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Author Previous Topic: Coal unloading conveyor drawings Topic Next Topic: ME switch problems  

New Hire

Posted - 02/06/2019 :  6:36:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi I received some great info so far on my On30 layout I plan on building. Now second question. Would like input on track choice, plan on mideling some semblence of early Colorado Souther. Thanks Stumps

Country: | Posts: 6

Engine Wiper

Posted - 02/06/2019 :  7:11:54 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It's a hard question. Simply because we are all in the hobby for different reasons. Different priorities. Do you like running trains? Do you like building buildings? Building locos and rolling stock? etc etc etc.

I love the building of buildings. So my priority is finding room for just one more building even if it means less track. But if you like to operate your layout buildings will be secondary to track layout.

I have a few regrets. Choosing the wrong track, ie ME. Not enough spurs and sidings to store rolling stock and justify buildings. No continuous running just to run trains for the heck of it. And a brain failure of not putting up a backdrop first.

I'll be interested in what other opinions you get. But keep in mind that there is no right or wrong way.


Country: Australia | Posts: 468 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 02/06/2019 :  8:05:12 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You want track that won't give you a headache than go Peco. You want the area of Colorado, than see the DENVER & RIO GRANDE WESTERN RAILROAD in On3 (1/48th scale) by Lex Parker. Look on YouTube for his many how-to videos.

Part 1: Preparing and cutting the wood and using a template. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-2bwC6snxA

Part 2: Staining the wood and assembling the stringers.

Part 3: Completion of stringers on straight and curved trestles.

Part 4: Assembling the deck and installing ties.

Part 5: Assembling the bents on a template and installing them.

Part 6: Completing the installation and prepping for the scenery.

Part 7: Setting up and installing the hard-shell for the scenery.

Part 8: Using rubber molds and creating the rockwork.

Part 9: Blending rock castings together.

Part 10: Protecting track, cleanup & preparing flat areas.

Part 11: Applying plaster to flat areas and embankments.

Part 12: Reviewing the completed rockwork and planning completion.

Part 13: Painting rockwork and adding a sand base.

Part 14: Adding sand base, ground cover and brush.

Part 15: Painting a backdrop behind forest trees.

Part 16: Painting trees and adding pines in foreground.

Part 17: Preparing the base in the riverbed.

Part 18: Preparing the riverbed and painting the rockwork.

Part 19: Developing riverbed & adding resin to seal.

Part 20: Setting up base of waterfalls and wet areas.

Part 21: Preparing fibers to create waterfalls.

Part 22: Working with resin on fibers to create waterfalls.

Part 23: Completing waterfalls & first run over trestles, bridges & falls.

Part 24: First run through trees, rock cut and across waterfalls.

Pacific Northwest Logging in the East Coast
Post count: 5000 posts added to below count.

Edited by - desertdrover on 02/06/2019 8:07:58 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 15637 Go to Top of Page

New Hire

Premium Member

Posted - 02/07/2019 :  10:16:21 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

For On30, unless you use/modify HO track-which I would not recommend-I think you will end up not liking the way it looks, you really only have three choices:

1. Peco - Very good and bullet proof the best selection of components but code 100 and a bit more of a European look.

2. ME - Either code 70 or code 83. Good track but only two switches (#5 lh and rh) switches can be a little fussy but rock solid if carefully installed. Good look and fairly prototypical.

3. Hand-laid/custom - obviously unlimited code size and options but it can take a while.

I personally started with HO EZ-tack and very quickly converted to ME code 83. I felt it was a nice compromise. The lighter look of code 83 but not quite as fussy as code 70. The big downside is the lack of switches. Some modify HO switches to match and it seems to work well. I decided to build a Fast Tracks #4 and liked the process so much that I tore up everything and I am going to hand lay my track.

There are many very nice, and large, layouts that use Peco and truthfully you don't even notice the difference. Peco layouts seem to get built faster and have pretty much bullet-proof track.

Tom - blog: https://trainblog.tharbin.com

Country: USA | Posts: 47 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 02/07/2019 :  4:23:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I handlaid mine and really like the look. Put it on top of homosote. If I had it to do over again I would use extruded foam instead.

Country: USA | Posts: 1534 Go to Top of Page
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