On30 scale

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Empire Builder

Great Northern fanatic
I'm confused. What exactly is On30? They say it's 1:48 scale (like O scale), but it runs on HO track. Can someone help me on this?:confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused:
 

Empire Builder

Great Northern fanatic
Nice web page.:cool: But that still doesn't answer what the heck On30 is!? :confused: What makes OO, On30, & HO different? I mean, they all run on HO track, so what's the difference? are they O sized cars with HO trucks?:confused: :confused: :confused:
 

Railphotog

Railroad Photographer
On30 is O scale narrow gauge, 1:48 to the foot. Narrow gauge track centers are 30", hence the 30 in the desgination. Standard O scale track would be 4'-8-1/2" wide. On30's tracks are just closer. The equipment is all O scale, but is generally smaller due to the smaller track gauge. That was one of the benefits of the prototype narrow gauge railroads - the smaller equipment was cheaper to own and operate.

Similarly On3 is O scale with tracks 3 feet apart. The trucks for both scales are no HO sized, they are larger, in O scale, but the wheels are either 30" or 3 feet apart.

OO is the British equivalent of HO scale, think it's 4mm to the foot, while HO is 3.5mm.

The same thing happens in HO scale narrow gauge - HOn30 can run on N scale track. HOn3 needs specially made 3' gauge track.

Clear as mud?
 

Empire Builder

Great Northern fanatic
Railphotog said:
On30 is O scale narrow gauge, 1:48 to the foot. Narrow gauge track centers are 30", hence the 30 in the desgination. Standard O scale track would be 4'-8-1/2" wide. On30's tracks are just closer. The equipment is all O scale, but is generally smaller due to the smaller track gauge. That was one of the benefits of the prototype narrow gauge railroads - the smaller equipment was cheaper to own and operate.

Similarly On3 is O scale with tracks 3 feet apart. The trucks for both scales are no HO sized, they are larger, in O scale, but the wheels are either 30" or 3 feet apart.

OO is the British equivalent of HO scale, think it's 4mm to the foot, while HO is 3.5mm.

The same thing happens in HO scale narrow gauge - HOn30 can run on N scale track. HOn3 needs specially made 3' gauge track.

Clear as mud?
So does On30 equipment look the same size as HO equipment or bigger? And if the trucks aren't HO, then how can it run on HO track?:confused:
 

Railphotog

Railroad Photographer
"So does On30 equipment look the same size as HO equipment or bigger? And if the trucks aren't HO, then how can it run on HO track?"

No, On30 equipment is 1/4" scale, while HO is half its size at 1/8" scale. The On30 Trucks are larger, but the spacing between the wheels is narrow. When using HO track in On30 scale, the tracks are only 30" apart.

See attached photo - truck on left is HO scale, one on right is On30, both on HO scale track.
 

Empire Builder

Great Northern fanatic
Railphotog said:
"So does On30 equipment look the same size as HO equipment or bigger? And if the trucks aren't HO, then how can it run on HO track?"

No, On30 equipment is 1/4" scale, while HO is half its size at 1/8" scale. The On30 Trucks are larger, but the spacing between the wheels is narrow. When using HO track in On30 scale, the tracks are only 30" apart.

See attached photo - truck on left is HO scale, one on right is On30, both on HO scale track.
interesting! So, does the On30 equipment look the same size as regular O equipment, except with narrower wheels?
 

Railphotog

Railroad Photographer
"Iinteresting! So, does the On30 equipment look the same size as regular O equipment, except with narrower wheels?"

More or less, narrow gauge equipment is physically smaller than full-sized railroad rolling stock for the economies that I mentioned before. Here are an HO scale 40 foot boxcar next to a 25 foot O scale car that happens to operated on 30" wide track, or On30:
 




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