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Just bought my first Train set - what next?


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#1 Thrawnseg

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 05:50 PM

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Hello all!

Recently on a trip to Lego Store, I found the Cargo Train Deluxe set and fell in love with it.  So, after asking (begging) the wife, I was able to purchase it and 1 of each of the track sets (switches and straight/curved) and start my Lego Train addiction.

I have a few questions though, if I may ask.

I plan on putting my trains in my basement, using a sheet of plywood as the base.  I see some people cover thier bottom with the grey/green/road bases though.  I don't have many of those, so it is ok to just lay a green or the green HO astro turf down, then lay the track down on that, or will it move a alot as the train goes around?   Also, if (when) I can get enough Lego bases to cover the wood, how do you attach it to it?  I can't see it just laying there next to each other...

Also, I have been reading on here that the RC type of train is being phased out?  Is this true or was I just mistaken while reading posts?   If it is being replaced, will this train be obsolete compared to the new ones that come out?

Is there a good Engine House out there for a shunting yard, or does that need to be a MOC?

Thanks beforehand for any answers or tidbits you might be able to give - I did read the Beginners Guide and it was helpful, but wasn't sure about a few things.

Jim

#2 TaltosVT

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 06:10 PM

Thrawnseg said:

I plan on putting my trains in my basement, using a sheet of plywood as the base.  I see some people cover thier bottom with the grey/green/road bases though.  I don't have many of those, so it is ok to just lay a green or the green HO astro turf down, then lay the track down on that, or will it move a alot as the train goes around?   Also, if (when) I can get enough Lego bases to cover the wood, how do you attach it to it?  I can't see it just laying there next to each other...
I put my track down directly on the plywood, and it worked fine.  I would imagine that a thin layer of HO astro-turf would be okay.  For baseplates, if you attach the straight track to the baseplates, they stay in place just fine.  We do this for shows all the time, and this is what I'm moving toward on my basement layout as I am able to purchase them.

Thrawnseg said:

Also, I have been reading on here that the RC type of train is being phased out?  Is this true or was I just mistaken while reading posts?   If it is being replaced, will this train be obsolete compared to the new ones that come out?
Yes, the RC line is being phased out.  Power Functions have replaced them.  The track gauge is the same, though, so you can run both with no problems.

Thrawnesg said:

Is there a good Engine House out there for a shunting yard, or does that need to be a MOC?
There used to be, but it hasn't been out for a few years.  You might be able to find one second-hand.

Hope this helps some.

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#3 legotrainfan

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 09:40 PM

View PostTaltosVT, on Dec 10 2009, 07:10 PM, said:

There used to be, but it hasn't been out for a few years.  You might be able to find one second-hand

-Elroy

I just want to add that this engine house was Train Engine Shed 10027, which was released in 2003 and has been out of production for quite a while. Providing the serial number, it should be easier for you to search for and find one.
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#4 peterab

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 01:59 AM

View PostThrawnseg, on Dec 11 2009, 04:50 AM, said:

I plan on putting my trains in my basement, using a sheet of plywood as the base.  I see some people cover thier bottom with the grey/green/road bases though.  I don't have many of those, so it is ok to just lay a green or the green HO astro turf down, then lay the track down on that, or will it move a alot as the train goes around?   Also, if (when) I can get enough Lego bases to cover the wood, how do you attach it to it?  I can't see it just laying there next to each other...

I'm a member of a Lego train club, and we just lay our plates down. When we transport the layout they sometimes slide around a bit so we try and connect the plates together with buildings and scenery to reduce this, but since your will mostly be in your basement I cant see it being a problem.

View PostThrawnseg, on Dec 11 2009, 04:50 AM, said:

Also, I have been reading on here that the RC type of train is being phased out?  Is this true or was I just mistaken while reading posts?   If it is being replaced, will this train be obsolete compared to the new ones that come out?

The battery boxes and remotes of the new trains may change (nobody knows for sure yet what the new line will be or exactly when it will come out) but it appears the motors will be similar or compatable (ie all 9V). As others have said your train will still run along side the new ones.

