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any model train enthusiasts here?
Posted by: davemchine
Date: November 08, 2014 07:04AM
In a few hours I have an opportunity to visit my local hobby shop and buy some model train equipment at their going out of business sale. I thought I would ask for some advice on upgrading what I have. I only use my train set at christmas time to go around the christmas tree.

Right now my setup is simple:
Sheet of plywood
green paper covering it (from the hobby shop)
cork bed under rail
lionel O gauge rail
simple oval layout
just a few cars but good quality lionel
upgraded power supply for better control and can handle the sound effect car (which I have)

What I'd like:
That green paper is too prone to damage. There has to be something better and more durable
Maybe an upgrade to the oval layout but it has to accommodate the christmas tree on the sheet of plywood.

I appreciate your thoughts on this. Trains are fun.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/08/2014 07:15AM by davemchine.
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Re: any model train enthusiasts here?
Posted by: Mr Downtown
Date: November 08, 2014 07:36AM
What about getting enough track to have a double oval, side-by-side (slightly offset) on ground level at one side of the board, but with an overpass on the other side. Sort of your own Tehachapi Loop.

At the sale, look into some buildings you could customize into Santa's village—ones that are sturdy enough for packages to accidentally get placed on top.
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Re: any model train enthusiasts here?
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: November 08, 2014 07:47AM
Use green felt in place of paper

Lionel makes an assortment of Christmas themed material, some leveled Polar Express, some you just know when you see it.



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.”
-- François de La Rochefoucauld

"WE CALL BS!" -- Emma Gonzalez
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Re: any model train enthusiasts here?
Posted by: rgG
Date: November 08, 2014 09:45AM
Yep, use felt or even plether, fake green leather/vinyl, that you can find at a craft store like JoAnn's, rather than paper. You might even find a piece of very low pile astro-turf type stuff for the base, too. I don't know how low it has to be, for your train setup. You could also paint the board green.





Roswell, GA (Atlanta suburb)
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Re: any model train enthusiasts here?
Posted by: sekker
Date: November 08, 2014 10:27AM
Felt will look nicer, but pairing the board green will likely last longer.

Sad that your hobby shop is going out of business though.
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Re: any model train enthusiasts here?
Posted by: eustacetilley
Date: November 08, 2014 10:51AM
When I was 7, I got a mechanical train set, and within hours, was forbidden to play with the Engine at the Christmas Breakfast Table
When I was 8, I got an N Gauge electrical Train set, with a bunch of extra bits. Some more Christmas Breakfast Table rules ensued.
When I was 9, for my Birthday, I got a sheet of 4x4 plywood, and was banished to the Attic.
I looted the Monopoly game for the first town, and the first Automobile. Toothpicks first brought the Telegraph to Eustaceville, and a squat Ashtray became Eustace Pond.


My Father wisely kept out of it. You know how Fathers can be.

I painted the plywood green, with paint that didn't taste so good, but the little hills and gullies were all natural, because Staten Island had no shortage of Dirt.
The Bridge over Eustace Gulch was a wonder of impermanence; it burned down so easily.

The Battle Of Eustaceville was one-sided: A few remaining Lead Soldiers bravely held off a horde of the little green plastic ones, but to no avail. At least the Lead ones didn't smell bad while burning.

For Christmas of 1965, my Father proved quite useful for once; he helped me bring the train set down to the living room. We leveled Mt. Eustace, and placed the Christmas Tree in the middle.
I started it up, and it scared the hell out of Albert Finney, the cat. He never went up to the attic, because it was rumored that there were Mice up there. (My Sisters never went up either, because of those Ghost rumors, that I was only partly responsible for.)

Christmas Morning was wonderful for us all, although, understandably, I wasn't allowed to let anything burn.

By Twelfth Night, it was all packed up for the long journey to San Francisco. I never saw it again. I never saw a lot of things again. Damn you, Allied Van Lines.

¬Eustace
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Re: any model train enthusiasts here?
Posted by: davemchine
Date: November 08, 2014 10:57AM
Thanks everyone. I'm on my way and will post what I find. If they don't have the green felt I can stop at Hobby Lobby on the way home.
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Re: any model train enthusiasts here?
Posted by: davemchine
Date: November 08, 2014 12:10PM
Wow, the store was an absolute madhouse. People pushing and shoving him and in general grabbing what they could. I purchased all new truck for my train at 50% off which I felt good about. I would have liked to have her just some of the trains such as the Christmas train set but that was quite a bit of money still. I am on my way to Hobby lobby to get the green felt. It will be a few weeks before I can put it altogether but I am collecting the parts!
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Re: any model train enthusiasts here?
Posted by: vision63
Date: November 08, 2014 12:55PM
Quote
Mr Downtown
What about getting enough track to have a double oval, side-by-side (slightly offset) on ground level at one side of the board, but with an overpass on the other side. Sort of your own Tehachapi Loop.

