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  • Member since
    November, 2010
  • 1 posts
Posted by trainguy42 on Sunday, November 28, 2010 3:12 PM

Could we get some additional track plans for On30 scale. Being a newcomer to scale model rring from tinplate I am seeking advice with regard to running O scale trains on HO track and would like some more plans to follow. I am planning to build on a 16 x 8 ft table area and quite frankly I am stuck on developing a plan.

  • Member since
    November, 2002
  • From: Colorado
  • 3,942 posts
Posted by fwright on Sunday, November 28, 2010 3:50 PM

On30 is modeling narrow gauge.  Most (but not all) narrow gauge was built in regions where the wider and more substantial roadbed needed by standard gauge came at a significant extra cost.  Mountainous areas were certainly one region that justified narrow gauge, and actually swampy and boggy areas could see a real difference in construction costs, too.

The point I'm trying to make is that the traditional large flat top table used in the tinplate world is not so well suited for modeling narrow gauge in general.  The access issues alone will create problems.  Just about all of us can't reach in more than 36" - and most can't do more than 30" at typical layout heights.  Instead of a large flat table, think about a donut arrangement operated and built from the middle with 24"-30" wide shelves.  Then push the shelves out to the wall, and have around-the-walls layout.

An open grid framework allows you to easily vary the height of both the scenery and the track.

There have been several On30 track plans published in the latest Kalmbach track plan book - 102 Track Plans.  Any On3 track plan can also be used as is for On30.  S and HO track plans can be adapted, especially if they are not all that crowded with track.

The traditional route is come up with your theme for your layout, and design your own layout.  HO track planning tools will work fine, except that you need to leave more room between parallel tracks for the wider rolling stock of On30.  Similarly, you must have extra vertical clearance for the taller rolling stock.  And structures and scenic elements take up much more space in O than in HO.

hope this gets you started

Fred W

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: upstate NY
  • 9,237 posts
Posted by galaxy on Sunday, November 28, 2010 6:24 PM

It would be nice if there were track plan books for On30, wouldn't it? I would LOVE to do an On30 layout for under the tree! I'd love to do an On30 layout period.

Do a google seach for "On30 track plan book" and see what you come up with, I came up with several links, not necessarily to books, but to sites about On30 you might find helpfull.

Basically, any HO track plan CAN work, and any O scale track plan CAN work. THE difference is that HO can guide you on the trackage front, but O is  the scale you are using for everything else. You have to negotiate between the two! But you already know that Whistling

Bachmann publishes a yearly "Bachmann Trains 20- -", this year's 2010 edition{all years editions actually} has a listing for the HO scale track  radii required for the On30 offerings currently available to comfortably operate on. I got one at a trainshow. You MIGHT be able to pick up a  2011 edition soon from Bachmann! I mention this as it may help you in determining what curves your layout will need to operate your On30 trains on, so you can keep an eye on that on HO scale layout plans.

Space. The final frontier. Sounds like you have lots of it, but I would do as suggested and not "fill in the middle". You will need more "space" than an HO scale layout affords, as the O scale buildings will be bigger than the accompanying HO scale buildings on the HO scale layout. You will kinda need double the space offerings of an HO layout for your structures. {HO does stand for "Half O".}

{I am sure, except for the Bachmann Book part, that I have been less than helpful}

Good luck in your endeavors and let us know how it turns out.

-G .

Just my thoughts, ideas, opinions and experiences. Others may vary.

 HO and N Scale.

After long and careful thought, they have convinced me. I have come to the conclusion that they are right. The aliens did it.

  • Member since
    February, 2002
  • From: Mpls/St.Paul
  • 10,498 posts
Posted by wjstix on Sunday, November 28, 2010 6:42 PM

A track plan is a track plan is a track plan. You can always size it up or down to fit your scale. An HO layout could be adjusted to On30 pretty easily, just allow more room for clearances and double the size of the buildings.

I would suggest subscribing to Narrow Gauge and Short Line Gazette. They have many stories on narrow gauge layouts. One thing you'll notice is narrow gauge lines tend to be more rural, like in mountains or swamps where regular trains wouldn't work as well. They generally are a single line going thru the wilderness.

  • Member since
    June, 2003
  • From: Culpeper, Va
  • 7,679 posts
Posted by IRONROOSTER on Sunday, November 28, 2010 10:33 PM

One approach is to get some sectional track such as Atlas makes and just try out some different arrangements on your table.  When you have one you like, add roadbed and fasten it down.



If you're having fun, you're doing it the right way.

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