Newbie needs help

ModelRailroadForums.com is a free Model Railroad Discussion Forum and photo gallery. We cover all scales and sizes of model railroads. Whether you're a master model railroader or just getting started, you'll find something of interest here.


TexasJim

Old but still learning
I am developing plans for my first model railroad. Most space I can come up with now is 72 X 42, which I realize is small. I am thinking of small steam locomotive because it appears they work better on smaller radius track. Two specific ones I am looking at are:
Bachmann HO 51405 - Santa Fe #498
Bachmann HO 52205 - Texas & Pacific #316, my favored choice because of Texas connection.
Are these suitable for what I am doing? I know they are not top of line, but are they of decent quality?

All help appreciated. BTW - I am very envious of those of you who have houses with basements. Best I can do is a large garage which wife will not yield her parking space.
 

ianacole

Well-Known Member
72x42 is not that bad of a space, depending on what you are wanting to accomplish. Defining what your goal is with your RR is also going to influence your decisions on what equipment your going to need (and can use). For example, if you're interested in switching operations, you may not need a loop and will look to switching locomotives, and radius limitations don't come into play (as much).

Another consideration, as it looks like you're focusing on HO with your locomotive selections, is scale. If feasible you might want to consider N scale as there are a number of interesting plans that fit on a foam core door, which is just about the size you have allotted.
 

TexasJim

Old but still learning
Selected HO mainly because I want plain DC and most N seems centered on DCC. Also, at my age the hands will not do what they once did. Want to do simple oval some landscape/buildings to entertain grandkids when they come by. Just want to keep it very basic, but want engine and cars that are reasonably reliable.
 

ianacole

Well-Known Member
Then yes, you'll need to stick to the small locos. The largest radius you will be able to run on that will be 20", and depending on the layout, may see getting into 18" and even 15" radius curves. This will definitely require smaller locos, 0-4-0's, 2-6-0's. #316 you listed above recommends 18" and above radius curves.

To your other question, Bachmann is okay, in my opinion, not too bad to start with. It will give you a place to start without breaking the bank too bad.
 
Last edited:

dennis461

Well-Known Member
The steam engines, due to smaller size boilers will not have a lot of weight in them. Pulling power will be limited.
I suggest also a first generation diesel, like the older Athearn with large weight inside, F7.
 

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
I am thinking of small steam locomotive because it appears they work better on smaller radius track. Two specific ones I am looking at are:
Bachmann HO 51405 - Santa Fe #498
Bachmann HO 52205 - Texas & Pacific #316,
Bachmann doesn't use the name anymore but those are from their former "Spectrum" line and are fine pieces of equipment.

The ubiquitous 4-6-0 locomotive can server any time period from the 1890s when they were the brand new main line locomotives all the way through to the early 1960s backwoods short line (Petticoat Junction style) railroads. So that would not limit what date you wanted to model. For backwoods short lines, I always look to the Louisville and Wadley or the Belfast and Moosehead Lake for inspiration.

BTW - I am very envious of those of you who have houses with basements.
Well, there are disadvantages of that too. Too much space, too many projects, too much cost, equals never get done. etc.
 

Woodstock

New Member
texasJim hi, atlas 18in radius would be the mimium if you had a 4x6 you could use a combination of 18"and 22"radius for your loop,but you really should keep your track 2 to 3 inches from the edage of the table. also you will need to get all around the table. As far as Bachmann goes stay away I built my steam with Broadway Limited imports a 2-6-0 consolidated. don't waste your money on anything else. I have three on my layout each pull between 18 and 20 coal and box cars with a two persent grade. and best of all it operates on DC and DCC and SMOKES GREAT.The sounds are Great. I had a small N scale and between eye's and hand's I just box it up and put in storage. NOTE: the 2-6-0 will run fine on all 18"Radius.
 

KB02

Well-Known Member
Have you considered a logging loco layout? Small locos like shays and climaxes that can run small radius curves.
 




Affiliate Disclosure: We may receive a commision from some of the links and ads shown on this website (Learn More Here)


ModelRailroadForums.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

RailroadBookstore.com - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section.

ModelRailroadBookstore.com - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.

Top