Some interesting thoughts. I have long understood that 'scale' modelling when using 3 rail pickup was confined to stud, outside third or overhead, unless you were modelling a centre third electric line.  

Essentially the  layout used couplers, track and wheel standards similar to existing 2 rail layouts but used a less intrusive 3rd rail to enable them to keep the advantages they saw with using 3 rail pickup. The Canandaigua Southern layout comes to mind as one example of a scale 3rail layout.

regards

 Bob

 

Running NSWGR O scale in the Australian sun ( and wind ,and rain and snow.......)

Bob Delbridge posted:

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

I've seen the Lash layout AND I have seen even larger 2-rail O layouts. Both are fabulous. Tony's COULD be operated point-to-point, with most of the operator's time being spent switching out hopper cars by that fabulous coal mine. The last giant 2-rail O layout I saw was being run in a giant loop (although many trains were being run via DCC which somewhat disguised that fact.) 

Two-rail scale O looks fabulous. It really does. The dirty little secret is that the track and turnouts need MUCH MORE attention to keep things operating well. Do you want to spend a big portion of your time troubleshooting and doing track maintenance, or running trains?

The 2-railers will NEVER "like" us monster-claw-coupler guys completely. Let's face it: most 3-rail OPERATORS are round-robin "loop-runners." Many of the 2-railers attempt 100% proto operating. Some of the ones I've met ARE elitists, employing VERY expensive brass models (we have elitists in our camp too, though I'd NEVER include Tony in that camp.) Are they having fun yet? Sometimes it's hard to tell.

Actually,I'd generalize by saying that most of the 2-railers I've met are HO-modelers with poorer eyesight now, or non-compromising prototypers who will never understand "the magic of Lionel trains." Maybe they started life with a Lionel under the tree, but that was centuries ago--if they'll even admit it. (More likely, it was a Tyco HO set.)

I personally can appreciate both camps without joining either.

OGR was, once upon a time, OSR. There's a sliding scale between 2-rail scale and 3 rail O-gauge tinplate trackers. Where you are along that continuum is up to you.

To quote our Webmaster at the start of this topic: "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." Realism in coupler size? In rail height or number of rails? In method of operating trains (loop or point to point) ? Where you are along that continuum is up to you.

BurlingtonBill posted:
Bob Delbridge posted:

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

I've seen the Lash layout AND I have seen even larger 2-rail O layouts. Both are fabulous. Tony's COULD be operated point-to-point, with most of the operator's time being spent switching out hopper cars by that fabulous coal mine. The last giant 2-rail O layout I saw was being run in a giant loop (although many trains were being run via DCC which somewhat disguised that fact.) 

Two-rail scale O looks fabulous. It really does. The dirty little secret is that the track and turnouts need MUCH MORE attention to keep things operating well. Do you want to spend a big portion of your time troubleshooting and doing track maintenance, or running trains?

The 2-railers will NEVER "like" us monster-claw-coupler guys completely. Let's face it: most 3-rail OPERATORS are round-robin "loop-runners." Many of the 2-railers attempt 100% proto operating. Some of the ones I've met ARE elitists, employing VERY expensive brass models (we have elitists in our camp too, though I'd NEVER include Tony in that camp.) Are they having fun yet? Sometimes it's hard to tell.

Actually,I'd generalize by saying that most of the 2-railers I've met are HO-modelers with poorer eyesight now, or non-compromising prototypers who will never understand "the magic of Lionel trains." Maybe they started life with a Lionel under the tree, but that was centuries ago--if they'll even admit it. (More likely, it was a Tyco HO set.)

I personally can appreciate both camps without joining either.

OGR was, once upon a time, OSR. There's a sliding scale between 2-rail scale and 3 rail O-gauge tinplate trackers. Where you are along that continuum is up to you.

I don't have to do anything to my 2 rail layout! It has been down for years. I don't know why you would say that it is hard to maintain???

Does three rail do something for self maintenance????

" on Sour mash and cheap wine " ??

Why go back to DCC when I have DCS!

