so, I’ve picked through and sorted the collection of track, and the majority of it (and all the switches) are 0-27; so this is officially an 0-27 project.

My question is, what is the largest steam outline loco which will manage the curves? I’ve seen what appears to be a Big Boy on 0-27 on YouTube. I’m particularly interested in the 2-6-2, 2-8-4, 0-8-0 and 4-6-4 types? 

Original Post

There's one thing you need to be cognizant of that pertains to 'switches'. Some bigger engines 'may' derail when going through switches due to their overhang/swing. The same applies when you get to the curves if you have two parallel tracks as locks and/or cars could 'sideswipe' one another; that's why you have to allow for a reasonable space when laying your tracks side by side. There are some great books for beginners out there by Lionel and others that contain this type of useful information which may be of interest to you. That's how I (and I'll bet many others on this forum) picked up a lot of basic/general knowledge when entering this wonderful hobby.

Good Luck!

Rockershovel, while some larger locomotives will negotiate 027 curves (and particularly clear the 027 switch box housing), I personally tend to stick with engines that look good doing it.

I've always had small layouts and so 027 track (with 027 curves and switches) has been a necessity. And at one time in the past, I too was looking for the largest locomotives that would clear the switches and make the curves. I had one of the early MTH Railking Dash-8 engines. And while it did make the curves, it looked out of place on my smaller layout with more traditional 027 rolling stock.

Here's a link to a useful website. You can scroll through the categories (it's a "sensitive" drop down menu) or you can type in the number of your locomotive in the search box on the upper right. The product descriptions will tell you if it is an 027 or 0 gauge steam engine.

http://postwarlionel.com/motiv...055-santa-fe-hudson/

As far as modern engines go, it'd be good to go through Lionel catalogs before the introduction of FasTrack. Engines that came in starter sets before FasTrack came with 027 track, so that'll help out. One engine not mentioned here yet, is the K-Line starter set Pacific type 4-6-2. Like with some Lionel steam engines, the body casting is slightly smaller and doesn't look out of place with smaller rolling stock.

If you really want to get ambitious, I chopped down the size of some of my 027 switches, mostly for the option of having the switches closer together for my switching yard. You can also cut down the corners of the switch box housing if you have any items that are rubbing against or hitting the switch box housing.

P1000258

For me personally, I like the look of smaller steam engines on my layout. Lionel during the MPC years, came out with some new and interesting smaller plastic body steam engines. I add weight to mine so they pull better. The plastic bodies make adding details and repainting easier. Even just repainting them to take away the plastic-look of them is such an improvement.

2-4-0 MPC era steam switcher

Finally, here's a video I have always liked. Maybe you've already seen this one and the one below. You will see some larger engines (no steam though), clearing 027 switches, though there are one or two 42 inch radius switches. That older style Williams GP38 diesel is pretty big and I'm impressed that it cleared all the 027 switch box housings. There's also some larger rolling stock, like a Weaver shorter covered Borax hopper. While the length of that car is shorter, the width of it is wider than the typical Lionel car and yet it clears.

I guess it would always be good if you are unsure, to ask a question here if anyone has such and such an item, and runs it on 027 track, before you actually buy it.

And just for fun, here's another video showing postwar steamers and diesels that will run successfully on 027 track and curves.

 

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Rockershovel posted:

so, I’ve picked through and sorted the collection of track, and the majority of it (and all the switches) are 0-27; so this is officially an 0-27 project.

My question is, what is the largest steam outline loco which will manage the curves? I’ve seen what appears to be a Big Boy on 0-27 on YouTube. I’m particularly interested in the 2-6-2, 2-8-4, 0-8-0 and 4-6-4 types? 

That Big Boy you saw on 0-27 track was probably the K-Line version which is closer to S scale. It is a nice runner if you can find one.

The Lionel 2035 is a great postwar runner , mine from Christmas of 1949 still runs great.

Brad

The first video Brianel posted above is one my youngest son did of my 0-27 layout a number of years ago.

One change I’ve made in the interim is to remove the switch housing covers to provide better clearance for engines and some scale rolling stock.  In addition to removing the covers; I also cut down wood match sticks, painted them black and glued them in such a manner to prevent the plastic “slide” on the switches from jumping out of their “track”.  I’ve attached a close up photo of a switch so you can see what I’m talking about.

This modification has worked well for me for a number of years now and enables me to run four axle diesel engines rated for 0-36 as well as some scale rolling stock.

From an esthetic perspective; there is most definitely some overhang of engines and rolling stock but; my options are to either ignore it or commit to the time and expense of a new layout with larger radius curves and switches.  So far; I’ve opted for the former.

