This is in response to Jim Goodridge's comment on June 7, 2011 "There weren't many prototype railroads in North America that used 30 inch gauge". Almost all of the On30 modelers I know do not model a prototype railroad. They may pattern after a railroad, but not the railroad itself. To them the gauge is just what it is Narrow, Less than standard. You do not have to model 2' or 3' gauge, just model narrow.
I did model On30. the earliest was in the 60's. but more so in the pre-Bachmann days. many of that era modeled industrial lines, but others like Steve Fisher modeled "mainline". I choose the middle road I had short equipment but mainline curves (almost -- 12") and operated ala common carrier. The sharper curves allowed me to get more railroad on a 6x10 portable layout.
My first loco was a pseudo 0-4-4 Forney made from an 0-4-0 with tender. The cab was lengthened and the tender shortened. Actually the front of the tender swiveled under the cab. A passenger truck was mounted at the rear. Cars were short, I was recycling MDC old time under-frames using the stock trucks and coupler mounts.
A number of people saw my layout at shows, no one commented on it as being non-prototype.
As far as On30 disappearing if Bachmann goes away -- nada, there are many more suppliers out there, most are kit suppliers, and many will resort to recycling HO. Bachmann is a good source of ready to run engines and cars.
The hobby is what you make of it, too many get stuck on prototype and lose interest. Me, I went off the deep end, I tried On18 (N gauge) and switched to On20 (HOn3 gauge).