BurlingtonBill posted:
Bob Delbridge posted:

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

I've seen the Lash layout AND I have seen even larger 2-rail O layouts. Both are fabulous. Tony's COULD be operated point-to-point, with most of the operator's time being spent switching out hopper cars by that fabulous coal mine. The last giant 2-rail O layout I saw was being run in a giant loop (although many trains were being run via DCC which somewhat disguised that fact.) 

Two-rail scale O looks fabulous. It really does. The dirty little secret is that the track and turnouts need MUCH MORE attention to keep things operating well. Do you want to spend a big portion of your time troubleshooting and doing track maintenance, or running trains?

The 2-railers will NEVER "like" us monster-claw-coupler guys completely. Let's face it: most 3-rail OPERATORS are round-robin "loop-runners." Many of the 2-railers attempt 100% proto operating. Some of the ones I've met ARE elitists, employing VERY expensive brass models (we have elitists in our camp too, though I'd NEVER include Tony in that camp.) Are they having fun yet? Sometimes it's hard to tell.

Actually,I'd generalize by saying that most of the 2-railers I've met are HO-modelers with poorer eyesight now, or non-compromising prototypers who will never understand "the magic of Lionel trains." Maybe they started life with a Lionel under the tree, but that was centuries ago--if they'll even admit it. (More likely, it was a Tyco HO set.)

I personally can appreciate both camps without joining either.

OGR was, once upon a time, OSR. There's a sliding scale between 2-rail scale and 3 rail O-gauge tinplate trackers. Where you are along that continuum is up to you.

This post couldn't be further from the truth.  There are a lot of rash generalizations that are simply wrong.  Maintenance is the same since it is mostly the same manufacturers who make a bulk of the 2 and 3 rail product.  It is simply a question of what someone enjoys in this vast big umbrella of model and toy trains.  I do not personally see magic about postwar Lionel Trains.  Never have and never will.  However I have lots for respect for fellow TCA members and friends who have spent a lifetime collecting and operating Lionel.     

However the post is correct in one manner, my first set was Tyco.

Modeling in 2 and 3 rail O there are reasons to enjoy both.  Am I having fun?  42 years of continuously playing with trains in HO, N, O and standard gauge might be a clue that is all fun and I'm not even 50 yet. 

Regardless, this forum is about modelers who enjoy prototypical realism.  Why make false judgements about others who model differently?  

Jonathan

 

Burlington Bill.  Seems to me model railroading in general and O scale in particular plays out something like the old Barnum and Bailey 3 ring circus.  Lots of different types of acts in the rings and all around the sides all doing their thing appealing to a variety of interests.  Like the circus there's something enjoyable for everyone no matter which scale and number of tracks.  So why not just sit back and enjoy the variety various modelers bring your way?  Huh?

I regret that I do have one issue with what you said.    I think you're totally wrong above on the relative reliability between 3RS and 0 scale 2 rail.  Until 2012 I was a 3 rail scale guy using Atlas O 3 rail track and Lionel Legacy, TMCC and MTH DCS.  In 2012 re-using only the benchwork sub structure I completely re-did my layout and switched to 2 rail 0 scale using Atlas O 2 rail track and a major brand DCS system.  Five years later I can objectively say that both both layouts were/are equally reliable in all categories.   I feel compelled to say your wrong because I think there are a lot of guys out there who would really like to switch to 0 scale 2 rail but they hear guys like you and it discourages them from switching.  I never looked back and am really happy.  I still greatly enjoy my friends' 3RS layouts and greatly admire their modelling abilities and they seem to enjoy mine.  Same for our HO buddies.  It's all good -- like the circus.  

Burlington Bill.  Seems to me model railroading in general and O scale in particular plays out something like the old Barnum and Bailey 3 ring circus.  Lots of different types of acts in the rings and all around the sides all doing their thing appealing to a variety of interests.  Like the circus there's something enjoyable for everyone no matter which scale and number of tracks.  So why not just sit back and enjoy the variety various modelers bring your way?  Huh?

