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Anybody here running American OO gauge trains, post up your layouts and such.  I am looking to buy a Lionel OO set, I love Hudsons but running a 1-700e on 042 curves looks a bit sillly.  But the OO gauge one doesnt look so bad.  Planning to use Gargraves track on my home layout and if I find a 3 rail set, I will get the tight radius Lionel track to build a reproduction dealer display to take to shows.   I have found a semi scale 2 rail set locally, but really want the full scale detailed version.  Lets see your OO trains of all brands, Nason, Scale Craft ect.      AD

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I have American OO.  I have a few working Lionel OO Hudsons but they aren't in this video.  You may recognize a few Lionel OO cars. 

I have used GarGraves OO track in the past, it was nice but no switches.  For my layout in the video I hand laid the track so I could have a switch.  The hand laid track is really smooth, looks good but takes some time to do.  Hand laying track is easy to do and worth a try if you haven't committed to a track system yet.

 

Chris

I am still trying to find a Hudson to buy that wont involve a bidding war or out in left field pricing.  Got any scale detailed ones to spare?   Yes I do wish Gargraves would do some basic switches to go with their track.  Probably not a big enough market for them to produce them.   I only have a 4x8 layout to work with.  I was looking at getting a reissue 700E O gauge Hudson, bit on my 042 curves it might look a tad odd.  Not sure what I am gonna do yet.  The semi scale versions just dont really float my boat, kind of like a 773 postwar Hudson, just not the same with all the details missing.  AD

Here is my layouts official "before" picture.  Still in O gauge for the moment till I get OO track.  Gargraves will be the choice, just deciding 2 or 3 rail before I order it.  I will retain that great old tinplate bridge and lay the track right across it.  The huge Marx freight house and probably the Girard station will go as they are to big to really "fit" in.   Houses from the old Ideal HO line(overscale and more suited to OO I have read), a couple of the small Lionel bungalows ect will be added eventually.  I got my old 004 hudson running, she does have some light frame warp but I think it will run ok on the track as the drivers still sit flat, just the cylinder block is a bit cocked upwards toward the rear.  Even the pilot portion looks flat and level, just the cockeyed cylinders if you look really close.   Both it and the whistle tender work beautifully after I serviced them.  Everything was bone dry, very little if any brush wear.  Windings on both motors looked new with no overhead signs.  I even got the E unit working nearly perfectly from sticking constantly.  Now she needs to run!  I got 2 box cars, so I will swipe the trucks from one of those to fix the tank car for now.   I cant wait for Gargraves to reopen so I get some track!!     AD

Layout old

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Cleaned up the freight cars, swiped the trucks off the xtra PRR box car to repair the Shell tank car.  Managed to screw down a few pieces of track to get pics and test run the Hudson back and forth.  She is very quiet running and the whistle will run you out of the room.   New Gargraves track will be procured soon.   Even the Marx Girard depot doesn't look to bad with the OO train.  Now the freighthouse is huge even with O gauge, so it will go away for now as it looks totally out of place.    AD

OO layout 2OO layout 3

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I have a 1938 three rail Hudson running with the later cars.  I had the Hudson's frame repaired by a guy in Arizona.  The frame was so warped that the pilot shorted on the center rail.  It is repairable, but not cheap.  The only reason I had mine fixed is because I got the loco cheap and it was in like new condition.  A tip from the guy that made my repairs, dont screw down the smokestack screw tight.  When you do, the pilot steps push down on the frame and causes the warpage.  Finger tight is the operative word here.  Mine runs like a champ.  Beautiful and quiet (for prewar lionel) and a smooth runner.  

George, do you have the contact info for the guy in Arizona that fixed your Hudson's frame?  even if he doesnt do the work anymore, it would be nice to contact him(if he is still with us) to learn his technique.  I am guessing he made up a jig and slowly put reverse pressure on the frame to bring the nose back up in place.  I had to mill away some of the bottom of the reproduction pilot to get my Hudson to run with it installed.  But any warping in the roadbed will make it hit the rail and short out.    

