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My interest and involvement in the "3-rail scale" aspect of O-gauge model railroading has really grown as I've spent more time here on the OGR "3RS" sub-forum.  I've been very inspired by the innovative work of others in the "3RS" arena...and have been learning a lot along the way.  I always look forward to seeing new threads!

Along those same lines, I recently had a thought:  Wouldn't it be nice to have one thread that displays the work of anyone/everyone who wants to contribute?  Similar to "What did you do on your layout today?", or "Buy anything cool lately", I'd love to see an ongoing (and hopefully long-running) thread of "everything 3RS"!

By no means would I want this to take away from, or replace, individual detailed "How I did it" topic threads posted by OGR Forum members...let's keep those coming, please!  I just thought it would be cool to have ONE thread that captures examples of a wide array of great 3RS work in ONE place...sort of a "one-stop shop", catch-all thread.

Please contribute to this thread with some photos and descriptions of your 3RS work...or with any 3RS questions!!

So, to get things started, here are some before and after photos of a Jersey Central "plywood-sheathed" caboose (scratch-built for me last year by fellow Forum member "Brother Love") that I recently 3-rail scaled by replacing the standard 3-rail "claw" couplers with Kadee scale couplers and adding brake line hoses & glad hands.  Of course I had to weather it, too!

Malcolm was kind enough to supply Kadee-compatible mounting pads to the underframe, so installing the coupler boxes was very easy.  All I needed was a few Kadee shims (from Micro-Mark) to get the correct coupler height.

I made use of the air hose/glad hands from the 3-rail Atlas caboose trucks that Malcolm included on the car.  I made "mounting pads" for each end of the car from scrap styrene, and then trimmed and glued the brake lines/air hoses/glad hands in place.  A little bit of detail painting of the hoses and mounting pads, and they were ready for weathering!

Before:

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After:

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Last edited by CNJ #1601
Original Post
Hot Water posted:

Very nice. But, how do you get those wheels with the big flanges to work on that beautiful 2-Rail SCALE track?

HW, that 2-rail scale track is part of a diorama that I built for photography purposes only...so no trains will be "running" on it.  I haven't taken the full-blown plunge into 2-rail waters...not yet anyway!

Last edited by CNJ #1601

Just not practical for me. Too time consuming, costly plus you still have the look of 3R thick toy HI rails.

I don’t notice couplers on operating trains anyway. Besides, you still have a more noticeable middle rail, thin axles no cut coupler bars and large incorrect wheel flanges. I don’t see the point.

 All model O trains should have always been 2 rail from the beginning.           

Sorry Joey, I just can't go with it.  

Last edited by SIRT
SIRT posted:

Just not practice for me. Too time consuming, costly plus you still have the look of 3R thick toy HI rails.

I don’t notice couplers on operating trains anyway. Besides, you still have a more noticeable middle rail, thin axles no cut coupler bars and large incorrect wheel flanges. I don’t see the point.

 All model O trains should have always been 2 rail from the beginning.           

Sorry Joey, I just can't go with it.  

Hey Steve, I understand!  This niche within a niche definitely isn't for everyone.  I'm not even sure where I'm headed with it.  But I am sure of two things: 1.) I like the looks of the smaller couplers a heck of a LOT better, especially on locomotives, and 2.) I won't have to worry about surprise coupler openings and having my locomotives ram into the back of their own train anymore...which only seems to happen when I walk away for a few seconds (like to grab a cold beer)...LOL!

Last edited by CNJ #1601

Guys, I'm all for individual choice in how each of us enjoys this great hobby...and I appreciate and accept each person's opinion.  However, seeing how I started this thread on the "3-rail Scale" sub-Forum, I was (respectfully) hoping to create a thread to showcase members' 3RS work, not a place to debate the merits of 3RS.  We can start a separate thread to do that, either here on the 3RS sub-Forum or over on the 3-rail/Traditional/High-rail Forum!

Last edited by CNJ #1601

Not quite finished yet but here's my current project. MTH SD50. I took some ideas from others as far as a "plate" to fill the pilot gap, but my own idea for the end sheets. I grind off all molded details then put thin plastic sheet over the face and add all the details such as the coupler pocket and rivets. Then add PSC MU hoses. I also redid the main electrical jumper from wire as the factory piece was just too small and this was a prominent feature on these. The rear is finished, the front just needs the 2 railings redone, then for a light weathering as these units were very new in the Chessie era. 

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Well I could say the same thing to SIRT... why do you weather those cars with that big *ss coupler on them. You can’t see that there's 8' between cars ? Kind of defeats the point too  we all have our niche within a niche.

You have a point L.O.S but as long as people keep buying 3R, I will weather them. If I offered scale couplers, I’d be out of business. No one would buy cars that way. Like my collection, most of us are too deep into 3R to start over again. I’ve been into 3R trains since 1963. It is what it is.

I don’t believe the suppliers ever visioned how detailed toy trains would become. All you guys do great work and it looks nice but I’ll just have to just keep on truck-in as it is.

"Lately?" It's been a while since I've done any big projects. Here are a few examples of mine, though:

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I fixed the pilots, added roof top details, re numbered, and weathered. Same for this SD 40, now SD40U:

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I started doing this about eight years ago, starting with my Superfleet Dash 8-40BWs, and GP60Ms:

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GP60:

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I've done some MTH stuff too. In the lead is an FP45, converted to fixed pilots, full handrails and added details:

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Rolling stock too, of course. Here's a Lionel scale auto rack:

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If I were to start over, it might well be two-rail. At any rate my attitude is that an unrealistic third rail doesn't mean I can't come closer to realism in what rides on it. These conversions have been fun and satisfying and that's what a hobby is supposed to be about. 

RM

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I really hope this topic catches on.  There's much more the 3-Rail Scale than just achieving the most true-to-prototype realism possible with locomotives and rolling stock.  When I look at a layout I'm not looking at scale couplers or how a loco or car is weathered; I'm looking at how well the structures and scenery are detailed and if the track plan has purpose and not how much track and switches one can fit into a given space,  That's where the real talent shines.  So for time being I'll just be following this thread for inspiration as I begin my new and final layout.  Thanks for starting this thread Joe.  

Last edited by wild mary
Dave_C posted:

 Venturing into Diesels. Lot of trial and error making pilot spacers but well worth it. 2 MTH RS1's.

 

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Now this is an excellent 3 Rail Scale scene.  There's good attention to ballasting, a well placed small structure, nice rock formation and well done shrubs and trees.  All this attention to detail compliments a well done locomotive.  Nicely done Dave.   

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