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This year we are building a Christmas layout for the first time. The train is an On30. The buildings are the wife's seaside village. We like the lights under the snow from Jake's theater layout. Thank you Jake or the idea. Hope you don't mind us stealing it. There is going to be more added then what's here. When there is I'll post pictures.

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My wife and I run an on30 layout for Christmas. I have a round and round loop on the outside and a trolley that runs back and forth on an inside fork.

The crappy video below is before I added turnouts on the inside track. This table was 4x6. Last year we expanded to 4x8 by adding some 2x4s on top of the 6x4 table and dropped a whole sheet of plywood on top, creating a 3.5 inch "cubby" under the top platform to hold all the wiring, signal and turnout controls, etc.

I'll post a new pic once we get it completed for this year.

 

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Tom. Excellent. Questions: you have exactly what I am trying to get. How big is your platform. I have a 4x8 sheet of plywood on saw horses. I have one oval/circle of track running a lion chief polar express train. How do I put another track inside my existing track like you have. Is a 4x8 sheet of plywood big enough. That is why I am asking how big your platform is.
Tom. What is on30. Heard of it just don’t know what it is. I am also using fast track like in your video. Any info and help would be much appreciated. Thanks.
 

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My current layout is a 4x8 sheet of plywood, with the corners rounded off with a sabre saw. The platform in the video is 4'x6', we expanded it to 4x8 last year.

On30 is narrow gauge O scale, so simply put it's O gauge running on HO track... the 30 means 30 inches, or 2.5 feet between the rails in real life, but that's probably too much information :) O gauge matches better to the holiday village buildings, but HO track is smaller and easier to fit on a sheet of plywood, so it's the perfect compromise.

I think you could probably get 2 loops of O scale in the same space, but I'm not certain.

ADDED: I'm using HO scale ez-track. It looks like fastrack but it's HO scale.

I played around in Anyrail with the Fastrack track library, and you can fit 2 loops on a 4x8 sheet of plywood. You can use 18" curves on the outer loop and 15" on the inner loop. It's tight, but you can make it fit.
 

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Tom. You are able to get 2 loops on your 4x8 platform because the ON30 uses HO track. I had no idea it used HO track.
Tom I have know idea if I can get 2 loops on a 4x8 platform using fast track. Thanks for the info. I really appreciate it.
 

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I played around in Anyrail with the Fastrack track library, and you can fit 2 loops on a 4x8 sheet of plywood. You can use 18" curves on the outer loop and 15" on the inner loop. It's tight, but you can make it fit.

That image shows a 4x8 layout with an outside 18" curve loop and an inside 15" curve loop.
 

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ON30 is that pretty new or been around for awhile. I like lion chief and lion chief plus. They come with their own remote to control the train.
 

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I don't think On30 is new, but it's definitely a niche market and so the availability of stock is limited. I think Bachmann is the only manufacturer making stuff to sell in the US.
 

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Tom. I really did like the video of your layout. My outer loop is the polar express lion chief train. The track gets its power from an 18v wall wort it’s called. It plunged into the track and also an out let.
For the inner loop if I use another lion chief train and use the power supply it comes with that gets plugged into the wall what do I do with the wire for the outlet so it’s not in the way. Thanks.
 

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Drill a hole in the board to drop the wire down for the inside track.

When I built my board I drilled it with various size holes for different wires all over the place. Then I painted it white and sprinkled glitter on it so the base is already snow colored. We still use fake snow cloth, but the underlayment is white so it's not noticeable if it's not completely covered.

When I expanded my board size from 4'x6' to 4'x8' I built a frame out of 2x4s and screwed that between the old and new board, so now I have 2 boards separated by 2x4s, and that's where I hide all the wiring. It keeps everything off the floor and is strong enough to hold the Christmas tree in the center.
 

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Here's a picture of our layout under construction :) You can see the 2 layer boards and all the wires feed down from the top.

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Tom. I am new to trains. So I really appreciate your help. Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.
For the inner track, to be able to plug the power supply into a wall outlet you say drill a hole into the wood and run the wire under the platform over to the outlet.
Tom since I am just going to be running 2 lion chief trains for now other people have mentioned put both trains on a transformer.
Thanks again for the help.
 

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I took a look at your train, and it appears it runs on bluetooth? If that's true you may not be able to run them on the same transformer, but I don't know for sure. Certainly would be easier if you could.

You could always run an On30 track on the inside, there's no rules against it :)
 

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Hey Tom the Polar Express set I have is a ready to run lion chief set. I have no idea if it’s blue tooth or not you could be right.
You are also right for the inner track I could use ON30. since I am new and I don’t know how long you have been into trains. Just looking at different ways to expand my layout. Meaning more trains. Thanks.
 

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Here's a video, is this your train? Sorry to hi-jack the original thread, but I think this is relevant. I had trains as a kid, and I'm 57 now and just run a holiday layout, so I'm not an expert, but also not a beginner. It doesn't matter through. Expert, beginner or anything in between is fine.

 
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