Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Basement Layout: Trains are Running

Finally, I can say I have trains running on my layout. This is something that I haven't been able to enjoy since I got back into the hobby around two years ago. Even though I just set up a simple loop of track on top of my layout, it was still exciting to get things moving around. 

Below is a video I took of my new locomotive's maiden voyage on the layout. Sorry if the camera is shaky, it was taken with my smartphone being held in one hand.  In all the years I've been blogging here about trains and hockey cards (my other blog), this is surprisingly the first video I've ever taken and posted myself. Hopefully I'll be able to get some more footage once I have the layout a little further along.

video

Now that I have this out of the way, I can start thinking about how I want to proceed. I think I need to start buying some cork roadbed and some more track so I can at least start building the actual perimeter of my track plan. That means I need to make a decision on what type of turnouts to go with. I know I want to be able to throw them manually, so that makes it a little easier. I'll have to see what the hobby shop has in stock next time and go from there.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Making the Switch to DCC

I finally did it. I bought myself a DCC starter system for my basement layout. I'm excited to get started, but at the same time I've never used DCC before so I don't really know what I'm getting into. I bought one of the lower end starter systems, but that seemed like it was the best option for me as a beginner. 

I now have the E-Z Command system from Bachmann. I did a lot of research before deciding on this particular system. It fit within my current budget and the deciding factor was that it came with a DCC equipped locomotive. I know it's not the highest quality system or locomotive for that matter, but it's just to get started and the price was right at $150.

My new EZ Command system from Bachmann.
I haven't used it yet, but plan on getting it hooked up here soon just so I can get things running. Its been over 15 years since I had any running trains. I still don't have enough track to complete my plan, but enough to put together a simple loop. Hopefully it is as simple as some of the reviews made it seem to be.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Basement Layout: Making Progress

I've been trying to get as much work in as I can on the layout the past few weekends and have made some good progress since my last post. I now have the benchwork completed and a layer of blue foam cut and glued in place on top of the plywood. My next step will be painting the foam an earthy color to help hide the blue when I go to do the scenery. After that it will be time to start laying some track so I can run some trains for fun.

The finished benchwork with added supports. This thing is sturdy as a rock.
Top layer of foam added. Now I can think about laying some track.
I also just bought my first DCC starter system, so I will hopefully have that to play with in the next week or so. I have never actually used a DCC system before, so this should be interesting. The last train I ran was on my old layout as a kid probably 15 years ago, and that was straight DC. Now I can't wait to get started.