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Discussion Starter #1
Hello my name is Ken aka 10-7. I'm here to pick your brains about HO scale. I'm jumping scale from N to HO do to several reasons, one being my age and eyesight the other is lower back problems. I have been modeling N scale for quite a few years. I just need to find out things like curve radi and other differences.

thank you


8,680 Posts
Welcome aboard Ken

There's a bunch of us who have made the transition
from N to HO. For some it was that old 'age' factor.
Whatever, HO is a very user friendly scale to work in.

The often suggested minimum curve radius in HO is 22"...but
even wider is recommended if you plan to run the big
modern 6 wheel truck diesels or large steamers. Many of
our folks use a 4 X 8 sheet of plywood to support their
layout. You can just barely get a 22" curve on that. But
there are many with 18" curves who run 4 wheel truck
locos easily. Big steamers and 80 ft passenger cars would not be
comfortable on 18" radius.

Since you'll be starting your HO 'from scratch', many of us would strongly
urge you to go with DCC. It is very much easier to wire and to
operate than the old DC. You don't have to be a 'techie' to
run it...if you can work a TV remote you would be a master
operator of DCC.

We hope you'll stay with us as you plan your hobby. We'll be
glad to help you in any way we can.


Railroad Tycoon
24,024 Posts
Welcome, I can see moving up because of the eyes, but the back?
How will HO trains help with that?
If you want to sell the N we have a for sale section, you must include an asking price, but you can add or best offer.
You can try to trade them here too.
Up to you.

785 Posts
Hi Ken..Welcome to HO, the scale that has everything !..
I too advise you to go DCC (digital command control [or center]. There is very little wiring in a DCC home layout far as running trains..NCE (North Coast Electronics) to me is the Coke of throttles. There are Pepsi, RC Cola, and 7UP brands. An NCE PowerCab is about $165.00...If you've no HO loco yet, purchase one good quality DCC/Sound on Board loco.. Today Bachmann makes some of the best and at decent prices if you look on ebay..If the ad does not say "Sound" or "Sound on Board" loco does not have sound (If you care about that)..Most do..Steer away from an HO starter set..They tend to have inferior quality components.
I hope you'll consider building an 'open grid' bench as opposed to the very problematic flat 4x8..There are how-tos in here, tons on YouTube, mags, books, online.. .
I personally think you should steer away from code 100 track if you're concerned with realism..c100 measures out to about 14" tall rail in the real world. All US rail is about 9" tall or less.. So c100 is 5 scale inches too tall..Go c83 or less...

Apologies Ken, if you already know all the above from being in N...🛤🌄🛤🌵
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