Which Scale Best For Sound

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by T-Mac, Sep 4, 2006.

  1. T-Mac

    T-Mac New Member

    Thanks Petey:wave: I have an area in my shop that I am going to dedicate to our layout that will be 20' X 10'. One side of the 20' length will be against a wall, with the other 3 sides having access from both sides. I don,t know much about designing a layout but I spend a lot of time reading posts on The Guage and have learned a lot. I figured the 20' stretch down the wall would be 2' wide and the other and the other 3 sides could be 4' since I have access from both sides. I know I will have to operate from the middle but thought I might could build a bridge that would raise for access rather than a duck under. Will this area accomadate O scale or would HO be a better choice. I've never heard HO sound but have read a lot about it that seemed pretty good. Any input would be greatly appreciated!:)
  2. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    The space can accommodate either scale. Obviously, less O track and structures will fit in the same space. Instead of a doughnut with center pit, consider an E shape. 2ft x 20ft along the back wall, as proposed, and 3 5ft x 8ft peninsulas (legs of the E). I suggest making the peninsulas 5ft wide - that will allow you to use O54 turnback curves in O and 28" radius curves in HO - but does extend the reach to 30". Those dimensions also leave a 30" aisle between the peninsulas - about the minimum for comfort. The big advantage of the E shape is the natural scene transitions (each peninsula can be a different scene), and no duckunders, bridges, or gates.

    The choice of scale really hinges on what you and your son want to accomplish with the layout. If you are looking to run and watch multiple trains and listen to the sounds, 3 rail O is probably a better choice. Small engines in HO may not have room for decent sound. Also, if you like animated cars and accessories - you won't mind many to run out of the box in HO. If you are looking for a more scale-like appearance and setting, HO will probably serve you better. If you and/or your son want to build cars from kits, and install your own sound systems in locomotives, HO is a better choice. Finally, slow speed switching operations such as spotting cars at industries, and making up/breaking down trains in a yard is not the forte of 3 rail O. HO has the slow speed mechanisms and coupling/uncoupling systems for switching operations.

    my thoughts, your choices
  3. T-Mac

    T-Mac New Member

    Thanks Fred.:D That sounds like a good idea. I'll have to sit down and see if I can come up with a plan for a layout of that shape. I don't have any experience at this but am trying to learn. I guess I need to find some HO engines with sound so I can hear and compare.

Share This Page