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RogerK

Hello from West Texas

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RogerK

I've been active in live steam garden railroading for about 10 years now. Primarily 16mm (1:19) English narrow gauge and 7/8n2 (1:13.7) American extra narrow gauge. When I moved from Jemez Springs, New Mexico to Lubbock, TX two years ago, I started working on a new outdoor layout and joined a local model railroading club. Along the way I became interested in N scale t-trak and ordered some module kits and unitrack. Started with the Kato Santa Super Chief set and the F7 Bluebonnet freight set.

 

So, why am I here? I started looking beyond the Kato USA products, became interested in their Japanese trains, spent way too much time on the web and found this forum. Seemed interesting and I started with the N700A 8 car Shinkansen set ordered through Amazon and the V16 track set from TrainWorld. I was hooked at that point and have since added another N700A Shinkansen, the Narita Express, and the Rainbow train with EF65 EMU. The Kato Panda Kurooshi Smile Adventure has been ordered.

 

At the moment, trains are running on 4 folding tables in the basement that provides a 5 ft x 12 surface. Basically 4 tracks using the V11, V16, and V15 track sets along with additional double straights. Allows us to watch trains while contemplating a real layout.The local club does public displays and I may use this setup to run the Shinkansen trains.

 

temp-layout.thumb.jpg.0263cf8d3377ab02c1f012ee29c6a262.jpg

 

I still run live steam outside and have added some battery powered trains that I can run when I don't want to fiddle with the live steam.

 

I have no experience with model railroading, so my learning curve will be pretty steep and I will undoubtedly have a lot of questions. Will probably try to hone my skills on the t-trak modules before I attempt a real layout. Regardless, I'm looking forward to your feedback along the way.

 

Roger Kruse

Lubbock TX

 

 

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Sascha

Hello and welcome to the forum. You chose the right place to start. People here are very helpful. Enjoy!!

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Sheffie

Welcome! 

I have found the people here to be very helpful, and I am learning a lot. 

Hope to talk more on the other forums 

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cteno4

Hey roger, welcome! 

 

Im afraid you have caught an untreatable bug, Japanese trains... only hope is a steady diet of them! 

 

Looks like you have a great start. There are so so many Japanese trains it hurts the Wallet. The Lubbock ttrakers have been at it for a long time and good group.

 

doing public displays are quite fun with the Japanese trains as folks have rarely seen them and everyone thinks they are some sort of sci-fi train not real. Very fun to show them a 0 series that’s been running for 50+ years! Our club here in DC got started by us just plunking down track on table at shows on the flys and setting out buildings and scenery bits. It was a lot of work for setup and teardown but quite fun and got us going.

 

enjoy!

 

jeff

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RogerK
1 hour ago, cteno4 said:

Looks like you have a great start. There are so so many Japanese trains it hurts the Wallet. The Lubbock ttrakers have been at it for a long time and good group.

 

doing public displays are quite fun with the Japanese trains as folks have rarely seen them and everyone thinks they are some sort of sci-fi train not real. Very fun to show them a 0 series that’s been running for 50+ years! Our club here in DC got started by us just plunking down track on table at shows on the flys and setting out buildings and scenery bits. It was a lot of work for setup and tear down but quite fun and got us going.

 

enjoy!

 

jeff

 

Jeff,

 

The wallet isn't complaining, but the AmEx card is getting a workout. On the other hand, this is much less expensive compared to large scale live steam, so I really can't complain. lol  The t-trakers in Clovis, NM are still going strong, but Lubbock is down to two people, including me. A general reflection of model railroading in general, I suspect. In my case, I went 0 for 3 with my own kids in getting them interested in trains, but I'm working hard on the next generation (i.e. grand kids).

 

I'm looking forward to displaying Japanese trains because they are really different and exotic as compared to US trains. Unfortunately, I will be alone in this so I will be limited in what I can set up. 

 

Roger

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Kiha66

Welcome Roger!  That table setup looks like a great start, thats how my own first layout was done.

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cteno4

Roger,

 

yes much much much less expensive and easier to carry!

 

bummer, I remember corresponding with some of the Lubbock guys a while back.

 

start small and see how it goes. Fun thing with Japanese scenes just about everything goesM variety is the name of the game all around.

 

We are really popular at events! We measure how well we did on how many little kids cry when pulled away from the layout.

