what o scale track do you like best?

Discussion in 'G / O / S Scale Model Trains' started by ozzy, Jun 8, 2007.


what o gauge track do you like best

  1. 027 tube

  2. fast track

  3. gargraves

  1. Renovo PPR

    Renovo PPR Just a Farmer

    Fast Track, the new age of track. I wonder if all that plastic is going to make this track system to expensive since it uses so much of it.
  2. ozzy

    ozzy Active Member

    well gargraves track dont have any plastic and it costs more then fast track.
  3. Geno

    Geno Member

    Do you use the new Atlas or the older Rocco/Atlas track?

  4. riverotter

    riverotter Midwest Alliance Rail Sys

    Geno, I just bought this track so I presume it's the new Atlas track. Says "Made In China".

    One thing that's kinda ticking me off is "tie compression" -- the ties on this track seems to have a tendency to bunch up near the middle of a flextrack section, and they don't seem to want to "uncompress" very easily, leaving several inches of "naked" rails hanging off the ends of the section.wall1

    I'm wondering if I'm mishandling the track somehow, or if other people who have had this situation occur have a handy-dandy fix?
  5. Renovo PPR

    Renovo PPR Just a Farmer

    How hard would it be to hand lay track?
  6. riverotter

    riverotter Midwest Alliance Rail Sys

    "Hard" is not the only consideration for me. I have hand laid HO track (although not a lot of it - took too darn long), as well as used flex track, so I think I have a basis for comparison.

    For me, the real issue is "time". How long will it take me to lay 150 feet of Atlas 2-rail O track including 2 passing tracks and four industry sidings and get a train running/operating (because that's what I'm mainly in this hobby for) vs. how long would it take me to hand lay that much track?:eek:
  7. Geno

    Geno Member

    I'm using the same 2-rail Atlas track you are, except I'm using Midwest cork roadbed underneath (I put my studrail right down the middle, then set the track on top and then ballast). The newer Atlas has brown ties and is 40", and the older Rocco (made in Austria) has black ties and is 36" long.

    Hugo Pallesen, one of the pioneers in O gauge studrail, sold me a rail bender to make the curves very smooth. It requires pulling the rail out of the ties and then running it through the jig, and then reinstalling it through the ties. Obviously it has to be done one rail at a time, but it works.

    As far as you problem with tie spacing goes, Have you tried to pin down one end and work your down the track section? if you're bending it by hand, I'd do it gradually and cut some sort of curved beding jig out of plywood to bend the rails only- reinstall them in the ties after you bend them.

    I personally don't have enough time to hand lay track- must be nice if you do. I prefer to run trains instead of spending all day hand laying track.

  8. riverotter

    riverotter Midwest Alliance Rail Sys


    Thanks for all these great ideas! My Atlas track is indeed the new stuff - brown ties, 40" long.

    I'm with you about hand laying track -- I'd rather run run trains!

    Right now, my entire roster consists of an Also RSD-7/15 diesel, two boxcars, and tank car, a cylindrical hopper, and a caboose. Compared to my HO equipment, this stuff is BIG! I only have room for a simple point-to-point O scale switching layout; the mainline run will be about 120 feet.
  9. ozzy

    ozzy Active Member

    ONLY have room for a simple layout , and your mainline is 120 feet?

    DO YOU KNOW WHAT I COULD DO WITH 120 FEET IN O SCALE!?!?! i only wish to have that kind of space!
  10. Geno

    Geno Member

    I don't have nearly as much space- only about 80 linear feet (20 x 20 garage ) inside, but outside I can set up a 200' mainline run if I wanted. I like the idea of a point-to-point layout, but when I do expand outside that mainline will end up being a big return loop, with another yard for classification. I'm still deciding what I want to do inside (intermodal yard, passenger terminal), but I do know I want to loosely model the rail corridor down to L.A. harbor.

    I have quite a bit more engines and rolling stock than you do, but I've also been running O gauge for over thirty years- you do tend to amass quite a collection as the years go by. Most of it is 3-rail, but 98% is scale and will be converted to 2-rail as soon as I can find the tme. My engines will be patterned after MTH's new 3-2 scale models- fixed pilot, scale couplers, and wheelsets when I can find them. I'll keep them set up to pick up power from the center (putting a clip-on skid over the roller), so I can still run 3-rail if I so choose.

  11. riverotter

    riverotter Midwest Alliance Rail Sys

    :oops: As soon as I posted this, I thought I might get a response like this. (And I mean that in a good way!) I know it sounds like I suffer from an embarrassment of riches, but let me {briefly!} tell 'the rest of the story'...

    The space is 30' x 30', BUT! the middle of the room is earmarked for conversion into a "quilting/sewing complex" (my wife and I both quilt), so I "only" have room for an around-the-walls arrangement 24" wide. AND! right now I'm mainly an HO modeler (700 freight cars, 80 locomotives, etc.), so the O scale equipment has to "share the shelf" with the new HO layout I'm also building. Thus, the 120 feet of O scale mainline is just about that -- 120' by "just wide enough for a passing track or industrial spur here and there". I'd have to use flats against a backdrop since there's no room for a real O scale building. Also, since this space started out being completely dedicated to HO, I'm trying to figure out how to create separation between the HO & the O. (Unless I decide to convert completely to O scale -- do you know anybody who wants to buy $15,000 worth of HO stuff? sign1)

    I am so torn. I just got back into model railroading about 3 years ago after an absence of four decades and I'm still kinda like a kid in the candy store (with only a quarter to spend :rolleyes:). I automatically went for HO because that's what I'd had the most experience with, and there's so much more selection there than any other scale (except maybe N, but my hand-eye coordination ain't that good anymore). But holy mackerel O is so massive! "Now that's a train model, son!"

