While the majority of narrow gauge railroads in the U.S. were 3' gauge, there were actually quite a few that were 2-1/2' gauge. Mallory Hope Ferrell ran a series in the Gazette recently where he chronicled some of them. Most were logging lines or really short lines with a few to several miles of track.
In the model world, the number after the "n" represents the gauge in either feet or inches. On30 and On2-1/2 are therefore the same. Bachmann introduced their On30 line so that O scale trains could run on HO scale track. As Doug said, this works out to 30" gauge, while On3 is 36" gauge.
One could ask, why did B'mann bother introducing such a whimsical guage. The answer is of course that On30 will run on regular HO trackage. Yes the tie spacing and size is incorrect for ng but it means that virtually any track component that you could wish for is readily available and relatively inexpensive.
On30 really is a fun scale/guage especially for those who like industrial stuff. The real scale fanatic Colorado crowd will want to stick with On3 or more likely Sn3.
Thank you. That is exactly what I'm looking for. I am making a small elevated outdoors live steam HO oval to run my Hornby Mallard w/Rack of Teak Cars.. I have also been in love with the Plymouth loco for ever. I was thinking I'd get an accucraft and weather/beat up over the winter. Now I know the On30 is the one for HO track I am all set. Thanks again.
I'm also a big fan of "critters"--Plymouths, Porters, gas mechanicals, and the like--and they will provide the primary motive power on the small mining/logging pike I'm building now (Cohasset & Slippery Rock Mining Company Railroad). I'm waiting patiently for those Accucraft Plymouths to make it to market, and in the meantime am very happy with the Bachmann gas mechanicals and the many other Bachmann On30 locomotives and rolling stock items I've acquired in recent years.
The benchwork for my new layout is just about complete, aside from one section that is destined for future expansion, and I even put down some Atlas Code 83 track yesterday to use temporarily until I can get my hands on a bunch of Micro Engineering On30 track and switches. Couldn't get the trains running continuously though because I still need about 20 more sections of track to form a loop at one end of the layout.
I had initially planned to power the pike with an MRC ControlMaster 20, but was given Bachmann's E-Z Command DCC system last week so I'll be using that. It sure appears to be simple enough to set up and operate (according to the DVD that came with the outfit).
My favorite aspect of model railroading is scenery building, and I'm sure looking forward to getting things operational so I can get on with messing with some Hydrocal, Sculptamold, and all the other wonderful materials that are available for scenery construction.
Since my railroad is a freelanced line and not based on any specific prototype, On30 works particularly well because I don't have to get involved in any On3 vs. On30 dialog. I'm just grateful that there is so much available in On30, and at such great prices.
Posted By Allan W. Miller on 01/13/2008 5:45 AM
I'm also a big fan of "critters"--Plymouths, Porters, gas mechanicals, and the like--and they will provide the primary motive power on the small mining/logging pike I'm building now (Cohasset & Slippery Rock Mining Company Railroad).
Sure have, old buddy! Love the wide assortment of "stuff" they offer and have their site bookmarked. But I gotta tell you, the item I would most like to get is their turntable. I'm pretty well up to my ears in motive power, but do need a nice (and small) turntable and some additional rolling stock. I still think my next motive power addition will be the Accucraft Plymouth, if and when it appears.