2 rail O gauge track? ( w/ scale wheels)

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  • Member since
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  • From: Western, NY
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2 rail O gauge track? ( w/ scale wheels)
Posted by enginear on Friday, May 09, 2008 8:23 PM

I have been considering switching to or starting an O gauge layout. Then I'd be running three scales and the wife might kill me. The new MTH engines say they run on scale wheels on 2 or 3 rail track. I went to the atlas website and they offer some 2 rail. I have to admit that I never liked the look of the tube style 3 rail track. I was wondering about running two rail verses three rail and whats a good brand. Would you run MTH scale track three rail or atlas three or two rail or some other brand?

Also on the new MTH engines can you attach the pilots (fixed) so they look better? are they included? Thanks, Joe

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  • From: Redneck Land(Little Rock), Arkansas
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Posted by arkansasrailfan on Friday, May 09, 2008 8:33 PM
as always, you can modify models to your desires. but it would take some heavy modifying to fix those MTHs. thats why I buy models that are prototypically accurate as possible, so I won't have to do modifying that would alter the model signifacantly.(spell) you can also just get rid of them, I had to do that before with engines I owned for only a year.
-Michael It's baaaacccckkkk!!!!!! www.youtube.com/user/wyomingrailfan
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Posted by jefelectric on Friday, May 09, 2008 8:34 PM
The downside to 2-rail is that most items require at least 24" RADIUS to run and a lot take larger radius.  Keep in mind that 24" radius is the same as what us 3 railers call 048.  Most of the Steam engines and Diesels in the new MTH catalog that are available with scale wheels for 2 rail reguire 42" radius curves.  This takes a lot of real estate for a layout.  I love the looks of the 2-rail stuff, but no way could I come up with the space for a layout.  Some of your other questions will have to be answered by someone with 2-rail experience, so you may not find an answer on this forum.
John Fullerton Home of the BUBB&A  http://www.jeanandjohn.net/trains.html
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Posted by spankybird on Friday, May 09, 2008 8:38 PM

Here are a few pics of one of our OTTS members who uses Atlas 2 rail track and MTH 2-3 scale engines.

 

I am a person with a very active inner child. This is why my wife loves me so. Willoughby, Ohio - the home of the CP & E RR. OTTS Founder www.spankybird.shutterfly.com 

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  • From: Western, NY
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Posted by enginear on Friday, May 09, 2008 8:43 PM

Thanks for the info and very nice pictures. Does this guy run DCS or some type of command control and do you know of any complaints on his two rail track? I think I read you cant use protocouplers on two rail? Thanks

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Posted by spankybird on Saturday, May 10, 2008 4:58 PM

He uses DC with a smiple remote just to control track number and voltage. He does not have DCS. Becuase he has changed the couplers to K-dees, the protocouplers do not match up.

 

His only complaint is the cost!

I am a person with a very active inner child. This is why my wife loves me so. Willoughby, Ohio - the home of the CP & E RR. OTTS Founder www.spankybird.shutterfly.com 

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Posted by phillyreading on Monday, May 12, 2008 2:53 PM
 enginear wrote:

I have been considering switching to or starting an O gauge layout. Then I'd be running three scales and the wife might kill me. The new MTH engines say they run on scale wheels on 2 or 3 rail track. I went to the atlas website and they offer some 2 rail. I have to admit that I never liked the look of the tube style 3 rail track. I was wondering about running two rail verses three rail and whats a good brand. Would you run MTH scale track three rail or atlas three or two rail or some other brand?

Also on the new MTH engines can you attach the pilots (fixed) so they look better? are they included? Thanks, Joe

Joe,

Are you familiar with two rail O gauge track and freight cars? Three rail cars won't work on two rail for at least two reasons, first is the wheel sets need to be insulated like in H.O, also the couplers are different than three rail and will derail three rail cars with only rail axles.

Lee F.

