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Thanks again  guys.   The comparison to smoke volume Dougklinks points out  is absolutely correct.  Smoke units produced 15 to 20 years ago have very little competition against the recent smoke belching behemoth models manufactured in the last decade.   Brand name companies producing models of famous locomotives like the BigBoy and others, not only excelled in detail and sound, but also in their electronic fan driven smoke units.  Keeping the visual illusion going could be compared to the prototype requiring refueling, water stops and coal top offs.          To answer Phil’s  inquiry on the snow plows.  The models were produced many years ago by New Jersey International  / Custom Brass, ( shown ) .    These models can still be found at train shows and public Internet Sites at reasonable prices.  Equally, MTH Corporation produced a very similar model made in plastic and metal painted in various popular road names.   These are quite readily available and at a reasonable price.  











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Thanks Jon.  Any of the trailer flats I have are either MTH, Lionel or Max Gray.   The 89 footers are all Atlas.   CP operated an expeditor freight in the late 70’s early 80’s numbered  “482 “.  If your phone rang anytime around 5:30 - 6 am, you pretty much knew you were getting called for the ‘fast one’ !

Today I took some time to chase a couple trains around.  The one I wanted to catch was a westbound steel gang on its way to the siding at Glacier.   A great photo location is right in the valley at the East Portal of the Connaught Tunnel . Despite the light rainy condition's and filming in the shadows of Mt. Abbott,  I tried a two camera shoot.   I scrambled up to a higher viewpoint while my wife filmed along the trackside.  After an hours wait, the work train was a no show, instead, we caught the Eastbound Train No. 2 “ The Canadian “  growling up grade with 7 cars.  Here’s a couple views.

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When I decided to build a small o-scale switching layout I wanted to go 2-rail DCC and use a Protothrottle but the virtual absence of RTR switching locomotives (or pretty well any locomotives for that matter) forced me into 3-rail instead. I'm happy with the way my Lionel Legacy engines run and the 3-rail selection in general but it sure would be nice if Protothottle would license Lionels TMCC/Legacy command controls.

When I decided to build a small o-scale switching layout I wanted to go 2-rail DCC and use a Protothrottle but the virtual absence of RTR switching locomotives (or pretty well any locomotives for that matter) forced me into 3-rail instead. I'm happy with the way my Lionel Legacy engines run and the 3-rail selection in general but it sure would be nice if Protothottle would license Lionels TMCC/Legacy command controls.

I think you just didn't give 2 rail a good enough chance. For a switching layout I think you would have been happier if you went with 2 rail but I could be wrong. I did a quick search on website for The Public Delivery Track and Beth currently has 30 RTR 2 Rail locomotives in stock. Sure it is a lot less than what she has for 3 rail but it certainly isn't zero. Your post made it sound like there isn't a single 2 rail RTR locomotive available anywhere and that is just one source. You could have checked Mr.Muffins as well as a few others. If it didn't have to be brand new there is always Trainz and Ebay and of course the 2 rail shows where there are literally tons of locomotives. There is also the "O Scale Yard Sale" where private sellers sell O scale equipment.

https://groups.io/g/OSCALEYARDSALE

I am not sure exactly what locomotive you are looking for. Beth mostly has F units but she also has a GP38 and a SD35 along with a rare RSD15. With 2 rail you do need to have a little patience but I have never not found what I wanted eventually.

Last edited by Hudson J1e
@Landsteiner posted:

"I am not sure exactly what locomotive you are looking for."

I think he was looking for ready-to-run 2 rail O gauge locos with DCC installed.  Perhaps he wasn't aware that MTH PS3 locos include DCC capability?  Other than those, I'm not sure there are RTR O gauge locos with DCC installed or DCC ready.  But I'm no expert on two rail O gauge.

Thanks! You're correct...I didn't realize the MTH PS3's could be converted to 2-rail! Interesting. I'm happy with the way my "starter" 3-rail shelf switcher is coming, but will look into the 2-rail option if I can find the room for the larger curves/space needed for a continuous run layout. Cheers!



Thanks! You're correct...I didn't realize the MTH PS3's could be converted to 2-rail! Interesting. I'm happy with the way my "starter" 3-rail shelf switcher is coming, but will look into the 2-rail option if I can find the room for the larger curves/space needed for a continuous run layout. Cheers!



"I am not sure exactly what locomotive you are looking for." When I said that I meant I didn't know if you were looking for a switcher, a road switcher, mainline diesel, mainline steam or steam switcher, etc. All MTH locomotives with PS3 have DCC control and sound built in however not all of the MTH PS3 locomotives can run on 2 rail track out of the box. Out of the 30 or so RTR 2 rail locomotives that Beth has all but 2 of them have DCC and sound. The two that do not have MTH PS2. They still have sound and are still 2 rail but do not have the DCC decoder built in. If you ever decide to buy a MTH 2 rail locomotive be sure it has PS3 installed or else an upgrade is needed for DCC. Also most Atlas 2 rail locomotives have DCC/sound installed except for some Trainman engines that are conventional (without sound).

Last edited by Hudson J1e
@Hudson J1e posted:

"I am not sure exactly what locomotive you are looking for." When I said that I meant I didn't know if you were looking for a switcher, a road switcher, mainline diesel, mainline steam or steam switcher, etc. All MTH locomotives with PS3 have DCC control and sound built in however not all of the MTH PS3 locomotives can run on 2 rail track out of the box. Out of the 30 or so RTR 2 rail locomotives that Beth has all but 2 of them have DCC and sound. The two that do not have MTH PS2. They still have sound and are still 2 rail but do not have the DCC decoder built in. If you ever decide to buy a MTH 2 rail locomotive be sure it has PS3 installed or else an upgrade is needed for DCC. Also most Atlas 2 rail locomotives have DCC/sound installed except for some Trainman engines that are conventional (without sound).

