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Author Topic: Newbie in O scale  (Read 2781 times)
Bill Baker

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« on: November 10, 2010, 06:25:14 PM »

I've been in model railroading for years, but this is my first foray into O gauge.  I have come across some O gauge engines and cars but I don't have any track.  My fist question is: what is the difference in O gauge and O 27 track?  Are the two compatible with each other?  In other words are the codes (height of the rails) compatible as compared to code 83 and code 100 in HO scale.

Thanks, Bill
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Bill
Joe Satnik


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« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2010, 09:30:13 PM »

Dear Bill,

Here is Lionel's blurb on their tinplate track:

http://www.lionel.com/ForTheHobbyist/AboutGauge/

O gauge track pins are slightly larger diameter than O-27 pins.   

O pins can be forced into O-27 track, but it isn't pretty. 
O track can be squished to grab O-27 pins, but it isn't pretty.   

O gauge starts with 31" diameter curves, O-27 starts with 27" diameter curves. 

O gauge profile is 1/4" higher than O-27,  (11/16" vs. 7/16") , so a shim would be needed.   

The  Williams/WBB tinplate track is an upgrade from Lionel's, (more metal ties per track section), however, in my opinion the nicest looking 3-rail-O track uses wood ties.  (A brand different than Lionel's or WBB's.)

Hope this helps.

Sincerely,

Joe Satnik   
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If your loco is too heavy to lift, you'd better be able to ride in, on or behind it.
Cobrabob8


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« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2010, 11:02:04 PM »

Bill, there are so many different brands and types of O Gauge track out there. Your best bet is to take a look at them all and talk to people who use the different systems. The better O sectional track is quite pricey. You can find decent usable pre-owned track out there also. I guess O Gauge track would be Code 100 and 027 would be Code 83 or less. It is usually best in my opinion to stick with one type of track. My current layout is an 8'6" x 13'10" C-shaped layout that uses Lionel's FasTrack. I have been quite pleased with it, but it is somewhat expensive. Sad As a newbie your best bet may be to go with Williams by Bachmann or Lionel tinplate track. That is probably the most economical way to go. I would recomend the O track opposed to the 027 as it is more sturdy.
Cobrabob.
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"Train Kept A Rollin' All Night Long.."
Bill Baker

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« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2010, 11:49:21 AM »

Thanks guys.  That's exactly the information I was looking for.

Bill
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Bill
phillyreading

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« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2010, 02:04:59 PM »

I have been in O gauge trains for many years and have found that tubular track is probally the best to use, like Lionel tinplate track. I use Gargraves tubular track in 032 and 043 size curves.

Fastrac or other track with a plastic base have some drawbacks; the first is price, the second is limited to a planned track design, not able to cut & fit as with tubular track. I did a fancy design with Lionel's Fastrac and it through the geometry of the track off very bad, I had to buy small fitter pieces to make up for the quarter curves that I had used or the track would keep falling apart.
If you think Fastrac is expensive, wait until you buy a remote control switch for Fastrac!

Lee F.
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phillyreading

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« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2010, 02:15:20 PM »

As far as 027 track, some people use it for an elevated track. Another thing about 027 track is that there are two basic curve sizes that are sold, the first and most common is 27 inch curves, the second is 42 inch curves.
Along with larger curve sizes there is also longer straight tracks in 027, four sections of track in length or about 35 inches long.

A couple of companies have made 027 switches, Lionel and K-Line being the two most prominent, and the sizes of the switched curves are 27 ich and 42 inch curves. I like the K-Line switch because it has a smaller switch housing that sticks up so that more of your differant freight cars can pass through.

Gargraves and Ross Custom switches have the more realistic looking switches in O gauge, their switches look like H.O. switches by Atlas rather than Lionel style switches. Both Ross & Gargraves track need adapter pins to go to either O gauge or 027 track, however Ross & Gargraves track will mate up without any adapter pins being needed.

Lee F.
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DominicMazoch

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« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2010, 02:11:58 AM »

I think K-Line did make O-27 track at one time in 72" curves.
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