View Full Version : What was your first piece of N scale equipment?

August 11th, 2008, 02:42 AM
I got to thinking about the thread about your favorite N scale equipment and then started trying to remember what was the first thing I ever either bought or was given. And in all honesty Im not sure what it was. I believe it would have been an Atlas train set purchased at a department store in Peru Indiana called G C Murphys. Probably the C liner with a couple of cars, a loop of track and a transformer. I think it went for around $12. How about sharing your story of your first n scale stuff?

August 11th, 2008, 03:03 AM
Bachmann 0-6-0 Christmas Train Set.

August 11th, 2008, 03:11 AM
A Model Power Train Set with a CP Rail Alco c-420 ... used it so much that I burnt out the motor on it lol


August 11th, 2008, 03:12 AM
I had been into HO for many years and one winter around 2000 or so I got bored with it and I had noticed the N scale equipment at Caboose Hobbies in Denver. I was intrigued with the notion of how much track and detail I could have in a small space and I thought the detail and quality of the N scale equipment had reached a point that was acceptable.

I bought a Micro-Trains Table Top train set. It seemed a little pricey I recall, but it had a Kato UP SD40, a number of freight cars, and an oval of Atlas snap track. What started as a whim or an experiment to fight off boredom has now become an obsession.

Cox 1947
August 11th, 2008, 03:16 AM
My first was some N scale stuff I got for my Son back about 1990..My first train was a American Flyer set for "Santa" in 1953...My first HO was a Blue Box 40 foot Box Car and a 9 inch piece of atlas Track set on the TV in 1967....Jerry

August 11th, 2008, 03:19 AM
In 1997 I switched from HO to N , and while I was consigning my brass HO's at The Caboose in Wolcott Conn I picked up an N scale Key UP 2-8-0 #332 , re-lettered it UP 618 , since then I got another waiting for re-lettering .

August 11th, 2008, 03:36 AM
An Atlas C liner for my son with a layout built to his height at age 2. He was not tall enough for my HO layout. Don't know if it was the C liner or not but his interest in trains did not last for long. I caught the N Scale bug from the Atlas Pacific, my first. The cute factor got me.


OC Engineer JD
August 11th, 2008, 03:37 AM
When I was about 8 my Grandparents got me a small N Scale set with the Plymouth switcher and a couple coal cars, a small oval, and power pack. My Dad got a small board and set the oval up and I would spend hours running that thing non-stop around the track. :)

August 11th, 2008, 03:47 AM
A Atlas E8 that came in a train set with 3 or 4 cars and a caboose.This was my first N Scale train set..The year was 1968.

August 11th, 2008, 04:11 AM
My brother gave me these along with some cars and a small layout for Christmas in either 1963 or 64. Was not called N but 000.
My first locomotive that was called N Gauge was given to me by my brother in 1967. First time I ever saw Rapido couplers and I thought they were great compared to the contraptions on the locomotives above.

August 11th, 2008, 05:00 AM
I didn't really have a first piece of equipment. One day in the late 70's my dad said, "Let's go for a ride." We ended up at a gentlemans house, went up to his attic and there was a 5-10' N scale train layout. He and my dad talked a bit and then he asked me, "Do you want to take it home?".

It was too big to fit down the stairs in one piece so the gentleman said he would section the layout and have it ready in a week or so. I got to take the loco's and rolling stock home that day. We came back the next week and hauled it home. I spent the next month or so splicing the layout back together, joining tracks and sorting out his wiring codes.

The loco's that I remember from that were an Concor PA/B set in Pennsy and a Trix U30CG in Amtrak paint with a set of Lima heavyweights to pull behind it.

The first loco that was bought for the layout was actually won in a Christmas drawing at a local hobbyshop. The drawing was for an HO loco, we worked out with the shop owner to get a Bachmann Santa Fe 4-8-4 Northern along with a set of Bachmann Heavies to go with it. It spent more time on the work bench than on the track.

August 11th, 2008, 05:07 AM
I bought a Model Power (Santa Fe) train set for the Xmas holiday in 1982. The set contained one Minitrix F7 and four streamline passenger cars. I sold off the passenger cars about 4 years later when I decided to model Rio Grande instead of Santa Fe. I repainted the F7 in Aspen Gold and Silver. It's gone too... now that Intermountain and Kato have made F units in Rio Grande.

My first individual pieces of freight were a couple of coal hoppers and flat cars and a Santa Fe caboose. I think they were ConCor brand. I used them behind the Santa Fe F7 and put some jewelry on the flatcars and hoppers to surprise my wife. It was a great way to get her to accept my new hobby.

August 11th, 2008, 05:21 AM
I don't remember exactly but it had to be a Bachmann. I wanted a B&O train because they were closest to my house. Early on I had a 2-8-2, a docksider, a Chessie F unit, and a Chessie U36-B. I bought a Reading (their choice) GP40 C.O.D. and it became my first paint job into B&O. After a while I took a chance on a high priced unit. It was a Con Cor C636 in B&O paint and after I saw how it ran I never looked back. Man, how I hated Rapido couplers back then. I still have the docksider (still runs great) and the GP40. RICK

August 11th, 2008, 05:22 AM
My switch cam in 1977. I kept seeing these c^*e little Atlas GP-30's in the counter. I traded-in my small HO switcher with a few cars for the GP-30 and a few N scale cars. The old GP-30 is stashed with all the other salvage equipment. Unfortunately, not in the excellent condition of Russell's beauties. I didn't know that the some of the original N offerings had eurpoean couplers.

August 11th, 2008, 05:28 AM
First piece of N scale... Anyone remember the Bachmann SD40-2 with the blinking yellow beacon on top? Yep, in Santa Fe no less. Along with the Atlas shorty tank car lettered for "Hooker" (cause I was 14 and I thought it was funny) and a Bachmann Santa Fe boxcar that was painted orange (?!?) and an Atlas Southern Pacific caboose. A bit of Atlas sectional track, a few manual switches, and I was set. Got home, removed all the HO stuff from the 4x8, and said to myself, I'm gonna need more track! =)


August 11th, 2008, 05:38 AM
A Life Like set.

UP GP20...one tank car...one box car...one hopper...and one caboose. All with Rapido truck mounted couplers. I still run that stuff. I made a couple of 'conversion cars' so I can hook up the rapidos with all my other cars with MT couplers.

August 11th, 2008, 07:10 AM
Settel in and grab a beer, cuz this is going to take a while....

so first train I got was this:
http://www.trainboard.com/railimages/data/500/Little_joe.gifLittle Joe Train set, little 0-6-0 tank loco, mine had a UP stock car, a boxcar ( I can't remember for the life of me the road name) and a ATSF caboose. it also came with a oval of track, a house and a church, lightpoles, road signs and trees.

Mom and dad had a old F-9 bachmann trainset that they had stashed away too, the loco was fried, but I got a Leight valley boxcar, a Burlingrton gondola, and another ATSF caboose. she also had a atlas UP covered hopper she bought also.

that 0-6-0 logged alot of miles untill the side roda fell off and locked up the mech, frying the motor. I still have it somewhere, well just the shell. I would love to have another one, it was a great little engine overall.

Mom and Dad decided that after making that engine last about a year, and a old style Lifelike GP38 last about a year and a half, they decided that I needed something that would last a little longer, so I got my first "good engine" a Kato F-7A In SP's bloody nose, #6440, I still have it although, it has a freight pilot, and painted black in preperation for the NP Pine tree paint right now, along with a undec B unit I picked up about a year ago. That F-7 is on it's 3rd motor.

The next engine I got I actually saved my allowance for the summer, and worked some other odd jobs, saved enough to go buy my next engine myself. a Kato SD45 in SP's bloody nose. Still have it too, still runs, still orginal motor, although, I have had to replace that damn horn at least 3 times.

after that, I am not sure what order I got what in.

Man I am glad I still have the F7 and the SD45 though, wish I still had a more complete 0-6-0. then I could at the least place it in a park as a display or something.

jagged ben
August 11th, 2008, 07:43 AM
My uncle and aunt sent me a Life-Like Little Joe set for my birthday. Can't remember which birthday, maybe eighth, maybe 10th.

The product is remarkably unchanged more than 20 years later.

Mine had a hopper instead of a reefer, but the same engine and caboose, and the trees and buildings and stuff.

We're having a steam day at the club next weekend, and it's still the only steam engine I own. I wonder if I can get it running. Probably not. It probably couldn't pull itself up our 3% grade, either.

jagged ben
August 11th, 2008, 07:47 AM
Delamaize, you beat me to it! ROTFL!

If I hadn't gotten that phone call to interrupt my posting, I woulda been first!

August 11th, 2008, 07:58 AM
My first set was also the Life Like Little Joe, funny how I'm not the only one. Years later my second acquisition in 2002(?) was an Atlas SD-60M, an oval of Kato Unitrack, and some Walthers well cars. A total world of difference in terms of quality and realism.