I think you're totally wrong above on the relative reliability between 3RS and 0 scale 2 rail.  Until 2012 I was a 3 rail scale guy using Atlas O 3 rail track and Lionel Legacy, TMCC and MTH DCS.  In 2012 re-using only the benchwork sub structure I completely re-did my layout and switched to 2 rail 0 scale using Atlas O 2 rail track and a major brand DCS system.  Five years later I can objectively say that both both layouts were/are equally reliable in all categories.   I feel compelled to say your wrong because I think there are a lot of guys out there who would really like to switch to 0 scale 2 rail but they hear guys like you and it discourages them from switching.  I never looked back and am really happy.  I still greatly enjoy my friends' 3RS layouts and greatly admire their modelling abilities and they seem to enjoy mine.  Same for our HO buddies.  It's all good -- like the circus.  

I have a huge scale 3 rail collection and have built a pretty large layout that runs primarily scale 3 rail although it's a hybrid toy train layout with opportunity for operation but gets the loop running in full effect. I love my 3 Rail stuff and I love running our layout. I flip that switch, grab a remote and bring that 58 foot by 16 foot behemoth of a layout to life and the worlds shrinks to 1/48 scale with the third rail powering the fun. But there are certain things about 3 rail that drive me nuts and push me towards 2 rail. Mostly it's the track and the compromises to the model to make em 3 rail. If I'm going to get all this nice 3 rail scale stuff, why not go all in and do it in 2 rail and get rid of all those silly compromises

I can't believe this discussion or argument, 3 rail scale is as it is described. Look at Norm's layout. I've seen very few layouts two or three rail that rival it for ambience, scenery and operations. Look at laid off Sick's layout, very very good. I've invested a lot of time on custom 3 rail track and making my locomotives scale, but it is for my enjoyment, my pleasure and my time as is everyone else who participates in this hobby. I just like it all when it is well done.

Ron, I've thought about doing the custom 3 rail track too. I love the 3 rail and I love the scale equipment. There's some beautiful 3 rail layouts out there. I've just deciding that if I'm going to eliminate the compromises of the 18" tall rail, the compromises to the model, I might as well get rid of that center rail as well. 

Matt,

That is the same place I've arrived, I've just had a hard time finding the time to implement the layout portion.  Been slowly collecting the equipment since 2012, but need to find the time and figure out how to fit a 2 rail layout into my space.  I do so hate duck unders and all the 2R is roughly mid 50's NY&LB based - CNJ / PRR.  I think I can get away with an 48" radius on the inside track.  That might work.  And since it is a commuter road, It will be a loop with two mainlines like the real road with the various turnouts that served some of the industries along the way on the minimal freight service the PRR and CNJ provided. 

I picked up an old Brass Alco NE5 New Haven caboose at a show a many years ago for $50.00 and it is gorgeous.  The scale flanges sold me. 

My home 3R layout is just simple modules that were given to me.  A nice running layout, but nothing special in terms of the true art of model railroading.  Since I won't be able to build what I want for a while, my 3R club has a wonderful scale oriented layout that is very enjoyable regardless of how many rails it has.  It is not Kadee friendly though.  I've dropped a few too many passengers at prior to their destinations in the dips.  

Jonathan

 

I've got designs on an around the basement dual track main that runs on a shelf about 42 inches hit or so with a few industries here and there and a small yard at one end of the basement but I plan on buying another property in a few years so maybe I won't even get there. My 2 Rail collection is in its infancy. I got some locos on order and a GGD 37 Super Chief I got off Richard plusc a few Atlas freight cars. I've got the Twin Cities Model Railroad Museum I can go run my 2 Rail at so I'll work with that for now but I've got plans to convert my 3rd Rail diesels all over to 2 rail eventually 

My 2-rail layout has been operating reliably for almost 20 years without any problems related to the track or switches. All freight cars are fitted with Intermountain wheelsets riding in Athearn trucks, which don't require lubrication. I don't think I've ever had a Kadee coupler fail, and the worst mechanical problem in recent years was a loose eccentric rod that fell down on the ballast struck and stopped the engine because the small screw holding it to the eccentric crank had fallen out. Fortunately, I located the screw a few feet down the line and was able to put it back in place and secure it with a tiny drop of Loc-Tite. This was on a Sunset/3rd Rail model, so the same thing could have happened with a 3-rail version. Of course the engines need a little oil and grease from time to time, just as their 3-rail cousins do. 

