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Greetings from Portland, Oregon!

My wife and I moved here last year, and I thought it would be nice to have a model train under our first Christmas tree.

And so it began…

I chose “O Gauge” because it would not vanish under the tree. We chose “Lionel” because we had heard the name somewhere. We bought a Ready to Run set called “Polar Express” We had fun!!

Well, I have the model train bug now!

I need help. I hope I’ve come to the right place. Looking forward to getting to know you all. I’m sure you’ll have answers to my  Newbie questions.

Finding my way around the forum, I hope this is/was the right place to start posting.

Peter,

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Welcome to the greatest hobby in the world!

The forum is a wonderful and helpful place for newcomers, both for asking questions as well as the wealth of knowledge available via the search function. Although O gauge railroading is a relatively small hobby, it is also a big place with lots of ways to approach it. There's the classic "traditional"-scale O gauge trains and layouts that run on O36 curve (like your ready to run Polar Express), full-size 1:48 scale engines and rolling stock (many of which require larger curves to operate), highly detailed brass locomotives and cars, 2-Rail Scale engines and rolling stock, and more. Whether it's the time-honored tradition of train sets under the Christmas tree, industrial switching operation layouts, basement-sized 1:48 scale setups, or even the occasional garden layout, there's room for every layout under O gauge roof. Find what suits you and build away! Your railroad, your rules!

Feel free to browse the threads for photos and videos to inspire your dream layout. YouTube is also a great source of inspiration or just watching trains run while you design your permanent set.

Welcome once again to the greatest hobby in the world!

@Ford Anglia posted:

Very well done! Good to see you bring some "high tech" to your modeling. Big fan of ADAFruit and Arduino modules.

BTW, Portland is the wettest place I've lived - we like it here! Perfect for basement hibernation and scale modeling (not to forget running trains)

Our first winter brought a couple of power outages last month (22h, then 13h two days later)

Arriving from sunny California we don't own a snow shovel (or back up generator)  Yet...

To be perfectly honest, I put the lightning and thunderstorm simulation together after I first heard about the BLI Lightning & Thunder set, which at the time was out of stock and unavailable anywhere. It has since been resupplied, and I recently bought one and swapped out my homebrew alternative, which, while being technically a better simulation, IMHO is less suited for layout-sized installation (the ADAfruit strips, while IMHO giving a technically more realistic flash, even when doubled up are not nearly as bright as the LED strips in the BLI set).

Last edited by OGR CEO-PUBLISHER
@Ford Anglia posted:

.......I thought it would be nice to have a model train under our first Christmas tree.
And so it began…
Well, I have the model train bug now!
Peter,

It's good to have you here, Peter.

Three years ago, I found a copy of Train Collectors Quarterly in my chiropractor's office. I read that and got a book on the history of Lionel. Soon after that I bought one Lionel box car and a single piece of 3-rail track "just to get it out of my system," as I told my wife.

But the train bug caused my lonely box car to multiply. Buying that first train is dangerous!

@Ford Anglia posted:


...I just had a great toy train unboxing - picked up this at last week's Swapmeet in Eugene, OR.

Peter,

Peter,

I got "Image Not Found."

Maybe the photo just didn't upload. Or check out these topics:

Posting pictures from your computer
https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/topic/4245430021234692

How to EMBED a YouTube Video Here
https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...c/149239177396818984

John

Three years ago, I found a copy of Train Collectors Quarterly in my chiropractor's office. I read that and got a book on the history of Lionel. Soon after that I bought one Lionel box car and a single piece of 3-rail track "just to get it out of my system," as I told my wife.

Big grin here reading your story!! After Christmas we picked up the RTR sets (Yes, there was more than one by NYE...) off the hardwood floor and took them to the basement for safe keeping (and easy access)

Since then my "virtual O Scale Layout" lives in my head. Going forwards it will materialize!

Right now it's easier to make major mods in virtual mode. I'm learning so much by hands-on with the first few items, and reading the excellent posts here.

To satisfy my craving I have a few bits on the dining room table. We had a blast at the Train Show and swapmeet in Eugene, OR, last week. I'm still opening orange boxes, exploring what's inside.

As for your lonely box car story, mine was a Lionel CupolaCam Caboose. That went back to Lionel for repair and a month later was returned (still DOA) I will post about this unfortunate experience later.

Peter,

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😂 The guys just saw this and recalled putting a single small loop of O gauge in the barn because it sounded like fun…then a shed to hold more track…then an elevated wooden building because their newer trains needed 072, and now they need more than that 12x16 because there’s an amusement park on hold for lack of space, but the shop needs a new roof anyhow so they might as well build an upstairs…I figure my gobs of acrylic yarn can jam in about anywhere. After all, they’re supposed to put up with weather. Trains need proper housing and climate control.

One hint I’d give is to think about making your layout modular in case you have to move or, if you have a lot of room, you can’t resist another feature or two…three…four…uh, whatever! It’s easier to swap out or move modules than to tear down and rebuild.

Last edited by OGR CEO-PUBLISHER

One hint I’d give is to think about making your layout modular in case you have to move or, if you have a lot of room, you can’t resist another feature or two…three…four…uh, whatever! It’s easier to swap out or move modules than to tear down and rebuild.

I'm on board with that idea! I don't want to attach to the basement walls (aiming for a location in the finished part of the space) Modular would be a good idea, too. I noticed that club layouts are often modular (allowing new members to contribute, and clubs to go out on the road for publicity)

Peter,



ETA: Just remembered your generator question. We have a Jackery battery box that charges from outlet power or our solar panels. This one is small, but doesn’t need to run the whole house for days. Most of our outages are a few hours. If anything might take out both electricity and gas where you are, you might want to look into one of these even if you do go with a whole house set because they’re silent, relatively inexpensive and we’ve found ours reliable.

I looked at "Solar Generators" (they don't actually generate - they store electricity) and hit two snags;

We don't see the sun much in Oregon. And, we may need to cover multiple days without power.

I thought about a car battery and inverter to power my aquarium. (Sadly, with 22h of outage we lost half the fish to cold) Again, a 200W heater (assuming its always on to heat the aquarium during an outage) would only run ten hours via a car battery (assume 100Ah) and inverter (assume 85% efficient)

For the same cost as the Jackery or Bluette units (2kWh) you can buy a reliable 2200W HONDA generator. But the 0.97L petrol tank is only good for 5h (optimistically at 25% loading)

This was all that I thought about shivering under the bed covers. Luckily that we had external cell batteries and cell coverage for internet browsing!

A local friend has rewired his Service Panel to put the *must stay on* branches on a 12V to AC inverter that runs from his vehicle. Smart!

Welcome to Oregon...

Peter,

Last edited by Ford Anglia

Guys....This forum is NOT about weather and climate reports, power outages, or real automobile discussions.  Those posts were deleted.  While you may want to "chit chat" about all of that kind of stuff, please do so via your profile emails or PM since we provide that for you to use for such more personal non-train related conversation.

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