Grey One
August 11th, 2008, 10:37 AM
Aurora "Postage Stamp" train set when I was in 8th grade. I'm guessing the loco was a F unit of some sort. I'm sure I still have it. Maybe I can get a photo.
I don't remember much about it except that there was not much room to set it up until we moved. My first layout was a 2x4 foot switching layout with no loop.

August 11th, 2008, 10:51 AM
My first N scale stuff came from a lot of trains, track, and power packs my mentor, Albert Bacci had off his spectacular layout in Hallandale, Florida, way back in the mid eighties. I offered to pay him for them, and he gave me some very valuable advice, which in effect says, "if you give freely without expectation of payment, you will receive payback many times over". At first, I didn't believe it, but after a while with this friend, I learned it was true only payback has come a million times over.

I still have and cherish that first stuff, not knowing what it was then, but it was a Bachmann Northern which ran, a Kato PA/PB, and a ConCor set of F3AA's. I know he got paid back because he sold his layout for $8000 to a fellow city employee. I would have never believed it, but I saw money change hands, and helped deliver it and set it up. Then Al built an even newer greater layout. and still had money to boot on his wife.

Ken "FloridaBoy" Willaman

August 11th, 2008, 11:13 AM
Atlas RS-11, BN #4186. It was 1987....
It came with a batch of assorted Atlas 40 and 50' boxcars. Dad bought it for me. The engine was new, the cars were for mom, who had no interest in it. So the cars went to me. A small loop of track, and I would run 'em for hours!

Sometime after, I went to a hobby show in town, and bought a Bachmann SD40-2 and C40-8W in Conrail. Both Spectrum engines, ran decent. That was 1994 or something. Fast forward to 2001.
I had just married my wife, and for some reason which is lost to history, I got back into trains. I bought 2 C44-9W's, fresh from Kato, and the accumulation really started in earnest.

Flash Blackman
August 11th, 2008, 11:56 AM
An Atlas PRR double door boxcar purchased in a dime store in Valdosta, Georgia, 1969. I still run it and have made a few modifications.

August 11th, 2008, 11:57 AM
I got an Atlas 4-6-2 for Christmas in 1969. I added an Atlas 2-8-2 early in 1970. The Mike is still operatable, but out of service due to my change to code 55 rail on the new layout. Alas the Pacific has been dead for many years due to frame curl.

A friend has turned down the flanges on one of my Mikes to accomidate the code 55. Now I have to get the layout rebuilt and a decoder installed to test it. The old engines may not have the current level of detail, but they were rugged and run for ever.

Glenn Samuel
Mobile, AL

August 11th, 2008, 12:14 PM
My first individual pieces of freight were a couple of coal hoppers and flat cars and a Santa Fe caboose. I think they were ConCor brand. I used them behind the Santa Fe F7 and put some jewelry on the flatcars and hoppers to surprise my wife. It was a great way to get her to accept my new hobby.

Mensa material for sure. Genius!:thumbs_up:

August 11th, 2008, 12:23 PM
Wow I really don't remember the first one. But...I do know what my current oldest piece of equipment is. I have a PRR passenger car that I purchased in the mid 1980s from a hobby shop that was literally located in a barn on a farm a few miles from North Augusta, SC. So when you ask this car, "Were you raised in a barn?" it could answer "Yes!" That car has moved with me a half dozen times over the last 20+ years. I also have some junky locomotives that came from Toys-R-Us circa 1988. They run about an inch or two without having to nudge them, which for these locos, mean they are in the original condition at the time of purchase! Jamie

August 11th, 2008, 12:40 PM
I started with an Atlas train set somewhere around 1970. My dad bought it for my birthday and he bought himself one as well. Mine had a Santa Fe E-8, a couple of cars, caboose, track and transformer.

August 11th, 2008, 01:41 PM
My parents bought me an Aurora Postage Stamp train for Christmas in 1967 or 1968. It was a B&O F unit, cars, caboose, power pack and track. The box opened like a book. The next year they bought me an Atlas PRR E8 passenger train. I later traded them to my brother's friend for HO equipment. As an adult, I regretted it and I did manage to get the PRR passenger train back, still in the box.

August 11th, 2008, 02:01 PM
My first N Scale piece was a Carnation Milk Car, I think it was Arnold or Minitrix? Anyways, I got it around 1972-73 after I finished my 4'x8' HO Scale layout.

That was the turning point from HO to N for me. I had never seen N Scale before, and was totally blown away at how small the car was. I was hooked! :D

August 11th, 2008, 02:02 PM
My first loco came in a set with a few cars and a power pack. I have lost track of the cars but the Rapido 0-6-0 (now a 2-6-0) is still on the layout and is numbered 1.


August 11th, 2008, 03:35 PM
Disregarding ‘70s era stuff when I was a kid, my first locos when reentering the hobby were a pair of Atlas/Kato Gp 35s in Union Pacific colors.

August 11th, 2008, 04:01 PM
The first N Scale setup I got was GP38 some Atlas code 60 track and a Atlas power pack when my ex was pregnant with our daughter.

August 11th, 2008, 04:05 PM
A Rivarrossi Challenger (4-6-6-4)

August 11th, 2008, 04:39 PM
My first piece of equipment was a MRC transformer in about 1975. The following week I was able to get a Minitrix engine. I got these from a store in Cincinnati Ohio called Swallens. It's gone, but I have good memories of getting toys there as a child.

August 11th, 2008, 04:56 PM
I bought an Aurora (Minitrix) set in the summer of 1970 with the earnings from my first full time job. It had the Trix F unit in CPR, and 4 or 5 freight cars. Unfortunately, the paint didn't stand up on the diesel.


August 11th, 2008, 05:20 PM
This was it for me too:


[Image from David K. Smith's WR&N web site.]

Kenneth L. Anthony
August 12th, 2008, 03:40 AM
1st N scale equipment...Atlas heavyweight Santa Fe "Saint Croix" sleeper, for $2.50 in about 1968.

August 12th, 2008, 04:00 AM
Mintrix F9(7) and 3 cars with a caboose. Christmas present 1966 - came from WT Grants for $16. Still running it.


August 12th, 2008, 05:33 AM

I paid $30 for the three of those in September of '06... they have quite a few companions now.

August 12th, 2008, 06:59 AM
Bought some Atlas track and an ATSF caboose in '99. First locomotive was a C&O E8 #ed 4021. Got out of the hobby in '01(after buying a Chessie System set and messing around with it for awhile),got back into the hobby in '05 after I started working and would have the money to spend on model railroading.

August 12th, 2008, 09:04 AM
I inherited an Auroura Postage Stamp set from my grandmother in the 60s. Still have an NH boxcar, B & O caboose, transformer, and the melted shell of the B & O F unit. A cheapy Bachman set headed by a Prairie started my 1st layout in the early 80s. The Prairie is still running on my Dads layout. At that time I got my 1st "quality" locos, an NYC Con-Cor PA and an NYC Atlas RS-3 for the unheard of sum of $60 for the PA and $50 something for the RS. The RS is long gone but I picked up 2 of the same vintage on the bay recently for $40 for both. The PA is still running flawlessly at my Dads. I'd always assumed the Auroura set was my Dads but only found out this year that my grandmother had bought it for herself and that was likely the inspiration for my Dad telling me to come teardown the Lionel layout I was building for him because he wanted to switch to N.

Jerry M. LaBoda
August 12th, 2008, 10:31 AM
AHM Q1b in the early 70s. It was a cute little engine, even if it didn't last long.

Caleb Austin
August 12th, 2008, 12:18 PM
Atlas Dash8-40B for my eleventh birthday

August 12th, 2008, 02:50 PM
Bachmann F7 trainset I bought for my son. Followed by an Atlas RS11. The difference in operation was like night and day. Another RS11 followed by 3 RS1's and then I hit the mother lode. Found a hobby store in a small town in Western PA that was going out of business and had a sale on. Two Atlas GP35's, two Kato U30C's and 2 Atlas U25B's later I thought I was set. Then I joined an Ntrak club which only told me I didn't have nearly the amount of rolling stock that a good Ntrakker should. So how bad did it get? Well, after church on Sunday we met a family we knew and their son asked me if he could have my trains when I die. Anyone know how big of a turn radius will sit inside a coffin?

August 12th, 2008, 02:57 PM
My first piece of N scale equipment was an Atlas SD45.

August 12th, 2008, 03:21 PM
Long time ago; don't remember when...
If you count "Treble O", it was a Lone Star 0-8-0, I think. Rubber band drive in the tender.
Plus some "loose pieces", all at a long gone shop in Niagara Falls.
Not a great memory, but I still have several of them somewhere, including a crane car that reminded me of my origional tinplate American Flyer one...
After that, I got 2 Atlas E-8 sets for Christmas when they came out; from Murphy's, or maybe Twin Fair or "Two Guys"?
One in Pennsy, one B&O- passenger and freight.
Then an Aurora "Postage Stamp" set- Pennsy passenger with F-units (dummy B).
I drifted off after those days, & came back eventually with MiniTrix Pennsy steam...

