Which brands should I use?

Hello,
Many years ago (well before I was married) I had a fairly basic Hornby train set that my Dad bought me for Christmas. I've recently been to
various model railway events and have finally decided now is the time to get back into things. Initial discussions with wife have not been a definite "no", so I am hopeful.
I still have that old Hornby set, but I have no idea what condition it is in. And as I now live in New Zealand and the train set is boxed up in a garage in England, its probably not worth shipping it all here. So my question is... if I am starting from scratch, and assuming that its too hard / not worth shipping my old stuff from England, what brands should I be looking at for building a good layout (HO gauge I suspect)?
I imagine that the tracks are the starting point, but can I mix and match different brands of track, engines, etc?
I want to build alot of this myself (buildings, etc) so not too worried about brands for that. Its really just the track, locos, etc that I want to buy.
Any help in pointing me in the right direction, suggestions of good websites, etc all gratefully received!
Many thanks,
Chris.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Chris Malcolm wrote:

Your old Hornby stuff will be OO gauge, not HO (although the track is the same gauge). Virtually all British outline locos and stock are OO.
If it's the steam era you are looking at, in OO, then Bachmann and Hornby are the only current suppliers of ready-to-run. If you are interested in diesels, then you can add Heljan to the short list. As far as quality is concerned, the newer models are far better both in detail and running qualities. I suggest you ask opinions on the particular locos you consider.

In short, yes. Bachmann and Hornby locos and rolling stock are all compatible and will run on Peco or Hornby track (plus other manufacturers).

Again, for UK outline, there are building kits from Metcalf, Superquick (card) and several others in plastic. Alternatively, you can scratch-build if you have the time and skill.

Tell us specifically what you are looking for and the folks on here will point you in the right direction. Let us know which era and area you want to model, and you might get a few suggestions of which are the better models on the market.
Adrian B
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

There shouldn't be a problem in sending your old set over. They are personal effects and not new items and would need to be declared as such to avoid duty and tax. Depending upon how much you have will decide on the benefit of using your existing set as a starting point.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Chris Malcolm asked :-
" Any help in pointing me in the right direction, suggestions of good websites, etc all gratefully received! "
Try http://www.newrailwaymodellers.co.uk / or http://www.cwrr.com/nmra/Clubb-World.html#Australia%20/%20New %20Zealand
Based on current exchange rates the prices of sets in New Zealand (eg http://www.ironhorsehobbies.co.nz/ ) look a bit more expensive than the UK. For example the Hornby Digital set Mixed Goods is priced at $399 or about 137 ( Hornby UK price 125 )
Do you want us to send you some UK snow ? I know they have it in New Zealand, like on Mt Ruapehu, but I understand they are unable to ski in some areas due to lack of the white stuff.
Chris B
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I would divorce her mate !
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.