Start from nothing

I build models for lot of years now.
But i want somthing new.
So now i thinking for building a railroad.
After looking some things up i decided i want to do something in the 3th
I also now i want to build in scale HO and want an american theme.And i also
want it digital.
I'm from europe.
The questions i have are 1) are the american periods the same as in europe?
I guess not but saw nothing to
confirm this.
2)What kind of system i can use the
best? I'm thinking of Marklin but find it
bit expensive.
3)I found something called
Intellibox, is this a good thing?
4)I don't find many american
vehicles,where can i find them?
5)I also want that the cars ride is
there an alternative for the faller car system?
A lot of questions,but i don't find good answers yet on the net for these
Reply to
Loading thread data ...
I have some vehicles from the mid to late steam era in North America. They came from a company called "mini-metals" they don't look half bad with a bit of weathering to dull the sheen down a bit. The mid to late 1950's was pretty much the end of steam locomotives in North America on Mainline railroads. Yes I know the D&RGW held out to the early 70's but that was 3 foot gauge. There is much available in North American prototypes to model. I don't know where in Europe you are located or how expensive things are where you are. The equipment is out there...
Reply to
John Franklin
No, modeler's across the Atlantic don't use this term. I tried searching on Google to find out what it meant, but did not get any imeadiate reults. What years are in the 3rd period?
Most American modelers do not use a single manufacturer's syatem, but rather buy for the manufacturer whose products have the best price or best quality or best represent the prototype we are interested. Ideally we want all three, but it doesn't always work that way. Thanks to the work of the NMRA virtually all US products are compatible. When I understand what period you are interested in, and what type of railroad (Colorado mountain narrow gauge, south western US desert mainline, north eastern US urban corridor, Appalacian coal hauler, midwester country short line, etc.) you would like to model, then I can recommend some manufacturers.
Sorry, I don't know what this is.
One of the major US suppiers to both private individuals and to local hobby shops is the Walthers Comany at
formatting link
I suggest you start at their web site and look at the HO Vehicles pages.
I was not aware of the Faller system, but see that it is listed on the Walthers site. I am not aware of a US equivalent. However, it does not seem that it would be too difficult to replace the Faller vehicle bodies with some of the American outline ones and use the Faller mechanisms and guide system.
Good questions is always the best way to learn. I hope these answers are a little help. Gary Q
Reply to
I wonder if he means 3rd generation.
Please change my Email address to I will not have any other Email account.
The Gratiot Valley Railroad Club bi-annual train show and sale March 6, 2005, at the Macomb Community College Sports and Expo Center. Macomb County Michigan. Please visit our Web Site
Click here:
formatting link

Reply to
Frank A. Rosenbaum
No -- in fact I think the era system is one of the stupidest ideas ever, but I won't bore you with my reasons. :-)
N. Americans prefer to know the actual years of production and operation of the rolling stock they use, and use descriptive phrases, such as "steam-diesel transition" (which is roughly the same as Era III, ie, 1930s to 1950s).
2)What kind of system i can use the best? I'm thinking of Marklin but find it
Don't think system, think prototype (the real thing) and models. In N. America, l;retty well all HO is built to the same standrads (first established by the National Model railroad Association, or NMRA), and products of different manufacturers will operate together.
Yes, Marklin is expensive. It is also incompatible with all other manufacturers' products, since it uses three-rail alternating current instead of two-rail direct current. Its digital system is also its own., and is not compatible with DCC (Digital Command Control) standrads established by the NMRA (Lenz and similar DCC systems will work together.) Trix (the two-rail, DC line made by Marklin) is very, very good, but, as you say, very expensive. If you want just a small layout, say the size of a room, with suitably large curves (about 1m radius or larger), and run a half dozen trains or so to time-table and train-orders, a few Trix might fit your budget, though.
No idea, never heard of it, must be someone's brand of digital control. If it is compatible with international DCC standards, it should be OK.
For the era you want, you will have to buy from US and Canadian suppliers.
You mean cars that run along the roads? AFAIK, Faller's is the only system.
Just keep coming back here. :-)
Have Fun!
