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Discussion Boards => General Discussion => Topic started by: chieffan on December 05, 2011, 10:22:46 PM



Title: Explanation Please
Post by: chieffan on December 05, 2011, 10:22:46 PM
Could someone kindly explain to me the difference between HOn3 and On30.  I know that Bachmann makes the On30 trains that run on standard HO track.  But it is not called "HOn3".  This has me confused.  Thanks much.   Rog


Title: Re: Explanation Please
Post by: mhampton on December 05, 2011, 11:01:21 PM
Could someone kindly explain to me the difference between HOn3 and On30.  I know that Bachmann makes the On30 trains that run on standard HO track.  But it is not called "HOn3".  This has me confused.  Thanks much.   Rog

HOn3 trains are HO scale (1:87) models of 3' narrow-gauge trains.  On30 trains are O scale (1:48) models of 30" narrow-gauge trains.


Title: Re: Explanation Please
Post by: Desertdweller on December 05, 2011, 11:17:53 PM
Ron,

You are confusing "scale" with "track gauge".

"Scale" is the relationship between the size of the models and the full-sized thing modeled.  "O-scale" models are 1/48 actual size.  "HO-scale" models are 1/87.5 actual size.  It has nothing to do with gauge.  There are no such things as "On30"scale models or "HOn3" scale models.

"HOn3" is a track gauge equaling 36" track spacing in HO scale.  An HOn3 model is an HO scale model of a full-size piece of equipment that runs on 36" gauge track.  That is narrow gauge, as the standard track gauge in this country is 4' 8 1/2".

"On30" is a track gauge equaling 30" (2 1/2') in O scale.  An On30 model is an O scale model of a full-size piece of equipment that runs on 30" gauge track.  That, of course, is also a narrow gauge ( but different than 3' gauge).

On30 and HOn3 only applies to the rail spacing.  All other models in O or HO are simply O (1/48) or HO (1/87.5) scale.  There is no such thing as a "narrow gauge" building, auto, or tree.

Since "scale" and "gauge" are separate concepts, consider that HO gauge track used with O-scale models works out to 2 1/2' gauge.  Thus "On30".  Similarly, N-gauge track used with HO-scale models works out to HOn30 (2 1/2' gauge again).

HOn30 is a tad narrower than HOn3.  There is model railroad equipment available for both gauges.  The economy here is N-gauge track can be used instead of the more expensive (or hand-laid) HOn3 track.  You just get an HOn30 track out of it.

In the real world, at least in the USA, 36" was the most commonly used narrow gauge track.  Thus, not only are HOn3 models available, but so are On3.  The next most common narrow gauge was 24".  30" was very rare.  On the other hand, models of either scale running on 30" gauge track can be used to represent both 2' and 3' narrow gauge prototypes.

Les


Title: Re: Explanation Please
Post by: NarrowMinded on December 06, 2011, 03:05:07 AM
Les,

HUH? ???

Your explanation is both contradictory in terms used and confusing... to me anyway...


NM-Jeff


Title: Re: Explanation Please
Post by: rogertra on December 06, 2011, 03:25:13 AM
Les,

HUH? ???

Your explanation is both contradictory in terms used and confusing... to me anyway...


NM-Jeff

Les' explaination was perfectly clear in explaining the relationship between "scale" and "gauge".


Title: Re: Explanation Please
Post by: chieffan on December 06, 2011, 09:23:18 AM
Thank you all for your input on this topic.  Les did a great job of explaining the difference between HOn3 and On30.  I understand what the two concepts are now.  Incidentally the confusion between scale and gauge is more common than one may think.  Thanks all for your input.   Rog


Title: Re: Explanation Please
Post by: Desertdweller on December 06, 2011, 02:12:48 PM
Can anyone here help NM-Jeff out?

I don't know how else to explain it.

Les


Title: Re: Explanation Please
Post by: RAM on December 06, 2011, 04:55:19 PM
I don't model On30, how ever I do know someone who does.  He gave a talk on it where He said, "you can use HO track, but you should remove every other tie".


Title: Re: Explanation Please
Post by: Jim Banner on December 06, 2011, 07:15:51 PM
The story is a little more complicated than Les lets on.  The designations started off as gauges and only gauges until the NMRA got involved and decided they were scales too.  However, basic scale designations (N, H0, 0 etc.) are equal to gauge designations ONLY if you are talking standard gauge track.  That is, H0 gauge track (16.5 mm between the rails) represents 4'-8.5" real world, standard gauge track ONLY if the scale is H0 scale (3.5 mm = 1 foot, or 1/87 full size.) 

You can use H0 gauge track to represent other real world tack gauges, but it will no longer represent real world standard gauge track.  For example, let's say we want it to represent real world 30" gauge track using H0 gauge track.  The gauge of our H0 gauge track stays the same, 16.5 mm between the rails.  But the scale of the trains we run on it and the miniature world they run through are no longer H0 scale.  If you do the math, it is 1/4" = 1 foot, or 1/48 full size.) **  This scale is 0 scale.  To differentiate it from 0 scale running on scaled down real world standard gauge track, we add n30 to the scale to indicate we are modeling real world 30" gauge track.