View PostThrawnseg, on Dec 11 2009, 04:50 AM, said:

Is there a good Engine House out there for a shunting yard, or does that need to be a MOC?

Here's a link to Brickshelf for the Engine shed. There are 13 available. You could also download the instructions from Lego customer service and use them and the inventory on Brickshelf as the basis for buying individual parts and building a Moc. You may also find one on Ebay with a bit of luck. These are now collectable so the price has risen a bit since they were widely available so a Moc may be cheaper.

#5 Davey

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 04:04 AM

Welcome to Eurobricks and the LEGO Train Community!  Glad to hear that you are getting into LEGO Trains.   :classic:

View PostThrawnseg, on Dec 10 2009, 11:50 AM, said:

Recently on a trip to Lego Store, I found the Cargo Train Deluxe set and fell in love with it.  So, after asking (begging) the wife, I was able to purchase it and 1 of each of the track sets (switches and straight/curved) and start my Lego Train addiction.

Fun set!  It's a great introduction to the LEGO Train line, though I think you will find that you go through batteries pretty quickly.   :tongue:  The new Power Functions line offers some improvement by using a rechargeable Lithium-Polymer battery.  It's a little more expensive up front, but you will definitely save money in the long run.  If you can talk your wife into it, try to get a copy of the Emerald Night set.  It's a great set geared more towards the AFOL crowd.  It's a more complicated build and comes with a number of pieces in rare colors.  It will also introduce you to the idea of using Technic gearing to drive your trains instead of a dedicated train motor.  This has allowed a number of talented train builders to build powered three axle trucks...something that previously was not possible.  
  

View PostThrawnseg, on Dec 10 2009, 11:50 AM, said:

I plan on putting my trains in my basement, using a sheet of plywood as the base.  I see some people cover thier bottom with the grey/green/road bases though.  I don't have many of those, so it is ok to just lay a green or the green HO astro turf down, then lay the track down on that, or will it move a alot as the train goes around?   Also, if (when) I can get enough Lego bases to cover the wood, how do you attach it to it?  I can't see it just laying there next to each other...

You could use the HO style astroturf, but it does tend to 'shed' a little and can be kind of messy.  I used to use this when I was a kid and was not happy with it.  Since becoming an AFOL, I now use the baseplates.  It's also more fun to build LEGO scenery.   :tongue:  Whether you use the baseplates or not, you will not need to fix anything to the tables.  The weight of the track is enough to hold it in place.  If you go with baseplates though, you can attach the track to the baseplate and even get into ballasting the track as can be seen here.

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View PostThrawnseg, on Dec 10 2009, 11:50 AM, said:

Also, I have been reading on here that the RC type of train is being phased out?  Is this true or was I just mistaken while reading posts?   If it is being replaced, will this train be obsolete compared to the new ones that come out?

As others have said, yes....the RC system is being phased out in favor of Power Functions.  The good news is that the RC train motor is still being used with the PF system so you can use your motor with the new rechargeable battery box as well!  In addition, the gauge (or width between the rails) of LEGO Trains has not changed since its inception so in theory all LEGO Trains are compatible.  Where it gets sticky is how to power them.  The best way to put it is that any battery powered LEGO Train will run on any LEGO track.  9V train motors, however, can only run on 9V track.  


View PostThrawnseg, on Dec 10 2009, 11:50 AM, said:

Is there a good Engine House out there for a shunting yard, or does that need to be a MOC?

As others have said, 10027 was the gold standard for engine sheds.  As such...it's wicked expensive now that it is collectible.  Your best bet is to MOC one.  You'll have more fun that way anyway!   :tongue:  It's worth checking out some of the LEGO train groups on Flickr for ideas.  There are also a number of good creations here on Eurobricks and Classic-Town.net features a lot of train creations as well.  You can kind of see my shunting yard in the picture below.  The switching tower is a MOC.  The red engine shed in the back is actually two of the 10027 sets back-to-back.

