Daydreaming About On30

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Model Railroading' started by Drew1125, May 22, 2004.

  1. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    Hi everyone!
    I have to admit that even though I’ve always had an interest in narrow gauge railroading, I’ve never done any actual modeling in a narrow gauge, outside of a failed attempt to build an HOn3 layout, where I discovered that hand laying turnouts was definitely not my forte’!
    But anyway, since lately I have had an eye on something in On30, & now that Shamus has asked me to moderate a narrow gauge forum, I thought I’d talk a little bit about some ideas I have for an On30 layout.
    What I’m visualizing, is sort of a narrow gauge predecessor to a RR like my current N scale layout, the Poor Fork RR & Mining Co., done in On30.
    I had in mind a narrow gauge short line in an Appalachian-type setting, sometime between say, 1880, & 1910. This could be a RR that started out as a timber hauler in the late 19th century, but, as the market played out, the RR had to go into other ventures to stay viable. The hauling of people & freight, to & from remote areas in the mountains, would have provided such a viable concern.
    Some of the features I’d like to have on such a layout would be -
    *A junction, or interchange with a standard gauge RR, a gateway, as it were, to the outside world. This could be represented simply as a depot served by two sets of tracks, or something a little more complex, possibly involving an interchange with dual gauge trackage. Such a locale could also feature a small tow, with a siding or two, &/or some simple engine facilities.
    *I would also like to include something to represent some type of timber operations, either current, or abandoned, possibly a sawmill, etc…
    *I would like to have at least one nice sized trestle scene.
    *I would like to have, as an online industry, some type of mine, or quarry operations.
    *I would like to have another small town, this one possibly having grown up from a logging camp, & now serving as a terminus for the narrow gauge line.
    I would like to try & accomplish this in stages. Each feature mentioned above would be a separate “stage”, or scene, & could be built in a modular type fashion, with each scene being a self-contained working module, & could be made to be operational before another was built.
    I don’t know if I’ll ever get around to doing anything like this, but it’s just something that’s been floating around in my head for a while.
  2. Catt

    Catt Guest

    Charlie,that sounds like a good plan to me.My own Grande Valley RR.(ever hear that name before? :D ) will actually be a working modern time narrowgauge railroad with a standard gauge connection(guess with what railroad).

    This railroad will be set in whatever the current year is but will run steam and will definately look like old time railroading.

    My plans are to rework B-mann coaches to more resemble the Maine two footers.Freight transfer will be done the old way (manually between the different gauge cars).

    Of course none of this happens till the modern day N scale Grande Valley is up and running and looking like a railroad.
  3. Charlie, what you're describing sounds a good deal like the Mann's Creek Rwy. It was a narrow gauge coal, lumber, and coke hauler with less than 80 miles of trackage through the New River Gorge in West Virginia. It ran Shays until its demise in 1955, and interchanged with the C&O at Sewell, W. Va. I've often thought it would be the "perfect" railroad to model.
  4. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    Not et tu Charlie?
  5. Lighthorseman

    Lighthorseman Active Member

    Charlie, it sounds like we're of the same mind.

    * My town of Megill River is just as you'd envisioned...a (quasi) growed-up loggin' town at the end of the line.
    * I also intend to have logging and mining operations; with the mining up a little higher, up above the treeline, and logging a little lower than the town of Megill River.
    * I'd like to have the track curve perilously around a cliff, culminating in a spindly-legged trestle over a deep drop.
    * As for an interchange, I'd like to have my traffic arrive via float barges. I love the look of float docks, and hope that I might one day build one of these. The dock would be in the town at the other end of the layout, built around an inlet, allowing for all sorts of sea-side structures, fishing docks, and the like.

    Ahh, dreamin' sure is FUN. :) :)
  6. TinGoat

    TinGoat Ignorant know it all


    To On30!!!

    Hi Charlie,

    Wow! It's a big leap from N scale to O! I've had a hard time adjusting from HO to O.... On30 is my passion now, but I resisted it for a long time...

    How much real estate do you have available for this venture?

    I know that you tried HOn3, but since you are already invested in N scale, why not try HOn30? Just like On30 uses HO track and kitbashed mechanisms, HOn30 uses N track and kitbashed mechanisms...

    Or if you are really narrow minded, you could use O scale on N gauge tracks to do some really neat On18!

    If you have a lot of space, then you might be interested in the following website. And even if you don't have the space, the website is still very inspiring...

    The Jewel River Railroad.

    The branchline would be On30 and the mainline would be dual gauge. I'd only make the visable parts of the mainline dual gauge unless you are planning on running standard gauge equipment too... Otherwise, the hidden parts of the mainline could be regular HO track so that you have access to the hidden storage and can have continuous running.

    For the visable parts of the On30 line, I would use either hand-laid track or for extra $$$ use ME or Peco track.

    There are a couple of tricks that you can use to save cash by using regular HO track for the whole layout and still have it look good.