GG1 4877 posted:
BurlingtonBill posted:
Bob Delbridge posted:

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

I've seen the Lash layout AND I have seen even larger 2-rail O layouts. Both are fabulous. Tony's COULD be operated point-to-point, with most of the operator's time being spent switching out hopper cars by that fabulous coal mine. The last giant 2-rail O layout I saw was being run in a giant loop (although many trains were being run via DCC which somewhat disguised that fact.) 

Two-rail scale O looks fabulous. It really does. The dirty little secret is that the track and turnouts need MUCH MORE attention to keep things operating well. Do you want to spend a big portion of your time troubleshooting and doing track maintenance, or running trains?

The 2-railers will NEVER "like" us monster-claw-coupler guys completely. Let's face it: most 3-rail OPERATORS are round-robin "loop-runners." Many of the 2-railers attempt 100% proto operating. Some of the ones I've met ARE elitists, employing VERY expensive brass models (we have elitists in our camp too, though I'd NEVER include Tony in that camp.) Are they having fun yet? Sometimes it's hard to tell.

Actually,I'd generalize by saying that most of the 2-railers I've met are HO-modelers with poorer eyesight now, or non-compromising prototypers who will never understand "the magic of Lionel trains." Maybe they started life with a Lionel under the tree, but that was centuries ago--if they'll even admit it. (More likely, it was a Tyco HO set.)

I personally can appreciate both camps without joining either.

OGR was, once upon a time, OSR. There's a sliding scale between 2-rail scale and 3 rail O-gauge tinplate trackers. Where you are along that continuum is up to you.

This post couldn't be further from the truth.  There are a lot of rash generalizations that are simply wrong.  Maintenance is the same since it is mostly the same manufacturers who make a bulk of the 2 and 3 rail product.  It is simply a question of what someone enjoys in this vast big umbrella of model and toy trains.  I do not personally see magic about postwar Lionel Trains.  Never have and never will.  However I have lots for respect for fellow TCA members and friends who have spent a lifetime collecting and operating Lionel.     

However the post is correct in one manner, my first set was Tyco.

Modeling in 2 and 3 rail O there are reasons to enjoy both.  Am I having fun?  42 years of continuously playing with trains in HO, N, O and standard gauge might be a clue that is all fun and I'm not even 50 yet. 

Regardless, this forum is about modelers who enjoy prototypical realism.  Why make false judgements about others who model differently?  

Sorry Jon, I respectfully disagree. Electrical contact with a smaller railhead, plus one less, to begin with, IS a problem for some pretty large 2-rail layouts I have been around. The DCC signal peters out pretty easily if the rails aren't fed more often then most of us 3-rail guys usually do with our track feeders. The motors on a lot of 2-rail equipment can be more delicate.

There are other issues I won't mention. On one very big layout, the MTH engines (modern ones that came out in 2-rail, NOT modified 3-R engines) seemed to be some of the most reliable.

Go back and re-read my post. I was careful to compliment both camps, but there ARE differences and I think it's naive at best to expect the dyed-in-the-wool modeler to completely respect how most satisfied 3-railers operate. Remember, I was responding to a comment by Bob D. that was being somewhat critical of earlier attempts at defining "3-rail scale."

To wit: "I've got a DVD showing his {Lash's] 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..." 

Austin Bill posted:

Burlington Bill.  Seems to me model railroading in general and O scale in particular plays out something like the old Barnum and Bailey 3 ring circus.  Lots of different types of acts in the rings and all around the sides all doing their thing appealing to a variety of interests.  Like the circus there's something enjoyable for everyone no matter which scale and number of tracks.  So why not just sit back and enjoy the variety various modelers bring your way?  Huh?

I think you're totally wrong above on the relative reliability between 3RS and 0 scale 2 rail.  Until 2012 I was a 3 rail scale guy using Atlas O 3 rail track and Lionel Legacy, TMCC and MTH DCS.  In 2012 re-using only the benchwork sub structure I completely re-did my layout and switched to 2 rail 0 scale using Atlas O 2 rail track and a major brand DCS system.  Five years later I can objectively say that both both layouts were/are equally reliable in all categories.   I feel compelled to say your wrong because I think there are a lot of guys out there who would really like to switch to 0 scale 2 rail but they hear guys like you and it discourages them from switching.  I never looked back and am really happy.  I still greatly enjoy my friends' 3RS layouts and greatly admire their modelling abilities and they seem to enjoy mine.  Same for our HO buddies.  It's all good -- like the circus.  