Reply to
Wolf Kirchmeir
Am Thu, 24 Feb 2005 19:21:58 -0500 schrieb Geezer:
This question should be simple to answer (I hope) ;-) Epoche l = 1835 - 1920 Epoche lI = 1920 - 1950 Epoche lII = 1949 - 1970 Epoche lV = 1965 - 1990 Epoche V = > 1990
Hope this helps. My english is a bit rusty. ;-) Micha
Reply to
Michael Hirschler
Yes, that helps. There are not numbered periods such as this in the US. In my own opinion, I would divide US RR evolution (from a model RR standpoint) as follows:
o 1830 to 1860 - early RRs; rarely modeled o 1860 to about 1885 - Civil war and "wild west"/gold rush period - 4-4-0 very common, together with 2-6-0, and early 4-6-0 and 2-8-0 types; wooden passenger cars to 60' and freight cars under 30' o 1895 to around 1912 - Turn-of-the-century, wooden car era - big 4-6-0 and 2-8-0 locos common; 80' wooden passenger cars and 36' freight cars common. o 1912 to late 1920's - Big steam era - Locos with 2-wheel training trucks; articulated steam locos; "drag freight" era; steel heavy weight 80' passenger cars, 40' steel frame wood side freight cars common; colorful "private owner" freight cars. o 1928 to WWII - Super power era - Locos with 4-wheel trailing trucks; high horsepower locos for higher speed freight service; emergence of articulated lightweight internal combustion streamliners, all steel 40' freight cars common. o 1945 to late 1950's - Steam to Diesel transition - 1st generation Diesels (mostly cab units) 85' streamlined lightweight passenger cars, 40' and 50' freight cars o late 1950's to 1970 - Initial merger period and decline of RR owned passenger service - Steam gone; hood unit Diesels replace cab units as favored type; transition to "2nd generation" Diesel types; emergence of piggy back, unit train and specialized freight equipment (auto-racks, etc.) o 1970 to 1990's - Amtrak takes over intercity passenger service; mergers accelerate; RRs sell off excess lines and shortlines appear, government regulations lead to large numbers of shortline cars in interchange service, growth of container freight o 1990's to today - Modern era - Mega systems (BNSF, UP, NS, CSX), double stacks
More could be said about the characteristics of each period, but I hope these notes give the flavor. Others may suggest other divisions, and there is much overlap between them, but these are typical eras I have seen modeled. The steam to Diesel transition and end of steam to Amtrak periods seem to coincide with your Epoche III. Is this what you are interested in? Gary Q
Reply to
These periods equate to both political and administrative periods in Germany. Epoche I is the "Landerbahn" period where each of the (9 major German) States had it's own system. Epoche II is the post WWI period with nationalized, public company, nationalized and occupied administration. Epoche III is the period where railway ownership was returned to the German government. Epoche IV was the change to computer numbering. Epoche V was the recombination of East and West Germany. Steam in Germany lasted until around 1977-78, so the US "transition period" has a much later completion.
Reply to
Ah, thank you, I wondered where this stupid idea came from. That explains why it doesn't match actual railroad development. Era III covers the end of pre-war technology as it was phased out (most of it by the early 60s) and the introduction of new technology. Result: if you buy stuff because it's "era III", you may run rolling stock and loco combos that never existed in actuality. I want Austrian equipment from about 1950, but Era III includes stuff that wasn't even on the drawing boards at that time. The mfrs just label their stuff by era, not by year, so without some sources of prototype data it's impossible to tell what's what. And those sources are practically non-existent. I pore over photo books looking for clues, and since precious film was never "wasted" on mere rolling stock, those clues a are few and far between. Dividing eras, such as IIIa and IIIb, helps some, but it's really an admission that the era system is deeply flawed.
I prefer our system of descriptive phrasing.
Reply to
Wolf Kirchmeir
Well, lots of older stock remained in service way beyond the 1960s. Locos like the Prussian P8s / BR 38, G8.1 / BR 55 etc etc remained in use into the 1970s / Era IV. Passenger and goods rolling stock lasted even longer, although much passenger stock got new bodies because the frames and running gear were still usable.
That's the cut-off between the two eras so you basically want era II models. Now you have the problem that Era II in Austria most definitely is not one homoginous period! 1920 - 1938 was the BBö period with lots of facinating developments. (Golsdorf etc) 1938 - 1945 was the period when the BBö was amalgamated with the DR (not the DRG!) and all rolling stock gained DR numbering. Also stock was transfered fairly freely between Germany, Austria and Italy etc. 1945-48/50 was the occupation period, with US and Russian sectors. Cross out the "Adler" and Swastika markings on locos and coaches. Add "US Zone" under the DR lettering. 1950 0n was the OeBB period, with new markings/lettering. It was also the period in which the international "Europ" wagon pool started, but that's too modern for you. Some of the stock confiscated by the Russians was also returned around 1950 so you can also have stock with Russian markings with a line painted through.
Great fun!
Just ask the right people! :-)
Much of that means very little to some of us.
I model South Germany over a ten year time span 1923-32, which covers the transition from individual State railways to DRG through to the beginnings of the new standard loco designs replacing locos which held on through WWI and the following depression - even that period needs to be divided up into Eras II a, b and c as far as politics/administration/ownership is concerned and a different set of IIa, b, c and d as far as livery and markings is concerned.
