I don't understand, Joe.  The tinplate guys have their own forum.  The S scale guys have their own forum.  The 2 rail guys have their own forum.
 
Why can't the fixed-pilot kadee-coupler guys have their own forum?
 
I feel like the 3RS guys has been unfairly criticized in this thread. 
 
Would you really quit the hobby over what people post on an internet message board?  This hobby was around long before Al Gore invented the internet!
 
Originally Posted by Enginear-Joe:

 OK great. You guys changed the name. So can I point out a great Buffalo modeler's layout without causing a war now?? What if he has something he hasn't changed the couplers on yet and someone sees it????

 Will I get kicked out because someone counts the rails on my layout??

I think a lot of damage was done and people left for their own reasons.

SAD.

I'm running into it on all the divisions. Wasting my time I guess.

who's the next one I have to prance around??

 Makes me want to leave the hobby all together.

 

Originally Posted by Martin H:
 
Why can't the fixed-pilot kadee-coupler guys have their own forum?
 

My feeling--and I mean this sincerely--is that those who are focused almost exclusively on the equipment end of things should seriously consider forming a National Model Railroad Association (NMRA) 3RS Special Interest Group.  The NMRA is the one entity in the hobby--all scales--that works with industry to develop Standards and Recommended Practices.  They are the one organization with a proven record in that regard, and they are best equipped to meet the needs of those who are concerned with the more technical aspects of the hobby, including motive power and rolling stock, control systems, track standards, compatibility issues, etc.

 

And I don't want to see anyone write that the "NMRA isn't interested in 3-rail."  If that's true at all, it's because the 3-rail hobbyists themselves have not shown much interest in making themselves a part of the organization and because they have chosen to remain on the outside looking in.  It's their fault, not the NMRA's fault.

 

I have been a Life Member of the NMRA since the late 1970s and have participated, at various times, as a hobbyist involved in Z, N, HO, O, and Large Scale.  Yes, the majority of NMRA members are involved with HO and N scales because those are the largest segments of the overall hobby.  But it still is an inclusive organization that welcomes ALL who are devoted to sharing this hobby and improving modeling standards and the products offered.

 

If my personal modeling interest was in the pure scale aspects of O, I would probably do one of two things:  I would sell off all of my 3-rail and go with 2-rail (the most logical albeit expensive route), or I would remain with 3-rail but would align myself closely with the group that is most apt to help affect productive changes that would bring 3-rail closer to my level of expectations.  That group is most certainly the NMRA.

Originally Posted by BradAARR:
I Model lionel and mth and I have been buying 1:43 scale vehicles is that not the right size vehicles I'm supposed to be buying a friend of mine told me that the scale I need for vehicles is 1:43  scale or do I get 1:48 scale someone help please. Lol

1.  Learn to use punctuation.

2.  US O scale is 1:48, or more conveniently for the mathematically challenged, 1 scale foot = 1/4".


There are many mysteries in this universe, big and small. Like, why do clowns make us laugh? Why do we love puppy dogs? And why, why do little blue midgets hit me with fish?

 

 

 

 

this brings back memories of why I got out of the hobby before when I was an ho modeler, I just got so tired of the rivet counters and the color analysts and the coupler fanatics and the idiots that had to have the ballast just the right height and weight and depth and it got to the point that we spent so much time trying to get all of the so called prototype stuff just right that we forgot that after all, we were there just to enjoy playing with the trains. you know when it comes right down to it, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and what looks good to me may not suit you but if it makes me happy then that's all that matters. I agree that we can all strive for a little more scale realisam in our layouts but lets still have some fun doing it and don't let ruin the hobby for us. 

Originally Posted by nomthever:I can relate to nomthever.We are PLAYING.We all have fun in this hobby in a little different way.One guy is asking how wide should the floor boards be looking inside one of his buildings and is stressing out about it.Meanwhile everybody ELSE is picking it to death!I would be thrilled if my trains would stop uncoupling and crashing back into the caboose when I'm not paying attention lol.Cmon people lets have fun.

this brings back memories of why I got out of the hobby before when I was an ho modeler, I just got so tired of the rivet counters and the color analysts and the coupler fanatics and the idiots that had to have the ballast just the right height and weight and depth and it got to the point that we spent so much time trying to get all of the so called prototype stuff just right that we forgot that after all, we were there just to enjoy playing with the trains. you know when it comes right down to it, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and what looks good to me may not suit you but if it makes me happy then that's all that matters. I agree that we can all strive for a little more scale realisam in our layouts but lets still have some fun doing it and don't let ruin the hobby for us. 