I'm glad that you are happy. I agree that Atlas track is superb and the differences are narrowing to a degree. As I said, I really like the look of the 2-rail layouts I've seen. They are beautiful and if you come to feel that it's time to switch over, great. There are more choices now in the 3-rail world than ever before, that's for sure. I just have too much invested in 3-R and I'm too old to switch over myself. I don't want to be crawling underneath my 2-R layout when I'm 85 !

Bill, I disagree, with the exception of high end brass models most production 2 rail Models these days have the same drive as the 3 rail. The motors are no different. The difference is the control system and DCC has different wiring requirements than TMCC/Legacy or DCS. DCC is a much better system in my opinion and is designed to follow a standard, is universally compatible and specifically suited to running large to very large model railroads. When building large layouts there are certain criteria that need to be met for either 2 rail or 3 rail and wiring is complicated on either camp. I do not think that a smaller rail profile has anything to do with conductivity or current flow and it most certainly does not have any mechanical deficiencies. Track is track and if you do it right it'll be trouble free for life, do it wrong and you'll wish you took the time to do it right

Ted Hikel posted:

Show us some realistic trains and make the eye the judge. I enjoy these types of trains just like many of us do.

 

I'll second that sentiment too.

 

There are a bunch of talented people that I hope to see post here because I would like to learn from what they are doing and I think that many others could also take away new ideas from some of the most creative people and layouts in the hobby.

 

I don't know if anyone else here has seen Tony Lash's layout in person.  I was able to get to see it first hand on an OGR tour a couple of years ago.  Some elements of the layout were out of the best of the toy train tradition.  And other elements rank among the best I have seen from a prototype modeling perspective.  The large coal mine, power plant and rail to water transloading facility gave all those N&W hoppers a reason to be or, as I heard Ross Custom Switches Steve Brenneisen put it, made the layout a model transportation system.  If Mr. Lash would like to post here I'd love it!

 

I have also learned from operating at Pat Marinari's layout.  Pat had a fully kadee equipped roster on his layout but his diesels had, Oh the Horror, swinging pilots.  Anyone in any scale could learn from what Pat is doing for prototypical operations.  And we here could benefit from his knowledge on coupler conversion on 3 rail O rolling stock.  Anyone who saw a swinging pilot in a photo from Pat's layout and complained about it would really be silly and missing out.

 

I am really glad to see that Norm Charbonneau is interested in posting here.  He is doing some of the best modeling in any scale. 

 

If anyone here hangs a big emphasis on any one element of modeling and a post by someone else doesn't contain enough of you favorite thing just look at what is there.  You know, that "glass half full" kind of attitude.  Or, from a modeling viewpoint, if weathering is a high priority for you and someone else posts photos of unweathered models just think of them as a can of krylon primer away from being just your style.

Ted, I absolutely LOVE what you said. My "sin" was not starting at the top of this topic and slogging thru all that was said up to your post. You NAILED it.

OGR started from OSR and back in that day there were far fewer 2-railers out there. When it became "OGR," you should have heard the squawking! I have loved, from that day forward, what Myron (and now Rich et al.) in guiding the 3R community towards more realism.

Overall, the way I view it is as a continuum with "O27" at one end and pure 2-rail O (weathering, scale wheels, couplers, fixed pilots, DCC, the whole 9 yards) at the other. Where you are along that line is up to you. I have seen the Lash layout and consider it prototypical to a huge degree. He's happy with it and I would be as well. There is no such thing as "perfection" when it comes to a railroad!

Allan Miller posted:
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.

So, Allan, if I may be so bold, why hasn't someone started a 3-R S.I.G. under the NMRA umbrella? Have there been past attempts that have failed? I honestly don't know...

