Bachmann Message Board

Discussion Boards => On30 => Topic started by: Jomaken on February 05, 2007, 02:03:27 PM



Title: Vertical Clearance for On30
Post by: Jomaken on February 05, 2007, 02:03:27 PM
Will On30 equipment run on my HO layout with 3" vertical clearance?


Title: Re: Vertical Clearance for On30
Post by: eric on February 05, 2007, 03:06:35 PM
The smaller ON30 engines, like the 0-4-0 and 0-4-2, will fit under a 3" vertical clearance.  The larger engines, like the 2-6-0, 2-8-0, Shay, Forney, and Climax, will not fit under a 3 " vertical clearance without alterations.

The logging and mining cars, low gondolas, tank cars, and flat cars will fit under a 3" vertical clearance.  The box car should clear by less than 1/8".

The NMRA Standard Clearance is 4.25".

You also need to consider horizontal clearance.  For curves, 3.5" works fairly well in most situations.  That can be reduced for tangent track.

Hope this helps.

Eric Root 


Title: Re: Vertical Clearance for On30
Post by: C.S.R.R. Manager on February 05, 2007, 03:34:39 PM
I did a quick check, and the 2-6-0 mogul stack is a good 3.5" above the rails.  The passenger cars also need 3.125" to clear.  Oddly enough, the 2-8-0 is just short of 3" tall over the rail heads. 

4" would be safe, especially if you are looking at locos from other manufacturers.


Title: Re: Vertical Clearance for On30
Post by: BIG BEAR on February 05, 2007, 11:08:28 PM

           Don't forget HO track is 1/4 inch thick, EZ Track is almost 1/2 inch thick. Since most structures sit at ground level not at track height.


Title: Re: Vertical Clearance for On30
Post by: Hoople on February 06, 2007, 12:03:22 AM

           Don't forget HO track is 1/4 inch thick, EZ Track is almost 1/2 inch thick. Since most structures sit at ground level not at track height.

Since most structures sit at ground height? did you forget to add something?


Title: Re: Vertical Clearance for On30
Post by: BIG BEAR on February 06, 2007, 01:35:41 AM

          No. most of the clearances posted were engine or car height, from the tops of the rails. The tunnel portal or bridge girders or supports sit on the ground level, NOT on top of the rails, so one needs to add in rail clearance also.


Title: Re: Vertical Clearance for On30
Post by: Hoople on February 06, 2007, 12:05:00 PM
Thats true. I just didn't understand why you added a new sentence.

Anyway, Why does he want to run On30 on a HO scale railroad...?


Title: Re: Vertical Clearance for On30
Post by: Terry Toenges on February 06, 2007, 12:28:30 PM
For the same reason I'm running 4 different scales on mine - because I can.


Title: Re: Vertical Clearance for On30
Post by: jsmvmd on February 06, 2007, 03:52:55 PM
I intend to build a layout, soon I hope to run HO and On30, just for the fun of it!  I happen to like both scales and do not have time or space to do both.  Best, Jack


Title: Re: Vertical Clearance for On30
Post by: the Bach-man on February 07, 2007, 12:41:40 AM
Dear Jo,
Take a look at "the Bach-man Builds a Layout" in the gallery. There are several photos regarding clearance issues.
Have fun!
the Bach-man


Title: Re: Vertical Clearance for On30
Post by: ebtnut on February 07, 2007, 06:52:08 PM
Since On30 is O scale narrow gauge, I would recommend using the NMRA RP's for On3 as a guide for clearances.  They can be found on the NMRA web site.  You should be able to get away with using 3" track centers (12 feet in O scale), though you might want to spread it out to 3 1/4" on tight curves.