New layout...OO or N gauge

Any questions about designing a model railway layout or problems with track work.
Andy1234
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Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2020 2:27 pm

New layout...OO or N gauge

Postby Andy1234 » Thu Apr 08, 2021 12:03 pm

Hi everyone. I have just completed an N gauge layout based off an old settrack plan (will be selling this shortly so any advice on where and how would be greatly appreciated). I'm now looking for a new layout project and have hit a few indecisions.

Space is rather limited (hence modelling in n gauge)

I am torn between a dmall branch line terminus in n gauge, or a small shunting layout in oo gauge. Oo would give me the option to try some more detailed scenic modelling and also animations (inspired by the great model railway challenge), but would mean buying new locos and stock etc (I would be keeping all n gauge locos and stock when the current layout is sold), but n gauge would allow me to have a more detailed layout design (possibly).

So just looking for some inspiration and ideas really for either route. Space would likely be maximum of 4 foot by 1 foot (with a separate fiddle yard if required) but could maybe push to slightly bigger.

Appreciate everyone's help in advance, and let me know if there is any further info you'd like!

Bigmet
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Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 2:19 pm

Re: New layout...OO or N gauge

Postby Bigmet » Thu Apr 08, 2021 2:47 pm

How ambitious are you? That's a very small space for OO, even if a fiddle yard can be added while in operation to allow a loco and stock to go off scene and return. But what intrigues is the mention of animation. There were for example confined locations in the steam period where wagons were shunted into lifts to raise and lower them between floors in purpose built rail served warehouses, or from canal bank up to running line level. You can go wild on the modelling potential with that, and you would be doing something not often attempted.

In N that's space enough for a 'Minories' or similar with a lot of operating possible, if that floats your boat. (I'd suggest trying with the N first, you have existing models and track you can use, which makes it a relatively low cost experiment.)

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Mountain
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Re: New layout...OO or N gauge

Postby Mountain » Thu Apr 08, 2021 5:56 pm

If you want something different and can stretch your space to 4ftx2ft, were you aware that with both 7mm narrow gauge and 4mm narrow gauges one can fit a small oval of track on them?

I believe Pinknosedpengins layout is 4ft x 2ft. Mine is a little larger and is just under 7ft x 2ft as I wanted to include passing loops for longer trains to pass. We both model in 7mm narrow gauge which may seem a bit of a challeng at first, but those Smallbrook Studio kits, and 422 Models kits along with the occasional Peco kit actually are quite easy to build. (If they were not, I would have struggled!), and another advantage is that donor locos for some of the kits are quite easy to find and relitively cheap to buy.
7mm narrow gauge is the narrow gauge of 0 gauge so I find the scale is easier to model in as everything is a nice size. It is known as 0-16.5 in the UK and 0e in the EU and 0n30 in the USA, but don't expect the larger American models to fit in a small space so easily. 0-16.5 and 0e can as long as one sticks to smaller locos and rolling stock.

4mm narrow gauge known as 009 is also an option. I do find the mechanisms quite small to work with, but if you are used to N gauge, you will find them similar. Like 0-16.5 runs on 00 guge track, 009 runs on N gauge track, and it will fit on a 4x2 board.
Now in theory one may be able to turn 009 in just under a foot wide BUT in practice, their couplings don't like to turn that sharp. Also obviously, one can't fit larger locos round sharp curves... Just like real life locos can't. Realistically 009 could do with turning on a 2ft wide board. (In 7mm narrow gauge I make my own couplings which are actually easy enough to make and will turn on very sharp curves, and Pinknosedpenguin adapts tension lock couplings to take sharp curves by removing one of the coupling hooks so they have more room to slide on the coupling bar).

But what I am saying is, that narrow gauges in their various forms were made for smaller spaces, so they may be just what you are looking for!