Regards, Greg.P.
Reply to
Thx u gave me a lot of answers,and of course a lot of new questions too. I like the steam trains,but i want also have some diesels and maybe an electric train. In what direction do i have to look then for an american scene? Pitty that here in europe there are no real standarts,but therefore was my question of the intellibox. It's something that can run with different protocols. I'm thinking of using marklin rails becouse they use DC and the 3th rail is not very disturbing. When i look to the faler car system,it looks like it must be possible to build sutch things myself, does someone now where on the net i can find more info about that? I live in belgium, and i must admid american models is something u don't find a lot of it here. therefore i'm looking also for ways of selfbuilding the locs and wagons. I now there are kits for this,but in the stores here i havn't seen them yet
"Geezer" schreef in bericht news:
Reply to
Do you mean, what kind of modelling material are available? If so, buy a copy of Model Railroader and Railroad Model Craftsman - should be available at more comprehensive European hobby shops. They have lots of ads, including some for European stores. Google on their names for their websites.
I've looked at their website, and it looks like a good DCC choice. I would stick to NMRA DCC however. There are many different manufacturers of NMRA compatible/compliant systems out there, and an increasing number of locomotives are offered with decoders built in. N. American locos are all NMRA DCC compliant. BTW, the NMRA standard was developed with the co-operation of Lenz.
Marklin does _not_ use DC. They use AC. Avoid Marklin track. Use plain two-rail track. Trix locomotives and cars are designed for two-rail DC operation. (They are also DCC compatible.)
If google doesn't find it, it doesn't exist. Try "US automobile model" as a start.
There are Belgian and Dutch members of the NMRA. Post a request for contacts, I'm sure you will get some responses.
The following store advertises in Model Railroader:
Chalumand - Trains and Tools Lakborslei 84 Antwerp 32-3-645-51-40
Good Luck and Have Fun!
Reply to
Wolf Kirchmeir
I think you should focus on the period 1950 to 1960 to capture the last of US steam and the takeover by Diesel locomotives. The US has never had the extent of electrification seen in Europe. Our electrics fell into perhaps 5 categories: Main Line electrics (primarily the Pennsylvania RR and the New Haven in the urban northeast, and the Milwaukee Road in the Pacific northwest), commuter railroads (primarily New York-New Jersey, Philadelphia, and Chicago), rapid transit elevated and/or subway lines (many major cities), street car lines (almost every US city, but most converted to bus by the 1950's), and interurban railways (service between cities that entered the cities on the street railway tracks, mostly gone by the 1950's)
I recommend you spend some time looking at some of the sites listed at the National Model Railroad Association ( home page
formatting link
) list of RR and Model RR links at
formatting link
These will show you many model RRs, and give you connection to most of the railroad historical society sites to tell you about the different prototype RRs.
The NMRA is our standards organization, and the standards can be found at their web site
formatting link
I am not aware of a site about the Faller system.
You can self build, but there are many fine kit and ready-to-run models available. I believe most of the major US suppliers will ship to Europe. I mentioned the Walthers Company in my earlier post. Their site
formatting link
indicates that they will ship overseas. They have a very well illustrated on-line catalog showing much of what is available in the US. Gary Q
Reply to
Pardon me for tagging on to your posting, but the original has long since gone to the bit bucket.
Mike, to cover all three, you're looking sometime from the late 1930's to ~ mid 1950's era. IT wasn't a sudden transiton, there's a lot of room for overlapping steam and diesel.
Reply to
In Germany you've got around 80 years when the three ran together!
Regards, Greg.P.
Reply to
I meant,what are the correct things to use,like thime and so on. I like to combine steam,diesel and some electric.what time period should i look so i can combine these things?
Sorry my mistake i meant AC,it sounded the wright thing for me. NMRA standarts are a good thing,only hard to get here,so it makes those things expensive.And that i don't want.Lenz stuff is something i gone look further for. I saw some things of them,but not mutch yet.
That i know,but can't think of good woords for looking these things up. But they told me there are no other manufacturers that make those cars. Therefore i want looking for making it myself if possible,but therefore i need guidelines.And in my language i don't find anything.
This i didn't know,thanks for that.
Thanks for the info,I think i can now begin to deside what direction i wanna go with this hobby.
Reply to
Thx for all the answers u gave. I know they will ship to europe. Maybe on later times i would make use of this kind of shipping. But know at the start i don't want to make thinkg more expensive. Therefore i don't want to use those kind of shipping yet. That's the reason i'm looking for fine alternatives.
Reply to

Site Timeline

PolyTech Forum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.