American Mainline - Views Requested

Stourbridge Lion Jul 7, 2008

  1. EMD trainman

    EMD trainman TrainBoard Member

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    There is one trend I can see being made. G scale trains may eventually be described in thier scale ratios rather than using a universal gauge letter such as G scale or Fn3 scale. I believe one reason for this is that manufacturers and people want to sperate themselves from the G scale toy world like New Brite battery operated trains. How many people have you told you model in G scale and the first thing they think of is those department store battery operated trains that little kids were palying with.

    Although the NMRA has officailly named 1:20.3 scale ratio Fn3 gauge and 1:32 scale ratio G scale, I think it's too late for them to get involved to say what gauge should be standard. As DragonfyreGT stated, they wanted nothing to do with G scale in the begining so why bother us now.

    I have noticed more manufacturers getting away from calling thier trains G scale or universalizing them as such. Both USA Trains and Aristocraft have been officially marketing thier trains as 1:29 scale ratio trains and not G scale. I seen it said somewhere on the board this is due to that fact that the NMRA doesn't recognize 1:29 scale ratio as G scale, well this may be true, I don't know neither do I care. But what I do think is that having a standard practice of labeling trains by thier scale ratios will be common place for all manufacturers and the only ones left calling themselves G scale will be the battery operated toy train manufacturers such as New Brite.

    So in my opinion, the new trend will be labeling trains by thier scale ratios and not by thier gauge, at least in G scale

    Pictures #1 & #2: USA Trains has been labeling thier products 1:29 scale ratio since the introduction of the 55ft series freight cars in 2006. They also labeled the new sd-70MAC locomotive as 1:29 scale ratio

    Pictures #3 & #4: Aristocrafts label looks a little confusing and seems to be contridicting in itself. You will notice that thier label says Gauge #1 and 1:29 scale ratio. We all now know that gauge #1 is 1:32 scale ratio. Well, if you think about it, they are really giving you the info of what track this freight car will ride on which is Gauge #1.

    I think this is another reason why stating gauge size should be dropped because you can have a gauge #1 train and Gauge #1 track. In the future we will probably see 1:32 scale ratio labels instead. This way Gauge #1 would only describe the track and thats it. MTH for example still describes thier trains as Gauge #1 instead of 1:32 scale ratio. This is probably due to the NMRA ratings which they would follow since how they are a heavy O scale manufacturer. They are still fresh to the G scale market and may eventually change the way they label thier trains one day.
     

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  2. EMD trainman

    EMD trainman TrainBoard Member

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    I don't think F and G gauge is at war. F scale people definately have thier own beliefs just like us in G scale. I think we can coincide with each other and respect and understand each others beliefs I would actually love to see F scale people post here as well since how Fn3 runs on Gauge #1 track also. I have noticed manufacturers starting to call Fn3 1:20.3 scale ratio instead of using the letter gauge.

    For those who are not familiar with F scale and thier beliefs, here is a small intro. F scale people believe that to model accurately in Narrow Gauge and Mainline gauge you need to change the track size and not the scale ratio of the train.

    In the G scale world we just change the scale ratio of the train. So when G scale people run narrow Gauge which for example would like USA Trains 1:24 scale ratio, but would still run on Gauge #1 track. Just like 1:29 scale ratio which would model a mainline gauge but again still running on Gauge #1 track. I guess the main reason why G scale people do this is the availability of commercial made products in those scale ratios.

    The F scale people change track sizes as well as the scale ratio of the train. This would better simulate running a narrow gauge train and mainline train on the same layout while being more realistic. Fn3 Gauge is 1:20.3 scale ratio which is commercially made by Accucraft and now being made more affordable by Bachmann. Fn3 runs on Gauge #1 track or 45mm. F gauge trains model mainline trains and no one that I can think of makes these comercially and I can't think of anyone commercially making the track either but could be wrong, I'm not a expert in this subject by any means. Anyway, I do believe that all F gauge mainline trains and track have to be scratch built. These trains run on 70.62 mm track. There is a club display at the East Coast Train Show every year that actually has a little bit of the F gauge , but it's mainly Fn3 gauge
     
  3. EMD trainman

    EMD trainman TrainBoard Member

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    The website Wikipedia has thier own description of what each Gauge is in relation to scale ratio which I think is confusing. Another reason the the "letter" designations should just be dropped and just use the scale ratio number to describe the train, this would at least be less confusing and more accurate.


