Need Recommendations For Starting An O Gauge Setup

Discussion in 'G / O / S Scale Model Trains' started by Mexico, Feb 21, 2006.

  1. Mexico

    Mexico Member


    My questions are on the O Gauge and I’m going to use the 54in. diameter curved track, O-27.

    I was told to come over to this forum and that I would get the help I needed. Anyway I will thank you before I get started. Thanks

    I want to put a shelf up on the walls going around a large room 45ft. by 20ft. and it will be about 8ft. up from the floor. I don’t have a sample of the track yet so I need the dimension of the width of the overall width of the track, not the width between the rails. Then how wide do I need to make the base for the track to lie on? Last of all, how far away does the track have to be so that the train does not hit the sides of the wall? That’s for when it turns at the corners as I know the fronts and backs of the train will hit the wall if it’s not far enough from it. I’m not wanting anything more then just going around the room. I’m having a house built at this time and thought it would be fun having a train. When I get the info I’ll tell my builder to put up some kind of shelf to hold it up. I live in Mexico and houses here are not made of wood like they are in the U.S., their made of concrete and bricks. The main room of this house has zigzags or walls that are not parallel with each other, should be fun seeing the train zigzagging along the walls through out this large room. If you can think of anything I may need to know, please help. One thing is what kind of power supply will I need for this track?

    I had trains when I was a kid and loved them, now I’m retired I guess I’m turning back into a kid again. haha

    Thanks again, [​IMG]

  2. spankybird

    spankybird OTTS Founder

    Hi Mexico,

    We can answer some of your questions.
    1. 027 track is 2" wide.
    2. I mounted some of my track on 1" x 4" shelfing wood, which has a finish size of 3/4 x 3.5".

    Now for the hard part, how far from the wall for corning. What type and length engines and cars are you planing on running. This will determine how much overhang you will have.

    Hope this is a start for you.
  3. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Hi mexico. There's a bit of misinformation in Masonjar's reply in the other thread. While everyone else measures curves to the center of the track, Lionel measures over the outside of the ties, so a 54" circle will sit on a table 54" wide; O27 will sit on a 27" wide table. (Lionel and other O gauge tinplate track)
    (Exception to the exception: Lionel Fastrack)
  4. Mexico

    Mexico Member

    Hi spankybird,

    Thanks for your help I'm thinking of putting the largest engines that could run on a 54in. diameter curved track, I like them the best. I would go with the 72in., I think that was the size, I like those 30in. steam engines and tender would be out of this world for looks. But not sure if the track would look nice sticking out in a room but maybe I'm wrong about that. I know the longer the engine the more corning room you would need. So let's say the largest for the 54in. diameter. I was going to use the O-27 track as it was the cheapest and being up 8ft. you wouldn't see it anyway.

    Thanks for your help

  5. Mexico

    Mexico Member

    Hi 60103,

    If I understand you right the 54in. is the outside tie of the track or the largest diameter of the track am I right on that? There's a outside, a center and a inside for O gauge and the 54in. comes from the outside, right?

    Thanks for your help, [​IMG]

  6. Dave Farquhar

    Dave Farquhar Member

    Lionel measures from outside edge to outside edge, unlike everyone else, who measures from center to outside edge. So a circle of O27 track really is 27 inches from outside edge to outside edge.

    But Lionel does make wider-radius O27 track, which you can use with the cheap O27 straights. When you buy it, make sure you ask for O27-profile O54 track. K-Line made O27-profile O72 track (72 inch circle) but it's getting hard to find now.
  7. Chief Eagles

    Chief Eagles Active Member

    Try Todd's Train Depot, 919-365-5006 [1 to 8 ET] Tuesday thru Sat. She had a bunch of K-Line 072 in 027 size. I am using it on a carpet layout until I get the room layout built. I recommend you get some of your track and then you will actually see what distances you need. That is what I have done will Realtrax that I am suing for layout.
  8. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    See, aren't you glad you came here..?! I was wrong even on the basic radius question! These guys will take care of you...! :thumb:

  9. Mexico

    Mexico Member

    Dave Farquhar and Chief Eagles

    Hi Guys,

    Thanks for your help, I think I'll stay with the 54"dia. and I'll ask for the O27-profile O54 track like you said.

    I wish I could get the track first but sometimes it takes a month for mail to get to me from the States and my builder wants to get this started. The U.S. part is fast but as soon as mail goes into Mexico the Mexican's bring it on down by burro or they take a lot of siesta's on the way down, don't know which it is. :) That's some of the things American's have to get use too when we move down here, everything is slow.

    Now I need to know how far away the track has to be from the walls for clearance. If someone can help me on that I'll be ready to start a plan.

    Thanks again for your help, [​IMG]

  10. Steamtom1

    Steamtom1 Member

    In what part of Mexico do you live?
  11. Mexico

    Mexico Member

    I live not far from Guadalajara in Chapala.
  12. Mexico

    Mexico Member

    I'm still hoping someone will be able to help me with my question.

    How far away does the track has to be from the walls for clearance so the train doesn't run into it?

    I spent about 4 hours looking through the Internet and couldn't find anything on clearances.

    Again thanks
  13. spankybird

    spankybird OTTS Founder

    OK let's see if this could be a guide for you. The longest car I have is 15" passanger car. This is on 054 radius 027 track.




    Using the telephone pole as a landmark, you can see the clearnace that is need. For a longer car or engine more room would be need for the overhang.

    hope this is a guild. Without have the exact eninge or cars, I can't do any better.

  14. Mexico

    Mexico Member


    A picture is worth a thousand words. I didn't even think about the over hang from the center of a car. I was only thinking about the front of the engine that would be sticking out. So there is more to think about then what I thought. Are the wheels even setting on the track in the first picture? I have 4 places in the room that the track will have to go around a outside corner, that I can think of, like your telephone pole they would be in the way. I need some track like Chief Eagles said but I'll have to do the best I can with out it, no time to send for it my builder needs the planes now, I thought about this train thing to late.

    spankbird, thanks so much for your time and help.

  15. spankybird

    spankybird OTTS Founder

    yep - the car is on the tracks.
  16. Steamtom1

    Steamtom1 Member


    I have a friend who went to medical school in Guadalajara.

    I also have a friend who lives in Mexico City who is an avid live steamer, G-scale. If you ever feel the urge to get away from electrically operated trains, drop me an e-mail. He is always looking for enthusiasts who live closer to him.
  17. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    To clarify the radius situation once and for all:

    In most situations, track is measured by radius: from the center of a circle to the point midway between the rails (where the third rail would be if it was there). For 3-rail O-gauge track, it's as already explained: by diameter rather than radius, and to the outside ends of the ties.
  18. GeorgeHO

    GeorgeHO Member

    Something does not look quite right with the photos and the numbers. If you have 15" passenger cars, and a 54" diameter, then the perimiter of your circle should be over 150", which means that 10 passenger cars would fit around it, and 5 (15") passenger car should fit in a half circle. Looking at your photos it seems that only 2 or 3 would fit. I would guess that your outside diameter is not really 54"?
  19. spankybird

    spankybird OTTS Founder

    After what you posted, it made sence, so I went down with tape measuer in hand, and what do you think I found. Here I thought that I used 054 track on the outside loop and here it is 027 track. To think that I have been telling people for years that I built this with 054 on the outside loop and 027 on the inside. Now today, I find it's all 027 track. Gee somewhere in a box I have 054 curves. sign1

  20. Mexico

    Mexico Member

    That's what I want the 054 track but I'm going need a lot of it, like 130 feet of it. Anyone know of place that sells it cheap. I was looking at K-Line track and they are all out of it and their price was right.

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