I would also like to hear if anybody has tried to reverse the warping in the 2 rail Lionel Bakelite roadbed?  Maybe a heat gun with weights sitting in the middle of the roadbed while its upside down, sitting in the hot sun with the same set up.  Has to be a method to heat it up, just not to the melting point, but hot enough for it to flatten out then get clamped or weighted down to keep it flat while it cools.        AD

Chris,

You really don't have to lay your own OO scale track or look for GarGraves products. I have a small collection of Hornby OO two-rail scale trains manufactured around 2010- -loco &  tender and passenger cars. They run just fine on HO scale track [in my case, Trix]. Your vintage Lionel three-rail OO scale trains would probably run well on Marklin HO trackage.

Bob G.

 

 

Bob, your way off in left field here.  Lionel OO, along with Nason, Scale Craft all run on TRUE OO track, of which Hornby, Marklin ect are NOT.  Way back before WWII, the Brits adopted OO scale(1:76) running on HO scale track to accomidate the motors of the era in the much smaller UK locomotives(which are much smaller overall in size than the USA locomotives).  In the USA we had OO and HO at the same time in the years just before WWII.  Obviously HO won the small scale battle and OO faded away after war outside of a few die hards that commited to OO and there are still a few out there.  True OO run on track with a 3/4 inch gauge.  HO is 5/8ths of an inch in gauge.  The Brits kept the OO 1:76th scale on HO track and unless you put a true HO model next to the exact same UK OO model, it blends in nicely with our USA HO scale trains.  The loading gauge of UK prototypes is much smaller than the USA.  It is confusing, but Lionel OO, along with other vintage brands such as Nason, Scale Craft/Scale Models and others will NOT run on HO track.    For those interested in American OO(not to be confused with UK OO), there is an excellent blog that tells all about it, all the companies and what they offered.  Its a very interesting read into the very early days of modeling in scales smaller than O in the USA.    http://americanoo.blogspot.com...-three-years-of.html

Lionel OO, along with ALL American OO run on 19mm or 3/4" track.  Not 18.whatever ect.   Its larger in size as can been seen in my pics.  The F40ph is a brass model from PFM in HO scale.  The Hudson is one of my 2 Lionel locos, sans the walkway steps to the pilot as I am repairing this one, I put it back together for a quick pic.  In the lower pic, you can see a piece of code 83 HO scale track, butted up to a piece of original Lionel 2 rail OO track on the black Bakelite roadbed.     AD

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Last edited by artfull dodger

The track gauge is close enough that many use Athearn and other diesel drives when rebuilding older diesel models or for powering scratch built models.  Several "HO" models are actually OO in scale, and with an adjustment in wheel gauge, become true OO.  The Tyco/Mantua old timer 4-6-0/4-8-0, AHM SW1 and AHM S2 switchers are common ones sold as HO but are really OO models on HO gauge wheels.   Check out that blog.  Lots of great reading about American OO modeling.  AD

Hello,

I will be the student who raises his hand to ask the question no one else is brave enough to. I could probably do some research and find my answer but since I saw this thread I think it would be appropriate to ask here. What exactly is OO guage? From what I have read here, it seems as if it is very close to HO scale? I also have seen several videos on YouTube in this scale and it seems to be very popular in England and other European countries.

Please enlighten me.