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rail_transport_modelling_scales
     
  4. DragonFyreGT

    DragonFyreGT TrainBoard Member

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    I have one simple message for the NMRA on behalf of G-Scaler's everywhere: "Butt Out. You had your chance."
     
  5. krs

    krs TrainBoard Member

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    NMRA has stated that 1:29 will never become a "standardized scale" in the NMRA sense simply because of the scale inconsistency of rolling stock and the track.
    Simple as that.

    As to "G" - in my opinion it should stay as the scale designator for 1:22.5 scale running on 45mm track for Garden Railroads. There is just too much out there to start using the "G" designator for anything else and to use it for a range of scales as per the current NMRA proposal is a cop out.
    I distinguish between Garden Railroads and Model Railroads - for Garden Railroads operational functionality in a harsh environment is of prime importance - ie higher rail heads, deeper flanges, larger tolerance wheel & rail gauge, robust construction to operate outside in wind and weather; for Model Railroads scale accuracy and attention to detail are most important, prototypical scaled railheads and flanges, tighter tolerances for wheel & rail gauge fine detail on the rolling stock.
    The equivalent to G scale in model railroading is 2m scale - 2 scale being 1:22.5 and "m" designates meter prototype gauge, same idea as H0m or Nm which are normal model train designators.
     
  6. krs

    krs TrainBoard Member

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    I don't really see how vastly different scales, ie 1:13 to 1:29 can have the same scale letter designation. It's not that one can mix them indiscriminately.
     
  7. krs

    krs TrainBoard Member

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    I can tell you - I was into Garden Railroading when that happened.

    I assume it's well known that Aristocraft, Polk's Hobby at the time, was a major US distributor for LGB.
    When they decided to start to develop their own products, prototypes of American standard gauge, the question came up - which scale.
    If it had been the same scale as LGB, ie 1:22.5 or thereabouts, the cars would have been much bigger that the existing LGB US cars and the track gauge was way off - other option was to develop in 1:32 scale to match the LGB track gauge (which is what MTH later did), but the problem here was that the Polk didn't have deep enough pockets to introduce a complete set of engines and cars - the few cars he could produce would have been too small to look good with the existing LGB cars.
    So the decision was made to simpy scale the new Aristocraft cars (which were standard gauge prototype models) so they would be physically the same size as the LGB boxcars (which were narrow gauge models and smaller as a prototype).
    The first cars from Aristocraft were not exactly 1:29 scale, I read somewhere what their actual scale was (essentially a size match to LGB) but 1:29 was picked a short time later.
    All the other reasons for 1:29 scale you might read were "invented" later, ie 3 times H0, same as some older Lionel scale etc.
    This was simply a business decidion, nothing else.
     
  8. krs

    krs TrainBoard Member

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    I noticed that the Wiki has a few mistakes in it, but as to
    Another reason the the "letter" designations should just be dropped and just use the scale ratio number to describe the train, this would at least be less confusing and more accurate.

    One really needs two designators, the scale and the gauge just like all the smaller model trains.

    The first letter designates the sclae, ie H0 is 1:87 and the next letter or letter/number combination the gauge, ie "m" for meter gauge or "n3" for 3 foot narow gauge. If there is no letter or letter/number designator after the scale designator, the assumption is that the gauge is standard gauge.

    Tere was a proposal many years ago by Peter Prichard discussed at length on LSOL before it folded and became subscription only to show the scale as 1:29 (or whatever it was) and the gauge in millimeters below that, ie 45mm.
    Aristocraft picked that up for a while, I don't think USA Trains ever did and I know that LGB never did - so it eventually pretty much died.
    In Europe, 1:22.5 scale on standard gauge track, ie 64mm, is quite popular - the clubs there run scale 2 (ie 1:22.5) as stanbdard gauge, meter gauge (1:22.5 on 45mm track) and narrow gauge (1:22.5 scale on 32 mm track) on the same layout.
    Looks fantastic, just like in real life where the scale is always the same (ie 1:1) and the track gauge varies. Especially neat for sections where they use three rail track - standard gauge and Meter gauge combined and then a combination three-rail switch.
    Railroading at it's finest with that complex trackwork.
     
