Newbie question...

Are there any 'jump-start' packages for sale in the model rail business
for a newbie?
By that I mean something to get started with track
layouts/benchwork/etc. It's easy to get trains/scenery etc. All the
books I read say I need this magical stuff called 'homosote'. Tried
three nearby lumber yards - nobody has heard of it. Online search says
the nearest supplier is 33 miles from me. Not really interested in
renting a truck just for this. I've seen Woodland Scenic benchwork but
it looks to small and I'm not sure how sturdy it can be for that low
price. However the scenery to go on top seems expensive for a bunch of
foam and I'm not sure if it has the appropriate plywood/homasote substrate.
I'm interested in building a modular layout where I can swap out say a
forest section for a desert section, etc. Each module would have common
entry/exit points for the track.
Anything like this out there?
-John
Reply to
John Garza
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No. You can get sets, which consist of locomotive, cars, track, and power pack, sometimes with additional bits such as buildings. The benchwork is up to you.
There are layout builders out there, too. I haven' priced them, but I would think layouts would cost 3 to 5 times as much as the bits and pieces, plus transportation and installation.
Current recommend practice is an open-frame substructure, with 1/2" plywood for base under cork ballast strip and track on that. People use Homasote when they don't want to use cork ballast strip.
The sturdiness of the benchwork depends on its supports.
First, get current and past issue of Model Railroader and railroad Model Craftsman.
Commercial modules available from Sievers:
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Two main modular standards, Free-mo (preferred) and HO-Trak (older, still used by established clubs)
Also, many clubs have their own modular standards.
For module standards, see:
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Warning: One of the HOTrak sites I checked out tried to inflict malware. Make sure your browser's bad- or insecure-site warning is turned on and your shields are up.
Reply to
Wolf K
I'm building one like that right now. I'm not using Homasote, I'm using 2" foam on a 1/4" plywood base and laying cork on that. Each module is 2' by 5' and the scenic part of the layout is 2'x10'.
I've carried your common entry/exit a bit further. I have continuous staging that creates a loop. From the staging to the scenic area there are three entry/exit points. Any scenic layout can use 1, 2, or 3 of those points.
Reply to
Larry Blanchard
What area of the world do you live in?
Reply to
a425couple
My reaction too - one of the reasons I don't like N-Trak is that it does just that, with each different scenic part being less than a train's length.
What I have seen, is a modular layout with swappable sections that matched scenically but represented different times - eg a dirt road from the steam era vs a wider modern road, or steam era facilities vs diesel, etc. With semaphore signals on the earlier and colour lights on the later.
Reply to
Christopher A. Lee
that's funny - I want to do different times with minor scenic changes (less trees, more pavement, etc.) But used the forest/desert example to get my point across because I didn't think anyone would get the idea of different 'eras' along a line. I guess I wasn't thinking about how silly is sounded. Well maybe if you have REALLY BIG modules... :)
Reply to
John Garza
I'm sure a lot of people have thought of it, but not at the level of modules, just removeable details, eg house styles and even TV antennae, the style of filling stations, etc.
Reply to
Christopher A. Lee
Or smaller modules strung together....
Reply to
Wolf K
No, no, no, I'm sorry for being unclear. I was not being critical. I was sincerely interested in where (geographic location)
In Seattle at the big train show (after Thanksgiving) there is every year a huge display put on by various members of a club putting a various number of their individual sections together. They have a standard of distances, so they can all fit together in various combinations.
Meanwhile, a different local club: I found a big big HO layout near me.
If anyone cares to view, I just found that there is a video of it:
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Day 285 of 365 Things To Do In Edmonds, WA - Swamp Creek & Railroad Association
From earlier: Take a look:
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Swamp Creek & Western Railroad Association 210 Railroad Ave. Edmonds, WA 98020
Reply to
a425couple

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