Old Guy, New Hobby

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gngsquared

Active Member
Hello. I tried posting an introduction several days ago and I guess it just didn't post.

I was looking for a new hobby since the ones I used to enjoy are no longer viable due age, wife's objections, etc. So I was looking for something that would make use of the skillsets that I have acquired over the years. I have experience in construction, electronic, engineering, drafting, woodworking, and some others. I have done scale model dioramas in the past and thought I would start doing that again, but I wanted something more, much more. So, I decided to jump in the deep end of the pool and build a railroad.

I don't have any real railroading experience like many on this site. I was born in WV but my parents packed me up and we moved to south Florida when I was only two. We would go back to WV every year on vacation and I do remember always being amazed at the long, long coal carriers that passed in front of my Grandparent's house. My Grandfather did work on the Cass RR when he was a young man before WWI and my Father and I visited there years ago before he passed.

Anyway, here I am, loaded with questions and ideas. I have a fairly large area in the basement man-cave that I plan on using. It is about 200 sq/ft but I do not intend to build out that big, at least not to start. Want to go with a transition period homage to my WV coal mining roots. I don't think that I will go full on prototypical but will try to maintain some authentic style.

Thanks in advance to all those that I pester for answers and help. It will be appreciated.
 

gngsquared

Active Member
Geez, posted this thread and the one from 1/24/2018 finally shows up. Trust me I am not a moron, maybe an idiot, but definitely not a moron.
 

Selector

Well-Known Member
Not only are you not a moron, but you are most welcome. I hope you have an amazing, fulfilling, evolutionary, and thrilling foray into the 'world's greatest hobby.' Sounds like you are well fixed for 'assets' in skills, and that you are succumbing to that virus called model trains. It's like herpes and chicken pox....you may not show any signs, but it's all through your body, now and forever. :cool:
 

modelbob

Administrator
Geez, posted this thread and the one from 1/24/2018 finally shows up. Trust me I am not a moron, maybe an idiot, but definitely not a moron.

Sometimes new member's posts get caught in our spam filters. We get attacked by spammers 24/7, and routinely have to ban remove several each day. To counter that, we have some automated filters in place. They're not perfect, and sometimes they put a perfectly legit post in the "Hey, better check this one out" pile. This happens more often to new members, since the filter scrutinizes them more closely.

That means one of the mods has to look it over. They're overworked and underpaid (not paid at all) and sometimes it takes a couple of days. Nothing you did, just the way the websites work.
 

santafewillie

Same Ol' Buzzard
Welcome to our forum, the friendliest model railroading forum on the net. What scale are you interested in? I chose HO due to availability of products and I know that as I age, eyesight and dexterity might not always be up to par! Except I haven't noticed in 35 years of modeling.;) Come and visit some of the regulars over in the Coffee Shop. We mostly just shoot the bull with one another, and a lot of modeling is on display over there. We do refrain from politics and religion although it is not specifically forbidden.

Willie
 

gngsquared

Active Member
I figured it was something like that. I waited four days and then started thinking I messed it up the first time and posted again. As soon a I posted the new thread I looked again and there was the original.
 

gngsquared

Active Member
Thanks for the kind words. Yes, like you I am going with HO scale and for the same reasons. I have been going back and forth over 100/83 and since I am not in this for perfection but fun will probably go with code 100 due to availability, cost, and interchange with turnouts. See you at the Coffee Shop soon.
 

cajon

Active Member
Hello. I tried posting an introduction several days ago and I guess it just didn't post.

I was looking for a new hobby since the ones I used to enjoy are no longer viable due age, wife's objections, etc. So I was looking for something that would make use of the skillsets that I have acquired over the years. I have experience in construction, electronic, engineering, drafting, woodworking, and some others. I have done scale model dioramas in the past and thought I would start doing that again, but I wanted something more, much more. So, I decided to jump in the deep end of the pool and build a railroad.

I don't have any real railroading experience like many on this site. I was born in WV but my parents packed me up and we moved to south Florida when I was only two. We would go back to WV every year on vacation and I do remember always being amazed at the long, long coal carriers that passed in front of my Grandparent's house. My Grandfather did work on the Cass RR when he was a young man before WWI and my Father and I visited there years ago before he passed.

Anyway, here I am, loaded with questions and ideas. I have a fairly large area in the basement man-cave that I plan on using. It is about 200 sq/ft but I do not intend to build out that big, at least not to start. Want to go with a transition period homage to my WV coal mining roots. I don't think that I will go full on prototypical but will try to maintain some authentic style.

Thanks in advance to all those that I pester for answers and help. It will be appreciated.
Do a Google search for WV RRs. There might even be historical society for them. Pick a scale that's easy for you to work with. Visit a model RR hobby shop so you can see first hand what's available. Pick an era you'd like to model also. You don't want to been running 1850 equipment with 2010 equipment. ~}
Andy Jackson

Sent from my Moto E (4) using Tapatalk
 

gngsquared

Active Member
Thanks for the advise. I have a link to historical, geomap, and active RR in the Cabin Creek area and it would be possible to model after that information. The problem is that it would be one line, some minor switching, and end to end layout. Not what I have envisioned for my RR. So, my plan is to build a fictional RR, the Cabin Creek Line, that will have a mining location, logging location, industries, a town, and a power plant customer. Some of the items will be from my memories of WV on my vacation visits and some will be totally fictional. I never planned a prototypical layout, more of a what I want layout. Going with early 60's time frame, HO scale, and DCC control. I have developed several layouts and so far have not found the one I want. Keep tweaking each one and making some progress. As soon as I have one ready I will post and get advise from the good folks here.
 

cajon

Active Member
There's a gazillion track plans already on the internet. Just do a Google search using the parameters you've already mentioned here. It will be your model RR so do whatever you want. Is there a club or home layout near you to visit to get help with your layout?