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View PostThrawnseg, on Dec 10 2009, 11:50 AM, said:

Thanks beforehand for any answers or tidbits you might be able to give - I did read the Beginners Guide and it was helpful, but wasn't sure about a few things.

Again, glad to have you here!  You'll find that the LEGO Train community is a fun bunch and most are usually very helpful.  If you have any questions or need any help, feel free to ask.  

-Dave

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#6 Piranha

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 05:16 AM

View PostThrawnseg, on Dec 10 2009, 07:50 AM, said:

Hello all!
Greetings, Welcome to EB and Train Tech!  :classic:

View PostThrawnseg, on Dec 10 2009, 07:50 AM, said:

Recently on a trip to Lego Store, I found the Cargo Train Deluxe set and fell in love with it.  So, after asking (begging) the wife, I was able to purchase it and 1 of each of the track sets (switches and straight/curved) and start my Lego Train addiction.
Nice! It is a very cool set and the train engine is quite appealing to me to. Plus it has plenty of cars to pull and a nice track selection. Also good that you bought extra track, as layouts are where the fun is  :grin:

View PostThrawnseg, on Dec 10 2009, 07:50 AM, said:

I have a few questions though, if I may ask.
Of course!

View PostThrawnseg, on Dec 10 2009, 07:50 AM, said:

I plan on putting my trains in my basement, using a sheet of plywood as the base.  I see some people cover thier bottom with the grey/green/road bases though.  I don't have many of those, so it is ok to just lay a green or the green HO astro turf down, then lay the track down on that, or will it move a alot as the train goes around?   Also, if (when) I can get enough Lego bases to cover the wood, how do you attach it to it?  I can't see it just laying there next to each other...
I am not sure about AstroTurf and if the turf grass will get stuck in the train wheels when it rolls over? One way to attach would be the ultimate LEGO sacrifice and that is to glue the baseplates down to the plywood  :sceptic:
Although it means committing to that setup, it will be nice.

View PostThrawnseg, on Dec 10 2009, 07:50 AM, said:

Also, I have been reading on here that the RC type of train is being phased out?  Is this true or was I just mistaken while reading posts?   If it is being replaced, will this train be obsolete compared to the new ones that come out?
This is true and it has already happened.
LEGO has decided to go with PF (Power Functions)
The first PF train set is the Emerald Night (EN) Link
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Here are all the PF you need to run it, sold separately of course  :tongue: Together it will set you back around $250 for Train, Track and Motor parts
They also have introduced a new curving plastic track

View PostThrawnseg, on Dec 10 2009, 07:50 AM, said:

Is there a good Engine House out there for a shunting yard, or does that need to be a MOC?
You bet there is.
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If you want to start off big, start with the best there is  :tongue:
Purchase your copy here here for a cool $180 MISB
Or build your own, which can be just as good, if not better  :thumbup: :classic:  

View PostThrawnseg, on Dec 10 2009, 07:50 AM, said:

Thanks beforehand for any answers or tidbits you might be able to give - I did read the Beginners Guide and it was helpful, but wasn't sure about a few things.
No Problem!

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#7 Thrawnseg

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 05:48 PM

Thanks for the quick replies!  

I'll be building my tables tomorrow for the display, but it's going to be quite barren until I can get some sets.  I was into Castles/Pirates/Star Wars, so my City is lacking.

Are there any sets that are "must haves" for City that are either big for thier price (to make it look like more) or that have a lot of stuff going on?  I'm looking at the farm set just for the space it might be able to take up to start.

Also, looking at bases - they sure are expensive.   Is there any cheaper way to get a lot of them cheap?  $15 for 2 roads is making my city think twice about them in the starting stages...  Is there any non-Lego brand baseplates that are compatable maybe that might be cheaper if I have to buy a lot?

Edited by Thrawnseg, 11 December 2009 - 05:53 PM.


