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Should I Switch From 00 to N?

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Dromsally
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Hello everybody, a thought thats been dwelling on my mind for the past few months is a switch in gauges from 00 to N gauge. Im 17 and i have a 10×10 shed which took me 3 summer jobs to get and ive alot invested in 00 gauge, irish trains, british trains, aload of buildings, and enough track to cover ever inch of the shed, so ALOT of money was put into it. For ages i could never 'fill out' the shed with my buildings co-ensiding with all the stations, yards and sidings i wanted. I basically couldnt acheive what i wanted because my space was limited. So either a really clever track plan or a switch to N gauge are my choices. Just wanted to know is the switch easy and feasibile and any other starting point, regets and information to pit my mind at ease

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Posted (edited)

A couple of thoughts to get the ball rolling although I'm sure you'll get a lot of insight from other modelers here.

Bigger things to decide on might be what is your preferred gauge in the  longer term. You're young now but in a few years you'll  likely be employed with an improved income to expand your collection/layout, resite your layout or expand your shed.

Will you be in your present location or likely to move a lot for work i.e. will portability of the layout be important to you?

 

Do you prefer to scratch build everything or prefer mostly ready to run? Do/will you have the skills, eyesight, dexterity, time and motivation to do so? Chances are there is a lot less available in 2mm than 4mm depending on what your modeling interest is.

If you decide to change will you be able to recoup some/most of your present investment by selling off your present stock? Irish stock might sell pretty well on here, rest on here on on eBay. Adverts.ie etc depending on where you're based

Edited by DiveController
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First, more important than welcoming you to the forum, I get dibs on the Irish stuff if you sell up...

Welcome to the forum!

10 x 10 is a huge space. You could literally run two different levels, and have both levels criss-cross the shed several times. At a guess, you could have two "peninsulas", one at each side, which would give four runs the length of the shed. If it were possible to squeeze in a fifth run, you could connect to the start of the first with a diagonal running above the rest of the track.

As DC says, and as Noel pointed out to me previously, think long term and make your baseboards small enough so that they can easily be transported in the future. I'm not sure what fits comfortably across the back seats of your average car? Maybe 1000mm or 1200mm?

Are you running DC control or DCC control? DCC means you can fit a lot more in as there's less need for complete loops. I've recently bought a DC Gaugemaster Shuttle controller to try on an end-to-end DC layout, but have no feedback to offer as of yet.

Best of luck.

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Posted (edited)

Both DiveController, Rob and DJ Dangerous have made a lot of good suggestions. I model Irish and German N Gauge. Changing to N Gauge will involve much more expense. There are lots of RTR British, European and American N Gauge stock, buildings and scenery available. There are no Irish RTR stock you would need to buy other suitable RTR stock and convert them.

While N Gauge is roughly half the size of OO the advantage is that you can run longer trains. However you will still have to make compromises as to what you include on your layout in terms of sidings and buildings and where they can be positioned. Even in N Gauge things are still going to be fairly close together.

By way of illustration I am including 3 photos of my German layout. This is my second revision which does not fully meets my needs so I will have to expand it again.

1425789612_2Mainstation.thumb.JPG.44863ac8dd1a11557d67626427f6ddae.JPG

 

1134256060_3HotelandStation.thumb.JPG.d2d2f66a224266304cc8db21f0612b79.JPG

 

999908496_4Stagingarea.thumb.JPG.8e7388442acf364b3b64cdf6622ff27a.JPG

 

 

Edited by MikeO
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  • Copied from the duplicate thread:

Welcome!!    Each to their own but if you have already invested in a lot of OO gauge trains, buildings and tracks, it might make sense to have a go at building something basic within your confines with what you have-  as you have it.

You can always do a rough plan and see how you go with it and it might be what you want.  If not, then at least you have lost nothing by trying.

10 x 10 is more space than a lot of people have!

Deffo go for it and post some photos!!

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I downsized from OO to N in my late teens as it was a better option for building a realistic layout in a restricted space than OO and built a U shaped end to end layout in my bedroom which was approx. 11X11.  I had struggled to fit a similar OO gauge layout into an 8X6 box room and was not happy with the crammed in effect with 2' radius curves and short train lengths, 18" radius in N is the equivalent of 3' in OO , it was easier to fit station layouts without major compression into the available space and I could run longer trains.