  9. GovB

    GovB TrainBoard Member

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    I can't remember which manufacturer I first saw as a child, but when I saw how big they were I decided that that's what I wanted. What I liked was the size, detail and realism I saw. Scale didn't enter my mind till later. Now I have a mixture of 1:24, 1:22.5 and 1:20.3 from Delton, Kalamazoo, LGB, USAT and Bachmann. They all seem to be happy just running together. When I look at old photos of narrow gauge consists, the rolling stock is of all different shapes and sizes so I don't really think about scale. To me it's a hobby that is an escape from reality, where the only rules that apply are mine. It takes me back to when I was a child where scale didn't enter my mind.



    Happy Railroading! GovB
     
  10. DragonFyreGT

    DragonFyreGT TrainBoard Member

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    Yes but "G" scale in a sense was started by LGB but they never had a "scale" designation.
     
  11. EMD trainman

    EMD trainman TrainBoard Member

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    Yes, I believe you are talking about the Aristocraft Delton Series which is 1:24 scale ratio. The USA Trains American series are also 1:24 scale ratio, both of which are the same size as the LGB woodside freight cars. I always said it was hard to tell the difference between the LGB woodside reefer car and the USA Trains woodside reefer car, it looks like they both came out of the same mold they are so close alike. 1:24 scale was pretty popular between USA Trains, Charle Ro, Aristocraft, Delton, Kalamazoo, Hartland Locomotive Works, I not sure what MDC was, t can't remember if it was 1:32 or 1:24, I'm sure someone on the board will remind me. But yeah. even 1:24 dropped off on popularity.

    USA Trains didn't come out with the 1:29 scale ratio series until way later after Aristocraft I believe anyway which was around 1999 when USA Trains announced the all new Ultimate series and the Ultimate series started to hit the market in 2000 with the F3 locomotives and 40ft box cars and 40ft reefer cars.

    It's funny you mention rail size and wheel profile size. The rivet counters mainly say that running code 250 rail is more correct for 1:29 scale ratio. Also I see many complaints over and over again about the over deep wheel flanges on 1:29 scale equipment from Garden Railways Magazine. You are right about 1:29 scale ratio, it isn't the most accurate scale to ratio, but if won't be recognaized as G scale or wikedia calls it Gauge #2, why worry about what is the most correct rail to run it on or what wheel profile is most correct? That part is funny.

    1:29 scale ratio trains are meant for one thing to buy them commercially, have fun with them and just run them. Who really cares about the rest in reality. If I wanted accurate trains I would be buying those custom brass and stainless trains and just sit them o the shelf. Most of us are train runners and 1:29 scale ratio is perfect for that, take it out of the box and go. Also on the other hand we didn't pay big "Brass" money for them either . Just my opinion of course.
     
  12. EMD trainman

    EMD trainman TrainBoard Member

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    Looks like the clubs in Europe are doing what the F scale people are doing here, changing track size to distuigish the difference between narrow gauge and mainline trains. I have seen this 3 rail set up used at the Large Scale Train show in York PA at a club display. They pretty much run Fn3 trains, but there is a small section on the display where there is F scale trains and then they have 3 rail to go from narrow gauge to mainline. I can't imagine this on a much larger scale as yes the track work looks complex.

    I found a few close up pics of this layout I took
     

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  13. EMD trainman

    EMD trainman TrainBoard Member

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    Without getting to far off the beaten path on the question will scale ratios be eventually standardized. The 1:29 scale ratio may not be considered G scale to the NMRA nor it may not be standardized, but one thing is for sure, 1:29 scale ratio has sky rocketed in popularity in the USA.

    I would dare say that 1:29 scale ratio is now the top seller for mainline model railroading in the USA and has taken a even deeper foot hold in the American market since the LGB fall out. When LGB comes back to America there will be some people who like European trains that will buy them again, but I don't think they will ever get the same foot hold back again that they once had here in the USA, but thats my own opinion.

    It's funny and interesting how the American and Eurpean markets differ from each other in alot of things, trains, cars, trucks. I especially know about the truck end of it. Everyone here in the USA hates cab over trucks which is why you haven't seen a new one be made since the 90's, the only cab over trucks here are trash trucks and thats it. Over in Europe that is mainly all they have is cab over trucks.
     
  14. DragonFyreGT

    DragonFyreGT TrainBoard Member

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    EMD, We don't need to care what the NMRA says about 1:29. The Garden Trains Association already recognizes 1:29. And remember in "G" Scale... The GTA is our own group. The NMRA has seen that their decision to call large scale a "Childs Toy" has blown up in their faces as it took off like a shot. Not as fast as N-Scale did in the 90s, but even then, we've proven enough to show that we're not a toy. They get burned by that and suddenly demand to be allowed to standardize us. Too late.

