N-scale modeler from Los Angeles!

LA Metro Dec 2, 2017

  1. LA Metro

    LA Metro TrainBoard Member

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    Hey guys! I've finally signed up here since re-entering the hobby just over a year ago. I usually hang out at an N-scale specific site under the screename "Metrolink" (that name is already taken here). A brief history:

    • 7th grade: Got a cheap Tyco train set for Xmas. Bought a few issues of Model Railroader, some Flextrack, cork roadbed, and a sheet of 4' x 8' plywood—never built a thing.
    • Early 20s: Bought some Athearn SP bloody-nose GP35s in H0, and enough Atlas sectional track to build a small oval. Had severe conductivity issues and had no idea how to make scenery. Gave up.
    • Late 30s: Bought some H0-scale Kato Unitrack and Faller roadways from a local hobby shop. Lived in an apartment. Ran my old Athearn GP35s and my mis-matched collection of Athearn rolling stock on the carpet a few times. Still no scenery. Gave up.
    • Spring, 2016: Had some severe medical issues and spent a lot of time in bed for most of 2016, so I started buying prototype airliner and train books to read—I then I realized I wanted to play with trains again. I made the decision to go N-scale this time, and I bought over 10 used SP bloody-nose Atlas GP35s on eBay that night.

    So currently, just over a year back into the hobby, I've accumulated over 50 Kato, Atlas, InterMountain, and Fox Valley Models' diesel locos, mostly GP- and SD-series (and a few Dash-8 Kodachromes) in mostly the Southern Pacific roadname. I also recently acquired over 30 new BLMA 31K crude-oil tank cars with body-mounted couplers, plus tons of bi-level Kato Nippon Sharyo commuter cars and Athearn Bombardiers in Metrolink, Caltrain, and Chicago Metra roadnames. My premium layout queen will be my 25-car FedEx spine-car unit-train.

    And finally, scenery! With Scenic Express' 20%-off Black Friday sales, I've acquired nearly enough scenic materials to build a 1:1 railroad! Scenery is my favorite part of model railroading, and is what likely stopped me from enjoying the hobby decades ago.

    I'm slowly building a 12' x 13' modern N-scale layout in my garage, based loosely in the mid 1990s, with two Kato Unitrack double-track continuous loops, and a 3' x 9' future yard-extension. After obsessing over previous hobbies (e.g., synthesizers, guitar amps, photo equipment, etc.), I've now re-discovered what will become my lifelong passion—model railroading! Looking forward to discussing and learning among a new group of hobbyists here!
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2017
  2. LA Metro

    LA Metro TrainBoard Member

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    Though far from complete, here's a few of my favorite layout photos so far:

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    Last edited: Dec 2, 2017
  3. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    Hi LA Metro, welcome, happy to have you on board. Nice set of photos. It'll be fun watching your layout progress.
     
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  4. LA Metro

    LA Metro TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks for the warm welcome and kind words, Hytec!
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2017
  5. Ironhorseman

    Ironhorseman Staff Member

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    Looks like you have a good 'jump' on your layout and scenery.
    We always like to see photos of progress. You can post them over at:
    Weekly and Special Threads
    Model Weekend Photo Fun, and get some good ideas there too.
    Yes ... welcome aboard! :)
     
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  6. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

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    Welcome to Trainboard, if you're modeling the SP in N, you'll need SD9's, GP9's and SW1500's.....
     
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  7. JimJ

    JimJ Staff Member

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    Nice background story and photos. Sounds as if you’re full speed ahead now. I look forward to seeing your progress.
     
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  8. Eagle2

    Eagle2 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Great that you finally took the plunge. The shot of the Metra cars certainly captures the effect of parts of the El that I've seen. Welcome aboard!
     
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  9. LA Metro

    LA Metro TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks for the warm welcome guys! I really like this board's software and UI. Looks like I have a new forum goof off on!
     
  10. LA Metro

    LA Metro TrainBoard Member

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    Hi Bremner! I'm modeling the mid-1990s (I think the GP9/SD9s are bit too early?), so I plan on getting a ton of SD40T-2 tunnel-motors when InterMountain releases their bloody-nose SP versions in 2018. I have a pile of Fox Valley Models' GP60s. But, yes, I do plan on getting an SP SW1500 switcher as soon as MicroTrains starts shipping their new run. The bulk of my freight-power consists of:

    • GP35/38s
    • GP60s
    • SD40/45/40T-2s
    • AC4400
     
  11. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

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    I remember the SD9R's and GP9R's pulling locals, and the SD7R's switching Colton. They liked to use SD39's in Delores and tunnels were EVERY WHERE on mains. The GP35E's were the main local power in Arizona.

    I remember when the AC4400CW's came in and bumped the Tunnels down to helpers, that was right after to delivery of the GP40-2M's and the SD40-2M's that used any SD40/45 car body possible.

    I wish that I would have been smart enough to have shot the old EMD's as a kid.
     
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  12. LA Metro

    LA Metro TrainBoard Member

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    I have Morning Sun Books' Southern Pacific in Color, volumes 4 and 5, plus Southern Pacific Power in Color (switchers) as my primary prototype references.
     
  13. fitz

    fitz Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Welcome aboard, LA Metro. I hope you have fully recovered from the medical problems of 2016. Your layout photography is excellent. Please keep us informed as things progress.
     
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  14. LA Metro

    LA Metro TrainBoard Member

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    Thank for the kind words, fitz! I'm running at about 90% and finally back at work after a 16-month absence. 2016 was pretty much the worst year of my life, but it's also the year I re-discovered model railroading, and realized how much I've always wanted to return to the hobby. Previously, I lacked both the knowledge and the means. Now that I have the means, and forums, books and magazines to acquire the knowledge, I'm really beginning to enjoy the hobby this time around.
     
  15. J911

    J911 TrainBoard Member

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    Welcome to the board! Although Ho scale hope you visit us at the Pasadena Model Railroad Club home of the Sierra Pacific lines. We are one of the oldest and largest Ho model railroads in the world and we are located in Lala land.

    Sent from my SM-G920P using Tapatalk
     
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  16. LA Metro

    LA Metro TrainBoard Member

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    Thank you for the invite! Yes, I've been meaning to visit your club ever since I got back into the hobby! Hope to see you soon!
     
  17. wpsnts

    wpsnts TrainBoard Supporter

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    Check out East Valley Lines at Griffith Park. It’s a very large N layout. They have been working on a new layout for the past several years. I was a member for more than ten years. I lived near Santa Barbara at the time and made the trek at least two times a month. It was great therapy to get me through cancer. I now live in Missouri and miss EVL. Post pictures if you can. I’m curious to see the new layout.
    Belmont Shores near San Pedro is als
    Welcome to TrainBoard
     
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  18. WFOJeff

    WFOJeff TrainBoard Supporter

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    Welcome Aboard LA Metro, thanks for the sample pics- nice.
    Sounds like an exciting plan you have.
    When I first started back about a year ago I tried to have a definite timeline for my N layout but over time lots of things I picked up along the way skewed the original plan. Now my main objective is to just complete the layout and enjoy a maybe so prototypical layout.
     
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  19. in2tech

    in2tech TrainBoard Member

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    LAMetro, welcome to the forums and your photo's look awesome. Keep us up to date, maybe make a thread in the appropriate category that you can occasionally update for us. Stay well and heathy too :) And most of all have fun!
     
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