# Fill in the blanks, Please

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Chaparral, Sep 15, 2009.

1. ### ChaparralMember

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I know (fairly certain) that...
Z 1/220
N 1/160
T 1/120
HO 1/87
OO 1/76
S 1/64
O 1/48
UK O 1/43
G 1/22.5

Most confusing are all the n suffixes.
What do they mean, and should I fear them?

HOn3 = Sn2
HOn30 =
On30 =
Sn3½ - same as HO
Sn3
Sn2 = HO

It looks to me like the suffix gauges are hyper modelling of the rail line so engines and rolling stock are 'exactly' modelled in scale. But , wouldn't an HO engine running on HOn30 track that is really N track, wobble off the rails in the pursuit of realism?
2. ### Ronson2k3Member

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The 'N' refers to Narrow Gauge. That is it would be HO size bit HO Narrow Gauge. So for HOn3 that's the same track spacing as N gauge but the rolling stock is HO size. The ties are HO too. Just the spacing is 'N' or Narrow Gauge.

Track width is not the same as running a HO train with N scale wheels and trucks. They too are also HO size. So it's only the gauge that is changing. To put it simply the track is HO but the width between the track is 'N' gauge.

Narrow Gauge was used when the right of way was to small to support full (standard) gauge track. Mining and or Timber operations used this mostly as the track could support tighter radius of turn making for easier moving and less destruction to create the right of way.

If you're aren't modeling Narrow Gauge you have no worries about such scales but if you are you your basically going to be hand laying your own track as such track isn't really available in that gauge. Rolling Stock is though so it's just a hand laying of track that is important. That would mean making your own turnouts (switches) and so on as well.

Not impossible to do by a long shot but more work. If you're a new to the hobby you may want to get your feet wet as it were working with standard gauge and then move onto Narrow Gauge. As most of those railroads that employed narrow gauge were pretty short you can easily add that to your layout at a time when your skills have developed.

Hope that helps
3. ### Mountain ManActive Member

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Don't forget the numeric suffixes for odd gauges, such as On20, On30 and so forth, which appears throughout other gauges as well, specifying the scale gauge of the tracks, such as two-foot gauge, 2 1/2 foot gauge and so forth. wall1

And don't even start in on the scales used by other countries such as Great Britain!

It used to be such a simple hobby...:mrgreen:
4. ### ChaparralMember

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Feb 5, 2007
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I think I get it but if you would just spare me a moment here.

The reason I asked is that I see a lot of things lke 'this structure is for my HOn... " and I wondered if the HO sized structure has the same dimensions as an HOn....
Because if they are, there are some things I've seen done to HOn buildings that I'd like to try.

Not stock but structures.
5. ### ytter_manMember

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Those prefixes refer to scale THEN track gauge. HO at 1/87th uses 1/87 structures, details, vehicles, accessories etc. and if there is no "n3" or "n30" it also refers to standard gauge track. n3 and n30 use the same structures, vehicles, details etc but the distance between the rails is thinner. This applies to most scales. HO, O, S, etc. are the scale, and if no "n" is used it is simply assumed in the course of reading or discussion that the equipment is standard gauge.

Another thing to keep in mind is that even in real life most narrow gauge locos and rolling stock are a little bit shorter, thinner, and lighter than their standard gauge counterparts.

G scale is a bit confused due to manufacturers and standards but that's another discussion.

6. ### ChaparralMember

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Like a Tiquila mornin' after.

It's gonna take awhile to find the beat of this pozer!

Thanks