(And of you prefer 009, you can mix H0e which is the narrow gauge of H0 on the same track and it is less noticeable then trying to mix 00 and H0 as narrow gauge prototypes tend to have an odd mix of different size stock so it blends in better. Running 009 and H0e gives one more choice and scope, and the good thing is that they all use the same couplings and run on the same track).

Andy1234
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Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2020 2:27 pm

Re: New layout...OO or N gauge

Postby Andy1234 » Sun Apr 11, 2021 11:19 pm

Thanks both for your input.

Mountain: I'd never thought or oo9 gauge and that's very interesting to hear about how space saving it can be. Although the main reason for sticking with n is already having the stock, or oo I could pick up quite a wide range of stock for this. I don't know but I imagine oo9 is mostly kits and £££?

Bigmet: yes the animations are something I would be keen to try out. I am very intrigued by the wagon lifts you have mentioned...do you have any pics of prototypes of these or names for ones I can google? I have also spent a lot of time looking at shunting layout plans but just can't seem to find out how to operate them. I understand and like the concept of the inglenook layouts and the goal of assembling the right train, but not sure of the purpose (if you will) of the more complex layouts. Same goes for minories...is there any explanation on how to operate minories as I understand there is a lot of potential.

Andy1234
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Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2020 2:27 pm

Re: New layout...OO or N gauge

Postby Andy1234 » Mon Apr 12, 2021 4:34 pm

Bigmet wrote:How ambitious are you? That's a very small space for OO, even if a fiddle yard can be added while in operation to allow a loco and stock to go off scene and return. But what intrigues is the mention of animation. There were for example confined locations in the steam period where wagons were shunted into lifts to raise and lower them between floors in purpose built rail served warehouses, or from canal bank up to running line level. You can go wild on the modelling potential with that, and you would be doing something not often attempted.

In N that's space enough for a 'Minories' or similar with a lot of operating possible, if that floats your boat. (I'd suggest trying with the N first, you have existing models and track you can use, which makes it a relatively low cost experiment.)


Sorry bigmet, I'm still learning how to reply to people!!

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Mountain
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Re: New layout...OO or N gauge

Postby Mountain » Tue Apr 13, 2021 12:04 am

Andy1234 wrote:Thanks both for your input.

Mountain: I'd never thought or oo9 gauge and that's very interesting to hear about how space saving it can be. Although the main reason for sticking with n is already having the stock, or oo I could pick up quite a wide range of stock for this. I don't know but I imagine oo9 is mostly kits and £££?

Bigmet: yes the animations are something I would be keen to try out. I am very intrigued by the wagon lifts you have mentioned...do you have any pics of prototypes of these or names for ones I can google? I have also spent a lot of time looking at shunting layout plans but just can't seem to find out how to operate them. I understand and like the concept of the inglenook layouts and the goal of assembling the right train, but not sure of the purpose (if you will) of the more complex layouts. Same goes for minories...is there any explanation on how to operate minories as I understand there is a lot of potential.


009 is now commercially available in factory made ready to run form. H0e which is the European version of it has been around in ready made form for decades. However I do think that 009 is a tad expensive for what it is. Great stuff though.

For the next common size up in narrow gauge that is commonly used, is 0-16.5 which even though currently no British outline models are available in ready made form, the basic kits from the likes of Smallbrook and others are pretty easy. (If I can make them and my 15 year old nephew can, then they should be do-able for most modellers to tackle, and I find resin kits easier then plastic kits even though resin castings need a little sanding or filing to make them fit).

I will ammend this to add a link to my 7mm narrow gauge thread because it will give an idea of what can fit in a small space. (Ignore the homemade track as I did not take the easy way. You can use standard Peco flexible track if you want to model in this scale and gauge).

Going back to 009 (And H0e), you can use spare N gauge track to run those locos and stock on as it is the same gauge.

Ammended links to 7mm narrow gauge to look at just to show this scale and the fun :D we have with it!
Here is a link to what I have been up to.

viewtopic.php?f=22&t=52212

And here is PNP's excellent thread.

viewtopic.php?f=22&t=54002


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