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    • March 25, 2019 2:18 AM EDT
    • It all depends on the particular aesthetic you're looking to model. You know--because you operate on the Woodland Railway with my old equipment--that I started out modeling 1:24. No, it's not 36" gauge, but I'm used to that particular aesthetic in that particular environment. I wasn't modeling a specific 36" gauge railroad, so the scale/gauge thing wasn't all that important to me. That's what LGB, Kalamazoo, Delton, and Bachmann were making, so that's what ran. We were modeling the Woodland Railway, which was narrow gauge, but not specifically 36" gauge. No one looks at the equipment running on the Woodland Railway and thinks anything is "off" about the scale or gauge. The key is to make sure everything is to a consistent scale--the trains, people, and buildings. 

       

      Ken Brunt Photo

       

      (As an aside, this switch complex at Woodland Junction has been removed, as the double slip and 3-way switches had become too damaged to be repairable. Hey, they lasted 34 years! They've been replaced with LGB's R5 switches, simplifying--and hopefully improving--the flow of trains through the junction. We also re-laid the track at Hemlock Hills to introduce a gravity-fed runaround to the coal tipple and also re-laid Tall Oaks as the growing tree roots had made two of the tracks impassable. I'll post more on that later.)  

       

      Even when I settled on modeling the East Broad Top once I got out of college and began building my own line in upstate NY, I stuck with 1:24. This was still before 1:20 became popular, so most everybody who was doing narrow gauge was just fine and dandy using 1:24 and 1:22.5.

       

      It wasn't until I moved to Colorado that I switched to 1:20.3. The reason was aesthetic. By that time, I had buried myself in EBT lore, and the "look" of the prototype EBT equipment had become second nature to me. When I looked at the 1:24 models of the cars, it was obvious to me that the rails were too far apart, especially on the passenger cars and larger equipment. The 1:20.3 bug was just beginning to take hold, and I was in a position to completely start over anyway, so that's what I did. Ironically, I'm modeling the EBT c. 1910, when much of the equipment they were running was the low-capacity stuff from the 1870s and 1880s--modeled quite accurately using Delton, Bachmann, and LGB equipment. Go figure...

       

       

      Later,

       

      K

    • March 23, 2019 5:31 PM EDT
    • Steve Featherkile said:

      1:24 on 45mm track gives you a scale 42 inch track gauge.  About the only place that used 42 inch gauge track is Australia.  That said, 1/2 inch scale (1:24) sure makes the calculations easy when you start rolling  building your own stuff.  I have three 1:24 scale locomotives and no 1:24 cars.  I pull whatever with those locos, and it looks fine.  I'd say make the switch, if it makes you happy.

      Steve one of my accounts makes mining equipment, and 42 inch gauge (3 foot 6 inches), is the most common gauge for such equipment.

       

      The railroad that I started out modeling actually ran on 40 inch gauge, so fur me, 1:24th scale was close enuff.

       

    • March 23, 2019 5:25 PM EDT
    • Heartland will be coming out with some new 1:24th scale 4-4-0s, and they sure are pretty. Also Heartland is thinking of producing their 1:24th scale coaches again. I model in 1:24th scale when I build stuff, because the math is easier.

       

      Bottom line though, its your railroad, so do whatever makes you happy. !:24th scale, gnomes and fairies, whatever you want. Its for your enjoyment, and those "purists" can just go take a walk.....

    • March 22, 2019 11:43 PM EDT
    • I expressed my opinion.

    • March 22, 2019 9:58 PM EDT
    •  

       

       

       

       

       

      NOTHING on my layout is built to scale only by eye so perhaps this helps or maybe not.  But 36" long cars can certainly turn on a 9' diameter with body mounted couplers whether they look correct or no is a matter of opinion.

       

    • March 22, 2019 8:54 PM EDT
    • Ignorance is bliss.

      I know what is goofy, that can make it harder to overlook.

      I couldn't stand the look of 8' curves under the Sierra cars, too sharp.