Bottom line, when we talk about 0n30, we are mixing scale and gauge.  The 0 of 0n30 tells us the scale is 0 scale and the n30 of 0n30 tells us we are modeling 30" narrow gauge track.

Remember
- Gauge is the real world measurement of the distance between the rails.
- Scale is the ratio between model size and real world size.
- The twain shall never meet, unless the scale of the twain and the gauge of the twack are tied together by scaled down standard gauge twack.

Jim

**  If you do the math, you will find the scale is closer to 1/46.18 of full size, but close enough to let us use readily available H0 gauge track.


Title: Re: Explanation Please
Post by: richg on December 06, 2011, 07:34:20 PM
Very good Jim. Even a caveman should be able to understand that. Yeah, I watch to many Geico commercials.

Rich


Title: Re: Explanation Please
Post by: Jerrys HO on December 06, 2011, 07:51:15 PM
rich-

Your words are hurtful. I will not be at the doughnut social in the morning!


Title: Re: Explanation Please
Post by: richg on December 06, 2011, 07:53:22 PM
rich-

Your words are hurtful. I will not be at the doughnut social in the morning!

lol. an extra donut for me. Love it.

Rich


Title: Re: Explanation Please
Post by: Ken G Price on December 06, 2011, 08:33:46 PM
Is that an O or HO scale doughnut?  ???
And on what gauge plate does it rest on? :D


Title: Re: Explanation Please
Post by: NarrowMinded on December 07, 2011, 04:13:49 AM
Me Just little dumb no big smart brain guy... :P

When some one asks me what scale my model trains are I just tell them ON30

When someone asks me what scale My bridge and water tower is I tell them ON30
(they were modeled after narrow gauge lines)my layout is ON30

Don't know what to call them now... Me go back cave now too tired chisling letters.

NM-Jeff
 


Title: Re: Explanation Please
Post by: Johnson Bar Jeff on December 07, 2011, 10:14:30 AM
Me go back cave now too tired chisling letters.

NM-Jeff

Try using a stick on a wet clay tablet. That's what I do. It's a lot easier!  ;)

JB-Jeff


Title: Re: Explanation Please
Post by: Desertdweller on December 07, 2011, 01:06:12 PM
My model railroad is in my man cave.

Les


Title: Re: Explanation Please
Post by: Jim Banner on December 07, 2011, 06:21:55 PM
NM-Jeff,

I think that is what most of us who are into 0n30 do.  If the person we are talking to is also into 0n30, they know exactly what we mean.

At trains shows, some non-modelers will ask what 0n30 means and I try to keep it short and sweet - 1/48 of full size trains running on 1/48 of full size, 2-1/2 foot narrow gauge track.  Sometimes that is the start of a long conversation.  Other times it is a "huh?" and/or a blank stare.

I have a crazy idea that I have been toying with.  The idea is to make a floor display showing two sections of track, both full, real world size.  One would be 4'-8 1/2" gauge and the the other 2'-6" gauge.  Hollow and made out of wood, they would be much lighter than the real thing but they would sure help explain the narrow gauge concept.  Maybe 8" x 10" x 8' standard ties, 6" x 8" x 6' narrow gauge ties, 100 pound standard rail and 40 pound for the narrow gauge.  The narrow gauge ties would fit inside the standard gauge ties and the rails would fit inside the narrow gauge ties so they wouldn't take up much room for storage.  What do you think?

Jim


Title: Re: Explanation Please
Post by: WoundedBear on December 07, 2011, 08:27:15 PM
Cool idea Jim.........might I offer a suggestion?

Instead of wood, make your display out of Styro. You just know that's gonna be easier to shape, easy to paint, structurally stable and a whole lot lighter than wood.

Just my 2 cents.

Sid


Title: Re: Explanation Please
Post by: Jim Banner on December 07, 2011, 11:18:29 PM
Good idea!  Thanks, Sid.  When not in use, I could store the pieces in the attic of my garage without packing down the fibreglass insulation.  Might even save a bit on heating in the winter.

Jim


Title: Re: Explanation Please
Post by: terry2foot on December 08, 2011, 01:53:46 PM
Jim,

it might be simpler to track down a picture like the 8th one down on this site
http://www.bridgtonhistory.org/BSRRR/tabid/72/Default.aspx which shows a standard gauge train alongside a narrow gauge one,


Terry 



Title: Re: Explanation Please
Post by: Jim Banner on December 09, 2011, 12:04:05 AM
Thanks, Terry.  That is a great photo to illustrate the difference.

Jim


Title: Re: Explanation Please
Post by: Johnson Bar Jeff on December 09, 2011, 12:13:00 PM
Jim,

it might be simpler to track down a picture like the 8th one down on this site
http://www.bridgtonhistory.org/BSRRR/tabid/72/Default.aspx which shows a standard gauge train alongside a narrow gauge one,

Terry 

Neat old photos!