 

cheers

 

jeff

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Martijn Meerts

Wouldn't mind seeing some pictures of that live steam stuff. While my main focus is N-scale, I am very interested in the larger scales as well, because of all the possibilities that you don't have in N scale with regards to detailing and such.

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RogerK

Martijn,

 

 Here is a photo of my Roundhouse Engineering Silver Lady locomotive with Accucraft rolling stock. The Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway (W&LLR)  is a 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) narrow gauge heritage railway in Powys, Wales.

 

wl.thumb.jpg.2f23bae29b1d69c46b94d1edfd6287f2.jpg

 

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Martijn Meerts

Looks good 😄

 

Funny enough, I know the Welshpool & Llanfair, I came across it recently while doing research for of a brass H0j kit of a small Japanese steam locomotive I'm building, which looks quite a lot like some of those used by WLLR. It's now on my list of sources of inspiration for my combined H0j/H0e project.

 

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chadbag

go back!  flee!   the realm of Japanese n-scale is a big money pit, into which you will fall with a big grin on your face!  🙂

 

Welcome!   When you say "Amazon", I hope you mean "Amazon.co.jp" as most likely any Japanese trains you purchase through amazon.com will be overpriced compared to ordering form the Japanese amazon or through other Japanese vendors directly.

 

Again, welcome!  Depending on your motivations for running trains, running table top may be all you need.  Or you may get more into detailed modeling or the electronics behind it all or any of a myriad of things you can do with them.

 

 

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RogerK

chadbag -

 

Thanks for the advice about Amazon.co.jp. Prices are definitely better, although I did avoid the obviously overpriced offerings.. Looks like some (most?) vendors don't ship internationally, but the ones fulfilled by Amazon will. I did read the Using Amazon Japan thread, so I have a good idea of the process. The money pit may have gotten deeper.  lol

 

Roger

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chadbag

Yeah don't buy stuff on Amazon.co.jp that are not sold by Amazon itself for international shipment.  Use a buying service (ZenMarket, Buyee, or your own local contacts) for that.  And use the other vendors not on Amazon like Hobby Search, Modeltrain+, AmiAmi, etc.

 

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cteno4

Yeah you just have to put items in your cart and try checkout to see the price. Sometimes it’s $10-15 shipping for like a 2-5 car Tomytec set and sometimes $50 with Amazon Dhl delivery. It is always a good place to look if it’s something out of stock at the usual places.

 

jeff

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miyakoji

Hi Roger, welcome to the forum!

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chadbag

What is annoying is that usually the Amazon JP "global" shipping (which to the US is DHL in 2-3 days) is like $9-$17 or so for a train set or two or a couple locomotives.   Not heavy stuff like bulk track, but "normal" orders.  And then you get the $45 DHL shipping on a single train set that pops up now and then.  It's like someone put bad size/weight info in for the item and so when their system automatically figures out the shipping it gives you some large number (compared to what they usually charge).

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RogerK

I'll try Amazon Japan on the next train set that I can't live without. I can see that track is at least 30% cheaper. Does the shipping cost of bulk items generally offset the savings?

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chadbag
34 minutes ago, RogerK said:

I'll try Amazon Japan on the next train set that I can't live without. I can see that track is at least 30% cheaper. Does the shipping cost of bulk items generally offset the savings?

 

There are places in the US to buy bulk track from where you can get good deals -- though you may need to submit a request with your wishlist and ask for their best offer.  How it works out compared to ordering from Japan with shipping costs you'd have to check on a case by case basis.  Others have had more experience with that and will chime in.


For small amounts of track Amazon JP is a good deal but the shipping can get expensive if the order gets heavy.  Some of the other Japan vendors will ship a more "slow boat" with cheaper shipping for bulk track.  I've not had personal experience as I've gotten most of my track from Amazon, or I bought at local stores in Japan (Joshin Denki, Yodobashi, etc), but most of it traveled in a suit case back, either when we were there as a family or my wife went on a special non-planned trip to see her mom and I ordered and had delivered to her sister where she was staying.  I have gotten some smaller orders sent from Amazon -- 1/2 dozen switches and a few small odds and ends -- that sort of thing when I needed some stuff quickly.

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Onizukachan

I’ll add here, belatedly, yes I save about 30% compared to buying track on ebay from plaza even after combined shipping, usually about 30% savings on tomix. 

 

Amd i I think of lubbock as central Texas, since I’m in El Paso. Lol. 

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