Rob Patterson
August 12th, 2008, 07:43 PM
For many years I had always said that when I retired I'd build a train room and start in N scale.

Later, I inherited my Dads old wind up tin stuff, some electric O scale stuff and quite a bit of HO stuff. But having seen a good N scale layout years earlier, I had always wanted one.

Well the Xmas before I retired, my children bought me Kato's California Zephyr. What a great start into N scale. It was just the thing to get me over the initial hurdle into model railroading.

Of course then I had to make the investment in the Kato A+B+B WP F3's in order to pull it. And then there was the need to get some freight, some steam and some logging stuff etc. etc. blah blah blah........

I even travelled half way around the world to meet Chuck Ciaccio and visit his Feather River Train Shop in San Rafael CA to buy some more gear. :thumbs_up: Now that event is worthy of a thread of its own.

August 12th, 2008, 07:47 PM
I received for my 8th Birthday the Arnold Rapido Western Pacific 0-6-0 set. It had the Loc(of course) 2 cars and a caboose. The set came with a circle of track, but Pops bought some straights to give me an oval on my desk top. It was pretty cool.


August 12th, 2008, 11:10 PM
Life Like trainset - CP SD 45 ( foobie alert !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) with a few cars and a ATSF caboose..... man were they thinkin there !

Tim Loutzenhiser
August 12th, 2008, 11:48 PM
A Parkway GN stock car in bright red - still have the car and box. shortly after that, I got an MRC set with an RSD-15 in B&O, a State of Maine box car, a B&O hopper, a Shell tank car, and a B&O caboose. Still have them all.

Steve 4 Painting
August 13th, 2008, 12:05 AM
Kato SD40 CN #5001 (why start with anything less...) ;)


I did pay 198.00 SwissFrancs for this engine (US $182 nowadays), it was my first but it was also the only one I did buy in Switzerland, after that there was Palatine Hobby Ltd. in Chicago (Leon Waldacks hobby shop back then) and eBay...

August 13th, 2008, 12:51 AM
It was 1968 and I became the proud owner of very generic 0-6-0 tank engine and four cars (tank, box, stock car and caboose). 40 years later and I still have all of them and most of that 9 year old boy as well. The trains run fine but as for me...:tb-biggrin:

August 13th, 2008, 01:42 AM
Christmas 1969, Aurora UP F-9 train set


August 13th, 2008, 01:55 AM
The first one I bought as an adult getting sereous about model railroading was a Kato GP30 SSW(Cotton Belt). I purchased it from Arnies in Westminister in 1991or1992. I recentl was able to get it running again as TCS came out with the CN decoders. It runs a bit loud but out pulls everything else on the layout.:tb-biggrin:

August 13th, 2008, 05:42 AM
About 10 years ago, I visited a modeltrain show with my wife. I had HO equipment from my youth, but hadn't done anything with it for years. The show refired my love for modeltrains and at the end of the day I wanted a layout again, but we had no room for the HO stuff. My wife convinced me to buy a starters set in N scale, so we went home with a Roco set, including a German diesel and some freight cars. I still have the diesel somewhere.

August 13th, 2008, 03:33 PM
My first was a Minitrix Pennsy steam engine, K-4 i think in the early 70's. It was such a bad runner i went to O scale for awhile and didn't return to N scale till 2004. Now i am here to stay and about to start building a new layout.


Arctic Train
August 13th, 2008, 05:26 PM
Purchased in 1967.


August 13th, 2008, 07:03 PM
In 1985, I stumbled over an Atlas GP9 and a few cars in a second-hand shop. They had hundreds of Atlas cars and I invested heavily and bought 100+ of them. ($ 2.- each!)

The GP9 doesn't exist any more, it never ran well. The cars have been repainted, modified an retrucked and are all on my layout.

It seems that the second-hand shop got the leftover inventory from Roco after they quit making models for Atlas.


August 13th, 2008, 07:17 PM
It depends whether you are talking German or American trains :)
My first N-scale engine was a BR75 Arnold steamer, a great-looking engine which runs lousy. This was 1986. Two years later I got my first American engine, a Kato RS3 in GN livery. In 1991 I bought my first MTL cars, and after this I was addicted to US models :) Still am....

August 13th, 2008, 08:54 PM
My wife bought me a Bachmann N scale train set with the venerable 4-4-0 and three old time passenger cars for Christmas one year. I still run it on my layout as an excursion train. If she only knew what she was starting...

August 15th, 2008, 07:46 PM
My first N scale purchase was in January of last year. A Kato Super Chief A set and F7A. Stumbling across the Super Chief sets was what spurred me to make the HO to N jump. As a kid I'd seen a travel log film strip featuring the Warbonnet led Super Chief...from that time on, it was and still is my favorite train.

August 15th, 2008, 08:44 PM
It was a Pennsy E-8. I couldn't believe what a good price I got...until I found out it wasn't HO! Now it leads a growing train that I run at the club when the HO tracks are all taken.

August 15th, 2008, 10:32 PM
My first N scale was a Bachmann set with a 0-6-0 Plymouth diesel, 2 cars and a caboose. I was about 12 years old and found a $50 bill in the road, my dad drove me to the hobby shop.

Larry E Shankles
August 15th, 2008, 10:45 PM
In 1975 I got into helping a friend with his door layout. He was only into diesels and I was more interested in steam. So I bought an Atlas/Rivarossi Pacific to run on his layout. It was about $20 then.

Pete Nolan
August 15th, 2008, 10:51 PM
An MRC (Rowa) 2-8-8-2, which I still have. $52.95 in 1972. If it weren't for that sweet running engine, I would not have stayed in N scale, because everything after it was poor for a long time.

August 15th, 2008, 10:58 PM
I recall going to our local club member's shop when I lived in Manhattan, Ks. I had my 2 year old son in my arms when he kept pointing to an N scale box car on the shelf. (I was into HO at the time in 1981), My son put up such a fuss about that car that I bought it for him. He held tight to the box all the way home. It was an Atlas Soo Line 50' box car that I still have today. That car made me switch to N scale!

Phil Olmsted
August 16th, 2008, 03:49 AM
A gift, in the late '70s, of a Bachmann Highballer set, Item No. 50-4300, consisting of:

ATSF F7A, red/silver warbonnet, #215
Lehigh Valley 40' box car, white/green ends, #41003
Southern gondola, silver/red letters, coal load, #1228
ATSF caboose, red/yellow cupola, #999628
1 circle of EZTrack
1 power pack

This little bugger has run on the coffee table at Christmas ever since. In 2002 I went to my first train show and augmented this fleet with my first purchase: a LifeLike 0-6-0 saddle tank switcher - $15.00.

With an oval of Unitrack and a few more pieces of rolling stock, it still gets the coffee table at Christmas. The F7A and the 0-6-0 take turns lugging a 6 car train around.

August 16th, 2008, 04:18 AM
Model Power Amtrak F40 and 4 Con-Cor Superliners in about 1992. I was in middle school!

August 16th, 2008, 05:04 AM
First purchased item was a Con Cor ATSF Alco C 600 series,

Soon after my grandfather gave me a Lima Pennsy F unit that I still have.

August 16th, 2008, 12:21 PM
My son bought a LL E8 and a Model Power Fed Ex container car. That started us off. They may be the least expensive bits we have, but when the E8 decided to obey the laws of gravity when it recently left a table top, I had the best time putting it all back together with my son. Runs like a charm. If only, I could find the B unit.....

August 17th, 2008, 03:14 PM
My son bought me the Bachmann “McKinley Explorer Set N Scale Train Set” in 2004, because I was planning a trip to Mt. McKinley in Alaska when some medical stuff came up and I had to cancel.
I’m still running that train, and contrary to what everybody thinks, that loco out runs every Atlas loco I got. The only problem is that I can’t run it in DCC and I did have to replace a lot of couplers. The passenger cars are another story, my layout is too small with tight radius to run passenger cars. My grandson runs the hell out of the locos with box cars though and it’s not so finicky about the track being dirty.
I was fooling around with O scale before that and I just didn’t have the room needed to do what I wanted to do.

August 17th, 2008, 03:49 PM
My first piece of N scale was an Atlas RS3 painted for the N&W. Still have it and it still runs pretty well.

August 17th, 2008, 04:06 PM
I can't remember if it was THE 1st,but it's close,the B-mann Metroliner set in PC. I still have & run them today as NJT cabcars.

August 17th, 2008, 07:02 PM
My first set was also an Aurora postage stamp trainset. My Grandpa got it for me when I was 4 or 5. 1968 or '69.
I still have the F-7 a box car and caboose. Wow if they only knew what they had started!

