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Author Topic: A few On30 questions before I start designing a new layout.  (Read 6704 times)
NevinW

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« on: October 18, 2009, 09:48:58 PM »

I visited a hobby shop today to look at some On30 equipment.  I am seriously considering converting my HO railroad to On30 due to a love of NG equipment and worsening eyes.  Will sit down with Cadrail and start designing soon.  It will be a Nevada mining railroad.  Will 3 inch track centers for parallel yard track be adequate?  Do people use HO cork or S scale roadbed?  What is the length of the ties for the Micro Engineering On30 track and turnouts.  Anything unusual about Micro Engineering #5 turnouts geometry?  Is there a Cadrail file for these turnouts available anywhere?  Will the Bachmann 2-8-0 and the new 4-6-0 take a 22 inch radius?  How difficult would they be to convert to On3 if I go that route.  Will they both fit on a 12 inch turntable?  - Thanks, Nevin
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the Bach-man
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« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2009, 11:13:17 PM »

Dear Nevin,
In order:
1) 3" centers OK
2) Roadbed- either or neither
3) Will try to find out. Any help out there?
4) Unusual how?
5) Don't know
6) 22" radius OK
7) What is your skill level?  Many have done so...
Cool 12" turntable OK
Have fun!
the Bach-man
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C.S.R.R. Manager


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« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2009, 08:50:21 AM »

ME On30 track ties [sleepers for those across the pond, right?] are exactly 1.5" long, or 6 feet in 1:48.

I've also thought about converting to On3, but can't justify it from a cost/benefit perspective.  All that work on the locos, and new wheelsets and trucks for every piece of rolling stock, just to make the track 3/32" or so wider, and prevent snide comments from the rivet counters...  It doesn't make that much difference to me, but I fully understand that it's important to others.

Excellent questions, Nevin, welcome.

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ebtnut

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« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2009, 01:42:16 PM »

Nevin:  A few of the Bachmann On30 items are relatively easily converted to On3.  Among them, the 2-bay steel hoppers (just twist the wheels out a bit on the axles); the Climax (about 30 min. total time if you have a NWSL wheel-puller).  Some of the rolling stock has been made with dual level coupler boxes - the higher one matches On3; the lower one is the HO/On30 level.  And in most cases you can put On3 trucks under most cars.  The Mogul takes some work to convert, because the cylinder block is not wide enough.  The new Ten-Wheeler looks to be a relatively easy conversion, and I understand the Grandt Line will be coming out with a conversion kit for it. 
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NevinW

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« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2009, 02:52:28 PM »

The only reason to consider On3 over On30 would be if someone came out with an On3 locomotive that was totally irresistible.  For me it would be an SP NG #8,9,18.  -  Nevin
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vroc3349

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« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2009, 06:57:23 PM »

The ties provided by Fast Track are dfrom Mt Albert Scale Lumber and are 1.5" for regular and 3" for turnouts.

You can run all the equipment from Bachman on 18"adius BUT the bigger stuff does not look right on curves and the couplers will not function well at all.  22" best for the rod engines and the Shays and Climax will look great wherever you run them, because they are Shays and Climaxes, right??

vroc3349
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azflyer2001

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« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2009, 12:42:54 PM »

Nevin,

First off, did you have an article in the Gazette back in 1983 for a Sn3 SPNG layout of Laws?

If so, I think we are interested in the same type of railroading. Im also a big fan of the Southern Pacific Narrow Gauge and the Owens Valley. I had the Sunset On3 #9 and #18 locomotives but sold them because I couldnt see having so much money tied up into two models. Besides, as much as I like the prototype, I didnt want to get tied down building prototypical models. Modeling a freelanced railroad that connects with the SP give me the best of both worlds. I can model as much of the SPNG as I want as well as incorporate other favorite railroad designs. I have been struggling with the gauge issue but I think On30 is the way to go. There is plenty to model without modeling the SPNG. This freedom still allows me to build SP equipment and put them on On30 trucks. My structures will have definite Laws appearance as well.

Now to the layout which in still in the design phase. Knowing how much the residences of Bishop wanted a rail connection of their own back in 1910; I decided to give them one and created the Bishop Creek and Sierra railroad. My BC&S RR connects to the SPNG just south of Laws and will run into Bishop and up to a lumber mill in Mammoth Lakes. This will allow me to model the high desert as well as the Eastern Sierra forest region.

