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Operating on On30

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  • Operating on On30

    I know a lot of you are building an On30 diorama, and some are working on a full layout but how many are planning to operate it in some way? My layout is 2ft x 8ft and point to staging, so I really can’t just let it run. That would get expensive having to replace all the locos and stuff falling off the edge of the world!

    I’m not going to have a lot of trains to run, a log train to and from the woods, an ore train to and from the mine located in the woods (I have 8 Grandt Line ore cars and I want to use them) , and supply/worker trains as well.

    I’m thinking of just running the trains in a sequence, and maybe adding some kind of situation cards to spice things up a little. My main objective is to use the layout for photography, and of course the fun of building it. But why not see if operation can be fun on a small layout?


    San Juan Lumber Company

    Niagara Frontier Traction Company

  • #2
    Steve I hope to get started on a On30 layout this winter. While it will be small (15 to 35 sq. ft.) I plan to make it so it can be operated. BTW I like your engine house!


    • #3
      Hi Steve , I guess we both have the same general problem although you are well into your project and I haven't started . My main layout is HO and the ON30 , at this point , is secondary .

      As I stated in the intro section , I'm looking at a 3x6 foot area , point to point , probablty 2 turnouts , 2 locos , 1 main structure , possibly a trestle ......minimal operation . I'll probably just DC it for now .

      I don't have an answer for more continuous operation with your 2x8 but I will ask a friend of mine JIM ( aka Jimdad1 ) who is a Forum member but not particularly active on a regular basis due to his work .

      I don't think Jim hangs out on this thread ...moreso Photo Forum and Craftsman so I will tell you that he is an excellent and inovative modeller . He had ( still does I think ) a point to point to point , 2 level , HO or HOn3 , about 3x8 or so that ran automatically if he wanted to take it to shows .The train would reverse and the turnouts would operate on their own . I'll email him to talk about this for you , I'll mention you and maybe the two of you could talk more if you are interested .It's all I can think of for now .



      • #4
        Steve,would it be possible to add some removeable endloops to either end of your little railroad.That way you could continuous run for breaking in the locos and those times you just want to watch trains.
        Johnathan (Catt) Edwards

        100% Michigan made


        • #5
          well I'll jump in here

          We have very similar setups

          Mine will start and end behind the door to the layout room (read this as "the rest of the world")

          trains will enter from behind the door, drop, switch and pick up take a turn on the gallows turn table at some point, visit the shop or atleast take on water and wood and then exit the same way they arrived. after a session i can reload the loco behind the door.

          basically using the area behind the door as hidden staging.

          i also will have another loco for switchung or light duty (a Porter)

          what do ya think?



          • #6
            Thanks Tyson,

            Mine's 16 sq.ft. but I'm already planning a larger L shaped 10x20 layout for sometime late next year. My rule is this one has to be compketed well enough for pictures to be published before I can start on a new one, of course I'll keep this one too! Good luck on your On30 adventure, be sure to post pics for us!


            I'll have to get in touch with Jim. I just got a new computer and the old one is going to the basement for use programming DCC decoders. The program I use (JMRI) has a script editor built in. It allows you to let the computer run the trains according to a set schedule. I just have to try it out.


            Good idea! I have an extra digitrax booster I can use to handle reversing loops, so all I need is some foam, hinges, and some supports.


            Sounds good. Are you using a traditional yard setup for the staging? I'm going to use a traverser as I can get at least eight 42" long tracks in the 4' I have allocated for the staging area.


            San Juan Lumber Company

            Niagara Frontier Traction Company