmann engines (I have an extensive train graveyard), blowing out the decoder on my first dcc installation, and generally having no idea what I was doing.

I can only look forward to my next round of mistakes once I finally start the rebuild. :D
 

UP2CSX

Fleeing from Al
DC, I've had lots of setbacks, but none as bad as yours. I'm really sorry all this worked out so badly for you.

I think I've made just about every mistake that has been posted here and lots more. The biggest was not knowing about this forum and designing my layout with no outside input. I can now see at least four areas that would have been easy to change during construction for better operation but are either difficult or impossible now that the layout is built and sceniced. People here would have seen these problems with my first trackplan, if only I would have posted it here before I started construction.

My biggest mistake in terms of money was going nuts buying stuff before I built the layout. Every engine, freight car, and structure I saw, I just knew I would need, so I bought them. I know have a nice display case of locomotives that only get run a couple of times a year, boxes and boxes of freight cars that almost never get run because it's a pain getting them all out and swapping them for the ones already on the layout, and structure kits in boxes I ended up selling at a loss or giving away because I had enough for a layout three times my size. The best advice I can give is start with one engine, maybe 10 freight cars, and enough structures to scatter about when you're first building your layout. You'll have a much better idea of what you really need when the tracks are down and reality sets in. :)
 

bigB

Active Member
Originally going with DC before switching to DCC. Going with 18" radius curves instead of min 22". Going with Atlas snap switches before switching them to at #4s, #6s, and #8s.
 

Lab Rat

19 and crazy
you described me good in this one i have enough train materials to build a train layout that will fill my entire basement. when i am only getting half i can safely say i have 1/4 a mile of track. and somewhere between 30 and 50 turnouts. at last count i had 30 locomotives and well over 100 train cars
and i dont have a track plan. i just have a rough idea and can see the finished product at one spot. lol.
DC, I've had lots of setbacks, but none as bad as yours. I'm really sorry all this worked out so badly for you.

I think I've made just about every mistake that has been posted here and lots more. The biggest was not knowing about this forum and designing my layout with no outside input. I can now see at least four areas that would have been easy to change during construction for better operation but are either difficult or impossible now that the layout is built and sceniced. People here would have seen these problems with my first trackplan, if only I would have posted it here before I started construction.

My biggest mistake in terms of money was going nuts buying stuff before I built the layout. Every engine, freight car, and structure I saw, I just knew I would need, so I bought them. I know have a nice display case of locomotives that only get run a couple of times a year, boxes and boxes of freight cars that almost never get run because it's a pain getting them all out and swapping them for the ones already on the layout, and structure kits in boxes I ended up selling at a loss or giving away because I had enough for a layout three times my size. The best advice I can give is start with one engine, maybe 10 freight cars, and enough structures to scatter about when you're first building your layout. You'll have a much better idea of what you really need when the tracks are down and reality sets in. :)
 
My biggest mistake in terms of money was going nuts buying stuff before I built the layout. Every engine, freight car, and structure I saw, I just knew I would need, so I bought them. I know have a nice display case of locomotives that only get run a couple of times a year, boxes and boxes of freight cars that almost never get run because it's a pain getting them all out and swapping them for the ones already on the layout, and structure kits in boxes I ended up selling at a loss or giving away because I had enough for a layout three times my size. The best advice I can give is start with one engine, maybe 10 freight cars, and enough structures to scatter about when you're first building your layout. You'll have a much better idea of what you really need when the tracks are down and reality sets in. :)

That may not necessarily have been a mistake. I have done a similiar thing as well. No layout but a good stock of freight cars and a small collection of locomotives, 20 ish I suppose. The thing here is if you think you may need it sometime down the road, you better get it now because if you dont and wait until you need it. It may end up costing you a handsome sum to get your hands on it again. Years ago, when you could get anything you wanted, my biggest mistake was not buy certain thing I had my eye on years ago when they were in every hobby shop and now cost a fortune in the secondary market. I wish I would have known the things to come back then.

I have since learned that joining a modular club allows me to still enjoy my trains.
 
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tooter

play every day
My biggest mistake in terms of money was going nuts buying stuff before I built the layout.


Oooh... ooh... that's me. :)

IMG_3722.png


...and I don't have a layout yet. :rolleyes:
 

rem37411

Lead Caboose Polisher
I have been on this site for a while now, in fact, I started this thread! When I first started, I had no trackplan. I found out real quick that was a big mistake! I wound up tearing everything off my tables, rebuilding the tables and starting over with a plan...and I am SO much happier....so far. I am sure as I progress, things will change but thats ok, I have a basic idea for my layout and that is what matters, having a plan! So, my advice to everyone who thinks they don't need a plan? GET A PLAN!! :D:D
 

eTraxx

Member
I've purchased three N-scale locos off of eBay with the intention of kitbashing them into HOn30 (mostly for the practice). So far ..

Davenport has gear stripped out so all it does is 'whine'
Davenport appears to have wheels out of gauge (NMRA Gauge .. yep .. need to get one)
(suppose I may be able to make 1 loco from the two above ..

0-6-0 switcher ran fine for a while .. now sounds like it is binding. Took apart to see if I can remedy that.
 

eTraxx

Member
I have a couple of HO engines I bought also .. again to be kitbashed. Since the layout will be set in 1929 the two small diesels (old Tyco 4-wheel) will become boxcabs and then the Dockside will be backdated. That's if they run. We can try that on your layout.
 




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