 Curt

341F3232-AFE0-48D3-A5BC-A0FFAA1A1C95

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Rockershovel ,

I run O27 switches and track.  When my layout expanded in January, I started buying the larger  #O22 switches.  I have mostly postwar and MPC rolling stock.  My lovely bride bought me a LC+ Mikado for Christmas.  It is a 2-8-2 with modern electronics.  It handles the tight curves and switches just fine.  That said, all future additions will be O31 for me.  With suitable effort, they will all live happily together.

Bill

My layout is all 027 with 027 curves. Stick with smaller diesels and steamers. Geeps, and end-cab switchers work perfectly. I do have a few engines rated for 031 curves which do work on 027 but some of the low body details like fuel tanks do hit the covers on 5121 turnouts. Not as drastic as Curt's solution, I shaved off the corners on the leading edge of the covers and solved the problem.

Steamers present different problems with cow catchers and cab hoods.

In my next life I'll build my dream layout with the endless resources that I will have in fantasy land.

Three Rails Are Better Than None 

I agree with everything that's been posted so far.

Although it uses the same body as a 2046 Hudson, I'm pretty sure a 2-8-4 Berkshire (726, 736, etc.) won't work.  The rigid wheelbase is actually longer than a 773!  You'll need at least O31 for that.

About the only articulateds, Big Boys, etc., that will work are the K-Line semi-scale ones (which are really S scale 1:64  with their wheels gauged to 1.25" for O gauge track.)

I would read Brianel K-LineGuy's post thoroughly.  It's not what will run, it's what looks good.  A 2046 will definitely run on O27, but a 2055 looks better.  O27 proportioned locos can look pretty convincing with small postwar rolling stock and Plasticville buildings.  My $.02.

Creep, coast, and pull.  We're not talking about cold fusion here.

I run 27" diameter O27 with K-Line low-profile O27 switches, and like Odenville Bill, my LC+ Mikado runs fine, as does my Hudson Jr.

Switch clearances aside—because you can work around them—are there any MTH, Lionel, K-Line, or Williams four-axle diesels that don't run on O27? All postwar Lionel locomotives should work except for the Northern, Berkshire, FM Train Master, and the 773 Scale Hudson. That said I've heard/read some people say that the Berks and Train Masters will run on O27, and other say no. In this thread, one person claims to have run Big Boys (Lionmaster?), 773s, and other long rolling stock on 27" diameter O27.

Regarding aesthetics, to some people it matters, to others it doesn't. Most of the freight that I now run is steam/early-diesel scale rolling stock—40' boxcars, 2-bay hoppers, ore cars, log cars, cabooses—and am not bothered by the look on the tight curves.

Matt_GNo27 posted:

I run 27" diameter O27 with K-Line low-profile O27 switches, and like Odenville Bill, my LC+ Mikado runs fine, as does my Hudson Jr.

Switch clearances aside—because you can work around them—are there any MTH, Lionel, K-Line, or Williams four-axle diesels that don't run on O27?

Matt; the only four axle diesel engines I’ve had an issue with are Railking Premier GP9’s and I’ll add the problem had nothing to do with the engines striking the switch motors.  

Premier GP’s have two air tanks behind the fuel tank and the rear truck has appendages that catch when trying to pass through an 0-27 curve or switch.  

I hadn’t expected this issue because my regular Railking GP’s handle everything with no problems.  Since I liked the two Premier engines and didn’t want to return them; I used my Dremel to shave enough off the rearmost air tank and that allowed the truck appendages sufficient clearance when passing through switches or curves.  The modification can’t be seen unless you pick the engines up and inspect the underside.

Curt

Not all post war will run on o27, I had a postware F3 (I don't remember the model ) that couldn't go through an o27 curve on my layout, it would derail, whereas my 671 turbine was fine with it (this was when I was a kid). Basically smaller steam engines and diesels will work okay, some semi scale models of bigger equipment might work as well.  Some postwar equipment that was built to run on O31 can run on O27, but it can look funny and may not always work right. Switches can be weird beasts, an engine that goes through O27 curves might have issues  with switches, either derailing or hitting the switch stand, it all depends (though I had pretty good luck with O27 switches in this regards, other than the switch stand being too tall, rarely had derailments personally). I agree with others, if you have the room, especially with curve track, you may want to go with larger diameter track, tinplate track these days is pretty cheap, and larger diameter curves will look better.  Larger diameter switches are better but are more of an expense to replace, so if you have the choice go to larger diameter curves, the O27 switches might be less of a problem. 

The person who dies with the best toys dies a happy person

bigkid posted:

Not all post war will run on o27, I had a postware F3 (I don't remember the model ) that couldn't go through an o27 curve on my layout, it would derail, whereas my 671 turbine was fine with it (this was when I was a kid). 

