New On30 Layout.

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Ash Pit

Active Member
BigGRacing, The couplers are Kadee HO Clones by Bachmann, for the Bachmann stuff. Maybe the AMS Couplers are actual Kadees, not sure. I appreciate all the nice "LIKES" given me for this thread!

As a kid, my brother and I had an S Scale American Flyer train set. A couple years after we had been given the American Flyer, I got into HO, and recieved a Tyco Train Set with a "Booster" 0-4-0 locomotive, Box Car, Gondola and Bobber Caboose. I also received a Varney "Little Joe" Docksider loco. I was enthralled with the detail of the HO stuff over the American Flyer, for details. I feel the same way about the details on th AMS Narrow Gauge Box Cars, over the detailing on HO stuff today and I have built some very detailed HO stuff!

I thought about making the above statement earlier in this thread. However the GeeTees posts made me think twice! He seems to be gone for now so I've gone ahead with posting my original thoughts!
 
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Ash Pit

Active Member
Have any of you tried AnyRail 6 to design your Track Plans? You can download a free version. I was exposed to CAD at my last job and all was able to do with it, was download part prints; so, I was rather surprised at how easy it was to learm AnyRai;l 6. I ended up buying the program for $59.00. I feel it does everything I need it to do. There is a Track Library that has 39 different track manufacturers specifications in it, Everything from Atlas, Micro engineering, Walthers, Shinohara, Fast Tracks and many, many other manufacturers I have never even heard of. It has an Object Library that has buildings, etc. from 12 different manufacturers. The only problem I have had with the program is calculating grades and slopes and that is easy enough to figuar out on my own. I was a Tool & Die designer 20 years ago when I was in that business and so drawing with pencil and paper was second nature to me. I had started out at my drawing table with pencil and compass in hand for this On30 layout. When I found AnyRail 6 was free to mess around with, I decided to give CAD a try. Now there is no going back to the drawing board, for me! I am no expert at this program!!! However, I'm finding it fun and easy to use! Since this is the Layout and Design topic of this Forum, I think posting a link to AnyRail 6 is appropriate; but, understand I don't get to make the decisions around here... Yes, this is the CAD program that Ron Marsh of Ron's Trains and Things and the Model Railroad Acadamy uses.

 
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Sirfoldalot

Curse You, Red Baron!
Staff member
I may have to play around with that to see what it is all about. I always just took the available space I had - built the tabletop using the movable girders (forget the name) and proceeded to fill it up with track. I never completed a layout as I usually moved somewhere else or would find a club nearby. I wasted a lot of my life along the way - my bad!
 

santafewillie

Same Ol' Buzzard
I have always been intrigued with the CAD programs for model railroading, going all the way back to the original Atlas Right Track program on Windows 3.1. However for me, I had always found that learning to use the program and making things work took more time than to build benchwork with a roughly sketched plan and then start laying track. I never tried Anyrail and it may be more simple than the half dozen or so other freebies that I tried. Even though I don't anticipate starting over again with another layout, I am interested in seeing what you do.
 

Ash Pit

Active Member
I was happy to draw things on paper in HO. Switching to a Larger scale increases the need for larger radius curves and using-up more precious realestate in my basement. Therefore it is helpfull to be able to draw things as close to scale as you can get. A CAD program makes this very easy. Also, your track is not a single line; but, two rails and ties if you want. Choices include the 39 different track manufacturer's products, Minimum radius, and so many other choices that it can become confusing.
 

Ash Pit

Active Member
I am weathering and painting a Bachmann Passenger Car and the AMS RGS Box Car that was a recent purchase. Were I able to do this as a hobby, I might consider keeping the HO layout and detailing, painting and weathering On30 equipment to sell! The problem as I've found it, is to many people don't want there rolling stock to be weathered they prefer it to be shinny and new. I think I do a good job of painting and weathering; but, maybe not.
 
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Marlin39

Member
I'm kind of in the same position you're in. I'm on the 3rd layout. Build them, play, get bored, and take them down.

