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I was wondering if anyone runs HO track alongside their O layout?

I'm thinking about the logistics of doing this with my ceiling O layout, which uses Atlas track.

For fun I tried to lay HO alongside my O using the Railmodeller program but was finding it hard to line things up. If others have been successful, any tips would be great.

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Hey, if Felix and Oscar could get along being that close together, why not?


TEHO, of course, but IMHO HO is rather difficult to see/appreciate when viewed at an angle from below.   At a typical residential ceiling height of 8 feet, the running shelf will be at about 7'-6" to clear doorways, windows, etc..  Years ago I built 3 of these ceiling runners for clients...two commercial (G gauge), and one residential (O gauge).   

As it turned out, I found out from a friend that the residential O gauge display was later removed...too noisy for the intended use of the room...TV viewing, conversation.  But before the shelf was completely removed, they tested replacing the O with an HO train.  They were underwhelmed and disappointed with the appearance....and I don't think their use of old brass track requiring constant maintenance for acceptable operation helped!

The other thing to consider re ceiling layouts is safety...for the trains, to be sure, but definitely for people below.  (This I was advised of by an attorney when building that first commercial installation.)  Ergo, you should seriously consider some sort of railing along the shelf edge to guard against trains leaving the rails for a swan dive.  To my knowledge, there are probably are no building codes enacted for this sort of thing, so the design can be whatever you consider effective....without disrupting the viewing from below.  Here, again, this will be different for HO and O, for both required strength and height.

Of course, in your own residence, without codes, you can choose to ignore the advice for safety at your own risk.

But, then, there's the maintenance factor.  Your track...and trains...will need periodic cleaning, lubrication, etc..  What one of my commercial clients experienced in this regard (ignoring the reality) was that it was a real PITA for them.   First, the train was installed to improve the 'draw', consumer interest.  When it didn't run...well, or at was not a very effective 'draw'.  Secondly, the train traversed walls below which were the usual crowded displays of merchandise, furniture, bric-a-brac, plants, seasonal decorations, etc., etc., etc..  So, when the train faltered, maneuvering the step ladder or shifting facilitate this non-revenue-earning activity....sometimes at the height of the store's most active sales period, it was a major disappointment.  O + HO?...more frequent maintenance?  Maybe not as disruptive in your residential setting, of course, but something to consider...ease of accessibility. 

Just some thoughts...FWIW, always.


Madlove, I don't know about running tightly side by side, but I’m in the process of revising my ongoing ceiling layout build to remove the O-63 inner loop and replace it with a HO loop inside the O-72 track.  The HO track in the photo is the 22-inch radius Bachmann E-Z Track that came supplied with the Amtrak Acela box.  I placed a 9-inch straight in the middle to bring it as close as possible to O-63 width for comparison test around the corners.  I won’t be using the Bachmann track but will be using Kato Unitrack.  With the HO in front, it's a reverse forced perspective, but that is what is needed on a ceiling layout when trains are viewed overhead at an angle otherwise the smaller scale train (whatever the combination of scales) would never be seen.



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