Greetings all,

So I stumbled across something rather odd. British O gauge. This might be posted in the wrong forum, but I'm curious.

Other than being a British design, built and sold (and for a surprisingly cheep price). What else is a key difference between a Loco and rolling stock from a company like dapol and Lionel?

Some of the questions I got:

Could they be converted from 2-rail to 3-rail operation?

Could they be ran with "American" Trains or would they need to be isolated?

Got any you wanna show off?

Greg R.

Lone Star Hi Railers

Metal Fabricator

Original Post

Dapol is purely 2-rail and cannot easily be converted to 3-rail; the wheels have scale like flanges and will not run on Lionel track. Further the scale of English 0 gauge is 1:43.5 while US 0 gauge is (in general) 1:48. Combining Dapol and Lionel would look silly (only an opinion). 

My track is for 2-rail and 3-rail, so I run also some Dapol but with British cars:

Regards

Fred

Note: There is also British 3-rail like made by ACE etc. These could be run on Lionel track. They are in general however DC and not AC (and these are more expensive then the Dapol trains)

If you google the Gauge O guild, you’ll find their website with a traders section listing a host of builders, suppliers etc. check out Lee Marsh for the most amazing locos and coaches (prices to match).

Tower models is worth a look as they carry a lot of manufacturer’s items which can be viewed there (Dapol’s website is a sham...talk about not shouting about your own products!).

 

Have fun!

A few of us here in the UK run American 2-rail on British club tracks.  The 10% difference in scale means our locos don't take out the bridges and station platforms!  British wheels will run on Gargraves, etc proper rail profile 3-rail track, but not tinplate.  My US Hobbies UP 2-8-0 ran thru' 27" radius curves (O-54 I guess).  

Jason

UPMav#488 posted:

Greetings all,

So I stumbled across something rather odd. British O gauge.

British O Gauge isn't 'odd' if you live in Britain!!   Here, in fact, American 2-rail Scale O is seen as something of a novelty, but American HO & N are much more common.

2-rail O is the norm here; 3-rail is the minority interest, & I seriously doubt anyone in the UK would want to take what would be seen as a decidedly backwards or retrograde step of converting a 2-rail loco to 3-rail.

Main difference that affects things is the British use of buffers & 3-link (hook & chain) couplers instead of buckeyes; R-T-R scale 2-rail models come with these fittings rather than some form of auto-coupler as in OO & N (if you really want to find out about an "odd" scale, google the history of OO!!). No provision is made to fit anything like Kadees either, so compatibility with US O is Nil.

Also buffer & link couplers affect the minimum radius the models can take; short diesel 'shunters' & steam tank engines will take 48" radius at a push, as will old-time (pre-1980's) short 4-wheel wagons. Bigger diesels, longer steam locos & rolling stock take 6ft radius minimum, or else suffer a problem known as 'buffer locking', when stock takes curves that are too tight & the buffer faces slide past each other on adjacent vehicles, then snag when the train straightens up again. As UK homes are rather smaller than US houses, & generally lack basements, this severely hinders home layouts in O, which tend to be straight shelf 'terminus to fiddleyard' (staging) types. Bigger Clubs might build large 'oval' layouts in O, often designed to be transportable for Exhibitions. On the other hand, the fact that many British locos and stock were quite short does mean that small but interesting layouts are possible, more so than if using American stock.

Our 'transition' Era was the 1960s really, & is the most popular Era in general, as your slightly earlier 'transition' Era is on your side of The Pond.

As for any to show off...20181214_203317

This is my Minerva Models "GWR 8750 Pannier Tank", number 3675, detailed for the prototype's last few months of service with British Railways in late 1965.

 

 

Modelling the Soo Line in 2-Rail, from 5,000 miles away & 27 years too late.

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British two rail is truly O scale too for standard gauge track at 4'-8 1/2" between the rails at 1:43.5.  In the US our two and three rail is wide gauge at 5' between the rails at 1:48.  Starting the 30's there was a movement to standarize US two rail O as 17/64" scale but 1/4" scale won out in the end.  Many of those locomotives and cars are highly sought out by people who know what they are looking for. 

To confuse things further, talk to a Proto-48 modeler

Love the pictures.  Very nice modeling and layouts from the other "side of the pond".

