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New tinplate OO layout started

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New tinplate OO layout started
Posted by Vintagesteamer on Wednesday, October 5, 2022 4:16 PM

I had set this up with O gauge track, then the old OO bug set in again.  Found a great deal on some Gargraves track and here we are.  I dug out a parts Hudson that I had, its been modified with a huge L&S 7 pole AC motor in it, which restricts trailing truck swing.  So while it will not run on Lionel's 3 rail track, she should run on this 42" dia curves.  She will also better pull a rake of Scale Craft passenger cars.  In time, I will add a second loop in the middle using Lionel's track and switches.  A prewar type R transformer and 167 whistle controller handles power duties.  Now the hunt begins for vintage OO/HO building kits like from Sky-Line that were overscale for HO but perfect for OO.  Let the fun and the hunt begin!  Video once I have trains up and running.   Mike

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, October 5, 2022 6:47 PM

Lookin' good Mike!  Thumbs Up

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Posted by pennytrains on Wednesday, October 5, 2022 6:51 PM

Cool!  Big SmileThumbs Up  Those bugs will get ya!  Wink  Luckily their bites are fun!  

Big Smile  Same me, different spelling!  Big Smile

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Posted by Vintagesteamer on Wednesday, October 5, 2022 9:35 PM

Here is what could have been had Lionel chosen to push OO after WWII instead of O gauge.  These are from a series of unpowered OO size models from Hallmark(the card company).  The 2333 F3's are really the only ones worth trying to power. My plan is a pair of NWSL Stanton drives from their On3 line(On3 is the same track gauge as American OO).  These self contained drive trucks will power the lead unit, trailing unit will be unpowered just like in O gauge. Although I may power it eventually.  I am looking for a narrow electronic E unit to handle AC to DC power conversion and directional control as my layout is AC powered.  Worst case, a small bridge rectifier will let them run one direction.  I have already made up a 3rd rail wiper that mounts under the fuel tank.  I am waiting to hear back from NWSL for what they have that matches the wheel base and wheel diameter of the non powered trucks.  Then the real fun will begin.  The passenger coach behind the F3's is a Scale Craft OO model from the 1940/50s.    Mike

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Posted by Leverettrailfan on Wednesday, October 5, 2022 10:31 PM

I never new GarGraves did OO track- it sure looks fantastic!
I have an O scale 2-rail Walters 'doodle bug' that has a 7-pole 'universal' motor in it. I'd never seen one before- when I bought the model, it was just as a curiosity, I had no idea it had such a fancy motor in it.
Really excited to see how you continue to get on with this layout, I'm feeling rather enticed.

-Ellie

"Unless bought from a known and trusted dealer who can vouch otherwise, assume every train for sale requires servicing before use"

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Posted by Vintagesteamer on Thursday, October 6, 2022 10:26 AM

The big problem is, they do not and refuse to make matching switches for the OO track.  I think there are more potential sales for both the track and switches if they would make a basic left and right 3 rail and 2 rail switch to match their track.   Other than using On3 flex track(same gauge as OO btw), the Gargraves track is the only option for brand new track. But the lack of matching switches, in my mind, hinders sales as all you can do is build a loop and not a functional layout.  Ross was not interested in making up custom turnouts either.  So if someone wanted to step forward to make bespoke Ross style switches to match the 3 and 2 rail OO Gargraves track.  I am sure many in the OO community would be very grateful.    AD 

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Posted by pennytrains on Thursday, October 6, 2022 6:20 PM

Are the prewar Hornby 3 rail products compatible with either the Lionel or Gargraves systems?

Big Smile  Same me, different spelling!  Big Smile

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Thursday, October 6, 2022 8:31 PM

Vintagesteamer
The big problem is, they do not and refuse to make matching switches for the OO track.

You know Mike, my layout's all closed loops with no switches.  I wasn't interested in switching or sidetracking and closed loops minimize derailments.  I don't miss switches at all.  Of course it's your layout but if you can't add switches easily trust me, it's not the end of the world.

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Posted by Vintagesteamer on Thursday, October 6, 2022 8:37 PM

Nope, prewar Hornby Dublo is HO track gauge of 16.5mm.  That is where the whole thing went wacko in the UK with trains of OO scale running on HO track.  Kind of like our issue with 2 rail O scale, the track is to wide unless you model in proto48.  When OO came to the USA, we corrected the track gauge to 19mm, which is correct for 1:76th scale trains.  On3 uses the same track gauge.  So with 2 rail models, one can use On3 track and switches with a bit of work and careful ballast one can hide the narrow gauge ties to some degree.  If someone, even bespoke ordered, would offer 2 and 3 rail switches to match the Gargraves track, it would be a godsend to the OO modeler, especially 3 rail ones with Lionel stuff.  Good Lionel 3 rail track can be 45 to 50 per section with a pair of switches nearly 300 bucks!  So building even a small layout, one needs to float a small bank loan just for the track.  And that is if you can find enough of it.   All the 2 rail track from back then, be it Lionel, Scale Craft or Tru-scale does not fit on the typical 4x8 table.  Lionel is 48"dia, Scale Craft is 50" and Tru-scale is 52" diameter.   Lionels 3 rail track was 27" diameter.  Gargraves offers 42" and larger in both 2 and 3 rail.  But it is "Hi Rail" style tinplate track and not scale code 125 which was typically used for OO.  

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Posted by Vintagesteamer on Thursday, October 6, 2022 8:42 PM

The lack of compatiblity between the brands was one of the big downfalls for OO, most all be DC exept Lionel which was AC(but could run on DC if the tender lacked the air whistle).  Lionel was only 3 rail at first, then 2 rail added the following year.  Most all engines were craftsman kits that took a good bit of skill to build into a nice model.  The Lionel Hudsons were RTR and the full detailed one gives early brass HO NYC Hudsons a run for their money detail wise.  And they run really well to once serviced and woke up from their years of slumber.  

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Posted by Leverettrailfan on Thursday, October 6, 2022 10:47 PM

I don't know how I missed the post with the Hallmark F3s, that is way cool!!! It's too bad that other models lack ease of adaptability, but I can't see how you'd make any of the hallmark steam locos work without essentially creating your own tooling to rebuild... gosh I'd have to own one to know just how much of the original loco you'd be able to re-use. Could easily see it being a project that would end in pretty much making new parts to replace the whole engine!
If one were schooled well in CAD, and had a CNC router and a (CNC?) lathe, then many things could be possible. Unfortunately not a persuit I feel up for at this point in my life.
I never knew that On3 and (American) OO had the same track gauge, that's pretty durn neat.
It sounds like you may just be forced to turn to scratchbuilding your own OO turnouts. I've never tried it before, I wonder how tough it is if you have the right tools and materials?

-Ellie

"Unless bought from a known and trusted dealer who can vouch otherwise, assume every train for sale requires servicing before use"

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Posted by Vintagesteamer on Friday, October 7, 2022 9:03 AM

I may see if I can get some raw rail from Gargraves to try to build a turnout in the future.  For now, the basic loop is all I need.  The F3's can be found uber cheap on ebay, and they come with a nice display case that is perfect for them or a Hudson.  I think the Horse car might be usable as well, but I havent bought one yet.  Yes the steamers in that series from Hallmark are not usable at all sadly. I hope I can find more of the other brands of OO that is out there, I do have some Scale Craft stuff, but there is Nason, Famoco, Picard, Schorr and many other smaller companies.  If you dont have a copy of John Ericson's book on American OO, I highly recomend it.  Its well worth its cost.   

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