As far as your questions as concerned. I recommend at least 30 curves if you have the room. These are big locomotives and will operate on 22 curves but they might not look their best. The 4-6-0 will fit on a 12 turntable but overhang at both ends because its about 13 long.

Id like to send you some track plans Ive been working as well as a couple of track photos. Ive been experimenting with handlaying On3 and On30 track on HO cork roadbed on foam. It seems to work pretty well. My email address is:

azflyer2001@cox.net

Good luck with the switch,

Travis in Mesa
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« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2009, 01:58:54 PM »

Nevin, you may have seen this already, but Mike Miller made a couple of SP 4-6-0s a few years back.  One uses a Bachmann 2-6-0 for the mechanism.  Mike also had an article in one of the On30 Annuals, where he turned an HO model of Henry from Thomas the Tank Engine into an On30 4-6-0.

I'm not sure if "kitbashing" is something you enjoy, but it can be a way to get the model you want now, without waiting for a manufacturer to build it.  And once you've built yours, some manufacturer often will release the loco you were trying to model, and it usually costs less than you spent on your bash, and runs much better.

http://webpages.charter.net/mransr/trains.htm

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NevinW

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« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2009, 02:04:54 PM »

That Sn3 Laws scene was a pair of modules I did a long time ago.  When I moved I had to sell it.  I think Dale Darney ended up with the engine.    I am very interested in the SP NG but also the Nevada mining railroads.  My current HO layout is a Tonopah & Tidewater Branch to old Ryan.   I have been toying with a On30 Death Valley RR type layout using the Bachmann 2-8-0 even though it is outside frame and the DV RR engines were inside frame.  There is a resemblance.   I have also thought about modeling the narrow gauge Tonopah RR as they even ran some D&RG equipment for the brief time before it was regauged to standard gauge. 

I would love to see you ideas for track plans. -  Nevin
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azflyer2001

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« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2009, 02:31:43 PM »

Wow, we do like the same stuff. Here the only plan I have one line.

http://macrodyn.com/ldsig/wiki/index.php?title=Mojave_desert_mining_railroad_-_On30_-_Travis_Handschug

I can send more if you give me your email address. One idea I have is to model an On3 common carrier that connects to an On30 mining tram. I'd like to build it as a mushroom plan with the stamp mill acting as the interchange point and being the only scene occupying both levels.

I've drawn over 20 track plans in AutoCAD; all are based on common carrier or mining operations in Nevada, Death Valley or the Eastern Sierras. Needless to say, my favorite books are Railroads of Nevada and Eastern California Vol. 1 & 2 by David Myrick.


Travis in Mesa
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NevinW

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« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2009, 12:03:53 PM »

"Needless to say, my favorite books are Railroads of Nevada and Eastern California Vol. 1 & 2 by David Myrick."

I was born and raised in Las Vegas but had no interest in trains or modeling until I found Myricks books in the U of Utah library in the mid 70's and was blown away.  I've worn out my first copies from reading them over the years. 

I think he Yellow Pine Mining company would make and interesting On30 railroad.  It was very short.  Much of Goodsprings is still intact.  It interchanged with the UP (LA & SL) and used shays.  -  Nevin
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ricka1

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« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2009, 09:02:46 PM »

I'm just learning about the SPNG and found a nice plan in the new on-line issue of Model Railroad Hobbyist at

http://model-railroad-hobbyist.com/mrh2009-Q4/slim_rails_trackplan

This plan could be "un-wrapped" into a larger place and the mid-line towns fleshed out as necessary for a really neat layout with great ops possibilities.

Rick
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rich1998

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« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2009, 01:53:03 PM »

go to the below link. this guy is real good. follwed his suggestions when he had ho scale.
http://tinyurl.com/ykze3rh
you can also use google and look for on30.
lex
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USAF_Andy

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« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2009, 11:13:18 PM »

Here is a side by side comparison of an SPNG ten wheeler to a Bachmann ten wheeler.  The tender itself would be another beast entirely...



Guess it comes up smaller than I thought, but the main thing is, that it would take a fair amount of surgery to do it...
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