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Author Topic: new rail layout  (Read 3312 times)
graham rogers

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« on: January 01, 2015, 08:23:54 AM »

I am just about to start building my first rail layout and so need advice as to a possible way forward.
I visited the US last year and purchased model kits of colonial style houses, period 1890 -1910 approx. from Cocoa Village.
I have now completed some of them and wish to incorporate them into my new layout, scale is     1/4" and so I have purchased in South Devon, England from Peco some On30 flexible track.

Please can you advise me on what railroads used the East Coast between Miami and New York during this period and whether you can supply passenger units?



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« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2015, 10:57:53 AM »

Narrow gauge railroads ran primarily in the Western United States and were primarily logging railroads. I can't think of any narrow gauge passenger service on the Eastern seaboard, especially a major railroad that has some passenger cars available.
Isn't On30 flex track equivalent to HO except for the size and spacing if the ties?
If your homes are closest to O gauge, you are probably better off with standard gauge as opposed to narrow gauge since you will be able to find plenty of passenger cars for standard gauge for Eastern railroads. Alternatively if your houses are closer to HO than O, there is plenty of passenger cars available in HO for Eastern railroads.

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« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2015, 12:31:18 PM »

two narrow guage railroads in the east come to mind, both in the mountains.

the east broad top ran in south central pa, and most of the equipment still exists where it was tie down when the railroad quit in 1956.

the et&wnc, or tweetsie ran in the mountains along the Tennessee/north Carolina border, and has been gone since about 1950.

I have seen models of both lines in various scales, including ebt's distinctive coal hoppers. both offered local passenger service.

for new York to Miami, those were standard guage mainline railroads. which railroad you saw depended on where you were. primary lines were Pennsylvania rr (ny to Washington dc) rf&p (dc to Richmond) seaboard and atlantic coast line (2 separate parallel lines Richmond to florida) and florida east coast (Jacksonville to Miami.)  the Pennsylvania was electrifies, and used gg1 electrics. the other lines all used varieties of emd e units, with e7 and e8 types dominating. pre-Amtrak era, there would have been a lot of stainless steel streamlined passenger cars on these trains, and while locomotives would have been specific to the particular line they were running over, cars were pooled between the various railroads.

Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA

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« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2015, 01:17:45 PM »

Jeff, there is just one slight problem, as far as I know, no one makes EBT or Tweetsie passenger cars in On30.

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« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2015, 02:59:27 PM »

As opposed to the misinformation above, there were significant narrow gauge railroads in the Eastern U.S., and these certainly included passenger operations. These early day operations will also go with the buildings you have already acquired.

Google is your friend, but here is a link to information on the 2' narrow gauge railroads of New England to get you started:

Be sure to take note of the fact that the UK's 2' narrow gauge railroads are cited as the source of the ideas for our U.S. 2' RRs. And, follow the links at the bottom of that article to a variety of 2' narrow gauge RRs.

0n30 is an ideal scale / gauge combination to model freelanced narrow gauge (and especially 2' narrow gauge) RRs of the last century!

Lots of equipment is available for either direct use or bashing. See:

Note Bachmann's 0n30 0-4-2 Porter and 2-4-4 Forney. Both of those locomotives are very typical of Eastern U.S. 2' gauge RRs.

Happy (Very Narrow Gauge) RRing,



Sequoia Pacific RR in 1:20 / 70.6mm
Boonville Light & Power Co. in 1:20 / 45mm
Navarro Engineering & Construction Co. in 1:20 / 32mm
NMRA Life Member #3370
Member: Bay Area Electric Railway Association
Member: Society for the Preservation of Carter Railroad Resources

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« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2015, 04:00:47 PM »

As opposed to the misinformation above, there were significant narrow gauge railroads in the Eastern U.S., and these certainly included passenger operations. These early day operations will also go with the buildings you have already acquired.
If they are so significant, then why was I unable to find a single On30 passenger car for any railroad on the Eastern Seaboard from New York to Miami as the original poster requested and last time I checked New England was not between New York and Miami. I never said there weren't any, I said there weren't any major railroads that had narrow gauge on the Eastern Seaboard between Miami and New York. And if you want to claim otherwise please point me to some On30 models of passenger cars available for these railroads. I have seen quite a few passenger cars available for Western narrow gauge railroads in On30 however. However depending on how accurate you want to be, the original poster can just make a fictitious railroad, rather than go for a specific railroad and area.

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« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2015, 12:22:02 AM »

Jerry and ACY-

Let's all try to play nice. It seems obvious that you each focused on a different aspect of the OP but that needn't be cause for conflict.


There have never been any through narrow gauge railroads along the U.S. east coast or anywhere else in the country. The large majority of narrow gauge railroads were built to serve small, isolated communities which, in most cases, needed transportation but didn't warrant full size trains. These areas were almost exclusively mining and lumbering regions in mountainous areas. Most offered some passenger service but it was focused on local needs or connecting to a larger railroad for people who needed to travel beyond the immediate vicinity.
                                                            -- D
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