Dave

Last edited by luvindemtrains

Dave, back before the 2nd world war, modeling in scales smaller than O gauge was in its infancy.  Mostly held back by making a good electric motor small enough to fit in the boiler of the locomotive.  Some manufactures saw OO, being slightly larger, as the solution to fit a better/larger motor.  Many early HO models were of Reading Railroad locos with their huge fireboxes to burn the coal of that area, this allowed for motors of that era to fit.  Josh L Cowen's Lionel company was out in the hotbed area for OO in the NY and NJ area.  He was also influenced by Elliot Donnelley of Scale Craft/Scale Models who competed with Lionel in the O gauge scale market and had a nice OO selection at that time.  Correct rail gauge to scale for OO is 19mm or 3/4 of an inch.  This is what Lionel, Scale Craft, Nason and the others used.  In the UK things developed different.  With the typical UK locomotive being much smaller in physical size when compared to a typical USA locomotive, they were even more challenged to fit motors.  So they chose the OO ratio but running on HO gauge track.   I wish I had an HO NYC Hudson to put next to my Lionel ones, that really shows the difference in scale.    I highly encourge you Dave, to check out and read this blog.  It is very extensive into the history of all the companies involved in American OO and explains the UK OO more in depth to the why's and how's of their decision.     

http://americanoo.blogspot.com/2008/04/lionel-oo.html

As artfull dodger and Norton have both pointed out American OO will not run on HO track. When I started my layout in the video I knew all the available options. Hand laying track stood out to me as the best option in looks, availability, variety and cost.

To confirm my choice I made two small dioramas. As it turned out hand laying track was easy and not as time consuming as I expected and the results exceeded my expectations. I made my layout in two modules so that the task of track wasn't overwhelming or impossibly large. I have since added a third module and can continue adding when I want to grow the layout.

I would still encourage anyone to at least give it a try, make a small portable layout or display. Finding solutions to obstacles that are trivial in other modern scales is part of what makes American OO interesting and fun.

Glad you enjoyed wasting some time!!  It is a very interesting look into the early years of model railroading in the USA, vs playing with toy trains that looked nothing like what was running down the track at that time.  With the very tight diameter ablity of 27", a small loop of Lionel OO can be fitted into many layouts, or its own mini display for around a small Christmas tree.  Kind of what I am going to do in our bay window this coming holiday season.   AD

Once I find and buy a 3 rail Hudson,  I will probably sell my 2 rail engines and some cars if anybody is looking.  My goal is a complete 001 3 rail set.   I have found and am purchasing track as I type this.   OO would make a great Christmas set up if you have a small table top tree.  Not so much a floor layout.  While it can be expensive if you want all Lionel track, once you have the basic train and track, your set.  You can make a modification to the power feeder set up on the 3 rail so you can run 2 rail on it as well.  Just have to seperate the two outer rail's feeder bar, and run it thru a toggle switch.  You just cannot run 3 rail freight cars on 2 rail powered set ups.(axles are not insulated)  But 2 rail cars can run on both.  If we could only get someone to make compatible turnouts to mate with the Gargraves track!!       AD

Bob, your way off in left field here.  Lionel OO, along with Nason, Scale Craft all run on TRUE OO track, of which Hornby, Marklin ect are NOT.  Way back before WWII, the Brits adopted OO scale(1:76) running on HO scale track to accomidate the motors of the era in the much smaller UK locomotives(which are much smaller overall in size than the USA locomotives).  In the USA we had OO and HO at the same time in the years just before WWII.  Obviously HO won the small scale battle and OO faded away after war outside of a few die hards that commited to OO and there are still a few out there.  True OO run on track with a 3/4 inch gauge.  HO is 5/8ths of an inch in gauge.  The Brits kept the OO 1:76th scale on HO track and unless you put a true HO model next to the exact same UK OO model, it blends in nicely with our USA HO scale trains.  The loading gauge of UK prototypes is much smaller than the USA.  It is confusing, but Lionel OO, along with other vintage brands such as Nason, Scale Craft/Scale Models and others will NOT run on HO track.    For those interested in American OO(not to be confused with UK OO), there is an excellent blog that tells all about it, all the companies and what they offered.  Its a very interesting read into the very early days of modeling in scales smaller than O in the USA.    http://americanoo.blogspot.com...-three-years-of.html

Stumbling upon Hornby OO trains in 2010, I had no idea that they are "mixed-scale" hybrid models. Thank you for edifying me on this important point and for correcting my misstatements.

