Switching to HO

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by CSX, Oct 23, 2005.

  1. CSX

    CSX Member

    After looking at the costs and UPKEEP of G scale railroading, I decided to switch back to HO, which I modeled about 7 years ago. So, I am looking for track plans. Does anyone know of a website that has good HO scale plans? I am looking for a 3' x 8' or 3' x 9' layout. Thanks in advance!
  2. stuart_canada

    stuart_canada Member

    you will be hard pressed to do much in that space, unless you looking at a switching layout or a very small point to point operation.

    does not leave enough room to turn around or anything. in that space you might want to consider the N scale
  3. CSX

    CSX Member

  4. Union Pacific

    Union Pacific Member

    cause 18" radius is VERY tight it is the tightest (besides 15") you can run locos on. I can barely fit my 6 axle loco on it 4 is almost the limit I would try and squeeze 22" in it can flare at the ends and come in.If I had to start over Iwould definitaly put 22" on my layout and bte Welcome to HO:wave: :wave:

  5. CSX

    CSX Member

    Thanks Union Pacific. I have a question though. What is the difference between code 100 and code 83 track?
  6. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    I don't think that you will find HO much less than G scale - unless you strictly limit yourself to that 3x9 layout...

    But to answer your question... "Code" is the height or the rail. measured in 1/1000 of an inch. Therefore code 83 is 83/1000 or 0.083" high, and code 100 is 100/1000 or 0.1" high. The hieght of the ties is not included in this measurement - various manufacturers make their ties different thicknesses. Atlas (one of the most common) makes their Code 83 ties 17/1000 thicker than the Code 100 rail so that the overall height is the same.

  7. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    ahh i was gonna tell you to go to thor trains. while a 3x9 is possible, i wouldn't reccomend it unless you try something smalle liek narrogauge, and old time 40' or smaller freight cars, or just trollies. you wouldn't be able to fit even a GP38-2, and barely a small switcher like an SW9. Steam is almost out of the question except for a few really small ones. you can have an industrial switching layout with like a GE 44 tonner, but thats about it.

    i would reccomen a semi dogbone shaped layout, and just increase the ends just enough to fit an industry or a yard. the picture below is just a basic idea. you can add all sorts of things like a yard and such. some 6 axles road switchers ( i wouldn't suggest any bigger than and SD45) will be able to run on it, and it gives room for switching and such. depending on what kind of operation you want, you can decide the kinds of sideings and stuff you want. to add to it. this layout uses 18"r, which is good enough for most cars and stuff as long as you don't run long cars. its slightly wider than 3 feet, but only slightly. it fits in the 9 feet area. everything is either a 9 inch straight, or an 18"r curve, except for a 6 inch and 3/4s inch strack section at the top. i'll build more variations later.

    Attached Files:

  8. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    if at all possible, I would try to get at least a 4' wide layout, so you can use 22" radius curves on your mainline. Most everything will run fine on 22" (but long passenger cars and engines may look funny)

    my other advice is - for your first layout, keep the track plan simple, and don't get too ambitious. I have tried too many times to sqeeze in a curve to tight or a siding in an awkward spot and all I get are derailments. You can spend years just detailing a 4x9 layout.

  9. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    have you thought about narrow gauge lot of rr in a small space.
  10. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Do you want to have a circle at all? Since I joined a modular club a few years ago, I discovered that I am bored with trains running around in circles. A 3 foot by nine foot layout would make a nice sized switching layout. You would have plenty of room for a small yard and some nice sized industries that would keep you quite busy.
  11. shortliner

    shortliner Member

    CSX - I have several " roundy-round" trackplans that, while not being exactly the size of your space, may be adaptable. An email direct to me will get you either attachments (if you are on Broadband) or I can put them on CD for you
    Shortliner(Jack) away up here in the Highlands
  12. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    i solve that problem by putting so much scenery between halves of the layout that you can't see the other side, unless you stand up a little higher. its a pain for switching moves, but it works visul-wise. thats why i'm gonna tryand get walk around control on my 4x8. it would also help me reach the manual switches...
  13. CSX

    CSX Member

    I cannot have the layout come out more than 3 feet because of where it is going. I tried N scale before, but it is boring to me because of the size of the locomotives. Also, 18" R curves will work on a 3x9, at least for the mainline anyway. I will see what else I can do.

    Also, do any of you know the best place to buy HO scale locomotives and traincars at online?
  14. Union Pacific

    Union Pacific Member

    Ebay :thumb: :thumb: :D thats all I have to say. another place might be www.hobbylinc.com they seem to have good prices.

    thanx, Ben
  15. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    NOOOOO!!! Hobby linc is bad.... trust me.

    I've had great luck with walthers. go to www.walthers.com Never a problem with them. Internet trains is the next best place. go to www.internettrains.com

    where exactly is your layout going? can it not spare the few extra inches for 18r" curves? 18"r is 36 inces wide, but the problem is thats from center of the circle to the middle of the track, so half of your track will be hanging off the table, and there will be little room for scenery there. you should see if you can't afford 6 or so inches extra.
  16. Union Pacific

    Union Pacific Member

    why are they bad I was going to order from them please inform me so I don't make a mistake walthers has good quality but sometimes its nice to "look around":rolleyes:

    thanx, Ben
  17. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    well my uncle ordered me trains a christmas ago, and while one came EXTREMELY late, the other item never came, but they billed him anyway. it was a huge pain to get his money back.....
  18. Union Pacific

    Union Pacific Member

    thanl you very much I will keep this in mind you might of got a bad order or sumthing but Idon't know I will look around but might be limited to them :(

    thanx, Ben
  19. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    well walthers is pretty cheap, and so is internet trains.
  20. CSX

    CSX Member

    Thanks for the links guys.

    About the layout..... I can only have it come out 3 feet because of the window. It is going against a wall, and it is the only place in the whole house for it.

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