Thanks for this. Yes, I was originally looking for 2-rail DCC switchers. (I currently have Legacy SW1 and SW8, and picked up a "smallish" GP30 in 3-rail that all run well on my modest 8' x 8' x 11' shelf switching layout. When looking at the time I couldn't find anything new and fit the bill so just went with 3-rail. I guess I should have looked a little closer but if I end up building a larger continuous running 2-rail layout it looks like I'll have a lot more options for sure. So far the 3-rail setup is working well for my needs and I'm not even minding the claw couplers! LOL

Last edited by Garfield Irwin

Thanks for this. Yes, I was originally looking for 2-rail DCC switchers. (I currently have Legacy SW1 and SW8, and picked up a "smallish" GP30 in 3-rail that all run well on my modest 8' x 8' x 11' shelf switching layout. When looking at the time I couldn't find anything new and fit the bill so just went with 3-rail. I guess I should have looked a little closer but if I end up building a larger continuous running 2-rail layout it looks like I'll have a lot more options for sure. So far the 3-rail setup is working well for my needs and I'm not even minding the claw couplers! LOL

One of your best source for 2-rail equipment are the 2-rail train shows held throughout the country.  Your profile doesn't indicate where you live.  O Scale West is this Memorial Day weekend (May 25-26) in Santa Clara, CA.  Probably the biggest 2-rail show is the March Meet outside of Chicago next March.  There are many others.  Most are mid-west and east coast shows.  NH Joe

One of your best source for 2-rail equipment are the 2-rail train shows held throughout the country.  Your profile doesn't indicate where you live.  O Scale West is this Memorial Day weekend (May 25-26) in Santa Clara, CA.  Probably the biggest 2-rail show is the March Meet outside of Chicago next March.  There are many others.  Most are mid-west and east coast shows.  NH Joe

In the USA perhaps. Around here (south-west Ontario, Canada) o-scale anything is rare, and 2-rail is almost nonexistent from what I can tell. Regretfully, this is an online hobby when it comes to finding things to buy.

Last edited by Garfield Irwin

In the USA perhaps. Around here (south-west Ontario, Canada) o-scale anything is rare, and 2-rail is almost nonexistent from what I can tell. Regretfully, this is an online hobby when it comes to finding things to buy.

I don't have any good feeling for SW Ontario, but there are (were?) 2-rail clubs in:

HAMILTON, ONTARIO, CANADA

Hamilton Society of Model Railroaders

LONDON, ONTARIO, CANADA

London Model Railroad Group - www.lmrg.org

ST. JACOBS, ONTARIO, CANADA

St. Jacobs & Aberfoyle Model Railway - www.stjacobsmodelrailway.com

Apparently in search of a new home....

TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA

Model Railroad Club of Toronto - www.modelrailroadclub.com

Very nice operations here on this thread I only found today!

2-rail is BIG, but not popular it seems, there are some who don’t even know we O scale 2-rail fans exist.

Here in Idaho, population nearly 2 million, I know of at least 4 O scale 2-rail home layouts, not including my proposed basement empire I hope to start someday, so not ‘one-in-a-million’, more like 2!

@myles Your layout is beautiful! I bet there are at least a few more here on this long thread, I will look when I have some time.

I have a bit of a layout in my garage, I call my ‘emergency model railroad’, I will post a YouTube link from my desktop, I can’t seem to do it from my phone.  

For now I will post a silly meme I made which explains my love of BIG trains!

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Very nice operations here on this thread I only found today!

Here in Idaho, population nearly 2 million, I know of at least 4 O scale 2-rail home layouts, not including my proposed basement empire I hope to start someday, so not ‘one-in-a-million’, more like 2!

I have a bit of a layout in my garage, I call my ‘emergency model railroad’, I will post a YouTube link from my desktop, I can’t seem to do it from my phone.

Glad you found this thread.  I will add 4 more layouts to the list!  Look forward to your YouTube Link.

I have gotten to see so much more than I imagined when I started this Topic.   A big THANK YOU all that have replied to keep this active.

I’m so glad this thread continues to grow! This is a video I did for O Scale Central. David Vaughn is narrating. 2-rail is one of the best kept secrets in the hobby, and there’s a lot more 2-railers and layouts (as this thread has shown) than many realized.

Thanks Ryan for posting!  Like all your videos it is very professionally done!  Wish I had seen it 3 years ago when I started moving from HO to O.

Thanks for the comment Russell, and your definitely right, there sure are some great layouts out there.  They all reflect on the interest and enjoyment we have in the hobby whether under construction or close to completion.   I don’t think there’s any greater satisfaction a modeler can have than with this expression of three dementional art .
  The club guys were out this week to see the progress on the layout and run a few trains around.   I took the time to advance the calendar several years and let them run something more modern.  
It’s “ 2005 “ , and we catch an Eastbound heavy with grain, gas and lumber working hard West of “Box Canyon “.  Then we see the same freight passing the depot at Golden. IMG_2846IMG_2847IMG_2848IMG_2849

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Thanks for the complements Ed .   When I originally pictured the scenery ideas for this curved section, I invisioned scenes along the Clanwilliam and 3 Valley Gap areas,   Digging through several photo I’d taken, I then combined the best angles and worked from there.  Some compression and artistic licence filled in the rest .   But I do find working from photos to be very helpful.

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