    And even then... this whole "Standardize" argument has become like the infamous chicago argument "Who has the better hot dogs?!" You go where you like, you run what YOU like. In this hobby it's about us, what we choose to run and like. I'm sick of "rivet counters" and "Standarization" Ruining the roots of Garden Railroading. We all need to go back to our "roots". It was about running model trains through the garden and having fun doing it. Now it's become not an idea of fun, but an idea of a chore. And I don't mean maintenance as that's part of "fun".

    I was told this by a random vendor at the train show this month: "If you're going to run standard you need to run 1:32 or it's not official." Official? How about I like my 1:29 Scale equipment. I was given my FA, U25B and Caboose as christmas gifts and they got me into 1:29. I perfer to run what I choose to run.

    It's time we take Large Scale and Garden Railroading back in the name of fun. The outdoor or indoor hobbies that bring delight to adults and children all around. This is our stand to take it back in the name of fun.
     
  15. EMD trainman

    EMD trainman TrainBoard Member

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    DragonfyreGT, I couldn't agree more. Most of us run for fun and thats the way it should be and we don't need people or groups telling us what is correct and not correct. This is another reason why I think 1:29 scale is so popular, since how it's not only very affordable and there is so many choices, but you don't have to worry about how correct it is because it's what I call the "Fun" scale ratio.

    I heard the same that 1:32 scale ratio is the correct ratio to run correct mainline model trains in G scale. Often nick named as "Fine" scale or "Museum" scale because models like Accucraft in 1:32 are just about dead on correct, but these are very expensive and basiclly shelf pieces.

    The same thing happened in the car show hobby, it split of between those who said everything should be correct, but those cars never left the garage and were always trrailer queens > NOT fun. Then you had those who restored them to thier liking and actually drove them and didn't care about what was correct for that car or that year,
    > FUN

    You will always have your seperate groups within a hobby and there were clubs for eah type of group. For the most part you know what scale ratio trains I see running at the Large Scale Train show in York??? You see mostly 1:29 scale ratio being run.

    So I don't think there are too many people out there who care what the NMRA says just like you said. Most have already done just what DragonFyreGT said, they took the hobby back to where it should be, fun.

    Since how rivet counters have thier own nick names for for certain scale ratios, I will start one myself. I hereby dub 1:29 scale ratio the "FUN" scale

    So the next time someone ask you what scale ratio you model in and it's 1:29 scale ratio, just tell them you model in the "FUN" scale ratio, it will blow thier minds, yeah I like it.

    Please Note: I know that I'm just a modest moderator here and can't really officially make this change in our hobby like dubbing 1:29 scale ratio "FUN" scale, but if we all start doing it, then we did take back our hobby and that scale back to where it should be, fun.
     
  16. EMD trainman

    EMD trainman TrainBoard Member

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    DragonFyreGT, You Go, I agree lets bring back the fun

    Lets start by us 1:29 scale ratio G scale people telling everyone that we run in the "FUN" scale ratio
     
  17. DragonFyreGT

    DragonFyreGT TrainBoard Member

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    This is perfect. Today is National Train Day! This is our declaration for National Train Day: Large Scale Trains Stand For Fun! This Is Our Scale! This Is Our Fun! Shout it out from the rooftops!
     
  18. EMD trainman

    EMD trainman TrainBoard Member

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    I like it.

    Our declaration is that 1:29 scale ratio is the "Fun" scale and what better day to induct it into our hobby than on National Train Day.

    Spread it to other boards, we the G scale people delcare 1:29 scale ratio trains the "Fun" scale,

    Leave your scales and rulers at home, we don't need them in our scale ratio

    Lets "Run 4 Fun" < New 1:29 scale slogan or saying maybe??

    1:29 G scale people Run 4 Fun < bumper sticker perhaps??

    Well, lets not get too carried away, I'm sure everyone has the point.

    Lets throw a G scale party instead.

    I have 9 USA Trains 55ft tank cars in 1:29 scale ratio that we coould dispense alot of beer from them. they do hold liquid since they are made from all aluminum.
     
  19. DragonFyreGT

    DragonFyreGT TrainBoard Member

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    As soon as I fix my LGB Shell Tank car, I'll load it with beer and dispense from it xD
     

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