Interesting. The Williams/WBB F3 uses, as I understand it, the postwar Lionel mold, and is listed as being suited for 27" diameter curves.

bigkid posted:

Not all post war will run on o27, I had a postware F3 (I don't remember the model ) that couldn't go through an o27 curve on my layout, it would derail, ………...

From my experience the early postwar F3's (late 1940's) with the horizontal motors will derail on O27 curves. 

The later postwar F3's, as well as MPC's and LTI's traditional sizes copies,  run fine on them. 

I doubled the size of my O27 point-to-point layout.

I screwed down another piece of 35" straight track. 

Paul  

Ship Rock Island ROCKET FREIGHT

 

2 Rails?  3 Rails?  Doesn't matter, I can't count that high in either case.

I love the smell of fresh-brewed creosote first thing in the morning.

If the government knew how much fun O-gauge railroading was, they'd outlaw it!

Common sense is my second best trait.  Nonsense is my first, of course. 

That question interested me enough to provoke a trip to the basement to test my 726 Berkshire.  I put it on straight track, coupled the tender and rolled it around the curves.  Surprisingly, it rolled very well around the curves, but with a large overhang.  I had thought maybe the tender would hit the locomotive, but no problem there as the cab roof is higher than the tender.  It looks ridiculous !!

The overhang is impressive - 2 1/4" on the outside for the cab roof and 1 9/16 on the inside for the the main crank pin screw - from the third rail.  The offset between the centers of cab and tender is about 1 1/2".

Thanks for all the information.

I’ve finished sorting the job lot of track now, and I’ve got enough O Standard 31” (is that the correct term?) to settle in that, plus some 54” curves in amongst them.

54” is a bit big for my available space, so I’ll look for some 42” (this is a size, right?).

There used to be a well-known method of producing space-saving compound curves with Triang and Hornby OO Track, using a mixture of radii so I’ll investigate that too

Marx made a 34" diameter curve in addition to the sizes listed above. These sections turn up at shows pretty regularly, and usually go for very cheap. They can be identified by 5 black ties per section. These sections will let you run quite a bit more rolling stock than 27" curves and not take up very much more room. Marx also made manual and remote switches for this track, though I am told they take a bit of rework to make them work well. They were originally made so Marx's "fat wheel" single reduction motors would go through them, so they need a bit of material added to them so modern engines don't wobble going through them.

As for engines that will run on 27" curves, traditional size GG1s (at least my LTI remake) runs on them and even clears the switch machines on MPC era switches. I have a 2046 Hudson that would hit a switch machine if the switch was right after a curved section (I think; I had to alter the trackplan a bit on a layout 20 years ago) but clears all of them on my layout now. A few people commented on how nice the 2035 is, and they are nice, but I prefer the two wheel trailing truck of the 2025. I typically pull 4 2400 series passenger cars with it on my o27 loop (any more and the train overpowers my fairly small layout.) I am not much into modern era trains, but I think Lionel did good with their 0-6-0 Dockside switcher. They navigate o27 just fine, pull very well, look good and are pretty affordable.

Hope some of my rambling helps,

 

J White

 

brianel_k-lineguy posted:

 

 

 

Finally, here's a video I have always liked. Maybe you've already seen this one and the one below. You will see some larger engines (no steam though), clearing 027 switches, though there are one or two 42 inch radius switches. That older style Williams GP38 diesel is pretty big and I'm impressed that it cleared all the 027 switch box housings. There's also some larger rolling stock, like a Weaver shorter covered Borax hopper. While the length of that car is shorter, the width of it is wider than the typical Lionel car and yet it clears.

And just for fun, here's another video showing postwar steamers and diesels that will run successfully on 027 track and curves.

 

My PC video driver(s) have been corrupted for over a week, and I finally got it/them fixed so I can start watching videos again, thank goodness.  I really like the realistic scenery look that has been incorporated on these layouts.  Very cool and entertaining!  Great Job! 

Paul  

Ship Rock Island ROCKET FREIGHT

 

2 Rails?  3 Rails?  Doesn't matter, I can't count that high in either case.

I love the smell of fresh-brewed creosote first thing in the morning.

If the government knew how much fun O-gauge railroading was, they'd outlaw it!

Common sense is my second best trait.  Nonsense is my first, of course. 

So, I’ve tried the Berkshire loco as an experiment and the above post is about right - it will negotiate the O31 curve but looks fairly ridiculous. 

As this is intended to be an exhibition layout, viewed primarily from one side the plan is to look for more O31 and O54 track, and concentrate the O31 stuff where it is least visible but space saving is most valuable. 

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