    • Remove every other tie on regular HO track to give O scale tie spacing.
    • Bury the ties in muck and weeds to hide them.
    • Use the second idea, but replace an ocasional tie with an O scale NG tie (scale 5" x 7" x 6' or 6 1/2' long) or (1/8" x 1/8" stock stripwood cut to length.)

    The On30 track isn't too expensive, but the turnouts are... So you can do what Steve a.k.a. Lighthorseman does and replace the ties on regular HO turnouts to convert them to On30...
  7. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    Thanks for all the feedback, guys!
    You’re right, Steve, dreamin’ is a lot of fun! :)
    As far as total available space, I don’t have a lot, but with a little work, & some selective compression, I think I could do something with an around-the-wall point-to-point set-up.
    That’s interesting that you mention a W VA line interchanging with the C&O. I draw a lot of inspiration from a narrow gauge RR called the Licking River RR, which also interchanged with the C&O at a place called Salt Lick, KY I’ve also always had a liking for another KY narrow gauge line, called the Mountain Central. This line interchanged with the L&N, & served an area in & around the Red River Gorge region in Powell, & Wolfe counties.
    In fact, the freelance narrow gauge line I envision for myself is kind of an amalgam of these two RR’s. I even have a name in mind for this “dream” RR…the Salt Lick & Devil’s Mountain RR. This would not only incorporate names of actual places in the region, but also uses the first initial of all of my daughters’ names!
    As far as switching from N to O, I know it might seema little strange at first, but I have modeled in other scales before, & I kind of see each one as a different medium in which to work, involving a completely different focus. I’ve been having some problems with my eyes, & I’m feeling like I might be ready for some new challenges!
    I still have some work to do on the Poor Fork, before I’m ready to dive into something new, but hey, it never hurts to dream! :D
  8. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    It's not often that a dream gets such support.......I'll add a little, go for it!

    Handlaying HOn3 turnouts is ok, Nn3, now that's an iron horse of a different color! The "turnout" will now exist just Off the module! :D
  9. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    So Charlie, you have the 0n30 bug:D go for it and do a small module. The new peco 0.16.5 track is very nice to look at, wish I could relay all my old Peco 0.16.5 with the new stuff. NO, I am not going to re-build again. :D :D

    Do you have any photo's of the Maine two footers. I am interested.

  10. jmarksbery

    jmarksbery Active Member

    Charlie, thanks for the info about the Licking River RR. I live on the Licking River and never knew there was such. On a little investgating I found they ran class B Climax such as the one pictured below if I can get it to post. They had one numbered #6 (later # 1) x75 with 36" wheels and # 7 (later # 2) x76.
    The second picture is of the Butler station (where I live now) it was still there when I graduated in 1959. The building to the left is still there today as well as some of the track and mainline. :wave:

    Attached Files:

  11. jmarksbery

    jmarksbery Active Member

    This is not part of the Licking River RR but is located on the Licking River ;)

    Attached Files:

  12. Catt

    Catt Guest

    For Shamus

    Hey Paul,maybe we should do a seperate forum for n30 guys and then oanother one for those who do n3. :D :D :D :D
  13. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    :D Hmmmmm, and what about those poor guys doing 009. :rolleyes: and then there is HOe (H0n30) or Sn2 and Sn3 geewizz, we would need another forum altogether. (Not a bad idea Catt) :thumb:

  14. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    Jim, Thanks for posting those! I've not seen either of those before!
    I dug up some more pics of the L.R....
    I was gonna post 'em last night, but my scanner decided to go on strike! :curse:
    (Tonight I made her an offer she couldn't refuse! :D )

    This first one is of a funeral train at Yale, KY (undated, but I'm guessing around 1905, give or take)

    Attached Files:

  15. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    I LOVE this one!
    This is the RR headquaters at Yale...
    I think this is why steam era short lines have such an appeal for me...they were some real "down-home" operations! :thumb:
    (note the velosapede in the foreground!)

    Attached Files:

  16. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    Here's a pi9cture of #3, an A-type Climax...

    Attached Files:

  17. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    Here are the L.R. yards at Salt Lick...the string of tank cars in the background are on the C&O main...

    Attached Files:

  18. AppyNarrowGager

    AppyNarrowGager New Member

    What Charlie wants...


    Go to TAPLINES. Look under the RRs listed for West Virginia Midland. It literally has everything you want. A large trestle, primary operations in the time frame you desire, lots of timber, some coal. Standard gauge interchange with the Western MD is available IF you want to move your time frame forward, but the B&O interchanged with the WVM at Holly Junction at a nice 2 story station in the 1890s. There was even an article on building a WVM ten wheeler in On3 in the pages of RMC a few years back. Photos are also available on TAPLINES as well. If you drive to Webster Springs, WV, you will find more photos in the Visitor Center of the "Midland", which is what the locals called her. I think there is a pic of the Holly Jct station on Taplines as well.

    Good Luck

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