On3 vs On30...where do you get track?

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Model Railroading' started by New2ON3, May 8, 2006.

  1. Canopus

    Canopus Member

    I do not know anyone who makes temporary layouts, and you're the first person I've ever met who has had an interest in them. I'd say that you're better off just building a permanent layout, and working with what's out there. Otherwise you're just going to find that nobody really caters to it, because theres such little demand for that kind of product.

    As for Roco, I'm pretty sure they do make HOm models. I've seen them before, and as far as I know they're based on swiss prototypes. I may however possibly have them confused with Bemo...
  2. RailRon

    RailRon Active Member

    Hi Robert,

    welcome aboard the Gauge! (Now we are already two Swiss - AND both in 3ft narrow gauge! :thumb:)

    Concerning 3ft snap track (0n3 or H0n3) I fear you are completely out of luck. I have been in narrow gauge modeling for more than 25 years now, and I never saw anything like that. So you have to resort to flex track - or even to handlaying track. :(

    BTW: You mentioned the Blackstone Model locos - are these K-27s really available now? When I e-mailed them (in December) they promised to bring them out in January, but a recent e-mail (in February) wasn't even answered...
    If you got a Blackstone engine, could you tell me where from? Can you mail order them from some shop in the U.S.? (Frankly, I don't prefer most Swiss model shops concentrating on US prototype, because some of them charge fantastic prices! :curse:)

    And: Could you give us some more information about your concept of 'temporary layouts'?

  3. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    I'll throw my two cents worth in here for On30. I model both HO standard gauge and On30. Bachmann, as has been mentioned has some very nice , reasonably priced motive power. If you are only interested in mining operations, they have two neat little Porter locomotives that take up very little space. There are several small manufacturers who make short, 14 and 20 foot freight cars. Narrow Gauge and Short Line Gazette magazine has an ongoing series of articles on 30 inch gauge railroads. I prefer either PECO's 30 inch gauge track (ties are a bit wide and the rail is code 100.) or Micro Engineering 30 inch track available in code 70 and 55 rail. HO flex track is OK but the ties seem too short to me and you have to remove a bunch of them to get correct spacing for O scale. Just another perspective for you to explore. Have fun. Jim Krause
  4. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member


    The HOn3 Blackstone K-27s are indeed out - if you ordered one without sound. The sound-equipped versions are supposed to be trickling out by the beginning of April. Caboose Hobbies in Denver had at least one (no sound) on display last week when I visited. I didn't pay too much attention because a K is too big and modern for my HOn3 line. Caboose Hobbies would be one of your best bets for buying a K-27 if you didn't pre-order or reserve one.

    Also take a look at the PSC/MMI web page. Their die cast K-27s are also due to arrive this spring. And they have a slew of other models for pre-order, including a D&RG 4-4-0 that I intend to order. Of course, delivery date..... But still, I'm thankful for some new HOn3 production of almost any kind. Between the new RTR locomotives, MicroTrains RTR cars, and flex track and ME or Shinohara turnouts, we've reached the point in HOn3 where we could do an MR 4x8 project railroad in a week.

    just my thoughts, your choices
  5. Swissboy

    Swissboy New Member


    Fred has already answered the source question. I also have my Blackstone models on order from Caboose Hobbies, like most of my US non-N models. (Swiss shops are prohibitively expensive!) But as far as I know, there are only two versions out so far. You might check the Blackstone website where they now have pictures of all the versions.

    I know there are no snap tracks for US narrow gauge at present, but I have not given up hope that there are going to be some. Given the onset of the various models from new manufacturers that actually make these gauges attractive for a wider clientele. My question thus was whether someone knows a bit more than most of us about what is in the pipeline. I know Caboose Hobbies had some On3 tracks listed without a delivery date. Don't know whether they still have them listed though.

    Well, my so called temporary layouts are nothing more than a layout without any landscaping either on a table or on a floor some place. Maybe for a day, maybe for a week or a month depending on how long that space is not needed for something else. Same, of course, for some LGB layout in the garden.

    All the best,
  6. Swissboy

    Swissboy New Member

    Roco has produced for a number of manufacturers in the past, so possibly also HOm. But they certainly never marketed any HOm under their own name. They did Om (Alpine Line), however. They also have a HOe line, which is even narrower, kind of like HOn2. But no Swiss models there.

  7. Canopus

    Canopus Member

    If memory serves, they were not very well advertised, but appeared in their catalogues. Those were the ones that I saw anyway. They do actually have swiss models in their HOe line, take a look. They've released a lot of swiss HOe in the past too, which is quite rare but occasionally comes up on ebay.