August 19th, 2008, 06:21 AM
My very first experience with N scale was in the late 90's with a Bachmann "Highballer" set. Something I just bought on a whim. That was yard saled a year later after collecting dust. It was a grade above junk I'd say. It would be 10 years before I'd return and this time started with better stuff. It made all the difference. still, I'd like to have it now for experimental purposes. LOL

August 19th, 2008, 07:23 AM
I think this is all of my 'first' stuff. Custom Milwaukee Rd U36B w/ matching caboose on the first layout I did myself (I didn't do the painting).



August 19th, 2008, 08:45 AM
Bachmann Santa Fe starter set with an F9, LV box, SOU gondola and ATSF caboose. My Dad quickly built a 2' x 4' layout for me and gave me some of his old cars and a Bachmann GP40. I was about 4 years old.

HO came along a while later, then, when I was about 12, I bought an N scale Espee Kato SD45, tore down my HO layout and the rest is history. Now, almost 15 years later I'm casting my own freight cars and detail parts...

Nick Lorusso
September 17th, 2008, 10:48 PM
Kato GP50 in BN tiger srtipe wish I still had it great runner.

September 17th, 2008, 11:42 PM
Lifelike Freight King Train Set, Union Pacific, Ready To Run


Since I ran HO in the 70's and had been out of the hobby till about a year or so ago.

I came back to the hobby as an N Scaler...and happy I did !


September 18th, 2008, 12:05 AM
My first N scale set in 1978 was an Atlas "Shifty Sam" set which came with pretty much the same components as the Lifelike "Little Joe". Still have the components of the set.


September 18th, 2008, 12:20 AM
A couple of Rivarossi F-Units in B&O colors and one in Santa Fe

September 18th, 2008, 12:40 AM
My first real piece of n-scale equipment was a Atlas GP40-2 in YN2 CSX that my wife got me for X-Mas back in 96 or 97 when they first came out. I been hook ever since.

September 18th, 2008, 01:13 AM
It was 1970....the ubiquitous 0-6-0 Tank Loco ATSF #147, Texaco 3-dome tank, Monon gondola, National Dairy Despatch Reefer, and a UP Yellow caboose. Little blue Atlas transformer. Ran the dickens out of that poor 0-6-0. My Dad tacked an oval of sectional and flex to a 4x8x3/4 particle board and set it up on folding legs. We learned about the lack of structural integrity of particle board when it drooped in the middle. Mom, Dad, and brothers followed up with the Atlas GP40 #1347, many other cars, switches, buildings. The book "Nine N-Scale Layouts", with its wonderful photos and clever writing, hooked me once and for all.
Alas, Mom, Dad, and #147 are long gone, but I have everything else, including this wonderful hobby (and soon a basement too!).

September 18th, 2008, 02:04 AM
SW9 ATSF 2426 in Dec of 2001. I still love that little engine, but would like to DCC it. I will, if its easy enough.

Grey One
September 18th, 2008, 02:14 AM
Aurora "Postage Stamp" train set.
Would have been Christmas 1997?
I would have been in the 7th grade.

September 18th, 2008, 02:39 AM
Would have been Christmas 1997?
I would have been in the 7th grade.

So You Graduated Grade School in 1998!!! You must be a late Bloomer -- LOL


September 18th, 2008, 02:48 AM
My first N scale was in 1977 for my 12th birthday. I got a Life Like train set with a CB&Q SD45. I have been in N scale ever since with a few year break about 5 years ago.

John G. Adney
September 18th, 2008, 03:22 AM
My first N purchase was an FM diesel switcher (can't recall the model but it wasn't an SW type). My first structure kit was a country grain elevator (the layout I'm building is a Midwest shortline serving various, mostly agricultural businesses.

September 18th, 2008, 05:05 AM
It had to be I am guessing it had to be in the mid 1990's, a pair of Kato SD45's in Santa Fe. One was traded away, and the other now has been patched to BNSF.

September 18th, 2008, 08:33 PM
A friend of mine had this cool Minitrix set when I was a kid, while I had my Tyco HO set up on a 4X8 sheet of plywood in the basement.

I decided N was cooler cuz I could put a layout in my room (which ended up being 4X3). This was the first loco I bought in N scale:


I was in the midst of trying to upgrade the unit when I went off to college in the late 70s (my plan was to fabricate handrails from brass wire (there were no hand-rail kits in those days) and fill the pilots. I also had picked up a Minitrix U28C as a donor for a better chassis, but it all went into a state of "suspended animation" when I headed off to college. I never worked on it again though and when I returned from my modeling hiatus there was much better stuff out there so it sat until the Kato SD45s came out, which nailed shut the idea of me ever messing with this loco again. ;)


September 19th, 2008, 12:24 AM
First train ever was an Athearn GP35 in Chessie System obviously HO when I was 5 and the first N scale peice was a Life Like FA-2 when I was 13. Still have both of them and hope to pass them down one day.

David Leonard
September 19th, 2008, 12:51 AM
IIRC my first N scale item was a Rapido 0-6-0T that I bought in a downtown Chicago train shop. This was 1967 or '68. My first layout was a 2' X 4' plywood table that I mounted on casters and wheeled under the bed in our small apartment.

September 19th, 2008, 02:36 AM
A ConCor GN lightweight, smooth-sided coach. I'd been out of trains (HO) for 3 years of high school and 4 years of college. I was due to report to Uncle Sam in one week. Under the circumstances, buying an N-scale car seemed like the stupidest thing in the world to do. But, as it turned out, it helped get me through my all-expense-paid military vacation. Under trying conditions, I did mental exercises to decide that this tiny scale could be workable and a better decision than returning to HO - that is, if one were to return to model railroading. The couplers were funky, the paint job horrible, but I remember how smoothly the car seemed to roll. I still have the car, tucked away in a 'surplus equipment' box and probably will clean it up and recommission it. I could never throw away such a treasure.


September 19th, 2008, 03:17 AM
I got to use this pict twice in the same week! Must be good living! :D

This was my first N scale equipment sans the loop of track and power pack:

William Cowie
September 19th, 2008, 04:11 AM
Great thread!! Love all the stories! :)

My wife and I arrived in the States in 1983. I was headed to California to go to school, so we started in Maryland and drove across the USA in a camper van we bought. Every Sunday we'd just rest in whatever campground we found ourselves on Saturday. One of the things we'd so is play a word game called Boggle. As these usually go, an argument ensued one day over my use of a word. Pronouncing it like the sound 'boing" I used the word "doing" She of course said there's no such word, and the argument raged till I made a bet. If I won, I'd get a locomotive once we got to California. If she won, well, that was moot, because I NEVER lose a bet (because I only bet on sure things). I whipped out the dictionary and there it was: doing (as in what are you doing?)

Since the term "locomotive" was undefined, I cashed in the bet for a Rivarossi Y6b mallet. :D One of the best investments I ever made - I sold it a few years ago for three times what she paid for it!

September 19th, 2008, 04:49 AM
My first N-Scale is the Southern Crescent.

September 19th, 2008, 03:27 PM
I'd like to enhance my original post because I only addressed N scale, but I have been model railroading since I was a little steamguy at age 6 in 1953 in western Pennsylvania. I am not going to count the Marx set I got on Christmas 1951 as it was a Christmas looper which didn't last a day, thanks to my beast of a cousin, Cousin Ronny.

We moved from a boarding house when my dad's plumbing contracting business took off, and my parent built their own home just outside of town. What a beautiful house and neighborhood, and my dad and mom built a state of the art recreational basement with wet bar, canning, preserving and jarring area, washer and dryer (unheard of in 1952) and a full on party room with my layout as the center of attention. My dad built me a full on Lionel 4x8 layout he got from Lobaughs's Sharon, PA, and it was the Lionel Lines 2-6-4. When he saw my total delight, he bought a GG1, FA set, and we had sights on a Santa Fe Set of F's before we had to move to Florida.

The move to Florida financially devastated us, but my dad had a will to work, and we lived in a mobile home park before moving into a home. In Florida, there is never any room for O, so we sold the Lionel, and bought HO, and unbeknownst to me, I had built several Athearn cars as shelf models not knowing they were HO until my parent built me another 4x8 plywood and I installed the HO track, scenery, wiring and structures with help from my buds in the neighborhood, all of whom had layouts. My first HO set was an American Flyer HO 0-6-0 metal boiler set with cars, track and power pack. The right up from '60 to Hurricane Cleo in '64, I worked on that layout, and then my dad had to use my plywood layout for window shutters to protect us from the hurricane. I stored my HO all through college and first marriage, until I bought my first home, and suffered a tennis injury and took up model railroading again in the late seventies.

As I started to display my work in my office in City Hall from '78 on, just for me, I met a lot of employees in the City who modeled trains, we formed a club, and all of a sudden we all got into N, and then the story goes to my former post.