 

                                                                                                                             

Originally Posted by rockstars1989:
Originally Posted by nomthever:I can relate to nomthever.We are PLAYING.We all have fun in this hobby in a little different way.One guy is asking how wide should the floor boards be looking inside one of his buildings and is stressing out about it.Meanwhile everybody ELSE is picking it to death!I would be thrilled if my trains would stop uncoupling and crashing back into the caboose when I'm not paying attention lol.Cmon people lets have fun.

this brings back memories of why I got out of the hobby before when I was an ho modeler, I just got so tired of the rivet counters and the color analysts and the coupler fanatics and the idiots that had to have the ballast just the right height and weight and depth and it got to the point that we spent so much time trying to get all of the so called prototype stuff just right that we forgot that after all, we were there just to enjoy playing with the trains. you know when it comes right down to it, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and what looks good to me may not suit you but if it makes me happy then that's all that matters. I agree that we can all strive for a little more scale realisam in our layouts but lets still have some fun doing it and don't let ruin the hobby for us. 

 

Fellas,

 

The purpose of the 3RS forum IS for those reasons and I expect most of us who post here ARE having fun with it.  If you're not having fun you're in the wrong hobby.

 

Nobody is forcing you to do anything you don't want to do, but calling folks, who like discussing the extra detail, "fanatics and the idiots" isn't going to give them a warm and fuzzy all over feeling.  Do you go to the 2-rail forum and trash them because they use only 2 rails?

MODELING SOUTHEAST VIRGINIA

4+ years and STILL Having A Blast Running BPRC

Hi guys,

I wanted to introduce myself to the forum. I am completing what one would term a 3 rail scale pike. It's about 14 ft by 22 ft around the walls so I can enjoy broad radius operation. I'm utilizing scaletrax and it looks pretty good ballasted and I use NWSL semi scale wheels on all my pilot trucks with no problems at all through the scaletrax turnouts. I'm even converting some brass 2 rail steam locos to 3 rail. I like the 3 rail for the simplicity of operating Lionel Tmcc, rail sounds and simplicity of wiring. At some point if the 3rd rail bothers me, I'll convert to battery rc and strip the middle rail. I'm still debating the need for Kadee couplers for my purposes.

 

I've posted some pictures of the ballasted painted rail, semi scale pilot wheels on a scale K Line Hudson and a scale lionel reefer.

 

I hope to learn a lot from ya'll.

 

Regards

Pilot wheel Hudson

reefer

track wk 1

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Photos (3)
I'm pretty sure that in 2-rail scale, the track is not 1:48, nor are the couplers 1:48, nor are the wheel flanges 1:48.  
 
Am I wrong?
 
Originally Posted by Sam Shumaker:

In 3 rail scale basically everything is in scale except the track wheels and

couplers and that is why I'm in 2 rail scale.

 

Technically you are correct for standard 2 rail o scale, however, they are much closer to scale than 3 rail. Now in proto 48 all this stuff is pretty much 1/48 scale i.e. wheels, flanges, rail size and head and couplers.  Sam

Originally Posted by Sam Shumaker:

In 3 rail scale basically everything is in scale except the track wheels and

couplers and that is why I'm in 2 rail scale.

OK, so what is the issue you have with the couplers? As a 3RS modeler, I use nothing but Kadee couplers, and I'm now starting to use 2-Rail wheel sets.  Do you "2-Raile modelers" use lots of different couplers, rather than the Kadee brand?

Oh yes I knew a guy who put kd couplers on all of his 3 rail stuff. A nice improvement but you got to be careful about getting the cars too close for sharp curves. There are several scale couplers to choose from as  KD, Weaver, Atlas etc and they work well. Some of the true to scale couplers are available but require a little more effort to couple trains with. The KD is the most popular and now since they redesigned them they look more like the real thing and yet still operate as well as the original.

I totally agree with Bob.  But I sure wish Tony would adopt me.  Tony spoke the most true and accurate words that I've ever heard to the dream layout...he said something to the effect of have a great dream and A LOT OF MONEY!!!!!!!!
 
This layout is super impressive and that's the understatement of a lifetime.  However, it is not realistic nor is it based upon a prototype. 
 
Originally Posted by Bob Delbridge:

layout built by Tony Lash would by definition qualify as 3 Rail Scale then, correct Allan?