Hmm, interesting dialog going on here. To me, 3 rail scale would be exactly as already stated...getting as much scale detail as possible within the scope of using 3 rail track/trains. What is so tough about that?

For me, trains started under the Christmas tree like I am sure they did for most everybody here. Lionel, Tyco and an Aurora postage stamp set. I believe in that order for me and then it just kept on going. Now 52, I have built in N scale, HO scale and G scale in the garden. I've messed around with a little live steam and done a very small O scale 3 rail layout.

I am now planning to build an O scale layout in my office/man cave. For me, I love scale, as close as I can get, but I also have financial and space limitations like most of us probably do. Oddly enough, I have my heart set on the MTH line of AEM-7's. They don't come with the ability to easily go from 3 rail to 2 rail like a lot of the company's other offerings do. With the factors at play in making everything work in 2 rail, I have decided to just stick with 3 rail. So for me, it comes down to compromise and practicality. Yes, part of me wants to go 2 rail scale, but reality tells me that for what I want to accomplish it will be a more practical road to go 3 rail scale....

Look forward to sharing with everybody.

-Todd 

You  do  the  best  you  can  with  what  you  have. I'm  trying  to  do  realistic  scenery  on  my  new  layout(and  I  think  you  can  kitbash   and  weather  Plasticville). I'm  trying  to  have  prototypical  consists and  correct  regional  and  era  consists  running  together. Don't  run  the  N&W  746 J  with  the  Amtrak  Genesis  nor  have  the  Santa Fe 2353  pulling   articulated  CSX  auto  loader  cars.  As  for  things  like  swinging  pilots,  remember  our  sharp  curves:  we  need  stuff  like  that. OGR  ran  an  article  several  years  ago  about  if  we  had  our  curves  actually  to  scale  on  what  the  12"  to  the  foot  trains  did, our  urban  trolleys  would  be  O88, our  branch  lines  might  be  O180,  and  our  main  lines  might  be  something  like  O360.  So  we  have  to  have  something  that  would  fit  in  a  house  smaller  than  Jerryworld   in  Arlington, Texas. 

Mike

3 Rail Scale

Hmmmmmmmm.....the term is an oxymoron to begin with.  Body mounted scale couplers, scale wheels, weathering, etc.?  And yet you still have a third rail?  It all depends on how realistic one wants their equipment to be.  How can someone look down their nose at another person who has scale size and detailed trains  with “lobster claw” couplers when they still operate with three rails??  I myself  have come to like the scale sized and proportioned freight and passenger cars and locomotives.    I live with the “lobster claw“ couplers and the third rail.    It is all a matter of personal choice .  And I still appreciate Post-War and Pre-War tinplate trains.

Bob Schulz 

"No I am not PLAYING Dear, I am running a railroad!!"

We've been through that discussion way too many times over the last 11 years I've been on this forum.  Why criticize someone for enjoying the hobby simply because it's not how you enjoy it?  That is the true oxymoron. 

 

Jonathan

 

BurlingtonBill posted:

So, Allan, if I may be so bold, why hasn't someone started a 3-R S.I.G. under the NMRA umbrella? Have there been past attempts that have failed? I honestly don't know...

I really can't answer that question. I'm an NMRA Life Member and have long been involved in multiple scales: Z, N, HO, O, On30, and Large Scale, so my interests are sufficiently varied to maintain my interest and involvement in the NMRA or just about any other group. I son'tsee any particular reason why there couln't be a 3RS SIG in the lineup. Perhaps everyone is sitting back waiting for someone else to go to the trouble to get the ball rolling.

Our readers will see a superb example of what "3-rail Scale" is in our upcoming October issue (Run 301). If that one isn't 3-rail Scale, I don't know what is.

Allan Miller posted:
BurlingtonBill posted:

So, Allan, if I may be so bold, why hasn't someone started a 3-R S.I.G. under the NMRA umbrella? Have there been past attempts that have failed? I honestly don't know...

I really can't answer that question. I'm an NMRA Life Member and have long been involved in multiple scales: Z, N, HO, O, On30, and Large Scale, so my interests are sufficiently varied to maintain my interest and involvement in the NMRA or just about any other group. I son'tsee any particular reason why there couln't be a 3RS SIG in the lineup. Perhaps everyone is sitting back waiting for someone else to go to the trouble to get the ball rolling.