I have been a fanatic model railroader since, love all scales, but love N best. I will dabble elsewhere, but always go back to N, always refreshed and never burned.

It is that kind of scale.

Ken "FloridaBoy" Willaman

September 19th, 2008, 03:54 PM
:tb-wink:But not your last.

September 23rd, 2008, 05:09 PM
1968 summer.

Revell Postage-Stamp trains set in a box that folded and could be stored on a book shelf.

September 23rd, 2008, 07:01 PM
Welcome to Trainboard Blazeman.

September 26th, 2008, 04:25 PM
Technically a fast tracks kit but the first thing to arrive was a Kato UP SD90/43MAC

September 26th, 2008, 05:13 PM
Mid-1970s, got myself an Atlas train set with the GP30 (what a piece of crap it was). I later got the Minitrix Fairbanks-Morse switcher to go with the set. Even had a layout in my dorm room for two years.

Chad Cowan
September 26th, 2008, 07:20 PM
A Bachmann Rock Island U36B... six freight cars and a RI w/v caboose (early to mid 80s). I ran it on a friend's N scale layout and it actually outperformed his Atlas GP9s and Model Power GP40s.

My first 'quality' item was an Atlas GP35... and Microtrains freight cars. I was hooked after that and sold off all my HO-scale equipment.

Stourbridge Lion
September 26th, 2008, 07:40 PM
I'm not 100% sure but I think it was Atlas MFG#3271 which is D&H Hopper #1199.

:tb-biggrin: :tb-biggrin: :tb-biggrin: :tb-biggrin:

Kevin M
September 26th, 2008, 09:19 PM
When I was 5 my parents got me a Life-Like set with a 0-6-0 steam engine, I do not think it lasted to long. When I got back to N scale when I was 13 I bought a B-man SD40-2, what a pile of crap, a life-like NP GP18 quickly replaced it and lasted me a long time.

Rob Mc
September 27th, 2008, 03:26 AM
As a new member it wasn't that long ago, I had given up trains for a while being bored with HO and the prices that some of the manifactures were charging for a boxcar. Out of the hobby for 18 months and now back in. First time on the forum and switched to N scale as the detail is getting to the standard where I think I can live with it. First purchase a Micro Trains ATSF boxcar.

September 27th, 2008, 03:34 AM
As a new member it wasn't that long ago, I had given up trains for a while being bored with HO and the prices that some of the manifactures were charging for a boxcar. Out of the hobby for 18 months and now back in. First time on the forum and switched to N scale as the detail is getting to the standard where I think I can live with it. First purchase a Micro Trains ATSF boxcar.

Welcome aboard !! Great bunch of guys here. Myself...I have only been in N about a year...and on TB since April. These guys are top notch...and have some awesome info floating about.


September 27th, 2008, 12:58 PM
I had a fair-sized HO layout in the 6's-70's as a kid, shared with my Dad's wood shop. After he retired and went into the shop almost every day, the fine sawdust storm couldn't be fixed with filters or even a partition. "Either you move your shop, or I'm going to have to leave"...and huh, I lost.... and sold all the HO and demolished the layout.

About a year later (1972) I bought a friends USED Aurora (Trix) F7 with , an oval of track, and about six cars for $20.00. Set it up in my room where I had space for N on a 3x6 table. Three months after that I took a cross-country trip on Santa Fe and washed up at the Whistle Stop Hobby Shop in Pasadena, and I was INSTANTLY HOOKED on N.

That poor used F7 has been stripped and repainted twice, the motor burned out and replaced with a Sagami, redetailed, reweathered, and finally...retired to the display case when IM came out with the F7's. But I can still put it on the track and it does a good job.

If it hadn't been for that Trix F7 unit, I would have quit. The next three locomotives were duds, a shock to an HO guy that had never really seen that in AHM and Mantua. Then I got a Trix U28C and finally caught on to the 'look under the hood in N scale' concept and the rest is history.

Oh, and my Dad and I did eventually make peace with the wood shop. He built me a BEAUTIFUL custom cherry glass display case, glass shelves, and a glass front hinged door, to display my best N scale, and that's still very much on my wall today.

September 27th, 2008, 05:07 PM
How about a picture of that display case.I love wood.

March 11th, 2010, 07:36 PM
Lifelike GP-38, Santa Fe #3500

March 11th, 2010, 08:03 PM
Mine was a pair of Atlas/Kato DRGW GP30 locomotives,#3014 and #3027, and about 12 cars and a caboose

March 11th, 2010, 11:38 PM
1968. A Bachmann GP-40, one of the original hunks o' cr@p. But it got me through my first small layout in the early 70s. God I was happy to get rid of that thing.

March 12th, 2010, 12:43 AM
I bought an Atlas set in 1976 at a store called Swallen's in Cincinnati Ohio. The set included a C-Liner, a caboose and two freight cars. It was my last day working at the factory before I went into the Air Force and I think I had already had a few beers that day. The store had a huge selection of freight cars and they were something like $1.99 each. I think I bought one of everything, and a little bit of track. I set them up on the floor the next day and ran them for awhile. They got packed away until 1983.

I still have most of the boxcars, most of them since been repainted and upgraded with MTL trucks and couplers.

Like many of you, I also had a Bachmann GP-40. It is long gone.

Nothing ran very well, but I kind of miss the tinplate feel of everything back in the day. Ahh, The innocence of youth. Now that my knowledge has grown, I sometimes catch myself counting rivets...

March 12th, 2010, 12:48 AM
Lima "Bobo" locomotive.

March 12th, 2010, 01:08 AM
A Bachmann "Thunder Valley" set:

1 circle of EZ-Track with a controller
A Santa Fe GP-40 (blue/yellow scheme)
A white Lehigh Valley reefer
A yellow Penn Salt tanker
A red Santa Fe caboose

That was.... December 2009? I think I paid $75. Not that I know any better (except for YouTube), but the Geep runs just fine. Maybe a little noisy, but I've since expanded to about a dozen cars, and it will pull them all around my little loop.

I've got a secondhand Spectrum 2-8-0 on the way, and I have my eye on an Atlas L&N SW-1500 at the LHS.

I'm a fairly sentimental guy. I'll probably never get rid of that GP-40. I'm planning to repaint it in the colors of my (fictional) CH&FR Railroad.

Edit: As proof, I still have my 30 year old TYCO HO GP-20 that doesn't even run...

March 12th, 2010, 02:09 AM
I urged my dad to buy it. He had the PRR freight set from the year before. I still have a few of the carcasses- I managed to mangle the cars during my teen years. :) Sometime in the sixties. You remember, Peace-Love, Plum colored bell bottoms, Beatles, body counts, Pettycoat Junction, Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom, Matt Dillon, Frank Rizzo. All the good things.

Oh yeah- best thing- all happened in the basement of a Woolworth's store in Philly.



March 12th, 2010, 03:12 AM
When we came to the U.S. legally in 83' we where poor I was 13yrs old and I was amazed at all the stuff you could purchase in the U.S. (I came form a poor communist country). So one day my uncle took me to a toy store Kay Bee and he said I could have any toy in the store he didn't care what it was as long as it was just one toy. Well I saw this nice atlas U.P. N scale train set it had an SD9 and a couple of box cars and a caboose. Man for years I loved to set this set up and play with it.

Seated Viper
March 12th, 2010, 07:27 AM
I'd been into British OO for many years, but didn't have the room for what I wanted to do. I bought a Lima N loco, tender drive and traction tyres, and a couple of wagons. Lima's OO stuff was quite good, now produced by Hornby since Lima died, but their N was dreadful - the gauge was the constant feature. Length height and width of any locos or cars varied, so you never knew what scale it was. It just had to fit the box. It put me off tender drive and traction tyres for years, until I found Union Mills.

Farish, now owned by Bach . . . . was wonderful in comparison, and most folk say how bad their locomotives were!



March 12th, 2010, 07:57 PM
My first N Scale piece was an Atlas GP35 ( SP) of course :tb-biggrin:

March 12th, 2010, 08:38 PM
My first N-scale train was a Postage Stamp set from Aroura. Given to to me about 1981 by my brother in law.

March 12th, 2010, 10:11 PM
A Model Power F40PH and four Con-Cor Superliners (all Amtrak). Those were the bees knees back in the day (-;

Grey One
March 13th, 2010, 02:26 AM
Aurora "Postage Stamp Trains" was my first N scale set. That would have been 1968 ish.

