I have had a lot of trouble finding decent 2 rail equipment. I try to get stuff on auction sites but the stuff goes crazy high. Any good sources for entry level equipment?
It depends on what you want to model and your budget.
When I walked into my first train show (April 2019 Strasburg meet), I said, what ever locomotive I find that's the most reasonable price is the one I'll buy, and the railroad I'll model. Turns out, that was a B&O Q4.b that I picked up for $400. So I jumped deep into B&O modeling.
So my first question is, what do you want to model/what are you looking for? If you're into narrow gauges, you'll want to look at different vendors than standard gauge or P:48 guys.
In all the track gauge threads, I have posted a link to Groups.io groups where you can find some really good stuff at a good price as well. I've bought and sold through them personally and everyone is pretty reasonable. That's a good place to start since train shows aren't happening until October.
"decent 2 rail equipment"
Might be useful to understand what you mean by decent.
"the stuff goes crazy high"
Same issue. What does crazy high mean?
This can be an expensive or a very economical hobby depending on what you you objectives are.
I find a lot of stuff on eBay listed at very reasonable prices and just being patient tends to be rewarded. There's also a lot of stuff at stupid prices.
I see a lot of e-mail traffic of stuff being offered on O Scale Yard Sale. That seems to be popular
I used to find lots of stuff at shows, meets, etc., and at times more than I could fit into the car had I been so inclined. But I've gotten to the point where there is very little that I find myself needing other than detail parts for projects that I'm building, so I've been in the "sell off the excess" mode for several years.
I have no idea whether there will be any shows, meets, etc. in 2020.
I have no idea where you are located -- Strasburg meet in Oct is still and the Cleveland meet is still on................I would not bet on any actually happening.
One hope that remains is that things will get under control and the Chicago March Meet will actually take place. You find just about anything there........and a lot of stuff you've never seen before anywhere.....and tables full of stuff to tempt you into taking them all home with them.
Because most of our train shows are being cancelled because of Covid-19, you need to get to know some O Scale 2 rail folks who have been in the hobby for a while and see what they have for sale that meets your needs. Most of us always are selling, trading or buying items. I have a lot of good start up equipment that is for sale. Please don't hesitate to contact me. Good Luck.
It was easy for me back in 1969. We had hobby shop and a club. By 1985 The hobby shop was long gone and the club was gone. During this year a new group was forming. It was to become the Toy Train Operating Society- New Mexico Division. I belonged to that group for 20 years. We had the biggest train meet in New Mexico. Once in a while I would O scale two rail.In the 1990's I wrote articles for the newsletter. I went to interview a member about his Lionel collection. While there I found some O scale models as well as an unimat. I purchase those. I missed out on the locomotives he had. He passed away and another member took charge of his collection. I knew this member and I trade some Lionel locomotives for those locomotives I missed before. In 2003 a member who was famous for selling and buying Post war Lionel gave me a call. Needless to say I was surprise and even more so when he asked me if I would be interest in two boxes of O scale. Upon arriving at his home, there were two boxes of O scale. Ilooked inside each and saw a lot of work since the models were placed on top of each other. I bought the boxes. What a collection! Now I belong to the Rio Grande Chapter of the Desert Division of the Train Collector Society. We have a yearly meet and yes, I do find O scale two rail.What this comes down to this, you can belong to any group as long as you make friends not enemies.
When I dismantled my last O Scale layout in 2014, O Scale was easily found in Model Railroader, let alone a number of O scale specific publications. I moved and only in January 2020 did I decide that space be damned! I would build something in O Scale. I renewed my lapsed subscription to Model Railroader only to find not only was the magazine skinnier than I remember, but O Scale had virtually disappeared from its pages. It is amazing that there is a thriving O Scale market on eBay. I find the Atlas O Scale home page to be anemic compared to 7 years ago. I will join the O Scale Kings this weekend to help support the lobbying required to keep the King Of Scales vibrant and enduring and of course, I will buy O Scale commercially to keep businesses in business.
A good start for cheaper O scale is the old Atlas/Roco range from the early 1970s; that's what I started with in about 2002. Some upgrading is easy, the rolling stock in particular has mounting holes in the right place for Kadees - unlike the current Atlas range where the mounting holes are just very slightly off!! NWSL do replacement wheelsets for the F-Units.
Even the Atlas Plymouth can be made to run well, I have 3 of them and just recently fitted Zimo MX635R DCC decoders to them - the motor control is very impressive.
Consider subscribing to O Scale Trains: https://shop.whiteriverproductions.com/products/ost?variant=683819466768
And check out The O Scale Resource Magazine. Free to read, download and print.