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As I was cleaning up after our re-model I found all my postwar 3R.  The first piece I opened was my absolutely favorite Lionel locomotive, the 2046. As I have gotten older I really like to just watch trains run and listen to the wheels rumble over tubular track.  I gave up with sound several years ago because of extremely poor hearing, it sounds like a roar to me.

In my space I could have 4 loops of 3R track and run all postwar with postwar accessories.  It has me doing some serious thinking about making the change.  I probably wont be it is tempting.

BTW, I am glad the re-model is almost over, 40 days longer than we were told!!!!!

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There's always the option of doing a hybrid layout -- a 3-rail layout designed to 2-rail specifications as to turnouts and curve radii. Using insulated track such as Ross, Atlas, or MTH ScaleTrax, you could wire it to support both types of operations. The restriction would be that you couldn't use #6 and larger turnouts without some modification to the frog. If using Ross turnouts, they offer a #5 (AKA 11-degree) which seems to work well with the 2-rail equipment I run at the club

Just a thought.

Another alternative is what is referred to as 3-Rail Scale on the OGR Forum. Three-rail track, scale couplers, modern scale-sized 3-rail locomotives and rolling stock, and an otherwise scale layout with realistic structures, terrain and (possibly) Command Control. This is the option I have followed and I think it's a good compromise between the simplicity of 3-rail wiring, scale-sized models and 2-rail. And, you can also run your traditional O gauge trains. They may not be scale but they are enjoyable.

MELGAR

Last edited by MELGAR

I left N scale because I was sick of the rivet counters and it got worse every year. I run what I want and people enjoy it. I have fun with friends' kids when they come over and get mesmerized by the operating accessories under the Christmas tree.

I appreciate the beauty and detail of the scale locomotives, and cars. I admire the detail in many of the scale model structures, and the skills in weathering rolling stock.

Except for a couple of exceptions, the scale people smile from the memories of what they had as a kid and the accessories.

So do what you want.  Heck I'm keeping one N scale train so I can have a 1/4 scale live steam park on an o scale layout.

You can always make a 3 rail layout for under the tree and let the grandkids play with it.

Introduce a younger generation with what you had as a kid. The options are endless. Just have fun.

Last edited by Quietman

Not either / or, but rather all.  Why make a choice? 

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One of the best things I have done in this hobby is to do what ever I wanted to do. 

Like yourself there are times I just want to let 'em roll. Other times I run commuter service, then mix in some peddler freights.   Then there are times when long strings of 80 footers wind through the imaginary countryside.

Then on the top and shortly the bottom level, three rail trains happily chug and whistle along their way.

It's all fun.  I do have a pail of mixed rivets sitting in the driveway to keep the naysayers busy outside.

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The thought had never crossed my mind to have one of the tracks on the layout (if I ever did build a layout) be 2-Rail so that I could run those in addition to the 3R.  Maybe I might do that as in years past, I've had N, HO, and O all running on the table at the same time. My biggest fears holding me back to doing 2-Rail are (1) lack of space as I'm only interested in modern 70+ foot rolling stock - not into narrow gauge or mining lines - and (2) more importantly, a support mechanism.  It's hard to enough to find O scale/gauge around here but at least I have a ready community of colleagues to get help from, run trains with, etc.   There is/was? a 2-Rail club here in the Fort Lauderdale area, but my inquiries to their website have lead nowhere making me think the website is not maintained.  It's no fun running trains by yourself.

Last edited by Amfleet25124

I started out with HO, twenty five years later I sold it all. Went to 3 rail for ten years, change to 2 rail O for four years. Went back to HO four years ago, now I am selling all O 2&3 rail and HO. I am going to S scale in 2021. This will be my final layout build, my health issues that came to light three years ago is not helping. So I am taking the advice from my 76 year old father, take one day at a time and do what makes you happy. My S scale layout will be 5x16, it will have tunnels, a large bridge in the middle as the focal point and a three stall roundhouse with a turn table. Small yard with four tracks, take advantage of building fronts for the passenger station tucked up to the mountain for space saving. I am going back to K.I.S.S.

Time is short Brother Love, I have enjoyed your creations you made over the years. At some point in time, it's time to sit back and relax. Just watch or close your eyes again and just listen to the train. Think back to when you were young, imagined you were on that train going to wherever the tracks took you.

Last edited by DL&W Pete
@DL&W Pete posted:

I started out with HO, twenty five years later I sold it all. Went to 3 rail for ten years, change to 2 rail O for four years. Went back to HO four years ago, now I am selling all O 2&3 rail and HO. I am going to S scale in 2021. This will be my final layout build, my health issues that came to light three years ago is not helping. So I am taking the advice from my 76 year old father, take one day at a time and do what makes you happy. My S scale layout will be 5x16, it will have tunnels, a large bridge in the middle as the focal point and a three stall roundhouse with a turn table. Small yard with four tracks, take advantage of building fronts for the passenger station tucked up to the mountain for space saving. I am going back to K.I.S.S.