March 13th, 2010, 03:56 AM
I got an 060 Bachman, a Riverossi 282, and an Atlas F7. An oval of atlas snap track, Two switches and enough extra track for a short passing siding. About a dozen atlas cars. an, MRC power pack for my 13th birthday in 1968. I was in Hog heaven!! I still have it all! The 280 and the F7 still run! All the cars have been converted to MT body mount couplers, MT trucks and fox valley low pro's. I machined the flanges on the F7 so it could operate on code 55. It still runs every bit as good as my Kato F's and at the same speed, so it gets consisted with them ocasionally. Kinda like an antique hotrod on a nice sunny saturday. :pcool:

March 13th, 2010, 05:08 AM
First in the family was my sons LL Amtrak E8 and MP fed ex car. My first was eithe a Kato GS-4 or a LLF7 in NFL colors. As a famous President once said "Well.... I don't remember"

March 13th, 2010, 02:14 PM
I got to thinking about the thread about your favorite N scale equipment and then started trying to remember what was the first thing I ever either bought or was given. And in all honesty Im not sure what it was. I believe it would have been an Atlas train set purchased at a department store in Peru Indiana called G C Murphys. Probably the C liner with a couple of cars, a loop of track and a transformer. I think it went for around $12. How about sharing your story of your first n scale stuff?

My first N scale item was an Atlas U.P. SD9 set I got it from my uncle when I was about 18yrs old back in the 1990's form Kay Bee toys.

Kenneth L. Anthony
March 13th, 2010, 04:09 PM
And this was not the exact question, BUT...
my first N scale project was a feasibility model in 1969, to see if it was possible to scratchbuild in that tiny tiny scale.
I sketched some dimensions from a slum house that being torn down and when I was in a hospital bed for two days, I built a model using balsa 1/8 x 1/8 sticks, balsa 1/16 sheet, an Xacto(r) knife, airplane glue, and a grade school rule to make measurements. Oh, I also used the paper from a hospital meal choice menu as the underlayment for my roof. This structure was all built while in hospital, except that paint had to be added later-- couldn't bring paint in hospital.
Steps, piling foundation and hillside scenery for the house built years later as a styrofoam demonstration...

March 14th, 2010, 05:13 PM
Arnold Rapido FP7 A-A power/dummy and 4 car streamline set purchaed by my Dad for me for Christmas 1969. (I still have those originals and keep them in excellent running condition). Fell in love with the Warbonnet and have been a ATSF/BNSF fan ever since. Joined a club in 1986 ( Metropolitan N-scale in Englewood NJ) and have been off and on in the hobby since then. Kato unitrack satisfies my urges to run my trains. Lots of equipment, but never my own permanent layout. Hoping that since I'm retiring this year, I will finally have the time to build that layout I've been wanting all these years!

March 14th, 2010, 05:17 PM
Mine was a Frisco boxcar. Present roster is attached. :mbiggrin:

March 15th, 2010, 12:54 AM
Mine was an Aurora Postage stamp train set. It had 1 F9 painted in War Bonnet silver and red Santa Fe livery, 5 pasenger cars an oval of track and a transformer.

March 15th, 2010, 01:22 AM
LifeLike SW1200 A&B units. In Wisconsin Central paint scheme. With two flat cars and pulp log loads. Soon followed by a coffee table size bent dog bone. The track is in storage and engines, cars and two 'HO' 40' wood refers with Schlitz Beer lettering are on display.

March 16th, 2010, 05:21 PM
Atlas coal hopper, black and I believe for the Erie. Bought it while on a family trip back east for my older brother to look at colleges, so it must of been 1978-1979? We had stayed at a family friend's house and he showed me his under-construction HO layout in the basement, first time I remember seeing model trains. He also gave me an old MR that had an article on John Allen's original Gorre & Daphetid.

I spent the rest of the trip trying to find hobby shops in each city and begging my folks to visit them, reading and re-reading that MR and day-dreaming about the amazing layout I'd build.

30 years later I'm still an armchair modeler.... Oh well:tb-smile:. Dreams are fun too. Still have that hopper in my inventory, just waiting for the day benchwork starts.

March 17th, 2010, 04:03 AM
I actually got a whol pile of rolling stock as opposed to a trainset, etc. But my first locomotive was a Kato/Atlas Erie Lackawanna U25b... still have her actually...

Not exactly this ony but you get the idea

March 17th, 2010, 03:07 PM
For what ever reason the pict I posted to this thread last year has vanished. User error no doubt. So here it is again:

http://www.trainboard.com/railimages/data/1008/My_A1G.jpg (http://www.trainboard.com/railimages/showphoto.php/photo/117706)
circa 1974

March 17th, 2010, 03:16 PM
I got back into trains and into N scale in 2003 when I retired from the Army.

I bought this set because it had an SW9 and the same NE style caboose that the railroad I wanted to model had. It was a Great Northern set.


They are both on the layout today.


March 17th, 2010, 04:27 PM
My first was an Atlas FM C liner set as well. Came with the engine, caboose and I think like 3 more cars. A helium car, a vinegar tank car, a Linde boxcar and I do believe a regular tank car. I still have all the original pieces to that except for the track. I do beleive I even have the little Blue transformer as well. I received it when I was around 6-7 years old. I had set the oval up on an old card table, ran it around a few times, then it took a nose dive off the table. My mom took it away from me till I got a little older..lol. Fond memories for sure.

March 17th, 2010, 09:42 PM
Mine is a Life-Like BL2. My dad had two in C&O colors when he had his N-scale layout in the late '80s, early 90's and they were always my favorites. When I decided to build my own N-scale layout I wanted to have at least one BL2 as well. Got one off of Extortionbay in Rock Island colors that is now in the process of being repainted for C&O (sorry RI guys).

March 17th, 2010, 10:12 PM
Russ's photo on page 1 brought back memories. My first loco was the same Rapido switcher. Notice the lead axle journal. It is a slot, not a hole. A change of direction was supposed to lift the coupler, the first attempt at automatic uncoupling. As with Rapido from the late 60's, it weighed a ton and really pulled.

Dave G
Cache Valley & Northern RR

March 18th, 2010, 02:23 AM
Ah, memories. My first n-scale equipment? Christmas 1970 or thereabouts:
Atlas 0-6-0 Tank Loco Santa Fe #147
Texaco 3-dome tank car
Monon Gondola
National Dairy Despatch Reefer
Yellow High Cupola Caboose (UP?)
A copy of Nine N-Scale Layouts, so well written by John Armstrong and Thad Stepek, that seduced me (still does!) with beautiful photos.

A circle of track tacked onto a 4x8x3/4" particle board, (on folding legs) that drooped in the middle until my dear departed Dad reinforced it. I ran the dickens out of that little locomotive until Dad had to send away for new brushes from good old Atlas.

The locomotive and track are long gone. I still have the three freight cars, and that book is very worn, but will never part with them.

March 18th, 2010, 04:21 AM
Not sure exactly which one of the two,but one of these Trix F's was my first loco in 1967,soon followed by the other.I repainted them,[AGAIN,LOL!!!] rebuilt them, and added the screens and the B unit recently.

March 18th, 2010, 05:55 AM
A bachmann U36B in The Rock colors from Kaybee Toys!

dave t

The Toolman
December 23rd, 2010, 10:40 PM
When an older lady gave me the free set of n locos an cars that come with a mail order purchase she had made. This is the start of something that I had quit on back in about 1957-8. Still got my lionel 027 steamer an cars around here somewhere. Haven't seen the track or transformer though....

In the last coupla weeks I have already spent 6-7 hundred on N stuff an almost nothing to show for it yet....haha

December 23rd, 2010, 10:59 PM
1975... it seems "yesterday"?
An 0-8-0 Indiana Harbor Switcher - Rivarossi if I remember well... so long!
I see it and I can't resist.
Still in a box downstairs with some other "survivors" , no more compatible with present standards (rails, DCC etc).
Here some pictures of the stuffs:

December 23rd, 2010, 11:30 PM
For me, it was a gift of and ancient PRR E-something, three heavyweights, a Bachmann MDT Plymouth lettered for the PRR, and a few assorted freight cars. One of my father's friends gave them to me when I was about 10 years old after he tried and gave up on the hobby. Guess someone should have warned him while he was planning his layout that even the Plymouth would have trouble on 4-inch radius curves.

December 23rd, 2010, 11:49 PM
I remember my first N Scale car, 1972, it was a Carnation Milk reefer made in a defunct country called Yugoslavia! No Kidding! I was into HO at the time, and just seen my first N Scale items at the hobby store, and just had to have it. I dropped HO a year later and was committed to N for the next 35 years! :D

Oh yeah! That Atlas Tool and Die book Nine N Scale Layouts that you can build was the best!

December 24th, 2010, 12:07 AM
I am a newbie and will be purchasing my first n-scale or z-scale. Not so sure yet. I remember getting a train system in 1985 for christmas, but has been long gone. I am about to purchase my trainset but unsure of what i am looking for or what i should stay away from. Someone let me know. Thanks.


Rob Patterson
December 24th, 2010, 02:11 AM
My family had always known that when I built my 1st layout it was going to be N, not HO. So, just prior to my wife and I travelling across the USofA by Amtrak in 2007, part of which was going to be Chicago -Emeryville on the California Zephyr, my Children bought me the Kato, California Zephyr set, to get me started. Then I had to buy the WP locos etc etc...

