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Author Topic: On30
Steve-
Gardner

Posts: 1
Post On30
on: June 6, 2011,
Quote

Anyone moving into On30?

Robert

Posts: 379
Post Re: On30
on: June 7, 2011,
Quote

I had considered it several years ago when I was in the midst of getting away from HO scale. I ultimately decided my preferred railroading is the 40/50 foot boxcars banging there way along behind standard guage mainline steampower. The On30, while interesting, somehow seemed a bit too whimsical for my tastes, although some folks are doing excellent work with it. I could easily see myself enjoying a small branchline interchange at some point.

Good Luck!

Bob

Jim-
Goodridge

Posts: 5
Post Re: On30
on: June 7, 2011,
Quote

On30 is where I currently reside but am looking at going into O standard gauge traction or light steam. On30 has some real advantages: It's very available compared to O standard gauge; On30 is very inexpensive compared to O standard; The curve radius you can use is much sharper than O standard gauge - my minimum radius is 26 inches, but buildings and details are the same size so you still need space; If you like prototype railroads like the Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes, On30 offers ready to run equipment and several kits for specific items; On30 equipment can usually easily be re-gauged to On3 but can't really be re-gauged to On2; People feel more comfortable doing whimsical things in On30 than they would in O standard - don't know why but it seems to be the case.

Disadvantages: There weren't many prototype railroads in North America that used 30 inch gauge - I model an industrial railway that was 30 inch gauge for a couple of years in the 1870's before it was standard gauged and lasted until 1960. I just pretend it was never standard gauged; The majority of the manufacturing is done by Bachmann and it seems that On30 could suffer the same fate at S scale did. American Flyer was doing such a good job that other large manufacturers did not see an opportunity to enter into the market. If Bachmann stops their On30 manufacture then On30 could become an orphan.

On30 does offer a really easy way to enter into O scale and I think that folks in O scale would do themselves a service if they used On30 as a way to promote the scale to other modelers. To plunk down $600 dollars for the Atlas 0-6-0 locomotive in O scale, pay $85 for turnouts and a minimum of $25 for freight car trucks just to try O scale turns the experiment into a significant amount of dollars. You can try On30 by spending $150 street price for a really nice die cast 2-8-0 complete with DCC ( not sound ) pay HO prices for turnouts, $10 for freight car trucks (or $25 for complete freight cars) and Give O scale a whirl. There just aren't the dollar barriers to entry in On30 that there are in O. That being said, if your real interest is in standard gauge, narrow gauge just may never feel right. If you are already thinking narrow gauge then On30 may be just the ticket.

Best Regards
Jim

Robert

Posts: 379
Post Re: On30
on: June 8, 2011,
Quote

Hi Jim, I already have made my commitment to Standard O scale. This is my 6th year of building my new railroad. Yes it can cost some money, but I shop very selectively, and build a lot of what I want myself. I grew up in New England and have visited many of the narrow guage lines which once were common carriers for rural folks. There is definitely a mystique about the prototype NG operations and the whimsey may just be part of that.

Bachmann defintely has a grip on On30 and hopefully it's popularity will only increase. O scale is likely less popular for several of the reason you pointed out, nevertheless both will probably survive just fine as long as guys like us stay involved.

Bob

Martin
Administrator
Posts: 865
Post Re: On30
on: June 22, 2011,
Quote

I am looking for a way to incorporate a small interchange of my CVRR with an On30 incarnation of the TVRR, but I am exceedingly space (and time!) challenged. I may end up cutting a hole in a wall to run it over into my shop and back!

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Guest

Posts: 1
Post Re: On30
on: September 3, 2011,
Quote

Good evening,
Well this is my first time on this site just joined tonight but have been in On30 for more then 30 years. I usually just monitor the On30 Yahoo sites, I don't suffer "the know it all very well", so tend to look and keep on going. I guess since I have been modeling On30 for 30+ years, I am 64, I have to say that it has really worked for me. I did get into On 21/2(that is what we called it then) because I couldn't afford the price of On3, which at the time was all brass locos. What I found out was it opened the door to creativity and it was cheap. I have seen a lot of good and bad modeling over the years and at first was some what critical of those who didn't get it. Then I realized, I had a long way to go and besides if they were having fun who was I to say it wasn't right.
One small correction and this is not picking those nits so much, but the Yosemite Short Line RR was to have been 30" but never got to far in real construction. There have been a few guys that have tried their hand at build their 30" railroad based on the short history of the "Y".
I have always had a mountain lumber railroad, with a dash of general freight. It wasn't till a few years ago when we moved to the Eastern Shore of Maryland that I totally changed the concept of my railroad. I still have logging, there is a large sawmill complex that I am working on 4'x15', and there will be an island where the logs are cut and transported from. I now have many water connections for my railroad. I even have a piece of standard gauge going from the saw mill complex, and out to the "real world", about 30' or so of track. There will be two crossovers between standard and narrow gauge but no dual gauge, it looks to much like Lionel.
Well, I guess I could keep going on but figure at this point you all have either nodded off or moved on to something else, so let me close this up b saying, if narrow gauge is something that you want to model then by all means do so, it opens up your creativity cells and doesn't have to be expensive.
FWIW,
Steve Fisher
aka MD Railbaron

