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Discussion Starter #1
If I have an HO scale car that is 2 inches high, how many feet in real life is that equal to ? Need to figure on the height for an overpass in inches....

Any assistance appreciated
 

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HO is 1:87 so 2” would be 174” or 14.5 feet. If you want to determine overpass height, I would check NMRA standards and recommend practices. Here are NMRA clearance diagrams.

 

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Multiply your car dimensions by 87. Since ho is 1:87. That result will be in real world inches. Then divide by 12 as there are 12 inches in a foot. So it's a tall car. 14 ft tall and change.

2" x 87 = 174"...

174" / 12" = 14.5' in real life.

But like a 20' overpass is close to 2.75" in ho scale... And that's in the ballpark of some over passes I think.
 

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You may not need to convert anything. The car is 2" tall. Track and roadbed perhaps 1/2" total. So make your overpass 3" above the layout table.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Actually the "car" was a semi tractor trailer cab, talk about poor choice of words....but thanks for the breakdown. The overpass actually will hold the track above the road.
 

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The scale car is what counts, so use the actual height...ITS actual height. But there's more to this. Don't forget to include the height between the nether rails and the bottom of whatever it is passing under. Further, think a bit ahead: I had no idea I would acquire a Trix GG1 with its pantograph. Well, I did get one, and darned if I didn't have to run it with the pantographs down because they simply would not enter my tunnel portals. Even a CPR wooden caboose, with it's very high stove stack, got jammed inside a low section of my tunnel.

My minimum height, and that's without running any double-stacks in the modern era, is 4.25". With that clearance, my GG1 with pantograph lifted will scoot under the obstacle overhead.
 

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One of the most important tools for a modeller is a scale ruler.

You measure the real object in feet and inches, then using the scale ruler
you see feet and inches in the scale of your choice. No math
calculations needed.

There are several models available, here's one from Walther's.

541947


Don
 

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Not to side track this post, but. The Silverliner MU's, in tunnels the pantograph follows the wire which is much lower. The pantograph lowers so close to the roof that sometimes the voltage would jump to the roof, a bouncy ride or wire defect could cause it. These are some of the same tunnels the GG 1 used.
 
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