O27 compatability....

Discussion in 'G / O / S Scale Model Trains' started by custom1106, Dec 23, 2006.

  1. custom1106

    custom1106 Member

    Getting ready to start a layout and I need to know if O27 turnouts will adapt to O31 track? O31 turnouts seem so expensive, the O27 are usually half the cost. Anybody explore this before?

    Thanks for the info...

  2. Greg Elems

    Greg Elems Member

    Check the rail size. O27 turnouts have smaller rail than the O31. O31 is a heavier track, bigger rail and ties. If you are able to pick up K-Line track, they sold the O27 rail in different radius curves. Not sure about their switches though. As for compatibility, I used to make transition pieces of track. I would take some track pins from O31 and put them in O27 track. I would also take a piece of O27 track and reshape the ends to accept the pins from the O31 track. One thing to watch with O27 switches, especially the electric controlled ones is car and loco over hang. The O27 manual switches didn't have that issue.

  3. Dave Farquhar

    Dave Farquhar Member

    Personally, I think you're better off using wide-radius O27-profile curves (you can get O42 and O54 curves that are the same rail height as O27) and using your cheap O27 straights and O27 switches with those. That's what I did with my layout. The O27-profile O42 curves cost about the same as O31 curves too.

    You can make O27 switches work with O31 profile track, using the method Greg said, and you still have to be careful about the switch box on the O27 switches, but using O27-height rail all around gives a smoother layout, I think.
  4. custom1106

    custom1106 Member

    I can't really go any bigger than the O31 radius, I'm working with a 33" wide board that this has to go on. How wide is O31 when assembled in a curve? Would O27 suit me better in this case. Is there such a thing as O31 Lionel Fastrack? Gotta love O in a small apartment....
  5. Dave Farquhar

    Dave Farquhar Member

    I'd go with O27 on a 33-inch board. O31 will fit but leave you with less than an inch from the edge. You'll have a few less derailments with O31 than with O27 but you'll still have some and you'll want some table between the train and the floor in that case.

    Fastrack's minimum is 36 inches, but MTH Realtrax comes in O31.

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