Newbie wants to design in On3

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by New2ON3, May 6, 2006.

  1. New2ON3

    New2ON3 New Member

    Hello everyone -- this is my first post.
    My stepfather and I are going to build a layout from the ground up.
    I'm a Mac computer guy, and I came across RailModeller. Seems like a nice shareware product...the only problem is I don't see any pre-set libraries for On3.

    I'm relatively clueless about the different guages...I always thought HO was king...but my stepfather likes On3...and with the 1/4" scale...I can see how it can be easy to work with.

    Anyway, can I select O when i'm creating a design in RailModeller? The software also have several different manufacturers to select, including Atlas...and a bunch of German names I've never heard of.. Or should I use another gauge that might be closer to On3? What kind of impact, if any will this really have on my rail design work? Also, is there a particular manufacturer out there that produces On3 track? My stepfather thinks he wants to build the track from scratch...but geez....won't that take forever? Any realistic looking track manufacturers for this guage would be appreciated.

    St. Louis, MO
  2. hminky

    hminky Member

  3. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Welcome to The Gauge! You'll find as varied a crew here as anywhere, and a LOT of very knowledgeable and talented people who'll be more than happy to lend a hand.
    That being said, I think you'll get a better reception and help on your specific questions in the Narrow Gauge forum. The Gauge is divided into several sub-forums that are focused on specific areas of the hobby - narrow gauge being one of them. Once you learn to "navigate" the Forum, you'll be better able to choose one of these sub-forums to address specific questions or just shoot the breeze...(The Caboose is a great place for this...)
    Good luck in your new venture-you'll find model railroading to be a great way to have fun while you work and learn.
    Keep us posted on your progress.

    Gus (LC&P).
  4. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Me again...Harold is one of those talented people I referred to...His work shows it, no?

    Gus (LC&P).
  5. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    Another narrow gauger! I wonder if standard On3 trucks can easily be placed on RTR On30 equipment ...

  6. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Won't fit. On3 is true three foot gauge a scale 36" between the rails. On30 is a scale 30" between the rails. As such it isn't a gauge that was used much at all in the prototype, but it is convenient for modeling because it uses ho track spacing for o gauge equipment. The Bachmann on30 sets come with ho track, but some on here have modified the track with more irregular tie spacing and larger o scale ties to make the track look more realistic.

    Micheal, to answer your question about scale to use when creating a design in scale modeller, you would use o scale. On3 and O scale use the same 1/4 inch to the foot scale, the difference is that On3 is a scale equal to 36 inches between the rails whereas O scale is standard 4'8" between the rails.
  7. hminky

    hminky Member

    Other than correctness of gauge there is limited reasons to do narrow gauge in On3. Unless you are specifically modeling Colorado narrow gauge there is no real advantage. I model O scale narrow gauge on HO track. Unfortunately it is called On30 which lumps it with a bunch of other groups. The British term On16.5 better fits the Bachmann offerings.

    I have modeled On3 and the equipment to model non-Colorado is non-existent. $65 dollar car kits and $400 dollar locomotives are out of my price range. I had an On3 modeler with an extensive layout tell me if he were to start today he would use the Bachmann narrow gauge equipment and leave it HO gauge.

    On my initial 4x8 I used Atlas Code 100 HO track to get up and running quickly. After awhile it looks right with the equipment. I am still comtemplating it's use on the rest of the layout.


    Yes, On3 trucks can be put on Bachmann cars.

  8. New2ON3

    New2ON3 New Member

    I want to thank everyone for their responses. It's clear to me I've join perhaps the best forum out there for model railroading, and the talent of the members is very evident. Thanks for the clarification everyone!
  9. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    If I can disagree slightly with Russ, while the scale of the layout is O. the track you're using is HO. If your program has standard HO sectional track, that is what you're likely to use. Unless you plan to use flexible track or build your own.
    One point about track planning: Narrow gauge turnouts (switches) are sharper for the same number than standard gauge, by about the proportion of the narrow to standard gauge.
    I think Peco produce an On16.5 track with somewhat more rustic appearing ties.
  10. Gil Finn

    Gil Finn Active Member

    O gauge is king. Ho is OK and who needs all that on, hon 30 , z n3 stuff?

    You dont need to reinvert the wheel. it is a marketing trip.

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