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westport
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Hi All,

 

I am new to the model railway scene, and I would be starting literally from scratch, i.e. I do not have a layout or even anything to run on it, but this is what I would like to end up with. I am handy with DIY, electrics etc. I have always had an interest in railways, but probably more on the "social history" aspect of them, the people, the routes, permanent way, old closed railways etc, as opposed to different makes of loco, rolling stock etc. With this in mind, where would be a good starting point to get building?

Regards

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Hi,

Welcome to the world of railway modelling.

 

In the first instance I would recommend that you have a look at a few model railway magazines first for some inspiration, Railway Modeller, Hornby Magazine, Model Rail and British Railway Modelling (BRM) are all quite good. Also some track plan books may be of use ( I have some if you are interested).

Also you have come to the right place here, as there are a lot of modellers who can help and advice you.

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Depending on what your budget is a train set may not be the way to go. A number of my customers bought starter Hornby train sets and ended up ditching them as they didn't fit in with what they wanted as there layout grew. They can be a false economy.

Measure up the space you have and start planning from there. Think about what you want to model in, Irish, English, American or continental. Also what era, steam, diesel etc.

There are some amazing layouts on the forum to get some ideas.

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Hi Westport & welcome to the site, you'll get lt's of info help here & helpful advice, the abuse & dust of course is free there's lots of stuff on here & as your only starting out I would agree with all of the above, if you don't already know about these sites have a look at doneðeal.com & adverts.com to help maybe get some maybe cheap loco's & rolling stock, you might pick up some cheap stuff as it's after Xcmax, & some people may be wanting to sell on stuff they no longer need, all the best for now,

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Hi Westport & welcome to the site, you'll get lt's of info help here & helpful advice, the abuse & dust of course is free there's lots of stuff on here & as your only starting out I would agree with all of the above, if you don't already know about these sites have a look at doneðeal.com & adverts.com to help maybe get some maybe cheap loco's & rolling stock, you might pick up some cheap stuff as it's after Xcmax, & some people may be wanting to sell on stuff they no longer need, all the best for now,

Think you meant donedeal.ie & adverts.ie

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Hi All,

Thanks for the feedback. Have been doing some research on the internet, and as always, there is probably too much info out there.....some basic observations/questions that you might be able to help with:

1) My chosen layout size is and 8 x 4

2)Flexitrack Peco code 75 is the best?

3)Does an 8 x 4 allow enough room for a double track i.e. the curves wouldnt be too tight

4)Would the flexitrack be too difficult for a beginner to fit

5)Using DCC, you need either (a) a decoder for each point to enable digital control from the main controller, or (b) a switch from each point motor, fitted on your control panel. Am I right in this?

6)Using the likes of a Seep PM1, is it possible to wire up led's on your control panel to indicate point status?

7)A CDU is recommended/essential?

8)Electrofrog points are the way to go with DCC. Again, using a PM1 motor, can this be wired up to power the frog and look after polarity?

Any thoughts or comments on any of the above would be welcome.

 

Cheers

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Hi Westport,

 

If you have the space go 8' x 4' 6" the extra 6" will make all the difference. Code 75 is a good choice if you are planning to run all new stock but old rolling stock will have problems running on code 75.

Flex track is the best choice as it looks much more realistic. Electrofrog points are also a good choice.

To switch points using DCC you need a decoder which will only do 4 points per decoder or you could use an analogue control panel with switches.

It is possible to wire up a control panel with LED's to show route indication, the seep point motors have aux switches built in which will also switch polarity as well.

 

I am doing a special offer for this month for free shipping on baseboards, an 8' x 4' is €290 and I can make it 8' x 4' 6" for no extra cost.

 

I also do a servo point motor control system that is very competitive it is available with a DCC module that can control up to 192 points! I also offer as part of the system switches, LED's power supplies. Typically works out about €16 per point all in, cheaper than buying the seep and DCC module(s) switches and a power supply and LED's

I also build control panels.

 

Please feel free to contact me to discuss further.

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Hi Westport.

7)A CDU is recommended/essential? That depends on what power source you are using. I am using an old laptop power supply for my point motors (Seep) and that has plenty of power. If you use the tapping's from a conventional controller then a CDU may be advisable.

 

8)Electrofrog points are the way to go with DCC. Again, using a PM1 motor, can this be wired up to power the frog and look after polarity?

Any thoughts or comments on any of the above would be welcome. I use SEEP PM1 on my layout and I have modified my peco points so that the seep powers the frog polarity depending on route set.

 

Regards

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