Our readers will see a superb example of what "3-rail Scale" is in our upcoming October issue (Run 301). If that one isn't 3-rail Scale, I don't know what is.

My opinion is; the NMRA has excellent "standards" for 2-Rail O SCALE, and most/many of those recommended standards can also be used by us 3-Rail SCALE modelers. However, that said, one of the biggest problems in the 3-Rail hobby is, neither Lionel nor MTH make any attempt for follow "standards", let alone NMRA "standards"! Only Sunset/3rd Rail/Golden Gate Depot and Atlas tend to follow O SCALE "standards".

Cobrabob posted:

I agree with Jonathan Peiffer, we should all just do it our own way and enjoy our hobby.

It's too great a hobby not to enjoy!  I had fun with 3RS for a while.  If I could get my home modular layout set up again, It runs nice out the outside loop, pulling the slack out of a string of Kadee coupler equipped cars sounds like the real thing and no digital circuit is required! 

However, now I'm having more fun getting into 2 rail O.  However, that's just me.  I like my small collections of tinplate, HO and N as well.  The only one that doesn't do it for me is post-war Lionel.  Not my thing, but I have many, many friends who love it and I respect their interests.  I've learned a lot about it over the years and do have a 2332 and 773 in my collection just because. 

Jonathan

 

Hot Water posted:

My opinion is; the NMRA has excellent "standards" for 2-Rail O SCALE, and most/many of those recommended standards can also be used by us 3-Rail SCALE modelers. However, that said, one of the biggest problems in the 3-Rail hobby is, neither Lionel nor MTH make any attempt for follow "standards", let alone NMRA "standards"! Only Sunset/3rd Rail/Golden Gate Depot and Atlas tend to follow O SCALE "standards".

As I recall, there has never been really a 3 rail NMRA standard for the very reason you list.  Most manufacturers have their own standards in 3 rail. 

I agree that the NMRA 2 rail standards gauge is very useful for 3 rail scale O.  That and the Kadee coupler height gauge.  I'd be lost without that one!

_IGP9426

Jonathan

 

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GG1 4877 posted:

We've been through that discussion way too many times over the last 11 years I've been on this forum.  Why criticize someone for enjoying the hobby simply because it's not how you enjoy it?  That is the true oxymoron. 

 

I agree with Jonathan ( GG1 4877 ) it matters not  how you run your trains or how you do it. If you enjoy what your doing then keep doing it and not somebody else's version on how they think you should do it! 

Above all, have fun,

Dave

Cobrabob posted:
How can someone look down their nose at another person who has scale size and detailed trains  with “lobster claw” couplers when they still operate with three rails??

Bob Schulz 

Some of that goes on in S scale, too.  And there's no third rail to deal with...

Rusty

I have seen many topics of discussion in this regard and my question is are we really having this discussion on this FORUM OF BROTHERHOOD?!

I think it is pretty sad that in a hobby that should be fun we have managed to create division. I get on Youtube and see modelers of other scales just trash 3 Rail posts. It's sad to see it there but I thought that in this forum that kind of division would not happen.

I have seen more toy-like layouts to layouts that I swear are near the tracks I just crossed in my car and seen them done well. That's the beauty of the hobby. When a man or women expresses themselves in this hobby that's just it, their expression. Who are any of us to knock, criticize, discriminate, or down right just be ugly about the creativity of a fellow model railroader and the bigger question is why would we want to? It really takes the fun out of this great hobby and it saddens me that we have an entire thread, that I don't believe was intended to be this way, devoted to it. 

Everyone please understand that words can be hurtful and this hobby is a great one and there is no room to be that way. There is so much we have to deal with in the real world and now apparently it has trickled its way into the little worlds we have created in our layouts.

Think of the men and women who have created a layout based on the toy trains they remember as a child. That layout brings back not only memories of their youth but memories of the people in their lives who have passed on. Think of the men and women who have created that fine scaled layout that rivals the real thing because that was the one thing they could say they are proud of and shows that they can do something worthy of praise. For both extremes it took a lot of time and heart to create what ultimately will be a place of fellowship, entertainment, reflection, and yes solace. So yes, words and comments can hurt. 

