Thinking of converting to 2 rail from three. Would you 2 railers help a lost 3 railer in where to purchase and why you like or don't like your track?
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Bill, there is wide variety of track and turnout options available for 2 rail O scale, and Proto48, what to use really depends on the level of detail fidelity one is seeking to achieve. For just starting out in 2 rail you'll likely want to go with O scale, going down the Proto48 rabbit hole is awesome but not for everyone.
The following link is a good starting point to begin your research
As for me, I've been building my own turnouts for as long as I recall and everything I need for that I get from Right O Way. There are a number of really nice commercially available ready to run turnout options though too. I used to use flex track for all my track work and always liked Micro Engineering's code 125 weathered flex track for O scale or Right O Way's code 125 NS weathered flex track for Proto48, but Atlas's O scale NS code 148 flex track is really nice too and very easy to work with. New ME flex track is generally stiffer to work with, especially their weathered versions, but personally I've never found that to be an issue. I hand lay all my trackwork now though so everything I need for that I get from Right O Way.
Anymore I'm not sure where the best places are to purchase Atlas and ME flex track, and O scale ready to run turnouts, but I'm sure there are others here who can chime in about that.
Mainline Hobby Supply in Blue Ridge Summit, PA, stocks both MicroEngineering and Atlas flextrack, and Atlas turnouts. I know a lot of guys hand lay track, but I’ve had great success with the MicroEngineering flextrack and am very happy with it. And I’ll give a second vote for O Scale Turnouts…they are gorgeous and operate flawlessly. That’s mostly what I use. Welcome to 2-rail!
Also try Caboose Stop Hobbies in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Good people, good inventory.
Thanks guys I will give all information a look. Can you use 2rail with three . I am converting my fleet to dead rail so the hot rail will not cause a problem. I would like to do this conversion in steps by doing new areas on my layout.
micro engineering O scale track has disappeared as they have been up for sale for a couple of years , Rumor has it that Walther's bought them. I see some o scale code 100 of theirs out there but no 125 or 148. and they don't make switches .atlas flex is nice but very expensive and sometimes hard to get as its made in china. and I have heard both good and bad about their switches. two rail O scale takes a bit more hunting for the things you need.
This is my thought. Changing out 3rail to 2rail while I rebuild my layout. That will be done in sections and will take some time to accomplish. I plan also to run dead rail engines. With that in mind can I run 3 rail Rolling stock on 2 rail ( same with engines) without any issues?
Word of caution Bill. 3 rail deep/thick flanged rolling stock does not like running through turnout frogs gauged to NMRA 2 rail standards. The problem is not the track gauge - but the back to back guard rail clearance in the area of the frog. If you are in 2 rail O scale model railroading for the long haul, I do not recommend compromising on track standards for both the reason of smooth operation and prototype appearance. Track is the foundation of our hobby - do it right from the start and you will never regret it. Check out the products of Right-O-Way for building your own turnouts. They look great at half the cost of factory made ones. Years ago there was a series of video's posted on this forum on how to lay turnouts using Right-O-Way castings. At this point they may be on Utube.
Bill, if you live within a reasonable driving distance of Strasburg, PA, I would recommend you checking out the next 2-rail show in October. There’s always track and turnouts available for sale (there was a good bit at the show today). Lots of great folks to talk with as well.
I was at Mainline earlier this week and they’ve got a good bit of both Atlas and MicroEngineering in stock. I needed quite a bit of ME track a couple of months ago. Mainline ordered it from ME, ME built them and had them to Mainline within a month.
As for your DeadRail question, I can’t speak directly to it as I use DCC, but a fellow 2-rail friend of mine used both DCC and DeadRail. He’s got a 3-rail Y6b that he uses DeadRail to operate on his layout with zero issues. However, as mentioned above, I wouldn’t run 3-rail rolling stock on 2-rail track. The deep flanges will cause issues.
Thank you for your in put. We'll I am taking this transformation very cautious. I will be asking lots of questions on how to . I would hate to have to exchange trucks with all of my 3 rail Rolling stock 😒. And to completely put 2 rail in would mean a decision to do a complete rebuild. 🤔 will have to think about that very seriously. Thanks for not pulling the punches. Ed I will look into Right-o- Way . Ryan would love to take in a show but I live in Eastern Washington where the dog sleds are slow and thank for the advice. Just one other question do any of you run dead rail?
Atlas and Microengineering are the two main flex tracks out there. You might want to buy a length of each to compare them. Atlas is a lot more flexible than ME, but ME can be easily curved with a home made jig made from a piece of 2 X 4. Try "You Tube" for that. P48 means hand laying track and modifying the gauge of ALL your engines and rolling stock. P48 is about .008 in. narrower than standard "O". Some searches on this forum might prove fruitful!
Hey Bill. If you wanted a more inexpensive way to convert your 3-rail rolling stock, you could just swap out the wheel sets with Intermountain 2-rail wheels. It would be a start. Or, just convert your favorite 15-20 pieces of rolling stock to 2-rail to begin with. You should check out Terry Terrance on YouTube. He’s got a couple of videos about getting into 2-rail and two really nice videos showing 2-rail layouts called 2-rail O Scale 2016 & 2017. Hope that helps.
Bill, I forgot to mention NWSL makes drop-in O scale, and Proto48, replacement wheel sets for a number of Atlas, Lionel and other manufacturers, rolling stock and locomotives, such as these O scale 8893-4 wheelsets for Lionel's roller bearing trucks. It's an easy conversion and the converted Lionel trucks look and function really good.
Bill, you asked about dead rail! In my opinion, THAT is the way to go. No shorts, you don't even need track. got your power right on board like the real thing. Add to that, battery packs are getting better all the time.
Just change out the wheels on your 3 rail stuff.
Most things can be found on the secondary market. Almost everything I have was acquired that way. Take your time, and enjoy the trip!
By the way, do not forget about the SEARCH feature of this forum. Click on the 3 horizontal bars at the top left of these pages. For example you could search this forum for "track", and find every time it is mentioned. Good Luck, take it slow and easy!
Just got done watching video on Right -O-way track installation. Wow did not know that existed. Again thank you everyone for your input. I really am convinced that deadrail is the way of the future. I will definitely move forward in that direction. I have ordered a battery and accessories to change out a lionchief plus NW2 Diesel . That will be the first of many. 2 rail will follow . Will need to change out my 3 rail Rolling stock that could take some time in doing. And track. That could get a little costly. On Rolling stock my thoughts are to sell and then buy used 2 rail kits and cars. Used diesels. Also planning on changing scenery. Lots to do but great time in store during the winter.
Putting the final touches on my lionchief battery power conversion. Thanks for some help from Ron045 with the hook up and videos. I would like to salvage my legacy diesels. Can I hook up battery power to them using there module or do I need to gut them and use another system?
Just got done running the lionchief on my layout. Very smooth no problems . I ran it deadrail and hot rail. My track is in need of cleaning and there was no effect on how this engine performed. Next in line is legacy NW2 this will be a complete gutting and system change using RailPro systems. I am starting to look at battery power lighting for buildings, I have a few on my layout that need attention so I think this could be a good time to see how battery power will perform .
The good news here is with the focus on battery operated cars, batteries should only get better.