December 24th, 2010, 02:18 AM
My first piece was my Atlas Shay. Jim

December 24th, 2010, 02:41 AM
Mid-70's Bachmann F-something....is it a 7 or a 9?

December 24th, 2010, 03:07 AM
My first piece was my Atlas Shay. Jim

I got one of those about the time I started dabbling in Z Jim, aren't they fascinating to watch run? :D

December 24th, 2010, 03:17 AM
I am a newbie and will be purchasing my first n-scale or z-scale. Not so sure yet. I remember getting a train system in 1985 for christmas, but has been long gone. I am about to purchase my trainset but unsure of what i am looking for or what i should stay away from. Someone let me know. Thanks.


Look at Atlas and Kato. Both bullet proof quality. From there its a few steps down.



The Kato set doesnt include track but their line of track is excellent.

December 24th, 2010, 04:21 AM
My first piece of N scale equipment was an Atlas Santa Fe E8 passenger set. My kid brother got the Atlas freight set with a FM C-Liner. That was Christmas 1968. It's amazing how far we've since those days.

December 24th, 2010, 12:44 PM
I had the C Liner also. Made great paper weights after a few days when the motor burned out. I picked up a couple a few years back when someone was selling a truck load of them for next to nothing on ebay. I think they salvaged them from the Titanic!

Flash Blackman
December 24th, 2010, 12:48 PM
For what ever reason the pict I posted to this thread last year has vanished. User error no doubt. So here it is again:

http://www.trainboard.com/railimages/data/1008/My_A1G.jpg (http://www.trainboard.com/railimages/showphoto.php/photo/117706)
circa 1974
Great stories here. I really enjoyed re-reading this thread.

I, too, saw my photo had vanished so I replaced it. There was an upgrade to the TB software that may have deleted them. The reason I mention this is that I was surprised that there were not more photos of first N scale equipment. I presume those old pieces are now gone.

December 24th, 2010, 01:16 PM
My first locomotive that was called N Gauge was given to me by my brother in 1967. First time I ever saw Rapido couplers and I thought they were great compared to the contraptions on the locomotives above.

Wow Flash, that's some N scale history right there. Isn't that the first production N scale locomotive?

My introduction was an Atlas trainset back I bought with paper route earnings back in 1970. The basic set included a Plymouth MDT diesel, three pieces of rolling stock, and caboose. For a few extra bucks, I managed to make a deal with the store owner and swapped the MDT for a Penn Central GP-40 . I felt like I was on top of the world--it was my own money and I learned something about bargaining at the same time. Pretty cool stuff for a 15 year old.

December 24th, 2010, 01:31 PM
My parents had the LL Little Joe set (The locomotive is currently running on my Christmas layout.) and an ATLAS Geep-9 before I was born, but my personal first piece of N scale equipment was the Bachmann Limited Edition N&W Class J #611 with some Con-cor heavyweights for Christmas when I was 6. The J died a few years ago, but was happily replaced by a new Spectrum one.

December 24th, 2010, 01:41 PM
You want photos of early N scale equipment? Here you go. http://www.trainboard.com/tbsmiles/103.gif


December 24th, 2010, 02:11 PM
my Dad was vice president of of shipping company in new jersey,he used to ship for aurorua(afx cars) who where importing postage stamp(minitrix)n scale train sets,when the people at auroura found out my father had a son who loved trains they gave him a F-7 penn central freight set to give to me,funny cause at the time my fathers company was using penn central to ship.....

December 24th, 2010, 02:21 PM
If I remember right back in '72 I had a Trix Pacific and 4 Rapido PRR hvy weight passenger cars. I also had a 0-4-0 with a slope back tender-Rivarossi mfg, Atlas distributor. There were also some various cars.
The Pacific ran well, the 0-4-0 was problematic. Kadee N scale couplers were body mounted on all the equipment.
I sold this stuff about 15 years ago to help fund my RC flying hobby. I kinda wish I still had that Pacific and the passenger cars now as I get back into N scale with a concentration on passenger ops.

December 24th, 2010, 02:27 PM
Although not my first piece in N scale I had a cousin who had a Lone Star F7 in UP and a few cars. I was fascinated! Rubber band drive and all. Forty years later I finally got my hands on a couple. The C&O ones bring good money. The motor runs in mine and I found some replacement rubber band drives but havent got the old girl to move yet on her own. Technically its Treble O.


Flash Blackman
December 24th, 2010, 02:50 PM
Oldrk: That is a "bad" looking engine. Real bad! :thumbs_up: And a classic, too! I do see N scale has made some advances even though there are still those of us who complain.

December 24th, 2010, 02:51 PM
Well, I'm a Big Time Fan of the Delaware and Hudson Railroad. It came about when I discovered my wife's family were railroaders. Her Grandfather was a Brakeman on the D&H, her other two grand uncles were full Engineers with the Erie. Uncle Howard even managed to get photographed in his Erie Berkshire Steam Locomotive in Kalmbach's Steam Cyclopedia. The family always enjoyed listening to Uncle Howard tell us all his wonderful Railroad stories. My interest with the D&H began when we visited my wifes grandmother in Honesdale PA. As we entered the town a Historic Landmark was displayed "Honesdale, Birthplace of American Railroading". As a History buff, that got my curiosity going. Naturally, my first Diesel Engine that I acquired in 1975 was a Con-Cor Delaware and Hudson Alco PA1. Second piece was a Con-Cor 4-6-4 Hudson in D&H colors, even though D&H never had a Hudson, I guess I'll exercise some artistic license here for the sake of "It looks really Cool" and runs very well.

Bill :thumbs_up:

Jim Wiggin
December 24th, 2010, 03:04 PM
What a great thread to read on the day before Christmas. My first N scale piece was in 1986 and was a MT 40' box car lettered for the Pennsylvania RR. I had H.O. since 1976 but was fascinated with the size on N. I then "special ordered" my first N scale locomotive from the gentleman who later taught me how to paint. I was really proud of my Bachman Amtrak F9! I still have it, tucked in a box somewhere next to the MT Pennsy box car. I dabbled in H.O. until my layout was taken down in 1989 then got back into railroading in 1994 with a, yup you guessed it, Little Joe set at Toys-R-Us for $20.00! Haven't looked back since.


December 24th, 2010, 03:31 PM
Here is some more early Lone Star Treble 0 equipment. Really like those old Land Rover pick up trucks and Citroen autos.
Another Lone Star F7.

December 24th, 2010, 05:56 PM
Here is some more early Lone Star Treble 0 equipment. Really like those old Land Rover pick up trucks and Citroen autos.
Another Lone Star F7.
Does the F7 actually run?

December 24th, 2010, 06:05 PM
When I was in highschool I had an english class where the cruel teacher made us read books! I believe the book I read was "Dandelion Wine" There is stuff about a streetcar in the book. If you made a diorama about something in the book you got extra credit and lord knows I neeeded it. So I got a foot square piece of plywood and cut out a notch down the center. I then painted the thing green to look like grass and glued a couple of Atlas cheapy plastic houses on each side. Then I painted the notch in the middle to look like a street. Then I glued a piece of track down to look like a trolley line. Not many streetcar lines have ties on the road but I really wasnt worried about detail. Then I took this old Lone Star coach I bought at a dime store for I think a quarter and glued a piece of rail on the top to look like a trolley pole and then glued it to the track. Maybe took me 15 minutes to do it all. It looked really corney and I was almost too embarresed to turn it in but if it got me to the next grade so be it. I took it to school and turned it in and you would have thought I was Picasso. Not only did I get an A but she kept it to show all the other classes. I still laugh when I think about that. I think I still have the old Lone Star coach around. If I can find it I will post a picture.

December 24th, 2010, 07:29 PM
I think I still have the old Lone Star coach around. If I can find it I will post a picture.
I repainted and added some more detail to all mine and put new trucks under them. They were UP but are now ATSF.

February 15th, 2011, 03:07 PM
Revell Arnold Rapido UP diecast FA-1(?), stored for 40+ years, now resurrected and running fine!

February 15th, 2011, 04:07 PM
Does the F7 actually run?Yup, I get my replacement rubber bands from the hair care department at the drug store. ;)

February 15th, 2011, 04:12 PM
My first item was a Bachman F9 train set, and U28 c minitrix locomotive back in the early 90s. Bachman spectrum dash 8's would follow some years later. Intermodal containers back then had to be painted and decaled. My how the hobby has come a long way since then.

February 15th, 2011, 10:52 PM
I was given a couple of Atlas cars Christmas of 1971. The next day was Sunday and the only loco Sears had was a UP c-liner. I still have it. It never ran worth poop.

