Apr 30, 2012
2005 C6 1SB
Our oldest daughter and her husband adopted a brother and sister this summer. The young lad is up to his ears in trains, reading everything he gets his hands on. He sees a picture and can usually spout off some info. We are thinking of some old Lionel stuff as a Christmas gift. I have a lot to learn and the first thing is the various gauges used. "N" seems to be common on e-bay. What others are we going to run into? Steamer might just know a thing or two. ;)
Keith, welcome to the world of trains! If it was me I would stay away from N gauge as it's expensive stuff to buy and very fiddly when it comes to repairing it. On the other hand you can get HO just about everywhere. Check your local Craigslist or Kijiji under ho and you'll be swamp with how much used stuff is available. List of gauges available,
Z, N, HO, O, standard, and G.
I'll put in my vote for H.O. as well.
As mentioned, N is too fiddly and expensive.
Lionel and Marx O scale are quite collectible, but it takes a lot of space to make an interesting layout. As the old fellows fade away... their collectability may also fade away a bit.

H.O. is readily available new and used and easy to work on, detail etc.
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Thanks guys. When I was a kid, neighbours had a basic Lionel train set, with an oval track that they let us use. Their kids were grown up. The engine weighed like a brick and the transformer/controller was heavy too. I made a figure eight track using books to build up the grade for a figure eight setup and my book bridge. I wouldn't mind having that old set today. It would be a great starter set for our engineer Grandson. We'll find something. A friend is giving me a Tyco HO setup. That too might be just fine for the young lad. Thanks again guys.
Your in time for Xmas... I recommend HO as well. Build a 3' circle of track on some plywood for under the christmas tree. This will allow the little tyke( and yourself!) to play and see if that is the size that can grow into something more permanent. Next stop 4' x 8'....
Whoot. Whoot!
I can see where this train hobby, like the car hobby, can be a bit of a disease that just grows and grows. There are some setups with asking prices $8K+ on e-bay. The old rare stuff can be pretty pricey. We'll see. Thanks for all the info.
I was just given a old H-O set with about 60 pieces of track, a couple of locomotives, lots of railway cars and the controllers. A new set, with all this added to it, should make quite a setup. I just picked up a DVD set at Costco with many hours of train stuff. I think the lad is going to do just fine this Christmas.
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