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Hi to all - this is my first post so if not done quite right please let me know.  If there is a resource or video explaining posting to the forum please let me know.  I read the rules but could not find a tutorial.

I am fairly new to O railroading.  Had been in HO (and for a while N) since I was a kid in the early 1960's.  Last year I was on Ebay and noticed the prices used O was going for and realized it was on longer out of reach for me.  Now that new detailed HO Steam Locos are $400+ saw a great opportunity to make the switch over.  I had always admired O from afar, but when I could buy new Athearn Blue Boxes in the 1990's for $4 the Price of a Weaver Ultra Line Freight car at $30 seemed like a real stretch.  BTW I like Prototypical Proportions, (HO Roots).

Anyhow we have established I'm cheap and not afraid to admit it.  So my question.  The Williams Loco I mentioned (Come in brown corrugated boxes) seem to be the cheapest Brass O locos out there.  I realize they are not equivalent to a new $1500 3rd rail Version but do they operate, OK?  I have bought a few of the later (1988 to 1999 I guess), Williams Brass (in the printed boxes, fit over a molded EPS 2 piece box).  Loco packed in an old style ice cooler. LOL  Too my failing eyes they are magnificent.  I feel disloyal to Athearn, but they left me pricewise, I didn't leave them!

Anyhow any insight from you seasoned veterans, would be greatly appreciated.  On anything I have asked about.  Thank you to all who may reply!!     

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Welcome!  Are you doing O scale in 2 rail or 3 rail?  I came from HO and N myself and live in both worlds depending on what road names I am modeling and where I operated my trains.

The original Williams Hudsons are hit and miss.  Some are good runners and others have issues.  This is true for a lot of the early Williams / Samhongsa brass steam locomotives.  They got better every year though.  While I don't have this specific locomotive, others on this forum have commented on the challenges with the early Hudson.  Personally, I have ten of the Williams brass steam locomotives (all three rail) and 5 are great runners, 2 are average runners, and 3 need some work.  They are well priced and can be detailed to make very nice locomotives.  I have been keeping my eyes open for a few 2 rail ones that I can strip and modify for my collection.

I still have tons of Athearn Bluebox kits in the same roads I model in O. 

I started in 3 rail, but for my personal modeling, the 2 rail bug got to me.  I model roughly 1953-1960 CNJ & PRR in 2 rail while I model everything else in 3 rail.  I am a self admitted snob on my 2 rail collection, but less so on 3 rail.  I collect western roads and Amtrak in 3 rail as my local 3 rail club is western themed or Amtrak.  I have over 150 scale passenger cars of which about 35 or so are K-Line.  Nice cars.  Most of my cars are Golden Gate Depot.  All correct scale length based on the prototype. 

I also have an affinity for vintage trains and have a reasonable collection of All Nation, Walthers, and Athearn O cars.  O scale is a very interesting space because it is so broad.  You have your scale enthusiasts like myself, some amazing hi-rail 3 rail modelers, those who collect and operate tin-plate, and finally the very loyal traditional O gauge Lionel style trains.  There are not any wrong answers, just a lot of opportunities to enjoy this scale.  I made my switch into O at about age 32.  I started in HO at 7 so I still have more HO years than O behind me, but I love this scale.  Great people, great models, and lots of fun!

Thanks Norton for your insight

Thanks Jonathan for the additional information.

This isn't Ebay so I guess it is OK to say I live in Poughkeepsie, NY, so have to have NY Central trains, that's why I need to get a Hudson of some type.  I actually bought a K-Line ESE 15" set but nothing to pull it with.  When I started I thought no 15" they are too toy like, but then when I started looking at the price of the 21" sets decided they would do for now!  Really like the 18" length best, K-Line skipped that length with the ESE.  Again from starring at Athearns as a kid, as you know there cars were modeled on 72' cars so O gage means 18".  My criteria is Transition period, because love Streamlined cars but also Main Line Steam.  My life was changed in the mid 1990's when I watched Milw 261 roll by pulling 21 private railcars up a grade at 50 mph.  Diesel Rail fanning has just never been the same since!  The midsize Steam locos most museums use just ain't the same.

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