HOn3 vs HOn30

Wiskey Apr 18, 2017

  1. Wiskey

    Wiskey New Member

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    I have an HO standard gauge layout. I saw a shay in Sonora CA last year. Now I would like to add logging/lumber operation in narrow gauge. I would appreciate members thoughts on availability and costs of HOn3 vs HOn30. The cost on narrow gauge shays might be the go or no-go trigger.
    About 12ft I would do in dual gauge with 3 turnouts in dual gauge.
    The mine in the photo would remain standard gauge with the narrow gauge passing the mine and heading farther up the mountain.

    Thanks
    Wiskey
     

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  2. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

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    From what I've seen, for a logging operation...

    1. HOn3 is more common, and has more that would be useful to you.

    2. HOn30 has the advantage of cheaper track, since it runs on N scale rail.

    3. Converting equipment of one type to the other isn't horribly difficult.

    It isn't cheap, but if this is just an interchange point, how many logging trains do you need?
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2017
  3. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Speaking as someone who models in HOn30, availability is not as much as HOn3. However, N scale chassis and track are plentiful, MinitrainS makes some good stuff, and there is a bunch of rolling stock, etc on Shapeways. HOn30 has grown a bunch in recent years. HOn30 can also be packed into less space. It is quite whimsical, as were many logging railroads.

    HOn3 takes up more space. But is more popular. Brass and plastic items.

    It just boils down to your making a choice and going forward.
     
  4. ArtinCA

    ArtinCA TrainBoard Supporter

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    A good running Shay in either scale will cost you. Another type of engine will be easier. Peco makes good looking HOn30 track and switches if you want something that is more HO scale. You can also use Micto-Trains N scale log cars for HOn30. They work well and are available. Either way, good luck avoiding the NG Bug..
     
  5. Mr. Trainiac

    Mr. Trainiac TrainBoard Member

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    Blackstone Models also has some good looking trains. They make HOn3 stuff. (Mostly Rio Grande) The k-27 is my favorite. They also have a decent amount of rolling stock on their website.
     
  6. Wiskey

    Wiskey New Member

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    Thanks for your replies.
    At first HOn30 sounded good. But, after a little searching I could not find HO-HOn30 dual gauge track and turn outs, any suggestions?
    I did find dual HO-HOn3, costs quite a bit more, and it seems to be code 70. For my existing rolling stock will code 100 transition to code 70 ok?
    Since the narrow gage part has not been started that can all be code 70.
    Thanks again.
     
  7. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Hi Art- It's been a while. Been busy with any interesting projects?
     
  8. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

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    How good the transition between Code 100 and Code 70 rail is depends on how good you make it. If you just jam them together, yes, your equipment will encounter quite a bump there. Whether your equipment does Code 70 or not depends on your equipment. Do you have any older cars with 'pizza cutter' wheels (oversize flanges)?

    As for HO/HOn30 dual gauge track, theoretically three rail HO fits that description. In reality, though, N is not exactly half of HO, and 'three rail' HO track often substitutes electrical contacts embedded in the ties for the actual third rail.

    So, yeah, HOn3 would be easier. And you do need a plan for transitioning to a different weight of rail.
     
  9. ArtinCA

    ArtinCA TrainBoard Supporter

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    Transitional joiners are available from Micro Engineering. Code 100 looks good with the full sized HO trains, but it will look huge with the narrow guage equipment. If you go with HOn30, you may need to do some custom trackwork. You could start with the templates from Fast Tracks and go from there.

    Another thought would be to keep the lines apart except for a crossing. A small yard, freight shed, overhead crane and a small passenger depot would be about right. Bob Hayden and Dave Frary did this on their layout.
     
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  10. ArtinCA

    ArtinCA TrainBoard Supporter

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    Not alot. Been working alot mostly, with honey-do's filling in the other times. I've been clearing out my N scale collection here and there. I did find my missing box of HOn30 equipment. But that's about it. I'm thinking I may build something train wise at some point.
     
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  11. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

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    Honestly, the only real reason to have dual-gauge track is you like the stuff. Generally speaking, logging railroads end at the mill, and common carrier railroads don't mess with the wood until after the mill has sawed it up. It's possible the mill wouldn't be at the standard gauge, and the narrow gauge would bring the finished lumber to the interchange, but I don't think that happened very often.
     
  12. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

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    3 rail HO does not have 3 rails. The center "rail" is metal stubs
     
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  13. swissboy

    swissboy TrainBoard Member

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    That is unless you use VERY old Märklin AC tracks. :) I could still provide some. But actually, that's not what you want. It would would look very awkward by today's standards.

    If you simply want a Shay, you might consider getting an On30 model. That would run on your HO tracks. The scale would be off, though. But some of the Bachmann Spektrum models are not all that much bigger than HO.

    Another option is to get a HO Shay like this one:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/2-Truck-SHA...fb74ed7&pid=100005&rk=2&rkt=6&sd=172633379001
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2017
  14. fordy744

    fordy744 TrainBoard Member

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    HOn3 is models of 3ft narrow gauge
    HOn30 is models of 2ft6in narrow gauge

    Generally speaking 3ft narrow gauge was more common in the US post 1900

    Single gauge track is available in both, Shinohara, Micro Engineering & Peco all do HOn3, Peco do narrow gauge track branded as 009 for HOn30

    There are commercially available locomotives and rolling stock in both gauges. Very little in the American logging/mining though.

    HOn3 Shays come as old MDC kits or Brass imports. Other geared locos are available as Brass imports. Micro Trains have done HOn3 Log cars, otherwise you are into craftman kits or scratch building.
     
  15. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    If being pure, yes. However, a very large portion of us, (here in North America), who model the size are actually simulating 24" gauge. Such as the Maine foot gauge operations SR&RL, WW&F, etc. We just ignore the gauge. This is because it really took root due to the ease of adapting N gauge track. And that virtually nothing commercial has been made in HOn2.
     
  16. ArtinCA

    ArtinCA TrainBoard Supporter

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    A quick search on e-bay showed that Wiseman Services is selling HOn3 MDC shays as kits. Not a bad price, but there is some work involved.
     
  17. ArtinCA

    ArtinCA TrainBoard Supporter

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  18. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    How well do disconnects work in model railroading, especially this size? The prototype has all that weight of logs pressing down on bunks, to hold trains together. Models lack such ability, so I wonder...?
     
  19. ArtinCA

    ArtinCA TrainBoard Supporter

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    What what I have heard, not too bad. I know Al Sandrini has them on his layout. Worse came to worse, you could load the logs with lead. But I have not heard of problems with them.You could also cut notches or make use of pins to hold things together.

    Years ago I had about 20 of the N scale Front Runners from Atlas and they ran really well being as light as they were. The only excitement was the 28" wheels found all the low spots. Even the Atlas guys were impressed to see them run at a hobby show.
     
  20. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

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    Micro Trains makes N Scale disconnects, and Republic Locomotive Works makes them in Nn3
     

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