Bob G

 

That hybrid of scale has become the norm for UK modeling, has been for decades.  Where as true OO fell by the wayside after the war and all but disappeared except for few die hard supporters and collectors.  Then there are those that like the challenge of modeling in a not so common scale.  Or like me, I enjoy the scale Hudsons as my layout space isn't conductive to running O gauge ones.   

Here is another video of my layout.  This time I'm running a Lionel 003 Hudson.  This is about the limit for a train on my layout.  Either the Hudson will slip or the cars will string line on the curves.  It also took a few days of tinkering and adjusting until all the cars rolled smoothly and to eliminate any derailing.  


Chris

 

Nice video!   I have both a 003 and a 004.  The 003 is a miss mash of part to get it running again, I am going to convert it to 3 rail as I found a bunch of 3 rail Lionel track at a great price locally and that fits what I am planning to do layout wise.   Those 3 pole motors sure do buzz dont they?   Wish they had used a drum style commutator and 5 or 7 pole armature, Then those Hudsons would have run quieter and smoother yet.    Still a beautiful model that runs well for the era it was made.    AD

Just discovered this thread. Yes, that Hudson has a terrific "buzz".

I picked this up a while back; was not sure what it was, but I found it on page 137 of the big TCA "Lionel Pre-War" book:

00 caboose

Interesting to me that decals (as opposed to stamping) were used: even the example in the book is less than perfect (part of the "C" is missing).

Any suggestions on finding some trucks? 

Mark in Oregon

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Great video.  I have started aquiring more OO after a false start the last time.  So far I have a 003/003w that I converted to 3 rail operation, A Scale Craft 4-6-0 with AC motor and manual reverse unit, an unbuilt Scale Craft stock car and partially built SC 50 box car with a brass body.  I also snagged a SC passenger coach at a recent show for a whole $5 bucks!  I am going to go the Lionel 3 rail route for right now as I want sectional track and the radius of the Lionel, SC and Tru Scale are bigger than what will fit on a 4' wide table.  I have a 4x7 foot fold up table that closes against a 10" deep frame on the wall, so stuff like the transformer and most scenery, if its fastened down, can stay in place.  I know the pilot truck will be an issue on the SC 4-6-0, but maybe I can fab up something that has better swing like the Hudson has.  The engine cost me a good chunk of change, first one I had ever seen pop up that was complete over on ebay.  I have yet to see the 0-6-0 or most any other OO engine other than Hudsons.   I have some ideas in mind for my layout once I gather up enough track, which I am working on right now.  Still need to buy the rest of the Lionel freight cars to complete my set.  Here is pic of the fold down layout, right now it has O gauge Lionel on it to enjoy while I am gathering OO stuff to switch things over.      AD

layouttrack

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Hi artful dodger, I'm still here. I have a 4-6-0 but have yet to get it running well.

I'd be curious what amperage your 4-6-0 AC motor draws at a few different voltages.  My motor seems to run well by itself at the test bench but draws more current than I would expect.  I don't have any other reference points to determine if my motor has a problem.

Also if you plan on using Lionel 3-rail track make sure your 4-6-0 has blind center drivers.  I have seen a variation with all drivers flanged, and I don't believe it would navigate Lionel 3-rail curves.

Chris

Here is the great news, the Scale Craft ten wheeler, IF it has the blind center driver, will go around Lionel 3 rail OO curves! The pilot truck has enough swing to do it.  Now to source center rail pickups from my parts guy so she can run on the 3 rail track, my Hudson has also been set up for 3 rail with the needed parts, which I had on hand.  I could also swap in a proper 3 rail chassis as I have one.  But that 2nd Hudson will get restored someday.   

Here is some video of the Hudson pulling the first of the passenger cars I want for it.  Got this at the fall show in Peru, Indiana for a whole 5 bucks.  Its from Scale Models(Scale Craft) and was unpainted but built.  Need to get some NYC decals for it now.   Once he Hudson was running well, I fired up my 2333/44 hybrid F3's on the O gauge loop.  Enjoy!   AD

Last edited by artfull dodger

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