Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by nkp174, Aug 27, 2007.

  1. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    I was curious if anyone here has dabbled in Proto:87.

    For those that aren't familiar with it:
    HO scale track isn't exactly scale. The wheels, flanges, and clearances are all oversized. Some super serious modelers have switched to essentially scale size wheels and it looks very nice. This is a similar compromise to the OO scale popular in Britain in which the trains are built to 1:76 instead of 1:87.1 (HO), yet still use HO track as it was considered to be easier to manufacturer the engines.

    O scale also has an equivalent, Proto:48, which is even more difficult as O scale track is actually around 5' gauge instead of 4'8.5"

    Such scales are known as Finescale. Frequently, narrow gauge trains are finescale except HOn30 and On30.

    The biggest limitation on Proto:87 is that steam engine drivers are hard to come by.

    I ask this as I've been fascinated by this for a long time, and I'd eventually like to look into a Proto:87 NKP layout.
  2. ed acosta

    ed acosta Member

    I, too, am curious if anyone here has dabbled in Proto:87. It certainly represents a design goal to enjoy far more accurate modeling than we have ever attempted before. Along with accurate wheelsets and rail, we need to think about accurately sized couplers. But let us not forget that running trains reliably, with a minimal of derailments and accidental uncouplings, is also a goal. Anyone attempting to pursue such accuracy is certainly going to wind up being the best track layer in the country, no doubt about that!
  3. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    Good point ed about the couplers. I'm fascinated in trying the sergeants couplers at some point too. For my On3 trains, I plan on using real link and pin couplers. I have a set of them as well as a functioning janey from Precision Scale. It is amazing how nice those trains look. I'm looking forward to trying such nice couplers in HO.
  4. jbaakko

    jbaakko Active Member

    The closest I've gotten in the couplers, lol. I have been toying with doing a P:87 switching layout, but never invested anything.
  5. Check this link out:


    I am so on the fence about this - overly wide wheels don't really bother me, but the HUGE (comparatively) gap at open points in switches really annoys me; I'm kind of a track fanatic. If I were planning just a smallish switching layout, I'd go P:87 no questions asked - but I'm starting and planning something large enough that I think this level of detail can be sacrificed in the name of quicker construction, not to mention cost savings of upgrading equipment with the new wheelsets (particularly locomotives). The Sergent couplers are very cool (I had to order a few), but I think magnetic operation better serves my needs.
  6. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    If you need steam loco drivers, you might check out Protofour or Scalefour in Britain. This is the scale track and wheel version of OO scale, which is 1/7 larger than HO. I think the flanges and wheel tread might be compatible while they have access to a large range of drivers, which still may not be enough.

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