At the sale, look into some buildings you could customize into Santa's village—ones that are sturdy enough for packages to accidentally get placed on top.

How come Amtrak doesn't use the Loop to continue the San Joaquins trains past Bakersfield to Los Angeles? I catch that train fairly frequently but have to get the Amtrak bus to L.A.
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Re: any model train enthusiasts here?
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: November 08, 2014 03:38PM
After I lost my arm, the guys in Buick Local 29 (my Dad's shop) bought me a full Lionel set to play with in the basement - it was a bit much for a 2-year-old. When I was in middle school, I bought a N-guage train set and built a layout on a 4x8 sheet of plywood. It never ran that well, but I truly enjoyed the model building and landscaping.

The N-guage disappeared when my Mom moved to a condo after Dad's death in 1992. The lionel was sold to a collector.

My son never showed an interest despite prodding by the old man trying to relive his childhood.



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.”
-- François de La Rochefoucauld

"WE CALL BS!" -- Emma Gonzalez



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/08/2014 03:39PM by Ombligo.
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Re: any model train enthusiasts here?
Posted by: Rick-o
Date: November 08, 2014 04:51PM
Ombligo, cool story and a very nice gesture from the folks at your Dad's workplace. One thing caught my eye though---wasn't that Local 599 and not 29? (three generations of building Buicks, and I don't recall ever hearing of that Local).

Back on topic, I've always wanted to get in on the train hobby, but slot cars were my thing as a kid and I never got a chance. All my paper route money went for slot car stuff. Maybe some day I'll give it a try. There's something about trains that fascinate me.



"After a time, you may find, that having is not so pleasing a thing after all, as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true."

- Mr. Spock



“There is no greater calling than to serve your fellow men. There is no greater contribution than to help the weak. There is no greater satisfaction than to have done it well.”

- Walter Reuther
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Re: any model train enthusiasts here?
Posted by: Octave Doctor
Date: November 08, 2014 07:34PM
One of the older couples I did odd jobs for had a big ranch-style house. After the husband died, the wife called me up and asked if I'd help clean out the basement. To my surprise there was a HUGE train layout landscaped and everything, must've taken up half the basement. Now she was getting her revenge on the train set. She had her son bust it all up and had me haul it to the dump--well, some of it went to the dump, I brought three truck loads home and resold a lot of it, pre ebay.
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Re: any model train enthusiasts here?
Posted by: Grateful11
Date: November 08, 2014 07:44PM
Sucks that they are going out of business, not many good model train shops left.

Do you know why they're going out of business?



Grateful11
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Re: any model train enthusiasts here?
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: November 09, 2014 05:37AM
Quote
Rick-o
Ombligo, cool story and a very nice gesture from the folks at your Dad's workplace. One thing caught my eye though---wasn't that Local 599 and not 29? (three generations of building Buicks, and I don't recall ever hearing of that Local).

You may very well be right.. I'm going on distant memories. I recall the UAW newsletter was called the Headlight, but there was a column in that referred to Dad's particular shop area (he was a Tool & Die maker) and that had the number 29 in it. I assumed that was his local, which was part of 599 .. Perhaps that was a factory number? You would likely know better than I.

If that makes any sense, I wouldn't mind knowing.



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.”
-- François de La Rochefoucauld

"WE CALL BS!" -- Emma Gonzalez
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Re: any model train enthusiasts here?
Posted by: Rick-o
Date: November 09, 2014 10:02AM
Definitely Local 599, Ombligo. Factory 29 was the tool & die facility. I should have picked up on that. The Headlight is still being published, but it's now quarterly instead of weekly.

Here's a cool blog about "The Buick" if you care to take a look. So much history for that complex.

[buickcity.blogspot.com]



"After a time, you may find, that having is not so pleasing a thing after all, as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true."

- Mr. Spock



“There is no greater calling than to serve your fellow men. There is no greater contribution than to help the weak. There is no greater satisfaction than to have done it well.”

- Walter Reuther
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Re: any model train enthusiasts here?
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: November 14, 2014 02:56PM
Astroturf.
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