Originally I focused on modelling Irish buildings and structures running British locos and stock, but eventually began re-painting and modifying rtr locos and stock and ended up with several Irish diesels which passed the 2' rule. I abandoned the Irish N Gauge layout as a result of a house move and focused more on building locos or stock in 4mm as I did not have an opportunity to build a layout for another 20 years. 

Although my main interest is Irish modelling, I started collecting American N gauge during the late 1980s and eventually built a looped 8 N gauge layout in the 17'X8' loft of our house in Dublin and started work on an American style walk-round layout in a 24X12 converted garage following a move to New Zealand in 2004. 

My N gauge layouts were fairly short lived on average 2-3 years usually as a result of a house move or change in circumstances, but were thoroughly satisfying both in terms of the realistic appearance and operation modelling the railway rather than focusing narrowly on the locos and stock.

These days I work mainly in large scale with a 1:20.3 American garden layout and Irish modelling in 4mm, but I still retain my collection of N gauge American locos and stock.

For an operating railway I would avoid the Lima Irish N gauge locos as I found from bitter experience the locos were unreliable with poor power pick up and motor quality even by the standards of the 1970s & 80s though the coaches and wagons were ok

 

1282616769_121satDuncormick.thumb.jpg.e9d4255c356b582306cdf43bcb1bd105.jpg

Irish N gauge layout c1980 pair of 121s kitbashed from Atlas SW1500 switchers hauling repainted Minitrix BR coaches.

732521939_Duncormick(2).jpg.389a89db7baf8a12031c7a5d119dd520.jpg

 

Terminus station c1980 Station with allover roof based on Foynes, background buildings from sketchbook on Irish architecture, GSWR style sawtooth loco shed

 

1927160300_Christmas2005PA1s.thumb.jpg.b1186b90845da0f54811d4036e002922.jpg

American N c 2005 yard module re-located to New Zealand

 

403579937_mypicturesbackupfile2004332.thumb.jpg.440c5c2d39c6cbe935c8b052d7b53f37.jpg

American layout final Dublin op session Apl 2004 before re-loacting

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, Dromsally said:

Hello everybody, a thought thats been dwelling on my mind for the past few months is a switch in gauges from 00 to N gauge. Im 17 and i have a 10×10 shed which took me 3 summer jobs to get and ive alot invested in 00 gauge, irish trains, british trains, aload of buildings, and enough track to cover ever inch of the shed, so ALOT of money was put into it. For ages i could never 'fill out' the shed with my buildings co-ensiding with all the stations, yards and sidings i wanted. I basically couldnt acheive what i wanted because my space was limited. So either a really clever track plan or a switch to N gauge are my choices. Just wanted to know is the switch easy and feasibile and any other starting point, regets and information to pit my mind at ease

If your interest is in British outline, USA or continental, great for N, but as regards Irish stock, my only observation is that effectively there is no Irish Rail nor CIE RTR stock available in N gauge, so you would have to convert, kit bash, build your own stock using BR RTR donors possibly with the aid of some of the 3D bodies available (shapeways) that might fit on Graham Farish loco chassis. Not inexpensive and not an easy path.

Edited by Noel
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Not to mention the gauge issue ! 9mm track scales out at 4’5”; too narrow really for ‘English’ trains never mind 5’3”. Although it’s still closer to Irish scale than OO Gauge and its scale 4.125 foot track  ;) 

Seriously though, you need to weigh up what kind of railway you want. Having modelled in 2, 3, 4, 7 and 16mm scales, the general rule for indoor or shed layouts (garden railways change the rule) is that the smaller the scale, the more emphasis there is on a sweep of landscape with less emphasis on the rolling stock. It allows for longer trains, sweeping curves, and a real sense of place. As the scale gets bigger, the trains themselves dominate your field of view. The emphasis on detail gets greater, but it’s harder to find space for depth of scenic development. N gauge has got exceptionally sophisticated since I first encountered it 40 plus years ago. But OO gauge has a wider manufacturing base (in the U.K. outline area at least) and will always be easier to acquire. Nothing to stop you trying out a simple layout in N to see how it goes ! 

