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HO Scale Electric Trains

Posted: 02 Dec 2015 06:16
by abisel
Is anybody playing with HO scale electric trains?

I dug out my old (circa 1960) Marklin HO scale trains last year and got the bug again. I went out to ebay and bought a digital starter set that had a non-functional locomotive that I repaired, restored an old locomotive to like new, fixed up other locomotives, cleaned the rolling stock and upgraded another locomotive to digital control. Now I'm playing around with getting newer track and stuff to make a layout on a 5x10 sheet of plywood attached to folding legs of a ping pong table. Just about as expensive as restoring an old 510.

some pics:
Restored 1960 vintage locomotive:
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The digital starter set:
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Proposed track layout and power plan:
layout power.jpg
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Lets see what trains you guys have.

Re: HO Scale Electric Trains

Posted: 02 Dec 2015 07:19
by defdes
My bro and dad were into HO, they each had a set 4' x 8' layout (my bro's folded up onto his bed room wall).
That layout looks great, not a lot of room for buildings and scenery though!

Re: HO Scale Electric Trains

Posted: 02 Dec 2015 09:20
by Byron510
5X10 - love it!

That Big Boy unit is extremely day! It's great that a Union Pacific unit is currently being restored, that will be awesome to see running down the tracks one day in the future.
I have a slightly larger scale version of the F7 A/B unit - more later.

I have always loved steam engines. Most kids do, but my fondness never waned. As a kid (age 4) I can remember a museum train coming down the KVR - where I lived at the time - from Princeton to Summerland. We lived on that line in the Princeton Subdivision, between the Jura and Erris stations.

At that point, the line actually traverses to top of the valley. We had a farm in the bottom of the valley, I can still clearly remember the steam engine moving through the tree tops. Dad threw us all in the 510 and it was a race to catch up with the train and we caught it at a crossing just past Chain Lk. It was one of those child hood adventures that I won't ever forget.

I grew up with my father playing with HO. As a kid he made a really cool rocky mountain lay out in a room, complete with a saw mill with river fed logs, and a mine. It had tunnels and trestles - so that started it all. Unfortunately I have not a single photo as I moved from that home when I was 6 years old. The lay out did not follow. Dad did make a modular lay out after that, kept all his rolling stock and build a small sea port dock module that extended into a mountain terrain again. The sea port module survives to this day in his basement, but has not been out in a good 30 years.

In my pre-teens I started in N scale, and did a foot hills type lay out that I wasn't able to bring with me when I moved back to the west coast. A few pieces of rolling stock and a 0-4-0 engine survived and in my early 20's I made a simple book shelf lay out that is still on a box to this day.

A few years ago, I stumbled across an HO 4-6-2 CP engine with tender and four coaches. I paid $60 for it all thinking that that was a lot at the time. It's a 70's vintage train, but I know little else. But now that I have been watching the price of this stuff, I know I didn't over pay. This unit is on permanent display on the denim room hutch where it can be enjoyed - safely out of reach of the kids :-)

Re: HO Scale Electric Trains

Posted: 02 Dec 2015 09:55
by Byron510
My son has now caught the bug, and I used him as an excuse to scale it up a bit - like any dad would :-)

Last fall, I purchased a G scale LGB starter set, with a 2-4-0, tender and a couple of freight cars - to "Run around the Christmas Tree". Obviously I had bigger intentions, I'm sure the wife knew that. Not 2 weeks went by before I had bought a couple more box cars. A few weeks later I found another LGB starter set that I couldn't refuse with a second 2-4-0, tender and two passenger cars that had a track extension kit. If you've ever looked at LGB stuff - everything costs, and even track is expensive. Now my daughter and son didn't have to fight over the trains, they had a set each. This past spring, I stepped up to the plate and bought a new G scale 130 ton 3 truck Shay – It is a Bachman Spectrum line unit, but still that wasn’t cheap. This has become the Holy Grail in my small collection, but it's beautiful. All linkage, rods and shafts move and it's wonderful to watch. I have maybe 5 minutes use on this engine to date.

Re: HO Scale Electric Trains

Posted: 02 Dec 2015 10:04
by Byron510
A few weeks ago, an LGB F7 A/B unit came up for sale locally. These have been out of production for just about 10 years, so not many will surface. Turns out the fella also had some rolling stock for sale as well. I bought the engine, a caboose and 6 box cars to make a period correct train as all my stuff to date is about 40 years older in vintage. What was a cool bonus for this train were the variety of sound effects built into the B unit. It actually has an air start cycle, an idle, about 4 different engine load sounds, a cool down and a shut down cycle. Along with a horn and bell. It’s definitely a cool toy.

So I guess it's agreed that I too am a train buff - apparently in good company here.

I look forward to seeing photos of your layout one day.

Between trains, BMX bikes, planes and other interests, we 510 guys seem to have an number of common connections.


Re: HO Scale Electric Trains

Posted: 02 Dec 2015 13:05
by abisel
Byron, those are some large scale stuff. I had always had the HO scale and even those are getting all the sounds, lights, and smoke/steam as the big ones.

Here's another old 1960 analog loco that I converted to digital. Still got to figure out how to connect the smoke generator better than I currently have. Similar loco as the one I posted that I restored. Just replaced the direction control relay with the PCB boards, the motor armature, stator and brushes and installed the speaker in the tender. WooooWoooooooooooooooooo!
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Re: HO Scale Electric Trains

Posted: 02 Dec 2015 14:13
by zKars
Oh no. Don't do this... I'm not ready to get the old HO stuff out of storage yet. No grand kids. yet... Must resist. Don't go downstairs. Don't find the boxes; there's no room right now; what will my wife say? Somebody, get over here and stop me before its too late...

Re: HO Scale Electric Trains

Posted: 02 Dec 2015 15:39
by abisel
zKars, if it is Marklin, I'm interested.

If you have the old AC Gilbert (pre American Flyer) it is worth some money. Old Linoel is worth bucks too. Just like the circa 1950 Marklin commuter train I have, a 3025 3-car, is worth about $2000. Some of the old crocodile locos with overhead electric power are worth a lot of cash too.

Break them out, clean them up, set them up around the Christmas tree and be a kid again.


Re: HO Scale Electric Trains

Posted: 02 Dec 2015 18:33
by gooned
I'm building a decent sized HO layout upstairs after growing up with a basement layout in my younger years at home, already have a few dcc/sound locos (including a Shay Byron) just about ready to start soldering track together as I'm drawing out track centre lines in preparation to glue cork roadbed down. I've gotten the kids onto a few steam rides now in both BC and Alberta, hard to beat the experience. Pics will have to wait till later...

Re: HO Scale Electric Trains

Posted: 03 Dec 2015 04:07
by abisel
I asked admins to move this thread to the Not Datsun/Nissan Related thread. Shouldn't be in the non PL510 thread.

Show us your trains.