Jonathan

 

Strictly speaking the standard 32mm gauge is slightly narrower than scale for British O. For absolute scale accuracy some modellers open the gauge to 33mm, ease out the back-to-backs & use scale flanges on wheelsets. This is known as "Scale7", & is the UK equivalent of Proto48.

Modelling the Soo Line in 2-Rail, from 5,000 miles away & 27 years too late.

SundayShunter posted:

Strictly speaking the standard 32mm gauge is slightly narrower than scale for British O. For absolute scale accuracy some modellers open the gauge to 33mm, ease out the back-to-backs & use scale flanges on wheelsets. This is known as "Scale7", & is the UK equivalent of Proto48.

I did not know that.  Very interesting.  If I had more time, talent, and money I think I'd be in truly scale camp.  I ended up with a proto-48 set of freight trucks in a box of 2 rail US O trucks and didn't realize until I put them on the tracks.  The detail on them is tremendous. 

Of course truth be told, I'd be modeling in 1:1 if I had more time, talent and money.

Jonathan

 

Hi Jonathan, 1:1 is a heck of a lot harder to put back on the rails when you fail to set the turnout correctly!

I think the detail on the Proto:48 stuff is driven by the much smaller market - with no mass-produced, injection-moulded trucks it is hand-assembled from brass castings, which lends itself to including more detail.  I gave P48 serious consideration, only decided against it because I have too much invested in Ow5 already, plus I have a few 1:34 scale models of NZ equipment that I like to run occasionally, for which 1.25" IS near-as-dammit correct.

I have produced P48 and Ow5 versions of a brass truck for a US retailer, and the P48 version was so simple to make, just copy the drawings exactly, whereas the Ow5 version was a pain in the butt, worrying about clearances, having to decide what detail to sacrifice in order to fit the over-width wheels etc.

Regards

Paul Woods

NYCSHS #7172

A terrific show featuring all-British trains occurs every other year just outside of Toronto.  It is put on by the Platelayers Society and is called the Great British Train Show.  The next one is scheduled for April 25 & 26, 2020 in Brampton, Ontario.  There are always plenty of excellent British O, OO, TT & N layouts on display! 

So you did not read my book (http://sncf231e.nl/gauge-and-scale/) mentioned before in this thread?

Relevant paragraph:

Larger gauges are in general used for tracks in public spaces. Among the larger gauges are 9.5 Inch, 10.25 Inch and 15 Inch were the approximate scale would be 1:6, 1:5 and 1: 4 respectively. The scale used with locomotives in these larger gauges is indeed approximate and seldom accurate. Of course, the wagons used, which carries 1:1 scale passengers, are also not to scale. But the sight of a 15 Inch Pacific locomotive with its train on the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway in the south of England is breathtaking. The picture shows the RH&DR locomotives Southern Maid and Winston Churchill while being prepared for the days run.mceclip0

 

Regards

Fred

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Woodsworks posted:

Hi Jonathan, 1:1 is a heck of a lot harder to put back on the rails when you fail to set the turnout correctly!

I think the detail on the Proto:48 stuff is driven by the much smaller market - with no mass-produced, injection-moulded trucks it is hand-assembled from brass castings, which lends itself to including more detail.  I gave P48 serious consideration, only decided against it because I have too much invested in Ow5 already, plus I have a few 1:34 scale models of NZ equipment that I like to run occasionally, for which 1.25" IS near-as-dammit correct.

I have produced P48 and Ow5 versions of a brass truck for a US retailer, and the P48 version was so simple to make, just copy the drawings exactly, whereas the Ow5 version was a pain in the butt, worrying about clearances, having to decide what detail to sacrifice in order to fit the over-width wheels etc.

Regards

Paul Woods

NYCSHS #7172

Paul,

That was what surprised me so much about the P48 truck I have.  It is an injection molded truck.  I have no idea on the manufacturer.  Again I only discovered it was P48 and dropped between the rails of my OW5 track.  Love the more scale like flanges, thinner wheels down to the detail on the inside of the wheels.  It is even molded in rust brown. 

However, like you I'm overly invested in OW5.  More of a dream than a realistic ambition at this point.

Never thought about derailing on my 1:1 layout.    My 0-5-0 switcher would be a little small to fix that one. 

Jonathan

 

David, OW5 used to be called just O-scale till P48 came along.  If you look on the NMRA's website for their wheel standard charts, it only shows O-scale,  P48 hasn't been included yet.  P48ers started calling O-scale OW5 to make us feel annoyed, but in true O-scale tradition we just shrugged our shoulders and adopted it.

