Today was the last day and retirement party for Roger of the Railroad Junction that I have mentioned. I got into a discussion with some folks that I don't want to detail until this poll closes, but I'd appreciate if you all could answer this question.
I began with Z when I had to sell my former N layout (Deutsche Bundesbahn) from 1980 to a collector (because I couldn't find some spare parts anymore) in Feb. 2017 ; I began with building my present layout in Nov. 2017, but I assembled some structures in spring 2017, stations and gravel plant, to see if my plan could be finished as I wanted : 2 stations, a double Budd, a freight train and a gravel train, "commuting" between a loading and an unloading facility ... In the 80's, I wanted to build an US layout (I saw an example in the french "Rail Miniature Flash" magazine around 1976) but the structures weren't easily available. Only Faller had an US station, Pola a few "US-like" buildings, and there was no Internet and no 3D-printing !
I got into Z in 2015 when AZL did a fire sale on the TRE F59PHI sets. Intended on just dipping a toe in the water but after I got a UP GP38-2 and it performed so well, I made the decision to sell off my N and go Z exclusively. In a little over 4 years, I've gathered quite a collection of Z and have only a handful of N items left. I have a layout in progress, but little time or space to work on it. Maybe someday.
I started 20 years ago with a Marklin Santa Fe starter set. Shotly after, some SP equipment followed. I built a small Junction town, which became later as Sierra Blanca, Tx. the core piece of my West Texas project. SP remained, but T&P/MP took over. But still some ATSF trains are seen as a detour when the ATSF / Oriental line from Presidio to Alpine,Tx. is closed due to bad conditions. Over the years I bought a lot of stuff, mostly from zscalemonster. After my retirement and a move to our old farmhouse I had the opportunity to start my project.
I began in Z Scale just a couple of months ago, but after modeling in every other scale (except TT) I decided to challenge my 70-year-old eyes and hands with Z, space is also a consideration. So far, with the right tools and aids I am doing well and have big (little) plans.
I got my first Z scale items - a complete Märklin Amtrak train with F7 - when the largest toy store in Zürich dropped Z and had all items marked down by 50%. Salesman told me it wasn't selling and that basically Z was doomed. Funny thing is: that was back in 1990. Go figure ...
I wanted Z in 1976, but that wasn't possible on a middle schooler's allowance, so I went with N instead. When my birthday rolled around in 2009 and Brooklyn Locomotive Works was selling off their last MTL Amtrak work train set, I realized I could afford it (or so I thought. MB Klein has gotten most of my money now) and I've never looked back.
I had an unusual start with Z 20 plus years ago when I went to an auction and lot 58 was a sandwich toaster with small train set, I still can’t think why these two were linked, still I had to bid on on it and won for £8, inside the box was a Marklin starter set. I set it up at home and all worked really well, so I ended up selling all the O scale collection and moving in to Z and I have been broke ever since ! Oh and the toaster did not work, so went straight in the bin
Just a reminder the poll closes then end of the year.
I would like to welcome tilbury and dadcooks to the forum. They don't seem to be newcomers to Z.
I appreciate the posts for how people got started in Z, more on that after the poll closes. As for myself, I'd seen Z in the early 80s, but wasn't interested in the European models. It was about that time I developed an interest in the Nevada County Narrow Gauge RR (Grass Valley/Nevada City to Colfax CA). For Nn3 Locomotives in that era you'd place an order for a shell casting and a Märklin mechanism and wait (and Wait and Wait). During the wait, Märklin came out with their first American mini-club and since I had already laid track, I thought I'd give it a try, and haven't looked back.
I've been in Z Scale for for over 40 years. In the late 70's my grandmother was going to Germany to see family and sked me if I would like something. I said sure, I'll take a Marklin HO engine. Well, she came back with a Marklin Z gauge set up for me which included two steam locomotives, track and a handfull of freight and passenger cars.
My train addiction has waxed and waned through the years. WE moved this year so I had to box up the layout. As I sit here looking at all my AZL inventory (figuring out the financial damage of the last 4 years), it's time to rebuild the layout.