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I'm "dabbling" with 2R at the moment. The difference between Atlas and ME track is the width of the bottom flange of the rail, the tops are the same. The train doesnt notice anything, but the Atlas rail joiners (which are cheap and plentiful) fit a bit sloppy on the ME rail. I was going to try and see if they could be crunched a bit to cooperate more. Otherwise, I guess its soldering every joint.

That photo shows the difference pretty well.

What are the joiners for the Duddy and ME track going for these days and are they available? It has been a while since I've looked but I just bought several hundred feet of track at the last show. I think I have enough joiners left over from years ago but you just never know.

The Atlas joiners look pretty good with the detail but I plan eventually to use the ROW decorative glue-on type every 39 ft.

Thanks for additional information, that two-rail obviously wins the beauty contest

Are you able to build super-elevation with 2-rail track or is that inviting operational challenges? I would think that the roadbed and sub-roadbed would need to be smooth laterally and longitudinally, though  transition sections could pose a problem. It is challenging with 3-rail as well but the result is well worth it, as trains lean into the curves.

Hi Paul,

Yes, super-elevation can be done in 2-rail. A spiral easement is required at each end of a curve. The change in curvature (the spiral easement) and the change in super-elevation (longitudinal twist) have to be aligned to result in a smooth transition into and out of the super-elevated curve. Easements also improve operation in flat curves.

There are a number of articles on-line about laminated or spline roadbed. This type of roadbed construction lends itself well to spiral easements and super-elevation.

Paul in case you haven’t seen it there is a fella named Ron who has a tremendous layout in eastern Pennsylvania. Go to you tube and type in Ron’s O Scale Lehigh River Valley. I am sorry I don’t know how to put in links while on my phone. He built a 100’ extension on to his basement. The layout is either 30’ or 40’ by 100’. I was lucky enough to get invited to his home to see the layout in person. Ron actually modeled whole towns with a scratch built buildings. The layout is very realistic looking. It was one of the best layouts I have ever seen. I can’t explain why the model railroad press has never done an article on it. The structures are incredible and to top it off he has a 1:1 railroad station in his backyard and a semaphore. Check it out when you have time.

Phil, I had seen Ron's layout before...I recall the attention to landmarks was fantastic.

I searched my DVD collection and found the Twin Cities RR Museum - another outstanding 2-rail O-scale layout that I forgot I had. I used to have Aberfoyle Junction on video or DVD...if it was VHS I likely sold or gave it away some time ago, as I did with John Armstrong's Candadaigua Southern - which was wonderful because of the interview Allen Keller did with John. I now wish I had kept those VHS.

Indeed, Ron has one fine layout which surely is admired by many model railroaders.

Only nit-pick I have, which I notice on many layouts, are freight cars which aren't within the time frame modeled.  Despite the fact they may be pretty to look at and pretty to hold they don't belong behind steam locomotives unless they are being used on fantrips being operated in current times of course.

Paul, I have both of those videos on DVD. The Aberfoyle Junction video I had was originally on VHS but I recorded on to DVD. The John Armstrong was one I got from a DVD series MR was sending out. I bought it because it was John Armstrong and it was O scale. Your right those were two great layouts I forgot about. You probably know this but the  Aberfoyle Junction layout had to be moved. It wasn’t lost. The club rebuilt it at another location.

@Hudson J1e posted:

Paul in case you haven’t seen it there is a fella named Ron who has a tremendous layout in eastern Pennsylvania. Go to you tube and type in Ron’s O Scale Lehigh River Valley. I am sorry I don’t know how to put in links while on my phone. He built a 100’ extension on to his basement. The layout is either 30’ or 40’ by 100’. I was lucky enough to get invited to his home to see the layout in person. Ron actually modeled whole towns with a scratch built buildings. The layout is very realistic looking. It was one of the best layouts I have ever seen. I can’t explain why the model railroad press has never done an article on it. The structures are incredible and to top it off he has a 1:1 railroad station in his backyard and a semaphore. Check it out when you have time.

Oh yeah! I saw this layout at the last o scale convention a little after "the turn of the century" whats so amazing about this layout is the owner took pics of his hometown and durrounding areas and built EVERY STRUCTURE from the house he grew up in, The schools that he went to, and the local vacation / hot spots of his younger years. He even includes the original photos of each structure either on the valance or below track level of his layout. Its an extradinary layout worthy for a local museum like a 3d time capsule of the Phillipsburg/Easton and Mauck Chunk [ Jim Thorp] areas.

I would LOVE TO BE INVITED BACK!

By the way, I have pictures of the fabulous 2-rail O-scale scale layout that was once in Lehighton PA...they're not digital however. I believe the layout was called the the Pocono Northern and was featured in an OGR issue, Fred Dole, many years ago. This was a magnificent layout that featured real water features including a thunderstorm and real rain.

It's interesting and not surprising that all the 2-rail layouts mentioned thus far tend towards scale "everything", as opposed to the 3-rail world where whimsy and fantasy blend together.

Here in northern Europe, there is a few 2-rail layouts. Most of us build modules in Fremo-standard. I have some modules as a shelf layout in the hobby-area in our cellar. Still in the works but a little bit easier to finish a module at the time, then a whole layout. A couple times a year we meet up and build quite large layouts. With a background and good lightning over the layout brings out the best of the models.

Here is short movie clip of some CB&Q rooster. A Sunset E5, a GGD heavyweight and a CB&Q pullman.

Overall 2-rail is the norm over here. there is some 3-rail entusiasts but 2-rail is much more common.

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