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Is there any "modern" On30 cars out there? I'm thinking about a fictional line but really like the modern era (today). I've been looking at the RhB in Switzerland and really like how they operate as opposed to the US railroads. There's plenty of models available of the RhB but I would prefer to model US type cars. Anyone ever do anything like this?

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Well that would be very fictional.    There is no common carrier narrow gauge in the USA     There are a number of tourists lines that are narrow gauge, but the equipment they use generally is old antique, or replica.    I think the Mt Washington Cog Railway recently bought some new locos that are "modern"     Also the White Pass and Yukon recently bought new modern diesels.    I don't know if WP&Y hauls any freight however.

There is just not much interest in obtaining models of something that never existed.    They probably aren't really models if there was not prototype.    And the lack of interest may be because there is no real stuff to see.

I think to most modern era you could model that would represent an actual working railroad is White Pass. It was a freight hauling railroad into the 1980s and those Alco DL535’s are very cool locomotives. They were even starting an early method of hauling intermodal shipping containers. Rolling stock and motive power is probably nearly non-existent so better get good at scratchbuiling or CAD modeling to 3D print stuff.

What I'm going to state is in the "Good Enough" category as to my knowledge no modern (1950s,60s diesel and container cars have been made.

Shapeways has a GE 90 class locomotive and ore containers, they take A LOT of work to get a decent finish due to the printing material that is used.

  I mounted mine on a highly modified American Models PA frame.  Cut down K-Line containers work and will mount on modified K=Line (old Kusan) tank car frames.

  White pass has one ex BN caboose on 3 foot trucks and a highly modified postwar depressed center flat will work.

White Pass On30 project | O Gauge Railroading On Line Forum ( shows some of my initial progress.


Here's the 90 class before lettering which will have to be custom done.

A 101 claas DL535 would really be neat, but would be much more of a challenge due to the hood carbody.


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I suspect that if you want to model a modern narrow gauge outfit, you're going to have to do a lot of kitbashing and scratchbuilding.

The most "modern" narrow gauge in the Americas, at least for 30 inch and 36 inch gauge narrow gauge, was the International Raiways of Central America (which got broken up and nationalized).  The IRCA was thirty six inch gauge Guatemala and El Salvador had steel flatcars and outside-braced steel boxcars that looked kinda-sorta like the East Broad Top's outside-braced boxcars.  The IRCA also had some steel cabooses.

Both Central American roads also had some steel stock cars.

The IRCA also had some steel passenger coaches.

I think part of the El Salvadoran narrow gauge might still be running.  The Guatemalan portion was taken out of service and its tracks and bridges have been scavenged by the locals.

I think some railfans took pictures of the rolling stock before things went to pot.

Interestingly enough, one of the ex-IRCA 2-8-0s is currently powering steam trains on the Georgetown Loop in Colorado. An ex-Mexican (Former Coahuila and Zacatecas) is on display near a casino in Central City.

The US Potash RR in SE New Mexico went toes-up in 1967.  They had several steamers they acquired from the Death Valley RR. They also had some end-cab GE diesels that looked kinda-sorta like the SP’s famous no. 1 diesel used on their eastern California narrow gauge line.

I’ve heard tell of some On30 modelers kitbashing American Flyer postwar 2 bay hopper cars and their postwar gondolas into On30 freight cars.

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