       

      But that is not the point, here we want you to be happy and if it works for you, Bravo!

    • March 22, 2019 7:59 PM EDT
    • John Passaro said:

         Bill, I think it takes a lot before things start looking goofy. Here, for instance, I am testing some track with a 1:20.3 scale Shay pulling some long (that was one of the points of the test) 1:32 scale passenger coaches. Now this picture looks crazy even to my eye, and I wouldn't run it on the layout ordinarily if this were not a test, not just because of the strange combination of equipment, but the Shay is about a full half a size too big for 1:24 on top of it. I make allowances some times though; for instance, I know the 1:20 shay is huge for all my buildings (1:24) and other equipment (1:24, 1:29, etc.) but the Bachmann Shay is just such a cool piece of equipment I live with all five of 'em I have.

       

        

       

       edit: there are tricks, too. Like separating 1:29 box cars and such from a 1:22 locomotive by a couple of flat cars, so the comparison isn't as easy to make.

       

       

      This is true.  I’m just happy to have stuff that runs  

       

    • March 22, 2019 6:48 PM EDT
    • John Passaro said:

       

       there are tricks, too.

       

       

      I put my 1:24 buildings back a little from the track.

      I run Bachmann Big Haulers and rolling stock.

       

      Adam

       

      Boy, Did I screw this post up

    • March 22, 2019 6:09 PM EDT
    •    Bill, I think it takes a lot before things start looking goofy. Here, for instance, I am testing some track with a 1:20.3 scale Shay pulling some long (that was one of the points of the test) 1:32 scale passenger coaches. Now this picture looks crazy even to my eye, and I wouldn't run it on the layout ordinarily if this were not a test, not just because of the strange combination of equipment, but the Shay is about a full half a size too big for 1:24 on top of it. I make allowances some times though; for instance, I know the 1:20 shay is huge for all my buildings (1:24) and other equipment (1:24, 1:29, etc.) but the Bachmann Shay is just such a cool piece of equipment I live with all five of 'em I have.

       

        

       

       edit: there are tricks, too. Like separating 1:29 box cars and such from a 1:22 locomotive by a couple of flat cars, so the comparison isn't as easy to make.

       

    • March 22, 2019 5:52 PM EDT
    • Sophie Boone said:

      My husband and I have a train garden, the garden is more significant than the trains. We don't "model" anything per se, our trains are anything from 1:29 to 1:20.3. The only convention that we follow is that within any one particular consist everything is about the same scale and looks kinda like it belongs together. We have a bunch of old Pola buildings we picked up pretty cheap and that's about it for structures. If/when we have vehicles in it they are all 1:24. When we do shows with our train club we tend to favor smaller trains like the Mack and LGB Porter that look right on squiggly, windy track layouts. Frequently we'll use a random collection of  birdhouses and 1:43 vehicles that look to be in proportion. We're not going to win any praise from purists and modelers, but the non-train people who come by the house or at train shows like it, especially the kids, and we have fun.

       

      Sophie B

      Dismal Creek Railroad

      and that's what it's all about!!!!!!

       

    • March 22, 2019 5:35 PM EDT
    • I rather like my method: do it run on my track and not fall off?  Gudnuff. 

    • March 22, 2019 3:12 PM EDT
    • Newfoundland Railway used 42" gauge...as did a lot of British built or influenced, NG railways...

    • March 23, 2019 11:12 PM EDT
    • I read this: "The Digitax prompts aren't as good as menus, but it does give me the choice of 2 or 4 digit addressing."

      as a comparison to the NCE we were talking about....

       

      Otherwise, I was not sure of why you brought up this feature standard on most better DCC systems.

       

      Anyway, yes, you need to set that bit in CV29 in order to change from short addressing to long addressing.

       

      When you used JMRI to set a long address, the JMRI system changed that bit in CV29 for you....

       

      If you read the spec, you will see that the decoder can have 3 different addresses in it, and you can select which of the 3 to use... there is a reason there is a "switch" between long and short addresses... to allow you to have 2 different addresses on your loco... for several reasons..

