Total beginner help

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CAbuilder

New Member
Hi railroaders,

I inherited a train set from my aunt and I have no idea how to put it together. For now, I just want to get the track wired up so that we can run the train. These are the parts that I'm guessing would be involved. Would you be willing to tell me how to put these together?

Sorry if this isn't enough information -- let me know if there's more you need!

Thanks!
20200603_111232.jpg
 

Selector

Well-Known Member
The tracks have to have smooth transitions between lengths where they join. If you have kinks, even along curves, there's an excellent chance you'll have a derailment, and that's just not fun at all. So, be patient and figure out how to join all those different lengths, some tangent, some curved, into a loop or an ova, or even back and forth in a wavy one-liner. If your train derails as it goes over any one joint, you have a misalignment. It even could be an improper joint where one rail has ridden up over the joiner. Happens a lot when first coming to the hobby, and even once or twice thereafter.

I am not familiar with that train set as I joined the hobby only 14 years ago. I'll let the experienced members advise you on connections for power.

BTW, a good rule of thumb is to avoid running trains on the floor. Especially carpets, or on floors in general if you don't manage to do vacuuming as often as you think you ought to. Fibers, hairs, skin particles, bits-o'-bug...they can get into the works of the locomotive or into the journals of your car trucks and cause all sorts of problems.
 

Bruette

Well-Known Member
Welcome aboard!

I started with a Tyco train set back in 1974. It was an uphill battle for me to get it to run without derailing, but you have come to the right place for help. No internet in 1974, I was on my own!

Do not even try to run that type of track on carpet, you need a flat surface. From what I can see the surface you have looks ok.

Keep us updated on how you are doing.

I hope your Tyco set is the beginning of a long fun “train ride” for you as it was for me.

Thanks for your post, I enjoy the memories you brought to mind.
 

trailrider

Well-Known Member
Another problem with running your trains on track laid on carpet is that the wheels and the exposed gear (most likely if you have a Tyco steam locomotive) can pick up threads and dirt from the carpet fibers. BTW, the term "tangent" means straight sections of track. If you have a local hobby shop (LHS) near you that has model railroad equipment, they should be able to help. If you look on the underside of the curved sections of track you should see some lettering that says something like, "Atlas Snap Track - 18" or -22" ". That is the radius, to the center of the track, of curvature of the piece. If you set up a circle or an oval of the track so you can run a train continuously, that means that a circle or oval with 18-inch radius will require around 40 inches to the outside of the track. A 22-inch circle will probably need about 44 inches, so that if you mount the track on a piece of plywood, a 4 x 8 foot sheet is a good practicable start for a permanent layout. Note, that you will probably want to use some cork roadbed strips under the track.
Caution: Model railroading can be extremely habit-forming! Once hooked, you may have intervals where you aren't in the hobby (college, military service, marriage, children), but you will likely come back to it! Feel free to ask for help/advice!:)
 

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
I inherited a train set from my aunt and I have no idea how to put it together. For now, I just want to get the track wired up so that we can run the train. These are the parts that I'm guessing would be involved. Would you be willing to tell me how to put these together?
I haven't seen anyone else say this so ...
1. When making a circle of track, first put all the curved pieces directly on top of each other to be certain they are the same size. Sometimes the track will be stamped on the back what size it is. One has to look very close to see the fine writing.
18radius.jpg
22radius.jpg
curvetracks.jpg


2. The most common size curve is an 18" radius curve. It takes 6 of them to make a half circle, 12 to make a full circle. If you have less than that for a circle there will be kinks. The half circle should measure 3 feet from center of track to center of track.

3. When making a track plan I always start with a simple circle and then add things symmetrically. That is with the base circle add a 9" straight on each side exactly opposite from one another to make an oval. Reverse curves are a bit tricky because they require a counter reverse curve to get things back aligned. etc until the desired shape is achieved. To make asysmetric shapes, like an "L" shaped layout, requires adjusting with various sized straight tracks to make up the difference.
 




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