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hminky@yahoo.com
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pcal
HO track for On30, impossible it has ties that are too small and too narrow and too !!!!!!!!!!!, you know it is against the laws of the universe.
I retracked half the On30 PcalRwy with "correct" handlaid track. Everything was right but it "looked" wrong for what I was doing. I am a "wannabe", someone who models 3 foot narrow gauge using On30. On30 strength is the ability to depict small narrow gauge lines in O scale very cheaply. It has wonderful Bachmann On30 cars and locomotives from small 3 foot narrow gauge lines. The idea of a Denver and Rio Grande Western K-28 Mikado in On30 to me is very silly, sorta like nipples on a man, they are there but don't really work well, lacking a practical application.
Here is the type track look I desired. The ties appear closer together than most On30 track.
I wanted more appearance than reality because we were making 30" look like 36".

I was disappointed by the handlaid track look. It looked really "sucky". The track made the layout look smaller. Since a 4x8 is only about 1.7 acres, the same size as my cul-de-sac, the layout really looked bad. With typical narrow gauge ties, 7"wide x 6 foot long, it looked like, well, 30" gauge track. D-oh!!!!!!!!!!
The same scenes with HO track looks much less crowded and the layout looks larger.
I am more interested in the "art" than the "science" on the layout. I want an appearance rather than accurate depiction. It is On30, where there are supposedly no standards, yeah, right!!!!!!!!
No commercial On30 track gives me the appearance I want.

When I did the original trackwork on the layout I didn't mind the geometry of the Atlas HO track. The only thing I didn't like was the overly large spike and tieplate detail. Even in O scale it is large, hard to believe it was the standard track for HO for years.
This retrack was done with "Code 83" Model Power HO track and Atlas Code 100 switches. The Model Power track has smaller spike detail and it has code 90 rail. It is oversize enough in HO to look like faux three foot narrow gauge track.
I always liked the appearance of the Atlas Code 100 HO tracks.

(Click image to Enlarge)
The Model Power track needs shimming to line up with the Atlas Code 100 turnouts.
Click here for our handlaid retrack article.
Here is another example of the look we are trying to acheive:
From:
Click here to go to  the Slim Rails Narrow Gauge site
This oversized "HO track" visually works with the smaller Bachmann On30 equipment as 3 foot narrow gauge because of the proportions. The ratio of 30" to 36" is .833. The Model Power HO track is almost to that ratio as  O scale narrow gauge track. If you take a the Bachmann On30 cars you have the same ratio with a later larger 3 foot car. Visually the On30 cars appear as three foot  equipment. That is my story and I am sticking with it. Art versus Science.