    I don't quite understand why you don't just use ordinary track and join it up with fishplates. It doesn't have to be nailed to anything to be used - I used to use track like that all the time when I was a kid.
  8. Swissboy

    Swissboy New Member

    I'm not aware of a lot of Swiss HOe as there are virtually no such prototypes, aside from the Waldenburgerbahn. They would have had to make something up, and such models do not interest me at all. They might have had a "Feldbahn" or two, that I don't recall. But there simply are no Swiss companies like the Zillertalbahn or the Mariazellerbahn in Austria that run on 75 cm tracks. As I said, with the exception of the Waldenburgerbahn. And that steam engine may have been a Roco model, though I thought it was from Liliput. There is the Wengeneralpbahn, too, that would fit. But I don't think there have ever been any models for it.

    As for your other question: what do you mean with "ordinary tracks"? And what are fishplates? All I get in the On3 and HOn3 range are flex tracks. And they don't even have rail joiners! No way to use them for what I would like.
  9. Canopus

    Canopus Member

    Look at their catalogue. They have some swiss stuff in their HOe range at the moment.

    Fishplates ARE rail joiners. It's the correct technical term for the rail joiners that the real railways use.

    You should look up a company called Peco, they manufacture points, curves, and flex track for On30/On16.5 narrow gauge. They also manufacture rail joiners, and I believe they also do HOn3, HOm, and On3 track. There is no need to use "snap track".

    EDIT: fixed spelling.
  10. Swissboy

    Swissboy New Member

    I'm afraid you must be confusing something. All the sources about Roco HOe I have checked so far don't have anything like Swiss models. Can you provide a link?

    Also, Peco have only HOm, but no HOn3 or On3, except possibly, again, flex tracks.
  11. Canopus

    Canopus Member

    You might want to try their website.


    Second one from the top. It's a starter set.
  12. Swissboy

    Swissboy New Member

    OK, that solves the riddle. There is a mistake in that catalogue. It should say Austria, not Switzerland for the Mariazellerbahn! I had mentioned in an earlier post that Mariazellerbahn is in Austria.

    Here is a copy from another online catalogue that provides more details:

    ROCO 34005 OBB Mariazellbahn 2nd class & baggage section in maroon livery
    (HOe scale) Second class coach with baggage compartment type D4ipls of the Austrian Mariazellbahn (OBB) in maroon livery. Epoch IV-V, full interiors, length: 155mm.

    I can add that OBB stands for Oesterreichische Bundes Bahn which means Austrian Federal Railway.
  13. Canopus

    Canopus Member

    I see...

    I believe they did at one point have a very similar locomotive (in fact possibly the same model) in the red SBB livery. I'm sure I've seen it on ebay before.
  14. Swissboy

    Swissboy New Member

    It might have been a red OBB livery. There certainly would not be a SBB prototype for it. Except for Lima, and to a lesser extent Liliput, I have never noticed such blatant faults as a red SBB Mariazellerbahn engine would be.
  15. Canopus

    Canopus Member

    I'm so so sure that I've seen a swiss prototype somewhere. Maybe not Roco but somewhere.
  16. RailRon

    RailRon Active Member

    The only truly Swiss H0e (or H0n30, if you prefer) models were manufactured by Liliput, which today are part of 'Bachmann Europe'. This was a tiny 0-6-0T steam engine for the Waldenburgerbahn, the 'Gedeon Thommen' (which is still going strong as a tourist attraction).

    Liliput still produces H0e steam engines, but only Austrian prototype. The mentioned diesel ran on several Austrian 750mm (2-1/2 ft) lines in either pure red-orange or in a red-orange/ivory livery such as the engine in the misnomed Roco catalog entry. It was a very attractive model and pulled like mad. Twenty years ago I had two of them when I was modeling H0n2-1/2 (as H0n30 was called back then :))

    When I'm looking through this 'ROCO' catalog, it looks to me like an mix of all possible manufacturers - there are lots of models I owned then in the '80s. But at the time they were sold by ROCO, Liliput, Egger-Bahn and even a French manufacturer (Jouef?). It looks like ROCO bought up much of the old casting moulds all over Europe! :D

    However, in Europe there hasn't ever been a model RR company which produced any H0n3 stuff - that's why we Europeans have to import all the goodies from America.

    Which brings me to the Blackstone K-27: Thank you Fred and Robert for the info about their availability. Glad to hear that they can be ordered through Caboose Hobbies - I always had excellent service from them.


    PS: I couldn'td resist to add a pic of 'our' Swiss Waldenburgerbahn loco #5, 'Gedeon Thommen'! :thumb:

    Attached Files:

  17. Swissboy

    Swissboy New Member

    Thanks, Ron, for this interesting info about the casting moulds.

    And, I am very glad you "couldn't resist" adding that fine picture. :D

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