Mom's got a bad cold, and she decided she wanted to go see a doctor this evening. I dropped her off at the medical center and--knowing there would be a long wait--decided to go over to the nearby hobby store and have a gander.
I couldn't see any N-scale stuff around. None. This is the hobby store from which Dad had gotten me my enormous Tyco System 200 (see below) but things have changed since then. Half of the store is now taken up with fish and reptile tanks, small mammal and bird cages, and pet supplies. What used to be "Don's Hobby World" is now "Pet and Hobby World".
The store used to have an enormous selection of model train and slot-car paraphernalia, in addition to models of all kinds, R/C stuff, model rocket stuff, etc, etc. Not being able to find N scale stuff there was shocking. They didn't even have N gauge flex track!
Still, I had nothing better to do, so I browsed...and lo and behold, what did I see in a box marked "50% off"? An assortment of Life-Like N gauge Power-Loc track!
The end damage was $40, with tax...but for that $40 I got eighty dollars' worth of track including two turnouts. With the batch of track I expect to pick up tomorrow, from the place in Indiana, I ought to be able to build quite an empire.
I also saw a handful of serious model railroad transformers there. There was an unboxed one for $25, and there were boxed ones for $40, $50, and $60 depending on features. I came this > < close to buying one.
But the track, I reasoned, would be enough for now.
Two items that I bought were, I thought, just short straight track sections. But, as it turns out, they were in fact adapters which allow one to connect flex track to the Power-Loc track. I was thinking that I would have to make my own adapters; now I have four of them.
Besides those and the two turnouts (one left and one right) I also got two 4-packs of curved sections and three 4-packs of straight sections.
Tonight when I had added some new track to the little layout, I was able to spend some time spotting cars on a siding and pretending that the locomotive was servicing an industry. It was pretty cool.
The only real problem is that the couplers on the locomotive don't like to couple to the ones on the cars; and once they have coupled, they don't want to un-couple. I'm starting to think that magne-matic or Kaydee couplers will become a requirement, since these "standard" couplers seem to be for the birds.
The other thought I had with regards to buying a "real hobby" transformer was that I could buy some HO track and run my HO engines--the ones I found recently--on it. It's a thought....