I've got a DVD showing his layout and I wouldn't consider it anything but a toy train layout packed full of animation.  Nice and big for what it is, but not what Allan said here:

 

Again, the intent is to make this designation inclusive of those striving to achieve a high level of realism with their 3-rail equipment, layouts, and operations, without including details that would, in effect, once again make things overly restrictive.

 

Sounds like there's more clarification needed. Maybe I'm missing something, but I hope this isn't the direction this sub-forum will take

 

THIS TOPIC GETS TOO MUCH PLAY...simply put...the third rail is not real. the couplers are horribly oversised..and the flanges are well..you get it.....now every thing else can be made to look totally real as good as any in ANY scale...so the sub total is 3-rail scale .even my wife thinks that makes sense ! conrail john

Question? I know this will be opening a can of worms, but being new to the sport, who makes the best 3 rail track, switches, etc.  When I bought some of my engines, they came with different tracks, don't even know is they are compatiable.  I know old Lionel, but what about the stuff from Atlas, Mth, etc.  Do I throw it all away, or is it of use?  Most of my engines require 72 or larger curves.  As for arguing about who has the correct scale, etc, etc, layout, wouldn't you just allow each builder to love what he has made, and let it go at that.  I left a local car club for the same reason, it ceased to be fun, it just turned into a ***** session.  We got away from building and cruising, the point of the whole thing in the first place.  Let's keep this wonderful hobby open and ready for new thoughts and new people.   Just one old mans opinion.

First you ask us who makes the "best" track, and then you criticize us three sentences later for discussing the different options for modeling?  Huh?
 
As for your question, search the forum.  There are many threads discussing the pros and cons of the various track systems.
 
 
 
Originally Posted by Oregoncowboy:

Question? I know this will be opening a can of worms, but being new to the sport, who makes the best 3 rail track, switches, etc. 

 

As for arguing about who has the correct scale, etc, etc, layout, wouldn't you just allow each builder to love what he has made, and let it go at that.  I left a local car club for the same reason, it ceased to be fun, it just turned into a ***** session.  We got away from building and cruising, the point of the whole thing in the first place.  Let's keep this wonderful hobby open and ready for new thoughts and new people.   Just one old mans opinion.

 

Perhaps I from the wrong side of the tracks, but what I said was not meant to criticize, just stating a fact as I read through all the comments.  Some folks seem a bit thin skinned, but read them yourself..I'm from the west coast, and we have learned to cut people who are doing the best at what they love some slack.  I can't paint or draw worth a ****, but there are some things I do truly well.  I going to need a lot of help with this project, I can lay track, building and such, not so much.  And yes, I read and read the threads, great information, but they are all opinions.  As they used to say, I just want the straight scoop.  Perhaps I should just keep my thoughts to myself.  Nah, ain't going to happen.  Back to the Extra Board and await the call.

 

God bless you all.

Oregon cowboy welcome to the world of O scale. Anything you need to ask or need to know is welcome here. You can SEARCH a wealth of information here. A lot of good guys ready to help, but some snots also.

 

Ignore the snots and enjoy the good guys which are the vast majority.

 

Best wishes,

Ron

Thanks Ron.   This what I was hoping for.  I just want to try to get whatever I'm doing right the first time.  Much better to spend your money moving forward, than tearing up mistakes and starting again.  I can't wait to get back home to see if my new,used engine has beat me there.  Bought my first brass engine, a UP Challanger, hope I did the right thing.  Sure did look good, if not as advertised it will make a great paperweight.

Oregoncowboy.  Welcome.  To answer your question, to give you a top level starting point in the context of 3RS (which is really not supposed to be about the track, but, well ..... I think it is), you can't go wrong with Ross Switches and Ross or Gargraves track.  Or Atlas O track and switches.  Also MTH Scaletraxx although harder to work with and limited in options. Then there's the more "toy train" (no disrespect intended) track systems like the new Lionel stuff and the MTH Realtraxx.

 

As suggested in other posts above -- spend some time searching and reading past forum topics on this subject.  It's been thoroughly discussed by the true leaders in this part of the hobby -- and is all there for you to research.

 

There is no simple answer and this is a topic where it is truly "different stokes for different folks" and you can really get mired down in opinions on this topic.

 

  For what it's worth I think you've got the right idea in doing the research before making a huge investment in track.  It never was cheap. But, now it's getting more and more costly.  One track brand has just about doubled in price since I bought it 10 or so years ago.

 

Good luck.

