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I am considering switching from a HO layout to a Narrow Gauge layout and was wondering what scale would individuals recommend and why. Your thoughts would be appreciated.

Thanks,

John
 

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You don't have to change scales to change gauges. I recommend staying with HO and either add a narrow gauge line, or build from scratch. You can still use your HO structures and scenery.

I model in HO and HOm. HOm is meter gauge used in the Alps of Switzerland. HOe is narrow gauge used in Germany and Austria.

 

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HO scale probably offer the most equipment available. Probably followed by On30. After that On30? And then G scale like 1:20.3.

If you want something unusual I model 35n2: 1/35 scale, narrow gauge, two foot. In 1/35 scale HO gauge track comes out to two feet. So I use both HO and On30 mechanisms for locos and trucks for rolling stock. It means scratch building just about everything, and handlaying track. There are 1/35 scale military figures that can be modified to civilians. My locos are also BPRC: battery-powered remote control.
 

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It's unfortunate that there are not more narrow gauge modelers. Some of the equipment offered commercially is very finely detailed and runs extremely well. It ain't cheap, but I get a lot of satisfaction from watching it run.
 

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It seems, at least to me, that modeling narrow gauge has been growing over the years regardless of the scale. With narrow gauge you don't need a large amount of equipment to have a functioning railroad. Many narrow gauge lines were built for a specific purpose such as hauling ore or logs. And you have the quaintness and quirky of narrow gauge locos and rolling stock.

If you get away from the D&RGW/RGS or SR&RL one can build an interesting narrow gauge line with a handful of switches and rolling stock.

I model a fictitious two foot gauge line located in the southwest. Scenery is pretty basic needing mostly just sand and rocks. Structures are also minimal.


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