Interested in southest Pennsylvania railroads; Reading & Northern, Reading Company, Reading Lines, Philadelphia & Reading.
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  • From: Western, NY
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Posted by enginear on Tuesday, May 13, 2008 8:46 AM
Thanks for the info. I'm not at all familiar with O gauge yet except for the control system. I probably will run three rail if I can get past my third rail hang up. It sure has alot of benefits. I like the look of the scale wheels and fixed pilots better!, Joe
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  • From: Lake Worth FL
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Posted by phillyreading on Tuesday, May 13, 2008 2:33 PM

Did anybody tell you the advantage of three rail track? You can do a figuire 8 without insulating any track sections and you can do a turnaround without insulating pins as well.

Lee F.

Interested in southest Pennsylvania railroads; Reading & Northern, Reading Company, Reading Lines, Philadelphia & Reading.
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Posted by Geno on Wednesday, August 06, 2008 2:37 AM

enginear,
I started out in O gauge with Lionel 027, but even as a kid I didn't like the way 3-rail track looked- not even close to the real thing. After almost 30 years in the hobby the semi-scale engines and cars were replaced with 3-rail scale models, but I still couldn't find the perfect 3-rail track. It was only after I saw what some individuals were doing with code 148 Atlas 2-rail on the OGR Forum did I find my ideal track- stud rail.

Like the name implies, it's a rail with studs sticking up between the ties of the 2-rail track. The stud rail is a 1/2" tall piece of sheetmetal with rectangular sections knocked out at the top, leaving studs protruding- this rail is supported by Midwest cork roadbed on either side of it. A brass slider is clipped on to the rollers and contacts the studs. This track system acts like 3-rail in most aspects, but when the track is ballasted the studrail is barely noticeable. It also uses code 148 Atlas 2-rail, better-looking than any 3-rail track system IMO. 

I contacted the individuals who pioneered this track system, and one of them even sold me his remaining supply of stud rail ( they both have since gone pure 2-rail). I then proceed to lay down a test loop with a siding, which worked better than I expected. I was planning a large 2-level layout with over 500' of track, but getting the studrail made proved problematic- most shops in LA wanted too much money to fabricate it. I'm now in the process of designing my own tooling so I can make as much as I need, and even offer it to anyone interested after I build a test layout.

Like anyone interested in scale, I'm getting into the MTH scale-wheeled diesels as well. The scale-wheeled diesels and steamers have a '-2' suffix after the part number, and that gets you an engine with scale wheels, fixed pilots (diesels), and mounts for Kadees (you supply the couplers). These units are a big hit with the 3-rail scale and 2-rail crowds, since they can be run on either 3 or 2-rail track with a flip of a switch and a change of wheelsets. The scale wheels can even be run on square profile track like Gargraves and Atlas 3-rail, but will dip a little in the frogs of some 3-rail switches.

Geno

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Posted by chuck on Wednesday, August 06, 2008 3:59 PM
Besides the issues already mentioned one other potential problem has to do with attention to detail regarding the track installation.  Scale track and scale wheels require that everything be aligned almost perfectly.  We get a way with a lot of fudging on three rail/HiRail because the track is extra tall and the flanges extra deep.  A small mismatch in gauge or relative heights and the equipment will start to derail.  This is one of the main reasons I gave up on HO.  I am by no means advocating sloppy/slipshod work Smile [:)]  I just want to make sure you consider this aspect to 2 rail scale.
When everything else fails, play dead
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Posted by rtraincollector on Wednesday, August 06, 2008 4:29 PM

You also have a few companies who make a darken 3rd rail so with good balsting all its not that noticable but yes its still visable. Also I know its closer to one side but how about in real life where they have the 3rd rail for subways and other things like that.

I personally like gargraves track as ballast right it shore looks nice and you can get it with the middle rail blackend so not that noticable when I lived in Va there was a guy who had it and he had the 3rd rail almost invisable by making his ballast go up from the outer rails to the center rail to where you could hardly see it. seems like he painted/washed the center rail about same color as ballast. just some other thought for you.

  Charter member of Tardis Train Crew (TTC)

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