I've just finished building the benchwork for a 12'x2' shelf and can't decide if I want to build HO or On30 either. I used to model HOn30 in my 20's after being motivated by all the Frary and Hayden articles. My aging eyes say On30 may be easier, but a whole lot more expensive than HO.

Like the OP I have enough On30 equipment to get started. It's just deciding what scale.
 

Ash Pit

Active Member
You could do both, just increase the clearence between tracks and scenery and buildings by using an On30/HO track gauge with it's clearance for On30 plastic part installed. I don't think that the extra clearence will detract from an HO Layout. However, where clearance between cars and building where unloading and loading occurers, will look awkward when working in HO. Marlin39, I'm sure you know this. In fact this possibility exists for me, too. However, after 32 years of running trains on my HO layout, I don't believe simply switching to On30 would improve my interest in this layout, which I am starting to believe has outlived it's usefulness!
 
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Ash Pit

Active Member
Another reason that I want to switch scales is I would like to build all my turnouts using a Fast Tracks Jig and then hand lay all my track. I've done some handlaying on my HO layout and enjoyed it. Since it's the process of building a layout that is what I enjoy, hand laying the track is right in my Wheelhouse! Since what I'd like to build is essentually a Logging Line, the road bed will be minimal! It appears to me that many of the people involved in On30 have similar interests to mine.

The one thing that does concern me is that Bachmann is sort of the prime producer of products for On30! It's my understanding that one guy at Bachmann was mostly responsible for Bachmann's delve into On30 I think his name was Lee someone. He has passed away and so I wonder who will head up the On30 scale production at Bachmann. I have had some problems with my Bachmann HO products and I've always felt that the company lacks vision; or, doesn't consider the many options they could take advantage of!

First of all, Why do they only make certain RR line's locomotives with sound? Why not make chassis for DC Operations, DCC Operations and DCC/Sound operations? This is already the case! Since all that is required, is to swop bodies to make all three types of operations for the Railroad Lines offered, is to remove the couplers put on the new body and reinstall the couplers and you can cover what ever railroad is desired in all three types of choices?

Second, Who wants these larger On30 locomotive to not have sound? Per someone at SoundTraxx, Bachmann paid them to design and make Sound Decoders and package them for Bachmann. And of course Bachmann never ordered enough Sound Decoders for these locomotives, so once the Sound Decoders sold out you had to do something else. So in these On30 locomotives, you have a choice of DC Operation and DCC Operations; but, to add sound you have to pay another $139.00 for a DCC Sound Module! This is a screwy system. Now Bachmann has made their 2-6-2 Trench Locomotive only with the TCS WOW Sound. What goes on at Bachmann when they are developing a new On30 Steam locomotive, seems pretty Schizophrenic to me! Plus they have now discontinued the Shay, Climax and Stearns Heisler locos which are the logging locomotives that I need!

Maybe some of you can "Splain" what you think is going on out there in Philladelphia? Merry Christmas Everyone!!!
 
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Ash Pit

Active Member
I just completed the Bachmann Colorado Southern Coach. I painted and weathered the underside and trucks of this car. In the process of disassembly of the trucks, you need to make sure you understand the orientation of the wheels when putting them back into the trucks. I would have liked to have been able to remove the interior of the car to paint the floor and chairs, to give me a little more room. However, I ended up painting the floor and seat cushions in situ, and it turned out O.K. It appears to me that Bachmann didn't forsee that people might want to detail the interior of this car. I've ordered a 30 pc set of seated O-scale people to place in this car.
 

Ash Pit

Active Member
Yesterday, while at my work bench, I heard a fairly loud "POP" coming from my layout. I had left the power on as I was doing some work to the layout. I went over to the layout to see if anything in particular looked unusual. I noticed that my GML DC RO-3 Walkaround throttle did not have it's Light Monetor on. I have been using this DC throttle to operate my motor, which runs my turntable. The fact that it no longer operated prompted me to see if GML is still in business, they are. I physically moved the turn table to the position I need it to be in. This morning I noticed that my "Snapper" Capacitive Discharge switch machine power supply had also died. I also need to send in my Digitrax Zephyr Express as it is doing somethings it shouldn't. So this raises the question: Is it time to tear out my HO layou?
 

