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  • Electric Trains

    So my parents bought an Lionel electric train set for my two boys for Christmas. It's a lot of coin to drop on two toddlers who would do nothing short of destroy it the minute I left them alone with it.

    It's the Lionel Pennsylvania Flyer which is a nice starter set. It's an O gauge set as well. I figure I may eventually add onto it, but outside of attaching rolling stock, and getting the FasTrack to lengthen the line, I know diddly about electric trains. Anyone have any pointers?

    All I know is this looks to be one freaking expensive hobby if you start getting carried away.
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  • #2
    I don't but love the idea, I had a scalextric as a kid and had visions of a big track loads of tunnels bridges ect and a full stadium built around it grass, trees, people a real miniature world, I'd like to see some pics when set up

    Sent from my MI 5 using Tapatalk

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    • #3
      I ended up putting our Lionel away and picking up the Thomas Track Masters tracks for my 2 year old. He gets to play trains, I get to play trains, and best part is it's just cheap plastic so I don't care if he goes all Godzilla on it =)

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      • #4
        Got to say, this hobby is more expensive than golf if you let it! Each 10" of straight track costs $5, and if you throw in a switch it adds anywhere from $50 (for a manual) to $100 (for electronic). Power supplies can run you a few hundred, and a die-cast train can run you upwards of $2000, and that's not including the rolling track the engine will pull. Not sure if my kids will take to this hobby or not, so I'm going to build a small double loop track (small is 7' by 7') table that I can lower from the ceiling of my workshop (so it doesn't get in the way of daily activities) and just run the one train that my parents bought for Christmas. If it's a hit, maybe I'll build a shed and run electricity out to it to run a larger layout ... but I'll have to not only teach myself some electrical work, but start hitting the train shows because I'm not paying full price for these trains!
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        • #5
          My oldest son absolutely loves trains right now. I am afraid I will have to get into this hobby.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by DB86 View Post
            My oldest son absolutely loves trains right now. I am afraid I will have to get into this hobby.
            Yeah I did a bit more looking around today. There look to be ways to do it a bit cheaper ... using trolley's (bump-n-go's on short stretches of closed track) and hand-cars, and if you look around on eBay you can find some engines for good prices. Right now, I think I'm going to do an under the Christmas tree display, using a Christmas trolley and some FasTrack. Should get the whole setup for under $100 by shopping around. Then we can transfer it to the table that we'll set up the Pennsylvania Flyer so we have to operational tracks together.
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            • #7
              Originally posted by deuce View Post
              Yeah I did a bit more looking around today. There look to be ways to do it a bit cheaper ... using trolley's (bump-n-go's on short stretches of closed track) and hand-cars, and if you look around on eBay you can find some engines for good prices. Right now, I think I'm going to do an under the Christmas tree display, using a Christmas trolley and some FasTrack. Should get the whole setup for under $100 by shopping around. Then we can transfer it to the table that we'll set up the Pennsylvania Flyer so we have to operational tracks together.
              Thanks for the info. You’ll have to keep us updated.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by DB86 View Post
                Thanks for the info. You’ll have to keep us updated.
                I will. I figure if the kids don't take to these trains (the oldest LOVES his wooden train set) ... I'll have another expensive hobby to keep up with along with golf!
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                • #9
                  Picked up a trolley. I figure I'll run this under the tree for Christmas and then make a trolley run on the final layout. When it hits an obstruction (like a bumper) it reverses direction.

                  I hate Tapatalk
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                  • #10
                    Not only do you need to be a millionaire to get into this hobby, you need a degree in electrical engineering. A few YouTube videos later though and I wired up myself a track. A Dremel tool comes in handy too.
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                    • #11
                      And now I grabbed one of these for cheap ($20).

                      I figure with two little kids, if these get destroyed, it's much easier to replace them (or forget about them) than it is a diesel that can cost up to $2000.

                      I've been thinking about how I was going to design the setup, and a lot of people pick something realistic. It just so happens that Florence, SC houses one of the divisions of CSX, and the "Juice Train" runs through Florence as well. So a CSX diesel and a few Tropicana refrigerated box cars are in my future!
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                      • #12
                        Just about done building the train table. Need to paint (dark grey or black) and screw down the OSB board. The smaller table is for the transformers to run the setup.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by deuce View Post
                          Just about done building the train table. Need to paint (dark grey or black) and screw down the OSB board. The smaller table is for the transformers to run the setup.

                          I hate Tapatalk
                          Looking like a good start! My dad had a huge N gauge track setup when I was a kid with rivers, bridges, mountains, and such. I've always wanted to get into it but I have too many hobbies and not enough time. Maybe someday.
                          WITB for the 2017 season:
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                          • #14
                            Table complete. Child happy. Just one loop for now. I'll add the wiring and a second full loop soon.
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                            • #15
                              I just saw this thread. I have a bunch of these trains and really enjoy them. My nieces and nephew come over and we have a great time playing with them.
                              The O Gauge Railroading Online Forum is a terrific resource on model trains. The folks on the forum are incredibly knowledgeable and always willing to answer questions although you may get conflicting answers from time to time. The site includes a For Sale forum where you can pick up some nice stuff including track at far less than retail prices. The forum is free to join and you need to be a member to post. Introduce yourself and post a picture of that cute little guy and the members will fall all over themselves offering advice.
                              The initial investment to get into this hobby is kind of a shock. Once you get started you can add a little bit a time and build a fun and interesting layout without breaking the bank. Beware it can get addictive (like golf).

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