       

      Greg

    • March 23, 2019 5:58 PM EDT
    • Greg, I have never used an NCE system, so I don't believe I said anything about what it will and won't do.

       

      The issue was I programmed the cab number. When I read it back, it read back correctly, but the locomotive would only run on address 0003. I found out that I had to set bit 5 to 1 on another CV to turn on the 4 digit address. Once I did that, it worked. That is the only locomotive/decoder that I had to do that with.

      I had to add 32 to CV 29 so that Extended address MSB and LSB would work.

       

      The previous BLI locomotive that I programmed an address into, I used my DCC++ system with JMRI. I didn't have to go set CV 29, it just worked, just like it was supposed to.

       

      Its just odd, to me anyway, that I would have to change a separate CV to get the address to work, when the read back tells me the address is the address I programmed into it. So far I have only had to do that with my new BLI Pacific, so maybe its a BLI quirk, or its a quirk with their latest product.

    • March 21, 2019 11:53 PM EDT
    • The NCE does 2 or 4 digit, and easily, did someone tell you it didn't? you just enter the number of the loco, and then press enter.

      If it is an address that can exist in both 2 and 4 digits, you preface the number with a zero as I remember. It's really simple and then running 2 digit and 4 digit locos at the same time is easy. (we are using this language that is common, but it's actually short addresses up to 127 and long addresses from 1 to 9999)

       

      On the BLI vs Digitrax decoders, and 2 vs. 4, and more fussing I'd like to hear more, you had issues setting a BLI decoder to a long address?

       

      Greg

    • March 21, 2019 10:10 PM EDT
    • Funny. All the clubs (that use DCC) at the local train shows here use Digitrax. The NMRA Division 2, The South Hills Model Railroad Club, The S scalers, the other HO group that never has their organization name posted, and both N scale groups. Maybe its just a "Burgh thing".

       

      The Digitax prompts aren't as good as menus, but it does give me the choice of 2 or 4 digit addressing. I just don't know why the BLI decoder needed more "fussing", whereas the digitrax decodes I use, and the Bachmann "value added" sound decoder, take their 4 digit address with no problems.

    • March 21, 2019 12:21 PM EDT
    • Yep, the NCE system has the direct CV programming, but also it has nice menu-guided setups that will ask what you want for the short address, the long address, which to enable, and if you want DC mode... it handles the CVs you need (1, 17, 18, 29) nicely.

       

      As much as I needed certain features only Zimo provided, the user friendliness and the extensive help on the NCE is something I really miss. They do a great job, and it's probably the reason it is the #1 system for clubs.

       

      Greg

    • March 21, 2019 6:32 PM EDT
    • Pete Lassen said:

      I  think I would insist on them doing the spinal tap while you are out for the lift the hood and poke around to see what's happening surgery. Save some time and safe you some pain and suffering. At least it makes sense to me, save you some money, the guys that are there anyway, but , since it makes sense they will come up with a reason for not relieving that pain for a while. You need to come stay down here for a month or so, We have some world class places, like Mayo Clinic here, I would open my house while you are here and you can bring trains( and build some things while you are here, but they would have to stay here) to run.

      This not a bad idea, in fact it is very logical. Therefore it won't happen. The spinal tap people are radiologists and they do it with a flouroscope (fancy X-ray) to guide them. Unless they have a flouriscope in the operating room and can call in a radiologist to do it, I doubt it would get done. But I will ask. Its a good idea.

    • March 21, 2019 10:27 AM EDT
    • I  think I would insist on them doing the spinal tap while you are out for the lift the hood and poke around to see what's happening surgery. Save some time and safe you some pain and suffering. At least it makes sense to me, save you some money, the guys that are there anyway, but , since it makes sense they will come up with a reason for not relieving that pain for a while. You need to come stay down here for a month or so, We have some world class places, like Mayo Clinic here, I would open my house while you are here and you can bring trains( and build some things while you are here, but they would have to stay here) to run.