#8 The Green Brick Giant

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 06:15 PM

Yeah LEGO went a little nuts with the price increase of the road plates.  Two used to cost $6, and then they jumped to $13, and now $15.  Honestly it's probably cheaper to just paint the plywood.  :laugh:

It's your LEGO town, add a castle, or a beach with a pirate ship, anything goes.  All the Corner Cafe sets are big.. and $150....  :laugh:

To me this is a must have for any city, I love the set, it's cheap and you can set it up to make it look like your city is being built.

http://shop.lego.com...?...;cn=223&d=9

#9 Sir E Fullner

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 09:33 PM

:tongue:


I have an RC train set, too. Since I don't have very many bricks, and I wanted a tunnel, I made a papier mache tunnel.

Also, if I put my train at high speeds, the track really moves around alot. I just keep it at speed 4, though. When the batteries run down, I just put it at top speed.

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#10 Rapseflaps

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 09:49 PM

View Postefullner, on Dec 11 2009, 10:33 PM, said:

:tongue:


I have an RC train set, too. Since I don't have very many bricks, and I wanted a tunnel, I made a papier mache tunnel.

Also, if I put my train at high speeds, the track really moves around alot. I just keep it at speed 4, though. When the batteries run down, I just put it at top speed.

I drove my Cargo Train Deluxe at full speed once. It flew off the track.
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#11 pe668

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Posted 12 December 2009 - 02:15 AM

When I read the subject line the first answer that sprang to mind was......TRAIN CRASH.

View PostThrawnseg, on Dec 11 2009, 04:50 AM, said:

Also, if (when) I can get enough Lego bases to cover the wood, how do you attach it to it?  I can't see it just laying there next to each other
I've tried a few things and the best IMO is carpet tiles. They come in different colours, are really cheap and modular so as you change you table configuration and layout you can re-use them.  The carpet really lowers the noise level which is a big plus.  Plastic track grips to it fine, this mean you don't need to fix track down. Fixing track to the table is a real waste, the beauty of Lego format is the ability to change the layout. Most people need to purchase track over time (can't find or afford enough to buy it all first). So as more track is aquired the layout can change considerably to maximise track usage. Better than waiting until you have all the right bits, have a working railway on day one.

Thrawnseg said:

Is there a good Engine House out there for a shunting yard, or does that need to be a MOC?
TLC did release a nice Train Shed during the 9volt era(10027). Discontinued now but you may be able to pick it up 2nd hand.

#12 Thrawnseg

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 05:00 PM

How does everyone get enough wheels to build other cars?

I looked on Lego.com, and can find the buffers/bases/wheels, but no metal axles (x1687) to attatch the wheels.  I'm in the US, so Bricklink is out, as the only stores to seel them are in the EU.

Also, I have my track built with the Cargo train set and 1 extra straight/curved and switch packs.  Do you build your city around the track or do you build your track around your city? :)  I'm in the mood to buy more if I can find it, but don't want it to look too hectic...

#13 soc399

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 05:19 PM

View PostThrawnseg, on Dec 22 2009, 12:00 PM, said:

How does everyone get enough wheels to build other cars?

I looked on Lego.com, and can find the buffers/bases/wheels, but no metal axles (x1687) to attatch the wheels.  I'm in the US, so Bricklink is out, as the only stores to seel them are in the EU.

Also, I have my track built with the Cargo train set and 1 extra straight/curved and switch packs.  Do you build your city around the track or do you build your track around your city? :)  I'm in the mood to buy more if I can find it, but don't want it to look too hectic...

To get the metal axles from Lego, you have to choose "prepack with two asle" under Transportation in Pick a Brick.  Unfortunately, it is a bit pricey to order the parts directly from Lego.  Have you tried searching Bricklink for the complete wheel assembly?  Here you can see some stores in the US that are selling them.

As far as building the track or the city first, I put the track down first.  I wanted plenty of space for sidings and switches, so the city grew in what was left after the track looked good.

