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-   -   Confused about size variances in O gauge? Then look here! (

eljefe 06-27-2013 01:20 AM

To answer your original question, yes the K-line track you have works just fine with Lionel tubular O27 track. I have both brands myself (plus Marx and maybe others), and they all work together no matter what decade they were made in. Just pay attention to condition if you buy used track. While most track can be returned to usable condition, sometimes it's so corroded or warped that it's not worth the effort. Yours looks practically brand new!

Also note that O and O27 are not the same thing. O27 curves form a circle 27 inches in diameter. O curves form a circle 31 inches in diameter. The two types cannot be easily mixed. Some locomotives and cars require larger diameters than O27 or they will derail. If you look at products on the Lionel or MTH websites, the minimum curve a piece can handle is specified in the description.

gunrunnerjohn 06-27-2013 10:59 AM

You should also note that the minimum curve specifications are truly minimum, and even then some of them don't actually function correctly on those curves. Specifically, I've seen the Lionel Three Truck Shay have issues on O31 and O36 track, even though it's supposed to operate on them. Also, I've noted that the Lionel 2-8-0 Consolidation won't run on O36 or O31, even though it's also specified for O31.

Keep in mind that O27 track and switches greatly limits the stuff you can run.

allienfuel 06-27-2013 11:16 AM

So the O and 027 track are the same just tighter turn radius. My 027 cars will work just fine on 0 gauge track right? Now if start to build a larger layout I could use both tracks together just as long as I stay with the 027 cars. Is there a point where I will need more power? I like the size of these 027 cars plus I already have these I would like stay with them, but if 027 limits what i can run maybe i should go with 031 or 036?

gunrunnerjohn 06-27-2013 11:20 AM

No, the O and O27 are NOT the same profile. Here's a comparison of O-scale track heights.

allienfuel 06-27-2013 11:40 AM

The cars I have will run on any 0 gauge track correct? I just need to pick one track before i start to expand.

gunrunnerjohn 06-27-2013 02:52 PM

Well, the cars you have will determine what track they'll run on. My 19" passenger cars look pretty silly on O42 track, but they will run on it. If you have some of the 23" Lionel car carriers, you better have O72 curves.

California RailFan508 07-02-2013 10:56 PM

Thanks for the info regarding the size variances between each brand. I will take note of the slight to noticeable differences in size when it comes to each brand when looking into future investments on my upcoming layout project this fall.

gunrunnerjohn 07-03-2013 09:36 AM

Keep in mind that O27 sized cars will run on any size curves, the larger stuff requires progressively larger curves to run, and many times even larger curves to look decent running.

Magne-rail 10-14-2013 04:18 PM


Originally Posted by servoguy (Post 77835)
The flanges on the prewar wheels are larger than the flanges on the post war wheels. The prewar crossings don't work well with postwar cars, and vice-versa. The crossing carry the same part number, so you have to test them. I haven't tried 022 switches.

My guess is the o22 switches should work fine with the pre-war wheel flange. :dunno:

gunrunnerjohn 10-14-2013 05:17 PM

022 switches should have no problems with pre-war stuff. They might have issues with some Marx stuff, as the drive gear on the inside of the wheels sometimes interferes with the switch.

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