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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,
I'm new to this forum, but have been very impressed with what I've read. Maybe you can help me.

I'm at the planning stages and I'm hoping to find out which way the general trends in large scale are now and are likely to be going in the very near future. I want to model a standard gauge railroad from the East coast of the the US in the late 1800's with a reasonable level of fidelity* and at other times just have fun with other people coming over and run on the railroad without looking completely foolish. I understand the various scales and gauges. I'M WONDERING WHICH SCALE AND GAUGE IS MOST POPULAR? (measured by quantity of equipment sold, or number of customers)(I'm guessing that will translate into higher numbers of people who like to RUN large scale trains.)

* "fidelity" - I'm not up to rivet counting. but do have a well documented eastern US prototype I'd like to model. I'm guessing that I'll have to do a far amount of scratch building and kit-bashing any way I go.
PS If it matters (like it once did with the Beta versus VHS battle) I'm near the East coast of the US. :)
 

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Without having any solid numbers, I'd have to guess that 1:29 is the single most popular scale, at least for pseudo-standard gauge modelling. The various 1:24/22.5/20.3 models are probably more numerous (though not in a single scale), and of course are generally representing narrow gauge prototypes.

If you're willing to scratchbuild, then why worry about the scale anyway? /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/tongue.gif Pick what you want, and build whatever you like. I think you'll find that most of the steam loco mechanisms are suitable for any of the 45mm gauge scales, provided you have the right cab, boiler, and various other parts. If it were me, I'd go for 1:32 for standard gauge models. Of course, that means you're scratchbuilding the bulk of your models, but that can be fun, too.
 

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The standard gauge models are normally built to either 1:29 or 1:32 scale to run on 45 mm (No 1 gauge) track. Although 1:32 is the "correct" scale for the gauge, 1:29 is more popular and has a wider range of offerings.

That being said, you will soon discover that there are virtually no models of standard gauge prototypes from the dawn of the 20 th century. The models that exist from that time period tend to be 1:20.3 or 1:22.5 or 1:24 models of narrow gauge equipment. Some of these may be adaptable to your prupose but I would guess for a specific east coast prototype that you will be left to your own devices.

You will have to scratchbuild most of your equipment though wheels, drive trains and mechanisms will likely be available commercially. A limited number of castings of detail parts may also be available but again, some fabrication will be needed.

In terms of hosting visitors, since the track is gauged to 45 mm in theory there should be no problem as long as your clearances curves and switches are sufficiently large. Then they can run anything.

Regards ... Doug
 
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maybe you should decide by yourself, based on investigations of your local hobby- and toyshops.
to make a more or less believable layout, you will need structures, horsecarts, figures and goods.
what scales are the accesories, that you can get? - for me that would be the most important question.
 

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Let's go at this a bit differently. You didn't mention whether this well known eastern railroad was a narrow gauge one or standard gauge. If standard, you have aplethora of offerings from Aristocraft and USA Trains (and now even Accucraft) but these are mainly from the 40's onward. The scale is 1:29 (which has become the defacto "standard" for large scale.) For running modern diesels this is the most plentiful and will be around indefinitely.
Narrow gauge is a different animal. The original scale was 1:22.5 which LGB started and Bachmann adopted (including some Lionel, MDC, etc...) it still exists and is the most prevalent scale representing 3ft. narrow gauge. LGB is currently down but it's offerings are available on ebay. One caveat: LGB is considered "collectible" and there is a small but rabid following so prices have been climbing! Bachmann's ubiquitous "Big Hauler" is scaled 1:22.5 and all of Bachmann's non-Spectrum items are 1:22.5 as well. This scale isn't seeing much (if any) growth but there are plentiful offerings.
Bachmann's Spectrum offerings, Accucraft, AMS (an Accucraft division), Berlyn, Hartford and a plethora of smaller manufacturers have gone to the accurate scale of 1:20.3 which is Fn3 scale and is growing all the time. Unfortunately, Colorado narrow gauge prototypes dominate this scale and it will be some time before eastern offerings will become plentiful.
1:24 is the gauge that the now-defunct Delton used and HLW and Aristo Delton Classics have continued using the old moulds but have upgraded the engines and rolling stock. Completely new offerings are not expected in any large quantities.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks guys. It sounds like 1:29 or 1:32 is the way to go for my purposes.
The point about 45 mm/Gauge 1 track being open to most people who like to run their trains is a good one. Building and running the railroad is always an adventure, and one best shared with others who "get it".

The choice between those two scales will probably be determined by local product availability and interest.

Thanks for the prompt responses. I look forward to being in this forum as the plans and project progresses.

/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/wow.gif
 

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Posted By Webber on 09/04/2008 7:02 PM
Hi All,
I'm new to this forum, but have been very impressed with what I've read. Maybe you can help me.
I'm at the planning stages and I'm hoping to find out which way the general trends in large scale are now and are likely to be going in the very near future. I want to model a standard gauge railroad from the East coast of the the US in the late 1800's with a reasonable level of fidelity* and at other times just have fun with other people coming over and run on the railroad without looking completely foolish. I understand the various scales and gauges. I'M WONDERING WHICH SCALE AND GAUGE IS MOST POPULAR? (measured by quantity of equipment sold, or number of customers)(I'm guessing that will translate into higher numbers of people who like to RUN large scale trains.)
* "fidelity" - I'm not up to rivet counting. but do have a well documented eastern US prototype I'd like to model. I'm guessing that I'll have to do a far amount of scratch building and kit-bashing any way I go.
PS If it matters (like it once did with the Beta versus VHS battle) I'm near the East coast of the US. :)"


In this world you can do things the hard way, or you can do them the easy way.

I like the look of the "American Standard Gauge" tie spacing. However, if you peruse the list of available components to use on your railroad (especially back in 1997 when I built mine), you will find that many structures, bridges, etc. are made for a simple "drop in" of the LGB tie spacing. The standard gauge tie spacing does not fit and the track must sit "on" rather than "in" the structure. For this reason (as well as that they are stronger and more durable), I went with the AristoCraft track with the European spacing even though I run mostly 1:29 scale equipment.

Life is a compromise.
 
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