I am not saying that we all should not have preferences, yeah sure, but our preferences should not have to be knocked or criticized because we are not doing something the way our colleagues would. 

I may be reading into this more than I should but when you're passionate about something emotion is a part of that passion. I come to this site daily because it makes me happy. The variety, the pride, the fellowship, and the encouragement is of the highest caliber. This is the first time I have come in here and not felt that way and have felt a negative feeling that I thought I left out there in this cold world.

Anyways, who am I? That's just my 2 cents worth. Everyone keep enjoying trains the way you like and as long as you get enjoyment out of it, that is ultimately what matters. 

Dave

3-rail scale involves a lot of things - Kadee type couplers, fixed pilots, full length handrails, scale fuel tanks, just to mention a few. Trying to get the realism factor from every angle, including scale looking track ( not Lionel tinplate type with 3 ties). This is why this forum 3RS was formed.  It has nothing to do with limited participants but a place for those who PREFER these things mentioned. 

I personally dislike lobster couplers, swinging pilots, short body mounted handrails and tinplate track. It doesn't mean there's anything wrong with those things, it's just not for me. 

Heres a pic of a SD70ACe for 3RS and some modified MTH coalporters heavily modified including different bottoms, modified truck placement scale 36" wheels, etc. I like these cars a bunch compared to stock MTH coalporters which is how they arrived originally. Also note the real coal loads, not the plastic loads these cars come with. Then the mods took place on the SD70ACe which had underframe details added, custom cab shades made, and an Overland brass GPS unit added on the roof. 

Still much to do- brake line hoses, lightbweathering, etc. 

IMG_0605IMG_0367

Jeff Sohn

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I tried to accept the swinging pilots and lobster claw couplers, but when I saw Kadees could be used I didn't hesitate to make the change.  Reading where folks super glued or zip tied their couplers together to get them to  work made no sense to me.

I even went from conventional to DCS/TMCC, but the "atmosphere" surrounding both systems prompted me to look for an alternative.  I've always been interested in RC and when I realized I could run a heavy O scale engine/train off battery power that's all it took.  No sound yet (except for my 2 engines using the BlueRail board) but all engines run around the layout just fine.

So...I've gone from 3-rail to 3RS and now to BPRC on 2-rail code 148 track, still using hi-rail wheels.  I don't know what to call what I have, the only thing keeping it from being entirely 2-rail scale are the hi-rail wheels, the center rail and pickup rollers are long gone from the layout.

Whatever it is I'm blaming folks like the late Ed Reutling, Martin Brechbiel, Bob Turner, and several others.

Hey...they just look better with Kadees!!!

MODELING SOUTHEAST VIRGINIA

4+ years and STILL Having A Blast Running BPRC

Reading these posts makes me wonder if it is evolution in this hobby that makes us strive for high rail. I want to stay where I am in the hobby now. I really don’t want to evolve I’m thinking. Just enjoying my layout and learning new things. I evolved in another hobby and lost the drive to partake in it anymore. In many ways I think it has to happen, but I’m not going to rush it. So I still enjoy tasteful layouts, and expect to see 75 foot street lamps and 50 foot crossings. My two cents. 

John Kerr 063018 posted:

Reading these posts makes me wonder if it is evolution in this hobby that makes us strive for high rail. I want to stay where I am in the hobby now. I really don’t want to evolve I’m thinking. Just enjoying my layout and learning new things. I evolved in another hobby and lost the drive to partake in it anymore. In many ways I think it has to happen, but I’m not going to rush it. So I still enjoy tasteful layouts, and expect to see 75 foot street lamps and 50 foot crossings. My two cents. 

Evolution in the hobby has to be inevitable, otherwise we'd still be regulating speed by screwing and unscrewing light bulbs...

Without a doubt, had not the hobby evolved beyond the post war tooling and technology, O wouldn't be enjoying the popularity it is today.  Had the 3-Rail Scale movement been in force 35 years ago, it would have been a valid alternative for me when I switched out of HO. (I went into S Scale...) 

Rusty

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