Considering On30

Discussion in 'G / O / S Scale Model Trains' started by ScottG, Nov 18, 2003.

  1. ScottG

    ScottG New Member

    I am just starting to think about abandoning my HO stuff, most of which is still in their boxes in favor of On30. My layout room consists of most, but not all of, a 12' x 13' bedroom. I have to leave aisle access to the closets, and to get to my workbench, in a dormered alcove.

    My question is, do I have room to do such a layout that would be more than an along-the-wall switching layout? I enjoy switching industries.

    I've discovered that O-scale buildings are significantly larger than their equivalent HO scale building. So I have to be convinced that I have enough room. I briefly considerred Sn3 but that looks like too much work kit bashing or scratch building pretty much everything, unless you can afford brass. I cannot.

    The reason I am considering abandoning HO is that the On30 equipment from Bachmann runs so much better than the equivalent in HO scale.
  2. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    Hi Scott,
    Welcome to the gauge.You sure have enough space, my 0n30 logging layout is in only 11' by 13'
    with room down one side and a walkin.
    Have a look at my trackplan on my website, just click on the logo below.
  3. ScottG

    ScottG New Member

    Thanks for the reply. You have a really gorgeous layout.

    What did you use for track and switches? Did you scratchbuild the structures? Where did you get your locomotives?

    I really appreciate your help.
  4. Catt

    Catt Guest

    Scott,Peco makes 0n30 track and turnouts.Peco is readily available in the US and no doubt in Canada.Their track is code 100 if you want something smaller you could hand lay your track.
  5. Lighthorseman

    Lighthorseman Active Member

    Scott, it is a wondrous time for O scale narrow gauge. I myself never got into it for exactly the same reasons as you've stated with regard to Sn3. No WAY was I going to cough up a thousand or more for each locomotive, and hundreds for each car.:(

    Then along comes Bachmann with really nicely detailed, beautifully running O scale equipment, running on stock HO track. Not a single dealer here in town would even bring some of it in. So, on a whim, I purchased a stock car via mailorder, just to see what it was like. :) "Hey", I thought. "I can always just put it on a display shelf or something..."

    Well, that's all it took. Here's the beauty of On30. I still have my HO stuff, and because the gauge is the same, I can still run it on occaision. (Who's to say I'm not allowed?) I have, however, been quite taken over by the On30 bug. :D My layout room is 15 by 20 feet, and I expect to be able to pack heaps of operation in that space. If only I could work as quickly and as well as Shamus!

    So, here is my advice. Pick up a starter set. That's all it'll take. Also, be sure to join the On30 Conspiracy.

    I hope to hear from you!
  6. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    Hi Scott,
    The track & Points (Switches) are by Peco, they are 0-16.5.
    Yes, all the structures were scratchbuilt. As for the locos, I scratchbuilt two bodies, one for the box type shay and the other for the little porter. The Yellow deisel started out life as a HO Bachmann 44 tonne and bought a kitbash unit for it.
  7. Dan Vincent

    Dan Vincent Member

    Bachmann Track

    Today I received my first On30 train. It is a Bachman set with the Bumblebee loco and four freight cars.

    When I opened the box I was really looking forward to seeing what the track looked like.

    It's HO...with the ties spaced for HO. Very disappointing, I was hoping for On30 size ties and proper spacing.

    Oh well, my initial set-up will be a Christmas tree layout with lighted ceramic buildings. If I get serious later on I want some track that looks like it belongs with the On30 locos and cars.

    Bachmann...I'm not a happy camper with your little HO ties.
  8. Dan Vincent

    Dan Vincent Member

    Wait, there's more:

    Today I assembled the loop of Bachmann HO track, hooked up the transformer and gently placed the loco and cars on the track.

    I slowly turned up the power and the loco just sat there with the unmistakeable growl of the motor running and the gears not engaging.

    Tomorrow I will call the place where I bought this train set and see where we go from here.

    My first try at On30 isn't going so well.
  9. Catt

    Catt Guest

    Dan,that's the first time I've heard of one of these not performing.I have 4 of them one of which took the trip off the edge of the earth (hitting the concrete from 40" up) I picked it up and put it back on the rails and she still ran like a charm.

    Sorry to hear its your first time in 0n30 and it starts out with a bad loco but Bachmann has a pretty decent record of customer service.Hope your replacement loco is better.

    Welcome to 0n30.
  10. Dan Vincent

    Dan Vincent Member


    Everything I've ever heard about these Bachmann On30 locos has been positive.

    That's why I was so surprised when it just sat there and growled at me.

    I will call the dealer first but they told me this was the last bumblebee set they had. Chances are they will tell me to call Bachmann.

    This should give us a good idea of how things go if you have a problem.

    The motor runs but it sounds as if the gears are only slightly meshed, resulting in no forward or backward movement. It's pretty hard to see inside and I don't want to violate the warranty by opening it up.
  11. Danny

    Danny Member

    Dan, go onto the Bachmann webpage. and click onto service, thats what you will get "Service" and was most impressed with the actions I got recently when I broke the tender coupling on my Bachmann Consolidation in 1:20.3 scale.
    Regards, Danny, downunder in Australia.:wave:
  12. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    Hey Catt there are no hobby shops around here that stock Peco On30 track. I would have to order sight unseen. Could you be so kind as to post a pic of the flex and a switch???????? There is a pic in the new Walthers catolog but it looks like regular HO????? If it really does look like regular HO I just lost all interest in On30. The track really needs to have widely spaced O scale ties for it to have the narrow gauge look. Of course spacing the ties on the flex wouldn't be a problem as long as they are the right size. Thanks :)
  13. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    The Peko track I've seen has the ties more widely spaced than regular HO flex track. I haven't seen any of the turnouts yet.

    I posted earlier about a motor problem with a Bachmann Mogul. What I've found out is, the motor brushes are held in brass tubing. When the tubing was cut, it wasn't deburred, and one of the brushes had hung on the burr. After a period of continuous running, the brush wore down, and the brush spring couldn't move it, contact with the commutator was lost, and the loco stopped running. The motor is fixable, but it's a major pain to do it.
  14. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    Pete are they HO or O scale ties? Sorry to hear about your problem with the Mogul!
  15. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    Hi Tyson!
    Sorry I don't have a pic of the Peco track, but I have looked at it at my LHS, & it looks good to's code 100 rail on what look to be (haven't actualy taken a ruler to it) close to scale ties with a fairly wide spacing (looks to be about a 2-tie-width space)
    The reason they sell the sets with the HO EZ track is that's one of the big selling points...they run on HO track...I think this is because when these sets first came out, they weren't as big with the "scale" crowd as they were with the "Christmas Tree/Porcelan Villiage" crowd, who weren't that concerned with scale ties & spacing.
    I think now that these trains are catching on fast with a lot of narrow gaugers, I think we'll see a lot of changes, & more new products.
  16. Catt

    Catt Guest

    Ok guys,heres a scan fresh from my scanner of PECO's 0n30 track.


    (PS) On my screen this pic is almost in scale.
  17. Catt

    Catt Guest

    I forgot to mention that the PECO 0n30 flex-track sections are 36" long.The rail code is 100.The ties are brown
  18. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    Thanks Catt and Charlie! :)
  19. Lighthorseman

    Lighthorseman Active Member

    On30 Rail...

    Just have a look at Shamus' On30 pictures. He's using Peco On30 (or 16.5) track. I'm handlaying code 83 on basswood ties. Here's what I end up with...

    Attached Files:

  20. Lighthorseman

    Lighthorseman Active Member


    Another shot...

    Attached Files:

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