"Skool" A "Noob"

GlockFoTay Feb 3, 2006

  1. GlockFoTay

    GlockFoTay New Member

    Hello Train Board Members!

    I'm a new member and just getting into model train building. I don't know very much about it, so "skool" me! What do I need to know to get started? What do I need to know about train kits?

    Thanks in advance for all the advice! :D
  2. John Barnhill

    John Barnhill TrainBoard Member

    Howdy! Welcome Aboard!!!!

    A question or two first. Have you bought any equipment yet or even decided on a scale to model?? Do you have a favorite road? A favortie era such as steam or diesel? Or maybe a time frame, the 50's or modern, etc? What catches your eye as far as what type of trains are you interested in running?? Intermodal, passenger stuff, maybe coal trains???

    Anyhow, feel free to jump in and share with us and ask some questions. Tons of great folks here with a huge variety of interests and experience levels.

    :D :D

    [ February 03, 2006, 12:01 AM: Message edited by: John Barnhill ]
  3. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Welcome To TrainBoard!

    Hmm. Let's see. Good advice? Read books and magazines. Ask questions. Explore the possibilities by visiting shops, and train shows. See if you can find a local club, and look at what they're doing. Above all, don't rush into buying and building.

    Do you have a scale in mind? Room to build? A prototype? Or wish to freelance? There's one thing about model railroading- The possibilities for what you can do are endless!


    Boxcab E50
  4. GlockFoTay

    GlockFoTay New Member

    I really don't have any equiptment yet. I use to build a lot of airplanes and tanks, so I still have some stuff from that. An Uncle of mine was into doing brass train models, so I was thinking of getting into those, it would be sort of a family affair. :D

    I was looking at some various models by various manufactures online and I really don't understand what all the numbers and letters stand for. Is there some kind of code? Is there another post that explains what all these numbers/letters mean in their advirtisments?

    For Example: Overland Models, BNO, P-1D, 4-6-2
  5. traingeekboy

    traingeekboy TrainBoard Member

    Those numbers are simple.It means how many wheels are there in each grouping of wheels on a steam engine. the easiest way to describe it is like this:

    4-6-2 looks like this ooOOOo in real life. It's a pacific class engine. four little wheels on the leading truck, six big drivers three to a side, and two trailing wheels on the back. The number does not include the tender wheels.
    2-8-2 is a mikado or oOOOOo
    I hope that helps.
  6. Eagle2

    Eagle2 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter


    The "BNO" may be a misprint for "B&O," the old Baltimore and Ohio railway. P-1D may be a class designation for that type of loco by the B&O, but I know nothing about the B&O, so that's just a guess on my part. A class designation would be like a suffix on an airplanes designation: it would indicate differences between groups of similar locomotives, much like the -100 or -200 on Boeing jetliners or the alphabetic suffix (A, B, etc) on military aircraft.

    Is there any way you can ask some more specific questions? One of the strengths of this hobby is its breadth, but that very strength can make it hard to provide useful information sometimes.

    As far as brass goes, that would largely depend on your financial abilities. A lot of the modell RR brass has become collectible, with a corresponding increase in the market price. While there are a lot of opinions on what this means, I'll just say it means the stuff is pricey.

    Anyway, welcome aboard, and I'm sure you'll find that the folks here are very helpful and collectively have an amazing base of knowledge for you to tap into. Enjoy!
  7. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Probably BNO is an error. Should be B&O. For the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company.

    P1D would be a classification number the B&O assigned to that series of locomotives. This would not apply to wheel arrangements of other companies. Only B&O.


    Boxcab E50
  8. Fotheringill

    Fotheringill Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter


    The first thing you need to decide is scale, which might very well be dependent on your available space. Please ask all the questions you wish at Trainboard.
  9. Powersteamguy1790

    Powersteamguy1790 Permanently dispatched

    Welcome to Trainboard. [​IMG]

    All the advice given above covers the topic.

    Stay cool and run steam.... [​IMG] :cool: :cool:
  10. watash

    watash Passed away March 7, 2010 TrainBoard Supporter In Memoriam

    Welcome to the TrainBoard Glock!
  11. OC Engineer JD

    OC Engineer JD Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Welcome to Trainboard! You should be able to have any and all your questions answered here! :D
  12. Bookbear1

    Bookbear1 TrainBoard Supporter

    Welcome, Glock. [​IMG] What the others have said is true... feel free to ask questions, people here are friendly and willing to share information.

    I would echo Fotheringill...choose a scale first. Most road names are available in HO and N scales, and a large variety of structures and scenery items, less in Z scale. On the other hand, you can get a lot more in the same space with Z than you can with N or HO. How much space do you have to work with? Once you have a scale in mind, then you can look at various roads and eras to model.
  13. GlockFoTay

    GlockFoTay New Member

    Thanks for all the great advice guys! I really apreciate it!

    Well after seeing what you guys have said and looking at other sources, I think I'm going to go with HO scale brass models. How much do these usaually cost for the loco, cars, and caboose?
  14. Colonel

    Colonel Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter


    Until you decide you like this hobby I would recommend you buy plastic models first.

    what do you want out of the hobby, do you like running long trains, short trains etc?
  15. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom TrainBoard Member


    Brass models are usually pretty expensive. $500 for an unpainted HO brass steam engine is typical.

    I think it's probably a better idea for you to get your feet wet by getting some (relatively) inexpensive plastic-shell engines made by reputable brands such as Atlas, Athearn, Proto 2000, Spectrum, etc.

    If I was in your shoes (i.e. beginner looking to get your feet wet), I'd look for an inexpensive, good-quality plastic engine like the Proto 2000 Alco S1. ( (Here's my thread on my experience with the P2K S1's).

    Good luck!

    (Edit to add: Oops, Paul beat me to it LOL)
  16. traingeekboy

    traingeekboy TrainBoard Member

    Glock... Are you yanking our chain a little?
  17. Triplex

    Triplex TrainBoard Member

    In the 60s, if you wanted good engines, you bought brass... now it costs $500-1000 US per engine. Few people have all-brass rosters. You can get quality plastic engines now.
  18. watash

    watash Passed away March 7, 2010 TrainBoard Supporter In Memoriam

    Glock, here is a link to a common Brass HO Steam Engine. You can scroll down the listing to see others.

    This particular Seller deals with only Brass engines and rolling stock. There are others.

    If you get an account on eBay, DO read and FOLLOW their RULES!

    Ask the dealer questions, make sure the item is to your liking, and make sure he will sell over seas to you. Some do not sell outside the USA.

    Once you place a bid on an item there, YOU ARE LEGALLY COMMITTED TO BUY IT IF YOU BECOME THE HIGH BIDDER !

    I have seen some HO engines that the winning bidder paid $4,000.00 US for it plus shipping and insurance. But if it is what you want, then all you have to do is provide instant cash, and you get instant service.


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