 

Austin Bill

Austin Bill

 

 

 

I think defining what constitutes scale by the comments I have read so far is a matter that's best characterized as beauty is in the eyes of the beholder and that seems to fit the wiggle room there is for what is, in reality, is a definition that is not set in stone so one could say: "this is scale and that is not scale.. I think HO and it's influences has permeated O scale that led to Hi-rail and now.."scale." 

For the buyer who has bought this philosophy of modelling, I think will find that satisfying themselves in  reaching this high bar will result in more parsing over new product..as well as more modifications to out of the box models...and increased cost. 

I think some of the concern expressed here is that those who find this form not particularly attractive sense that they will be dragged into this if the manufacturer's follow their lead of scale realism dominating the O hobby...In other words if what constitutes O significantly changes. 

I suspect it won't....if there was a really big desire to go this route, two rail O scale should have taken off like rocket. It hasn't. At the same time from what I see everywhere I read this or that, there is a "sameness" to what is published..less variety of modeling styles..you could make the argument that what is published is an influence I suppose.

Its ( scale three rail ) a nominal sub grouping of interest that has it's own merits but frankly I do not see this as a big trend..it has its own limits. 

Take traction modeling for example..if you want a large variety of product, there is O scale realism as two rail O complete with high cost, brass models, a lot of scratch building, detail parts to be added..on and on. Again, this is a nominally small segment of the hobby. In scale traction,there are few if any alternatives. I just don't see "scale" really taking off to this extent...where choices become shrunken to the point of exasperation. As for me, I never saw a model train that I didn't like in some manner....

 

 

Will someone please clarify if "3-railscale" excludes those who purchase MTH Premier, Atlas and Weaver engines and cars that have the correct dimensions and details but use "oversize couplers", oversize rails and wheel flanges?

 

I scratchbuild many railroad cars based on prototype drawings and dimensions but are designed to operate with my existing 3-rail engines. If I change to Kadee couplers and scale wheels would they now be classified as "3-railscale"?

 

Samples attached.

 

 CPOX 820 O SCALE MODEL [10)

hepx 200 photo 004

CEBX 100 O SCALE MODEL [3)

000_3697

100_4634

KRL depressed center flatcar 005

SIEMENS KWUX 10 FLATCAR

WECX 202 schnabel

THRALL 65 foot mill GONDOLA

KRL 16450 SCALE MODEL 3

MEPX 20100 depressed center flatcar

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See the definition in the first post by Rich.

 

...3-Rail Scale is an attitude toward the O gauge hobby that derives satisfaction and fun from using the prototype as its guide. The intent in 3-Rail Scale is to continually strive for as much prototype realism as possible within the limitations of time, talent, and available space.

 

More than any other single thing, the desire for realism in miniature distinguishes 3-Rail Scale from other segments of the 3-rail hobby.

 






It's a term to "weigh", (pun intended), the options available in O gauge to create a model RR  that is representative of the real world. Even though most trains produced are 1/48, the track is 1/43 due to the spacing, so true scale is not possible unless track and train are modified or hand laid and custom built. Do what we like, and we can be happy. Perfection is unattainable, so close counts.

Don

I can't think of everything         

God'sNot Dead

Pro Hobby. To answer your question and keep it simple,  is yes. 3RS implies that your cars are prototype and to 1/48 scale. Kadees yes. 2R wheel sets optional providing that your track will support them.

US Army retired

Suncoast Regional Coordinator 

First Florida  Chapter of the MVPA HAZMAT SME(RID,DOD,IATA,ADR,CFR 49)  

 

suzukovich posted:

Pro Hobby. To answer your question and keep it simple,  is yes. 3RS implies that your cars are prototype and to 1/48 scale. Kadees yes. 2R wheel sets optional providing that your track will support them.

So, is converting to Kadees .... pretty much .... a hallmark of 3RS? Prototypically correct equipment (scale, era, and locale) with Kadees?

I ask because all the rest seems so subjective to me, such as how much scenery detail.

I don't know. I don't even think I understand what hi-rail is. lol

Happy Railroading.

Matt Ryan

Denville, NJ

It's actually more then that. Alot are also running fixed pilots on their engines. The weathering of engines and rolling stock. Detailing of engines and rolling stock above what comes from MTH, Lionel, and Atlas. 3RS all equipment is scale. Think of it as 2R with a center rail.

US Army retired

Suncoast Regional Coordinator 

First Florida  Chapter of the MVPA HAZMAT SME(RID,DOD,IATA,ADR,CFR 49)  

 

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