 

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What about narrow gauge 00n3?

I mean if you're going to scratch build n gauge Irish stuff that's incompatible with the RTR Irish stuff then you could alternatively consider a 3' layout that could later be at least partially recycled into a larger 00 scale layout.

I know nothing about this stuff but others here surely do.

I believe RTR track (TT gauge) is available.

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Thanks all of you for the warm rwception and the great insight! Ive had a great time reading and im astounded by the knowledge and photos you all have.

Ill answer i few questions;

-I run dc at the moment but i have the       option of dcc

-Unfortunatly i wont be selling my irish stock😅

-In the future i will probably move the layout, right now im planning a baseboard overhaul in my shed to accomodate more hobbies i have. So the space could change or get smaller. 

-If I plan to start modelling N gauge, a fictional irish/english and english/european layout is on the table

-RTR is my 'go to', im not a big fan of kits but for the irish models im willing to give it a crack if i fully commit to an N gauge layout. 

-Im thinking about keeping some 00 guage stuff but track, english locos and rolling stock will be sold.

-What i want on a layout is a decent station or 2, a big marshall yard, few small industries, a town and a branch line.

Thanks again for all the support folks and hopefully this clears up some questions

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American outline is probably a better option than British if you start modelling in N very large range of relatively inexpensive locos, stock and buildings from a large number of manufacturers including Atlas, Kato, Walthers, Intermountain and Micro trains, most DC locos are supplied DCC ready if you want to convert to DCC at a later stage. The scale gauge ratio is correct and perhaps most importantly the majority of American N Gauge locos and stock are fitted with knuckle couplers suitable for magnetic uncoupling.

I found that I could get an American layout up and running very quickly, building 12" wide shelf modules based on the One Trak system which started as a self contained switching layout that was later incorporated into the main yard on an attic layout.

830031088_mypicturesbackupfile2004392.thumb.jpg.0f88d1aa4cd53ab00d98a529d5a93ac5.jpg

431006524_mypicturesbackupfile2004394.thumb.jpg.649f0d524b70715b6863824b86b9cc1a.jpg

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I moved from 00 to N scale last year, here are my thoughts.....

Difficult to handle small stock - difficult to connect fishplates - expense is same as 00 - great for limited space - looks great - locomotives are well detailed.

 

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Just an update folks, again thanks for all the replies.

Im going to do this layout in modular sections as i think blowing money into track with no plan would be costly. My shed as is has a basic square boards and it will be hard to rip up the boards and shelfing above it but it will have to be done. Im going to make the layout a mix of everything like my old 00 gauge layout, bit of europe, america and england. 

Im going to use the kato unitack and i will start with my marshall yard with a double track passenger mainline above it.

Second board is going to be my station, still thinking do I want a 2 level station if i have the resources. A loco and carraige sheds will be on the lower level.

Third board is going to be the loop for a dog bone, the 2 lower tracks and 2 passenger mainline will go behind a backscene. 

Depending on space and money i will make small boards with oil, timber and quarry industries.

Then its about fitting in buildings, which can come later. This is all long term and I should end up with an L shape layout or a compact rectangle depending on space. Hopefully the modular layout will allow me to move from shed to garage to wherever else in the future.

Thanks again for all the support and keep the information flowing👍

 

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I note you’re keeping your Irish 00 stuff. Given the amount of money you’ve invested in both the stock and the track, if it was me I would try to use that. Maybe a branch-line type of 00 set up? You’ve more than enough space.

Sometimes in terms of realism less is more - much more! No prototype in real life in Ireland has quadruple-track flyovers every quarter mile….

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 Sounds like operation is more your thing than buildings and scenery at the moment. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but as jhb says, realism means observing the prototype and trying to emulate it as closely as you can. About 60 years ago, the then editor of Railway Modeller, Cyril Freezer, wrote about scenery and buildings being much less important to those wanting to run an intensive service. 10 x 10 is a great space to do that in 00.

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