Time is short Brother Love, I have enjoyed your creations you made over the years. At some point in time, it's time to sit back and relax. Just watch or close your eyes again and just listen to the train. Think back to when you your young and imagine you were on that train going to wherever the tracks took you.

Good luck finding stuff in "S". It is the perfect size model wise, but slim pickings.

Simon

Good luck finding stuff in "S". It is the perfect size model wise, but slim pickings.

Simon

Hi Simon,

That is why I am switching, I already have two DL&W E8A. Getting two DL&W train masters, two Reading train masters and a F7 ABA in Reading. I plan to get five legacy Berkshire's to reletter into my own railroad. My era will be 1945-1955. Less is better in the long run, I don't plan on keeping up with the next guy.

@DL&W Pete posted:

Time is short Brother Love, I have enjoyed your creations you made over the years. At some point in time, it's time to sit back and relax. Just watch or close your eyes again and just listen to the train. Think back to when you were young, imagined you were on that train going to wherever the tracks took you.

Yep. My wife is amazed at how long I can sit and run / play with the trains under the tree considering how small the layout is. But it takes me back to being a kid. My oldest sister Patty came out for Christmas last year.

She sat and ran the PS2 locomotives through wifi since her back won't let her sit on the floor. The controllers were on long enough  cords she  could operate the switches and accessories.

I think she ran them for almost 4 hours in her first sitting. Told my wife, "See it's not just me." She told my wife that it brought back a bunch of memories and made her feel like a kid again. Dad bought the first train set when she was little. For us, it doesn't matter whether there's a bigger layout or not. The memories make the Christmas layout special, so it always captures our attention.

So by all means, go to S scale, have fun, and think back to being a kid again. Nothing could be better.

@Quietman posted:

LOVE IT!!!!

Is that kitbashed?

The engine was purchased on ebay, I know nothing about it except that it might be 17/64" scale. The driver scales out to about 102" in 1/4" scale and should be about 84" if this is an otherwise reasonably accurate model of SP's C. P. Huntington. Oddly, all of the axles are insulated for two-rail except the driver and there are third rail pickup rollers. Another note: the build quality is quite good.

The two-rail container car is by Right-of-Way Industries ScalePlate and the containers are by K-Line, MTH, and ??

Last edited by PRRMP54

Getting back to Brother Loves original comment maybe going 3 rail might very well be the answer - specifically 3RS.  3 rail scale operation has many benefits as has been pointed out on this and many other forums. Frankly 3RS operation is most likely the best choice between 2 and 3rail model train worlds.  3rail operation with simplified electronics and elimination of the toy like dreaded claw couplers is certainly worth a serious consideration. Operating radii for track are far more manageable with 3RS and there is a much great selection of locomotives and rolling stock at less cost to purchase then 2rail equipment. I operate and collect 2rail but have often thought about given 3RS a serious look.

I presume most 2 rail O modellers choose it because of animosity for the unrealistic 3rd-rail.  Otherwise, 3-rail scale has it's advantages.  I've seen 3-railers with HO middle rails to reduce the obviousness of it.   Certainly way more equipment is available in 3-rail.   You can still have big curves.

It continues to suprise me that S scale isn't more popular.  It seems like O 2-rail and S scale are at odds with one another - neither particularly successful - and both fighting over the same group of heft desiring 2-rail realists.     I've gone back and forth with S and O 2-rail and the problem is O 2-rail is just so big.  Both scales are dependent on the production of non-scale models - 3-rail O or AF.   

As to the OP, if it's about running trains in a circle, the world is your oyster.  That's the market share of model railroading.  You'll never be want for options. The moment you start having to have everything in scale, it is a slippery slope with no good answers.

I wish I could have been satisfied with 3-4 engines and 1-2 dozen pieces of rolling stock, but my (our) brain isn't wired that way...gotta have more.

I started in HO, had a 12x16 layout until the varmints invaded my shed plus walking to/from it (behind my garage and dark at night) drove me away.  After about 5 years I developed an interest in O, so I bought 1 engine (MTH RS3).  That sat for a year before I started tinkering with the idea of a layout in my garage, ended up with a 7x16 layout.

Having to go out to either turn the heat or the AC on before I ran trains prompted me to move indoors, 2nd floor of the small house I have.  That gave me a 13x30 layout, but it was 3-rail.

A few years ago I went from 3-rail DCS/TMCC to 3-rail BPRC, then finally when I tore everything down and rebuilt with Mianne benchwork I went with 3-rail engines and rolling stock on 2-rail code 148 track...never looked back.

I have way too many engines for my taste, if I had seen into the future I would have waited until the price of Williams brass came down and bought only steam engines.  3-4 engines would be about all I truly need: switcher, 2 mainline engines, and a passenger engine.

What I'm getting at is this...If a person (me) could just control themselves, O-scale could be very affordable.

It is a hobby.  It is meant to be enjoyed.  If you want to run some 3 rail, then do it if you have the space to do both.  There are no rules that you cannot enjoy an aspect of the hobby to the exclusion of other aspects.  Just don’t be hasty in dumping the 2 rail you have, because it has brought you enjoyment, unless you are absolutely sure.

Overall, enjoy.



Larry

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