Ken the-
guy from-
AR

Posts: 186
Post Re: On30
on: September 3, 2011,
Quote

To all,
Steve's railroad is a testament to the modelers who are doing great things in On30. I would put his layout up against any of the On2 or On3 guys any day of the week. The On30 crowd has it's fare share of whimsical modelers due to the fact of Bachmann's marketing to the Depot 56 collectors. But there are many guys out there doing great things in this scale.

I started my journey into O scale with On30 and enjoyed it as much as anything else I have ever done. When I was a kid I always looked at the narrow gauge guys in the pages of Model Railroader magazine and wished I could build models like that. But at the ripe age of 14 there was no way I could have purchased the all brass engines and rolling stock. When Bachmann came along I saw the writing on the wall and knew this was my chance to be a narrow gauge guy. I feel like the modeling I did in On30 was what I wanted to do when I was a teenager. I have moved on to standard gauge but still mess around with my On30 stuff every now and again. I will be bringing my latest On30 creation to Indy so look me up and see some serious modeling with a touch of whimsy

Ken the guy from AR

Ken Burney
Conway, AR
Modeling an interchange between the Rock Island and MoPac.

Guest

Posts: 1
Post Re: On30
on: November 28, 2011,
Quote

Does any one have any experience with an On30 'outdoor' layout? I'm considering this in lieu of G scale which to me is too big and too costly. I am well aware of the need for UV protection and this does not concern me. My biggest concern is how to keep the track clean. I'd like to use on-board battery power, but I'm afraid that On30 is too small for this. Thank you for your help. -Dave

Gary

Posts: 1
Post Re: On30
on: December 11, 2011,
Quote

Dave,

I am in the process of building a "test layout" outside using a 10' x 30' area. I will be using on board battery power (no track power). The layout will be built using HO gauge track (Peco to avoid the UV issue). The reason for HO gauge track is to test the concept for both ON30 and HO scales.
The controls will be via radio control using AirWire and or Ring Engineering controllers/receivers which have been scaled to fit in both scale sizes (CV Industries, i.e. Airwire is making these items available for HO scale beginning Jan 2012, Ring is new and has focused on HO scale (if it fits HO it can be used in larger scales)).
I recently attended a train show in Del Mar, CA. At the show was a ON30 layout running both with engines powered via battery and operated via AirWire prototype receivers scaled to fit inside tenders of Shay locos along with battery packs. The batteries were rated 12v @ 400-700 Ah and could operate trains for more than 2 hours before charging.
Have faith, you can do what you want. I can put you in touch with a guy who has RC and battery expertise if you want.

Gary

Bernd

Posts: 29
Post Re: On30
on: December 24, 2011,
Quote

I've started a layout in one corner of the basment. I've got some benchwork up and some "paper" track laid down to see what will fit. I have planned on 2 X 4 modules that will fit together to form an "E" shaped layout when I began several years a go. Along with the On30 I have a section of standard gauge for an inter-change. The On30 will based on hauling mainly lumber and coal. I have somewhat of an idea of how it will all come togethere but no track plan has been put down on paper. Here's a direct link to my On30 page: http://frontiernet.net/~thecat/On30.htm

Regards,
Bernd

hartleymar-
tin

Posts: 10
Post Re: On30
on: December 25, 2011,
Quote

I'm lead to believe that most of the Bachmann On30 stuff is based on prototypes that ran on the old 3' gauge systems that were found around the US. This means that On3 people can simply replace the trucks on bogie rolling stock, and hopefully would mean that the locomotives are not too difficult to re-gauge.