TLOC

Well-Known Member
I have read this a couple times before responding. I understand your concerns and maybe your feelings on the old layout and the desire to switch scales. When I retired in 2014 and moved from the house we built and called home for 34 years I wanted to go from HO to N. But, I thought I had too much invested and my eyes were bad at 62. After finding all the sale sites at Yahoo, then Facebook and Io.groups I wish I had, selling trains was easy. After cataract surgery and literally a new sight on life I really wish I had but by then I was a year into my new layout. I tried the day after the USA T-giving day to buy some 2-6-0 Moguls in On30 from online for 70 each to start my new adventure, I have room for another layout. But, the fates are against me as last Monday they still weren’t here and after calling the dealer, I cancelled and never will attempt to purchase from them again.

It reads like you have made the mental commitment as you are working on some rolling stock. I have a buddy who has an excellent On30 layout with a logging theme. The scenery is awesome, but there are no real, IMHO operations and switching like Willie wrote above is key for him and to me also. The buddy explained that once he had fixed the equipment the way he wanted, added DCC and sound he found out he was more interested in creating the scenery. Personally, I like the switching but I really enjoy the building of large industries.

I believe you are on the right track with your new scale. On30 is for you by what you have written, hand laying track is either very frustrating or can be a joy and therapeutic. There are lots of O scale craftsman kits out there to work with. Make the commitment, possibly save the layout structure but remove the rest. I will enjoy continuing to view your story and partially vicariously model with you as your journey goes on. Have fun though!

TomO
 

Ash Pit

Active Member
I have removed my Digitrax Zephyr Express from the layout. As I stated just above, it needs to go back to digitrax as I see it doing wierd stuff occasionally. Digititrax knows it will be returning, just a bit sooner than I origibnally planned. I've also removed the GML DC throttle as it needs service, too. The "Snapper" Capacitive Discharge switch machine power sourse will not be used again. Dual Coil switch machines are a thing of the past for me! So, I have started to disassemble my HO layout. In the past hour and a half, I have taken apart, what it took me 15 hours to install!
So far I really am not feeling too bad about tearing out, my 32 years of HO layout building!
 

Ash Pit

Active Member
My other electronics have now removed from the layout, this includes my RRampmeter, PTB-100 Programing track Booster, Circuit Breaker and Card boxes. After shoveling snow to bank the house, I'm Plumb Tuckered out.
 

Ash Pit

Active Member
More thoughts on the process: There is no turning back at this point. It's is onwards we go. The thought of attempting to sell off my 180 pieces of HO freight and passenger rolling stock on Ebay, is frightening to me. I have become disinchanted with Ebay's constant changing of how listing items goes! If I could find someone to give me fair price for the whole kittencabootal, I would jump at that chance!

Another thought is: I was considering removing a part of my current layout, so I could begin construction of the On30 layout. At this time; however, I may get rid of the entire HO layout and not start construction of the new layout untill the HO layout is totally gone! Maybe I will decide that my Model Railroading days are over and move on to a new hobby!
 

Sirfoldalot

Curse You, Red Baron!
Staff member
After shoveling snow to bank the house, I'm Plumb Tuckered out.
I look back at those days when I lived in Colorado! Silverton usually gathered 10-12 feet a year. The plow would bury my car and truck.
Did not have to worry about "banking" - there was enough banked already!

You are gathering steam on the remodeling it appears.
You might look at several of the HO sites on FB for selling stuff - I don't know about KARL, but TERRY sells quite often there.
One that comes to mind is 'HO Yard Sale'
 

Ash Pit

Active Member
Banking my house makes such a difference in the temperature in the basement. As near as we can figure the house was built somewhere around the turn of the last cantury, 1900; or, so. It has a poured concrete foundation, which seems to transfers cold into the basement so easily. I have no need for 10-12 feet of snow; however, the natural banking of snow around the house would ease up on the shoveling! Did you ride the Durango and Silverton to go to work?
 
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