John Moore
February 16th, 2011, 10:35 AM
Thought I had posted to this thread but guess I didn't so here goes. Started out in the 50s with some old three rail Lionel then some two rail American Flyer. When I came back from a few years in SE Asia, all expense paid tour courtesy of the USMC, I started out with HO. Late 60s early 70s finally got to N scale with an old 0-4-0 that was probably my first bash. Turned it into a 0-4-2 cab forward pulling a small string of Bmann 65 footers. Think it could manage three of them. Somewhere I actually have a photo of that I'll find someday. Also in my early collection are some ancient PAs, still run, and either a PA unit or a E unit that has the old track slider pads for current pick-up. All still run, except alas the 0-4-2 cab forward is no more.

February 17th, 2011, 07:26 AM
My first N scale gear was the ever-popular Aurora Postage-Stamp train set with the diesel F-unit, 4 or 5 cars plus a caboose. I can't remember the time frame but I'd guess it was around 1972. The next Christmas I got an Atlas/rivarossi 0-4-0 Shifter which I still have in running condition. The Trix F is around but in pieces.

Metro Red Line
February 17th, 2011, 07:44 AM
November 6, 2006 - After spending the past few weeks dismantling my old HO scale layout, I went to House of Hobbies in Burbank, CA and bought these:


Two Athearn boxcars, a piece of Atlas Code 55 flextrack and a piece of N scale cork roadbed. Obviously not enough to run, but enough for me to get acclimated to the size of the trains. The whole point was *transition* and the choice of Athearn was probably not accidental, since I owned many Athearn trains in HO.

As you can see here, I posed my new N scale purchases alongside their HO scale counterparts.

On that day I also got on eBay, an Intermountain SD40T-2 and an Athearn Metrolink F59PHI and three Bombardier Metrolink commuter coaches, but I wouldn't have them until a few days later. I wasted no time getting into this N scale thing! :)

February 17th, 2011, 03:25 PM
This was my first n stock! It's Lone Star from 1959. It is "push-along" and featured ballasted track - eat your heart out Kato! Track was copied from the English "Tri-ang" 00 track of the time. No con-rods on the locos, or anything else really! Mostly British stock - I have a "Mallard" and a "Duchess" plus some passenger cars, in a box .................somewhere!

February 17th, 2011, 04:04 PM
A Union Pacific, Atlas, RS type with a 5 car set of Atlas passenger cars to shove around.

Sorry, no pictures.

February 17th, 2011, 05:34 PM
A Bachmann GP 38 I think I still have the destroyed shell, it's from the early 1990's

Arizona Shortline
February 17th, 2011, 06:22 PM
Minitrix 0-6-0 for me. I still have most of the parts in a box somewhere... :)

February 17th, 2011, 06:39 PM
good ol bachmann long hauler from the 80s! i still have it. detail isnt that bad honestly. seems like i cant find another set like this one with these particular cars.

February 17th, 2011, 06:43 PM
And they got the color correct on the Santa Fe stock car. Everyone else seemed to be fixated on the incorrect green. Blame that on Lionel.

February 18th, 2011, 12:28 PM
A Bachmann train set, which I believe my Dad bought for me at a train show back in 93 or 94, featuring their overrun Santa Fe warbonnet F9. I remember that loco was one hell of a puller, but it got some ballast stuck in the gears which destroyed them, so it got replaced with a Spectrum C40-8W and eventually an Atlas GP7.

February 18th, 2011, 01:03 PM
1972? Rivarossi IHB 0-8-0, still have it and still runs well (with the addition of all wheel tender P/U).

February 18th, 2011, 03:14 PM
Bachmann Yard Boss set in the mid-80s followed by the Bachmann Empire Builder set a few years later. The 0-6-0 from the Yard Boss set is a joke. It just shook itself all around the track.

February 18th, 2011, 04:21 PM
My first N scale locomotive was a trix 0-6-0 that I used as a pacifier. Not kidding. Probably painted with Lead paint, too!

February 18th, 2011, 07:21 PM
aurora postage stamp trains for me too in 68 or 69. mine had a santa fe passenger f9 or f7 and 5 cars. it ran for years. still have it all.
edit.....6 cars!

February 18th, 2011, 08:06 PM
i remember seeing a special Christmas tree layout back when i was 5-6 i think. I wanted a train and dad bought me a American Flyer set with the steam loco and had smoke. And my sister/ Brother in law got me a Army military Lionel set. Had both on a 4X8 layout. Don't remember what happened but it went somewhere when mom and dad broke up. Somewhere in the next couple of years later i got another train set from dad, yep the f7 warbonnet scheme of s.f.r.r. I wore it out till it just died. That poor Lionel just run the wheels right off!! Go forward to about 1965 and I got a German train set and cars and a road race set in ho( my first and last.) Also got a road race set to go with it and got the board and all! Don't remember what happened but sis and charlie had to move somewhere, can't remember and took the layout and had me come to where they had moved to, but they had a hurricane and the layout got destroyed. Fast forward to 1970. I saw a N scale train set made by Bachmann for i think about $15.00. Had the diesel i think was a f-7? B&O rr. I run the wheels off it! I mounted it to a small hardboard and had cork roadbed and power lines and a station.Used Saw dust and it looked like weeds that were about 4-5 scale feet tall!! Again i don't remember what happened to it but that was the way things went. Zoom to about two years ago and bought a Little Joe Tank car set like ones i have seen here on this thread. Its been up and down and learn from mistakes and now am working on a layout for sometime next year. But, Bought me a another Bachmann train set called the frontiersman set. It has the 4-4-0 engine that i could care less about but the cars are perfect for the up coming layout. I can run the Shays and cars on a oval of track till i can start the new layout. Not sure how good a runner that loco is but may try and kit bash something needed on the new layout...
Loved this thread..Keep it alive!:thumbs_up:

February 18th, 2011, 09:15 PM
Minitrix U 30C for me. It was painted an awful BN green. It was almost a Weyco drab green. I sent it to my dads cousin in Yakima and had his paint it in NP. I ran the wheels off of it for about 20 years. I regretfully sold it about 5-6 years ago at our UNW show in Monroe. I didn't even want to sell it but the guy kept pestering me and made me an offer I could not refuse.

Kevin Anderson
February 18th, 2011, 09:23 PM
Mine was a box of old stuff I inherited from my dad in 1995. My first purchase was a lifelike sd9. I use it for demonstration only since I prefer ho.:):tb-biggrin:d

February 19th, 2011, 12:21 AM
I just love reading this thread. Gives me the warm fuzzies. Whoever started it is a genius. Oh, yah, that was me!

February 27th, 2011, 02:01 PM

There she is. the first loco I picked up, an Atlas D&RGW SD-7. I think I picked 'er up around 1993 or 1994 along with an Atlas D&RGW EV caboose. I modeled in HO for awhile before that, but going off to college meant I wouldn't have room for that. Once I saw how nice she ran I had no reservations about switching to N scale. Since I haven't had room for a layout at all since I abruptly moved in 2008 she's been sitting in her plastic jewel box along with all my other locos patiently waiting. She's not much of a display case kinda girl so I still plan to use her on the next layout as the yard switcher and to run locals between the main yard and surrounding industries. Eventually the planned upgrade to DCC goes through she'll get a decoder with some new golden-white LEDs for headlights, and perhaps a bit of weathering, given her age. =)

February 27th, 2011, 09:04 PM
My first train set I got for Christmas at the age of 8 was a bachmann HO scale set, it was the CP version of this set (if I remember correctly) -> http://www.ho-scaletrains.net/bachmannhoscaletrainsets/id55.html

My first N scale loco I bought was a Kato CP AC4400CW around 2007 at the not so age of 8 :).

Kenneth L. Anthony
February 28th, 2011, 09:10 PM
Arnold Rapido New York Central FA in the mountains of Colorado (2x4 foot layout).

March 1st, 2011, 12:37 PM
In 2009 I picked up a Bachmann set with the 4-4-0 (this one is my little girls). Next was the Empire Builder with a 4-8-4. Then the Acela box. Here is how that went:


March 1st, 2011, 08:51 PM
For me, it was a Life-Like GP38-2 which I always thought was ugly, but that is mostly because CN Zebra stripes really don't agree with me. It's also because the Spartan cab roof never really did it for me: I like curves. First generation geeps and Alcos are much more appealing. The GP38 has long since died, however, meaning I'm not sure what I can now count as my first piece of N scale gear at the moment.

March 1st, 2011, 09:34 PM
It was an Atlas FA-1 in Erie Lackawanna colors from Walteria Toy & Hobby in the Autumn of 1980. That was when I switched from HO to N and joined the Belmont Shore club. I later traded that engine to Wayne Lawson and he used the mechanism to power a doodlebug.


March 3rd, 2011, 03:38 PM
Arnold Rapido New York Central FA in the mountains of Colorado (2x4 foot layout).

Tell us a little more about your layout. :tb-ooh: