Old Newbie seeking advice for HO Pennsylvania

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BalmyZephyr

Rider
AU Supporter
Joined
Nov 7, 2021
Messages
57
Location
Rhode Island
Happy Thanksgiving! I might go train shopping this weekend, but don't want to make a stupid purchase.

As a kid I had an all-metal O scale freight train that I loved, but it died in a house fire. Now 50 years later I’d like to get a simple setup and run it, but need to go smaller, so HO is my choice. Just for my husband's and my (and the cats?) enjoyment. I am thinking, first get engine & tender, and add cars later. Quality, not quantity.

What makers and sellers are good? I did read the other newbie thread and saw a few names. My thoughts :

- do NOT need box, not a legacy collection or gift
- pre-owned or new
- want to start with HO Pennsylvania engine and tender, either mid-century steam or streamline, or someday both.
- would add a few passenger cars later, Tuscan red preferred, Pennsylvania, probably 1940s-70s
- must run well
- They should be heavy, feel very solid when you pick them up, and detailed.
- Is radius a concern with some engines?
- do NOT need smoke or announcements
- DO want working headlight, interior lights, and simple horn.

I have been to one train store in RI (Grandpa's) and will visit another this weekend. Thanks for any advice at all!
 

me_little_me

Engineer
AU Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jul 16, 2010
Messages
4,641
Want new? Buy online (even if it's from a local dealer). Want used, look for a train show. You can get great bargains there.
 

AmtrakMaineiac

Streetcar Motorman
AU Supporter
Joined
Sep 2, 2021
Messages
161
Location
Lubec, ME
Yes radius is a concern especially for steam. I would recommend 24 inch minimum for HO even if the engine claims to be able to navigate a smaller radius.

If you want a horn you will need one equipped with a sound decoder which will also give you a bell and other sound effects. I would recommend DCC control which is better for sound and for controlling multiple trains.

For manufacturers of quality equipment check out Broadway Limited Imports especially for PRR steam.
 

BalmyZephyr

Rider
AU Supporter
Joined
Nov 7, 2021
Messages
57
Location
Rhode Island
Want new? Buy online (even if it's from a local dealer). Want used, look for a train show. You can get great bargains there.
Ah, train show, that makes sense. I collect marbles and the marble shows are the best sources too. Few and far between, but I'm guessing train shows are more numerous.
 

BalmyZephyr

Rider
AU Supporter
Joined
Nov 7, 2021
Messages
57
Location
Rhode Island
Yes radius is a concern especially for steam. I would recommend 24 inch minimum for HO even if the engine claims to be able to navigate a smaller radius.

If you want a horn you will need one equipped with a sound decoder which will also give you a bell and other sound effects. I would recommend DCC control which is better for sound and for controlling multiple trains.

For manufacturers of quality equipment check out Broadway Limited Imports especially for PRR steam.
Thank you! Maybe the horn isn't important enough to go up in price and sophistication to DCC. Followup question (for anyone), are there problems if you assemble a consist from different manufacturers, or different eras within one manufacturer?
 
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