#14 Duq

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 05:19 PM

The axles come in packs of two called "Prepack With 2 Asle" and they're available in the US.
I've got most of my train wheels through Bricklink but I've also ordered some from S@H.
I don't have a layout so can't answer that question ;-)
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#15 Thrawnseg

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Posted 28 December 2009 - 02:56 PM

Ok, so got my layout made where I like it.  (I think..for today...that's one thing I love..you can change it quite easily at this point)

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(The new version has the inside loop and inside curve/switch track reversed to the opposite sides of the table)

I don't have much yet, but it's a work in progress!  


Back to the questions though.  With my space, I'm not sure how to do a city layout.  Do I remove the inside 1/2 loop on the right side of the picture to get more real estate?  I want to keep the inside loop though.

Also, I've read about the track ballisting, but I have no where near enough parts at this point to do the layout.  How does one go about putting the curved track on baseplates?  Just using the turntables and 2x2 in key spots?  Or do people just connect the straight track to the plates and let the curved sit on top of the studs?

You guys have been a lot of help so far, so thanks again!

Edited by Thrawnseg, 28 December 2009 - 02:57 PM.


#16 Selander

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Posted 28 December 2009 - 08:02 PM

View PostThrawnseg, on Dec 28 2009, 03:56 PM, said:

Back to the questions though.  With my space, I'm not sure how to do a city layout.  Do I remove the inside 1/2 loop on the right side of the picture to get more real estate?  I want to keep the inside loop though.

With this relatively limited space, I would suggest to just have a big loop around your town, and make a bigger trainyard to the front left
where you can have your rolling stock, train shed, cranes etc etc. Inside the big loop you can build a small town with various buildings.
Also my general recommendation is to not put too many houses and vehicules in there, but to leave some open space and roads as well.
good luck with your lego town. :cry_happy:
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#17 Mark Bellis

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 05:59 PM

View PostThrawnseg, on Dec 28 2009, 02:56 PM, said:

Ok, so got my layout made where I like it.  (I think..for today...that's one thing I love..you can change it quite easily at this point)

http://i49.tinypic.com/s4o1nt.jpg

(The new version has the inside loop and inside curve/switch track reversed to the opposite sides of the table)

I don't have much yet, but it's a work in progress!  


Back to the questions though.  With my space, I'm not sure how to do a city layout.  Do I remove the inside 1/2 loop on the right side of the picture to get more real estate?  I want to keep the inside loop though.

Also, I've read about the track ballisting, but I have no where near enough parts at this point to do the layout.  How does one go about putting the curved track on baseplates?  Just using the turntables and 2x2 in key spots?  Or do people just connect the straight track to the plates and let the curved sit on top of the studs?

You guys have been a lot of help so far, so thanks again!

It depends whether you want to be able to run 3 trains or only 2.
You can have 1 train in the station loop, one in the inner half loop and one running round the outside.
Then run one into the yard front left and run another to swap them round.
If you didn't have the inner half loop there would be nowhere to stop the 3rd train.

With a city layout you can always put some track in a tunnel and build the city over the top.  Just leave plenty of width for train overhangs!
Make buildings removable (on a layer of tiles with anti-slide location parts) so that you can rescue a derailed train if necessary.

Curves tend not to be fixed down but supported from the straights at either end of the corner.
For ballast I have attached some plates to the curves for the trackbed and added ballast on top, then lay the ballasted curve on tiles (you can get 8x16 tiles to cut down the number of small tiles required).  Pictures here and here.

To ballast a curve you need:
Plates to go underneath the curve - maybe including 4x9 wing plates if you want no see-through gaps.
1x1 plates and perhaps some with clips to do the ballast.  Perhaps 1x2 with door rail to reduce gaps on the inside.
1x4 and 1x1 tiles for the sleepers if you do a 1M sleeper scheme.  A 2M scheme is easier, just using the studs on the curves.

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#18 LovinLegoSince97

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 03:03 AM

~ ????

Edited by LovinLegoSince97, 11 July 2012 - 02:49 AM.

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