It all happened because calculators hadn't been invented so having fixed the track gauge at 1-1/4" it was easier to do the calculations at 1/4":1ft rather than 17/64":1ft.  Probably still is..., anyway, OW5 wheels, the 'norm' for O-scale are a tad further apart than they should be. 

Jason

It seems like nowadays as soon as you get settled in with a name, any name , could be what you call a friend or your railroad scale someone comes along with all their great wisdom and wants to change it. I call my modelling O scale and beware trying to change my mind I fought for my country in the military for that right ! No wonder 2-rail is slowly disappearing and people are getting out of it, (source: O scale resource mag) to many elitist do-gooders ruining the scale.    Roo. 

Blimey Nev, what derailed where you thought you'd fixed the pointwork?  I went to Telford last weekend, saw old friends I haven't seen for a year, had a stern talk with myself about the dilemma ... I used to come back from shows full of enthusiasm for projects to come versus now coming back from shows full of guilt about projects not finished. 

This time it's projects to come and 2-rail (predominant in the UK as you know) sets new dilemmas: just get that garage-full of D&H, etc projects on the move or get a forthcoming Minerva Class 14 switcher and a few modern image freight cars for a British layout?  I even spent a few minutes while nodding off last night thinking about a shortline set in the UK operating like an American RR.

I know, I'll innocently outline that idea on the Gauge O Guild forum and put them in a bad mood worse than yours!  Two long - one short - one long to you!!

Jason

 

 

C'mon Jason you know me well enough by now that I have a strange sense of humour certainly the Guild do! Ha Ha. Here you go a smile  !

A shortline /branch line operating like an American railroad with English rolling stock ? Tell you what I'll do I'll throw in some boxcars and reefers in the suitcase and bring them over for you next year but your not getting any of my SW switchers they are staying right here in Perth.

Tell me something if you don't mind...... Are they still carrying on about the not so new, Peco set track points now I'm even talking like a Pom I ask this because I have more on the layout now and never a derailment of course bogie cars have something to do with that I suspect. When we wire those points I mean turnouts we never wire the frog polarity or anything else just put a tortoise underneath and they are ready to go, it's how I wish years ago they had have made their standard range would have saved modellers a lot of time and burnt fingers adding all those extra wires. Anyway to keep the thread on track here is some more photos of that great little train my son lives 30 minutes away from the railway. And look at the weather it never rains in Kent! Nev.     

DSC00297DSC00349DSC00298

 

 

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The RH&D is a great little railway, there even used to be an O-scale (OK, O-gauge...) layout upstairs at New Romney Stn, OO now I think with museum contents.

I haven't seen too much banter about Peco points on the GOG forum, just the usual mix of good technical hints and tips and never-ending arguments about where the Guild is going.  Apparently the 2-day Guildex lost £37K.  It's a great show, I held informal cafe-table meets on both days for NthAm enthusiasts, just needs the costs taken more seriously.

Have you ever been to the Chicago Meet in March?  I need say no more!
Jason

I run Ow5.  I never thought it was a pejorative term - it is honest, and descriptive.

Proto-48 and 17/64 are for the pros - not everyone is serious enough about trains to go either of those routes.  It is too bad this wasn't fixed in the 1930s, but it wasn't.  We now live with it.  But we should recognize that the gauge is simply incorrect.

The 3-railers have accepted their inaccuracy - they call it 3 rail scale.  We should be that courageous.

Opinion.

Don't tell Nev, Bob, but I over the years I've found the huge variety of Australian railways quite tempting - American, British, Japanese prototypes running on all those track gauges ....

Unfortunately electronic calculators were invented after the scale/gauge problems had been 'sorted', but at least it means I can run my American stuff on club layouts here in Britain and the 10% scale difference means I don't take the bridges and station platform edges out!
Jason

"Apparently the 2-day Guildex lost £37K."

 

Blimey that was careless of them!!!

It does make me wonder if it shouldn't go down to a one-day Show. Even if I had the time I wouldn't go for 2 full days - it's just not that big to require it.

Still it seems a strange statistic given the current boom in O Scale in the UK. But maybe that boom isn't translating into new members of the Guild. I'm not, & have no need to be, either.

Modelling the Soo Line in 2-Rail, from 5,000 miles away & 27 years too late.

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