Sent from my Moto E (4) using Tapatalk
 

gngsquared

Active Member
No, unfortunately the closest club is over two hours away. The LHS has come guys that are model railroad builders and I have touched base with them. Mostly I will be depending on this site and the internet to get it done.
 

montanan

Whiskey Merchant
Looking forward to see what you come up with. When I first got out of the service I lived in south Florida and was in train withdrawal and built a small N scale layout that could be slid under a bed. Back then Orange Blossom Hobbies was an outstanding hobby shop. I imagine that they are long gone by now as this was in the early 70's.

When I moved back home to Montana I expanded the N scale layout to one with over 11 scale miles of main line but nded up tearing it out and moving on to HO scale. Glad that I did as now that I'm older, the old peepers aren't what they used to be. I also enjoy the transition era. I did grow up with relatives working on the railroad in the transition era and had the opportunity to have ridden with them a number of times which is probably where my interest in the hobby came from.

If you have any questions at all, don't hesitate to ask as there is a wealth of knowledge here on the forum (the best forum) and I'm sure that someone will be able to help you out.
 

gngsquared

Active Member
Orange Blossom Hobbies, man is that a blast from the past. Spent many an hour in that store. Best Hobby shop I have ever been in. They closed back in 2001 and there are many posts on the internet lamenting the closing. Thanks for the reply. I may have finally come up with a plan that I will use. Just need to include a suitable altitude increases to make it more realistic.
 

montanan

Whiskey Merchant
The guys at Orange Blossom Hobbies were a big help as I had been away from model railroading during the six years I was in the service. They introduced me to flex track and I never touched another piece of sectional track since. My HO scale layout, all code 70 track was either hand laid or I used Shinohara turnouts and flex track.

It sure was nice to have a hobby shop like that around. I have absolutely nothing up here in Montana. I started my present layout around 30 years ago and the lack of hobby shops was a big factor. When I started, I did have a dealership with a number of suppliers such as Walthers and did rat hole a lot of stuff away but eventually, ran out of a lot of things that I needed. There were periods of months or even years that I didn't get any work done on the layout. There were no internet retailers around and I usually picked up supplies when we took road trips. Thanks to internet retailers I have been able to move ahead and have probably about 95% of the scenery completed and all of the track down.
 

gngsquared

Active Member
Chet, looks like we hung out at the same place at the same time. Probably rubbed elbows in the store and don't know it. Got out of the Army at about the same time as you and lived in Hollywood, FL until I got married in 1980 (still working on the first wife). Watched the youtube of Logan and it looks like a place I would like to live. Small town with all the convinces. A really great layout!
 

montanan

Whiskey Merchant
I got out of the Navy in 1970 and ended up on the Highway Patrol for 7 years and also lived in south Florida. A lot different than it is now. We still have a house in the Keys but don't go down there very often. Our daughter was born in 1976 and we left in 1977 and built the home we're now living in.

Sure do miss having a hobby shop around. Suprised that there are no clubs close by to you. I belong to a club that is located in the basement of the old Northern Pacific Depot in Livingston, MT. They have quite a layout but for me it is a 50 mile trip over Bozeman Pass and the weather and roads haven't been cooperating lately. Being that I am a lone operator, I still run DC only at home but do have a few DCC locomotives to run at the club. During operating sessions we can have around 8 trains running at the same time which makes things quite interesting.
 

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
Want to go with a transition period homage to my WV coal mining roots. I don't think that I will go full on prototypical but will try to maintain some authentic style.
That is a wonderful area for model trains. I've always been attracted to the N&W Abingdon Branch after I discovered it while visiting the setting of the book "Coalwood Way". On that same trip I also discovered the photographic works of O Winston Link. They have been an inspiration for me.

Considering the "not prototype", it might be an interesting exercise to look up and research the V&O model railroad. A fictitious model railroad set in this area. It was built on the "good enough" principle. It is the only model railroad to have its own historical society.
 

D&J RailRoad

Professor of HO
Thanks for the kind words. Yes, like you I am going with HO scale and for the same reasons. I have been going back and forth over 100/83 and since I am not in this for perfection but fun will probably go with code 100 due to availability, cost, and interchange with turnouts. See you at the Coffee Shop soon.

Welcome to the forum, umm, uh, hmmm, not sure what to call ya and can't pronounce gngsquared.
Anyway, I'm just up Rt. 301 in King George and have an empire railroad in my basement. I do occasional op sessions with friends and if you're interested, I'll add you to an invite list.

Here's a video of the layout to whet your appetite.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISvFEU8Rujk
 

gngsquared

Active Member
My dad was on the Hollywood Police force for 30 years. You and he may have run into each other, or you may be one of the FHP that pulled me over :cool:. Either way small world.
 




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