I suppose one advantage is that track and wheels in On30 are often borrowed from HO. It is also a useful gauge to work with, as prototypes anywhere from 2' to 3' gauge can be somewhat convincingly modelled. There are many gauges in this area. Some which come to mind come from Europe such as 1'10", 1'11.5", 600mm, 2'0", 2'3", 2'4.25", 750mm, 2'6", 2'7.5", 2'9" and 3'0". As weird as some of these numbers sounds, they do exist and On30 provides a unifying way to have all of these otherwise isolated prototypes running together.

lumberjack

Posts: 1
Post Re: On30
on: October 19, 2012,
Quote

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).

Glenn

Jaini

Posts: 371
Post Re: On30
on: October 19, 2012,
Quote

Quote from lumberjack on October 19, 2012, 10:43
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).

Glenn

Glenn: I'd like to see some of those On18 and On20 locos. I always marvel at the ingenuity of modelers who adapt readily available materials to their needs. Please share.
Joe

raybaumill-
er

Posts: 399
Post Re: On30
on: June 8, 2014,
Quote

Hi Dave,
Dont give up on G scale outside. Aristocraft sells a G scale 0-4-0 switcher for $125 or so, Sometimes u can get a Hershey or xmas set for less with a bobber caboose. Hardly any diff in price between standard O and G price wise. Personally I dont like it on the ground. Think of getting it higher. Get inventive. If u have a fence around the yard hang it on the fence. On30 is too nice for outside. I ordered what I thought was a G scale bumble bee set but when it arrived it was On30. Disappointed I put it away. Years later wanting to try O I remembered it was O scale using HO track. Looked at it again and wow just the ticket to leave HO. RAy.

Ken the-
guy from-
AR

Posts: 186
Post Re: On30
on: June 8, 2014,
Quote

Holy time warp Batman!!! This thread has come back from two years ago.

By the way On30 is the gateway drug from HO to O.

Ken Burney
Conway, AR
Modeling an interchange between the Rock Island and MoPac.

raybaumill-
er

Posts: 399
Post Re: On30
on: June 18, 2014,
Quote

Hi,
I am going to need a water column to go with an EBT type coal bunker. So will the MTH version for O scale be over
sized for ON30??
RAy

raybaumill-
er

Posts: 399
Post Re: On30
on: July 6, 2014,
Quote

Hi,
I guess I answered my own question (HAHA). Anyone know of an On30 water column by any vendor??
RAy.

Martin
Administrator
Posts: 865
Post Re: On30
on: July 27, 2014,
Quote

I'd imagine that one that might be suitable for On3 size locomotive should be within reason.

Might want to look into what Precision Scale might offer in the way of either a kit (bag of parts and a few diagrams), or just look for all of the parts in their catalog - most is on-line now.

Selly used to sell a simple white metal kit that was assembled from a few castings. You see them there and about on eBay and at meets.

Want a balloon?

Bluebeard4-
590

Posts: 30
Post Re: On30
on: August 2, 2014,
Quote

I was given several Spectrum DCC ON30 locomotives new in the box. (2) Shay; (1) Climax; (1) Heisler; (2) Forney when on a project site in ND. I have ever used ON30 before and had a question (maybe a stupid one...forewarned) Allowing for the narrower track gauge of these locomotives, why are the dimensions of say the ON30 shay approximately 35% smaller in every aspect (other than the distance between the wheels) than an O-Scale version, for example MTH Premire Shay (listed as 1:48 scale) Which version of the locomotive is actually correct in its dimensions? Shouldn't a narrow gauge O scale locomotive be O scale, with simply the trucks being of the narrow gauge configuration? I found the same size differences with my Climax as well. If ON30 allows you use your O scale buildings, people etc, why the significant difference in physical sizes of the two?

I was contemplating using these ON30 locos in a copper mining section and perhaps a nice timber scene, but don't want the mix of the O scale and ON30 physical size differences of the real similar sized locomotives to look silly.

Martin
Administrator
Posts: 865
Post Re: On30
on: August 2, 2014,
Quote

Shays, Climaxes, Heislers, and Forney came in all sorts of sizes and configurations, for all sorts of uses and in all sorts of gauges as well. Doubt that comparing the On30 Shay to an MTH Shay is valid - could be 2 totally different prototypes although I have no idea what either might be based on or if either even has a prototype basis.

Shouldn't a narrow gauge O scale locomotive be O scale, with simply the trucks being of the narrow gauge configuration?

So yes, but narrow gauge engines can be quite a bit smaller.

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