is there any differece beteen O scale 2 rail and 3 rail

Discussion in 'G / O / S Scale Model Trains' started by angus1006, Feb 17, 2005.

  1. angus1006

    angus1006 New Member

    ,is there any differece between O scale 2 rail and 3 rail, which one is popular and economic.
  2. Dave Farquhar

    Dave Farquhar Member

    There's a ton of difference. The couplers are different, the type of electricity used is different, and there's that whole issue of a third rail. The scale isn't even necessarily the same. 2-rail is strictly 1:48 scale. A lot of 3-rail is 1:48 but the makers have traditionally played a bit fast and loose with scales, although the stuff all works together and in most cases even looks fine together.

    Three-rail is much more popular, but I'll give a nod to On30 (narrow-gauge 2-rail O) which is the fastest-growing scale/gauge in the hobby right now. Two-rail O has a much smaller number of manufacturers, and the price of entry generally isn't cheap.

    Three-rail is more popular, and you can get in at pretty much any price point you want. If you want $50 locomotives, you can find those in 3-rail, and if you want highly detailed $1,500+ locomotives you can get those too.

    I probably raised some more questions, but feel free to ask away.
  3. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    At the risk of offending someone, 3-rail comes out of the toy train section. There are firms that make scale bodies on 3-rail wheels or 2-rail (your choice) but there is a lot of 3-rail stuff that has been cut down in size.
    Dave didn't mention that the wheels for 3-rail will probably not work on 2-rail, even if they didn't cause short circuits, while the 2-rail wheels are a bit fine for 3-rail track.
  4. angus1006

    angus1006 New Member

    I plan to setup O scale in outdoor

    :confused: :confused: Thank for any answers, I had Ho scale experience, I have no any idea on O scale, I plan to setup O scale in outdoor, what I need is model train could looks like real and low cost. I wish I can get more information and suggestion.

  5. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    "looks like real and low cost"

    I think this is at the top of all our wish lists. Unfortunately, the more real it looks, the more expensive it is. For outdoor use, I'd recommend staying with the three rail, in O scale. Actually, for outdoor, I'd really recommend G scale! It was designed for outdoor use.
  6. Dave Farquhar

    Dave Farquhar Member

    Chances are, as much as I hate to say it, if realism is the most important thing to you, you'll get more bang for your buck in G scale. In the fight-to-the-death battle that Lionel and MTH (and to a lesser extent, K-Line) are engaged in, one of the tactics has been to add more and more detail, but the prices have gone through the roof. If spending $50 minimum on a single freight car doesn't bother you (and you can go up to $100) you'll do OK. But I'm pretty sure the $20 K-Line Train 19 cars won't satisfy you (they'll probably remind you of the cars you find in low-end Bachmann, Life-Like, and Model Power starter sets).

    And the G scale stuff is built more with outdoor running in mind. Outdoor layouts in O are fairly uncommon.
  7. Urloony

    Urloony New Member

    I'm afraid I have to disagree with Dave regarding "realism" as it relates to G scale. G scale is a product of outdoor garden railroads. The rail is not to scale and for the most part neither are the engines or cars. If you look at a typical G scale layout the curves are extremely sharp as also found in Lionel (o scale 3 rail) design. It is the sharp curves of course that dictate the short stocky rail cars. In my opinion the most realistic scale railroading is best achieved in the O scale two rail and to a much lesser degree, HO scale. As far as the difference between 3 rail and 2 rail quite frankly is in the "scale" quality of 2 rail cars, locos, track, ties, etc. As a side note. Everything in this hobby is expensive. :)

  8. Steamtom1

    Steamtom1 Member

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    Steamtom1 Member

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    Steamtom1 Member

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    Steamtom1 Member

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