    Anyway, I'm definitely open to conversation, ideas, comments, thoughts, and whatnot.

    P.S. Here's what I would find hard to give up if I left HO: Dash-9 diesels; Canadian grain hoppers; black 23,500 gallon tank cars...
  12. ozzy

    ozzy Active Member

    "P.S. Here's what I would find hard to give up if I left HO: Dash-9 diesels; Canadian grain hoppers; black 23,500 gallon tank cars..."

    i think you can find all that in o-scale. ????

    why not do a double decker layout of some kind? o-scale on bench work , and HO on a shelf above the o scale. go 30" wide bench for o-scale all the way around the room have a lift out "bridge" or put hinges on one end so you lift it up like a draw bridge so you can walk through the doorway to get in and out of the room. then the doorway would just be blocked when to are running trains, leave it open the rest of the time.

    then for the HO put up an 24" shelf around the room . high enough that you can see and get to the o-scale. (thats you best trains anyway...lol) but low enough that you can see the HO. and you can make the HO go up and down an incline for in front of the door, then no ducking required.
  13. Geno

    Geno Member

    30 x 30? I wish I could have that kind of interior wall length available- that's really perfect for O gauge. An around the walls layout is really the best usage of space anyways- I prefer to focus on the trains and not modeling an entire city in 3D (background flats for me are good enough).

    I like Ozzy's plan- then you can still keep your HO. And having the HO up higher is kind of like using a forced perspective too. And if you decide to thin your HO herd, there's always Ebay...

    As far as equipment goes, I have most of what you're describing- I focus on modern-era, so pretty much all of my motive power is diesel. You can get modern diesels, but it's not as easy as HO- you'll find the popular roads are hard to find (limited production runs), but MTH is more available than Lionel. MTH's scale diesels are also more accurate than Lionel, but to get all of the features out of them you will have to run DCS.

    My CP grain train is currently pulled by a pair of scale SD-90 MACs- not really prototypical, but big double headed power looks nice leading all of those cylindrical hoppers. I also have a GATX Tank train, 17.6k and 33k unibody tankers, so it's safe to say you can get the goodies in O also.

  14. ozzy

    ozzy Active Member

    if it was me ....... i would EBAY all the HO stuff, use that money to buy more O-scale and have a double decker o-scale......lol
  15. riverotter

    riverotter Midwest Alliance Rail Sys


    I like this idea! I get the best of both worlds. (Now if only I had twice the "train money"!)

    The 24" shelving for what was going to be the HO layout is already in place. Because of the location of some of the utility outlets, and my personal preference, the shelf was built at 57" off the floor (I like to see my trains closer to eye level), so putting another shelf higher would be impractical from a viewing/working standpoint. The way the support angle braces were built, if I wanted a shelf below the original one, it could be no higher than 39" off the floor unless I put notches in the lower shelving for the upper-level's braces. Or I guess I could sit in a rolling chair when I run the HO trains?

    I'm already generating plans for this option, then I'll create a cardboard 1:1 mock-up in what I call The Train Room (She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed sign1calls it The Sewing Room).

    I confess I respond positively to your idea about eBaying the HO stuff and building a double-deck O scale layout, but I have so much HO stuff I really, really like I'm not sure I could part with all of it. Maybe I'll take Geno's suggestion, figure out what I like the best in my HO collection, then offer the rest of it on eBay -- to support my growing O scale addiction!
  16. ozzy

    ozzy Active Member

    how about this.......... your room is 30x30 right? how about both scales on one level? pick one side of the room for the HO. maybe the middle 20 feet of one wall . 24" or 30" wide x 20foot long. then have the other 3 sides for the O-scale.

    now this is where the cool part comes in. ....... when the O-scale train comes around to the side where the HO is at ,,,,, have it go down hill UNDER the HO layout, then have an O-scale yard under the HO. then when the mainlines come out the other end from under the HO go back up hill to the top level.
  17. ozzy

    ozzy Active Member

    please post some pic's of your room and bench work so far. i may be able to come up with a few more ways.
  18. ozzy

    ozzy Active Member

    "The 24" shelving for what was going to be the HO layout is already in place. Because of the location of some of the utility outlets, and my personal preference, the shelf was built at 57" off the floor (I like to see my trains closer to eye level)"

    1. i would go min 30" wide for 0 scale. our club started out at 24 modulars and everyone ended up adding to them making them 30" on a 24" after 2 mainlines there was just not much room for anything else.

    2. the O scale are BIG!, so they dont have to be eye level to see them lol

    3. if the top level is to all to see get some tall bar stools to sit on.
  19. riverotter

    riverotter Midwest Alliance Rail Sys

    Here are some shots I took a little while back when the shelving was being installed. I've reduced the original images to try to balance file size/load time/clarity.

    Thanks very much for your creativity!





  20. riverotter

    riverotter Midwest Alliance Rail Sys

    What an interesting idea - thank you! It got me thinking that I also would want to run HO trains continuously, so I would still need two levels making a full circuit around the walls. Then I recalled from reading about David Barrow's 'dominoes' that I could build the (lower) HO level using 18" wide hollow-core doors, make them 40"-42" high, and position them slightly away from the walls so the angled braces from the upper level weren't an issue.

    Again, I really appreciate everybody's comments and suggestions -- keep 'em coming!

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