Gn15, I'd never heard of it until my latest Garden Railways magazine
arrived (8/2004 edition).
My children and I just built our first train table (it's 6' X 12'). I
thought Gn15 would do better than the G scale. We started with an
Aristo-Craft oval on the floor.
Is it true that I can purchase some HO track and place LGB trains on
it and they'll run? It seems amazing to me since I've never seen it.
Also, is DCC good to use in Gn15?
We are truly neophytes, with no modeling experience -- not that we
Gn15 is the designation for 1:22.5 proportioned (scale) trains running on HO
gauge (16.5 mm between the rails) track to represent real narrow gauge
trains operating on 15" gauge track. In real life, 15" gauge is sometimes
used for mining RRs, inside factories to move heavy products (usually in the
days before modern fork lift trucks), for other very light industrial lines,
and for some amusement park trains.
Side note - In my opinion "Gn15" is a little misleading. This nomenclature
usually lists the scale first, an "n" to indicate a narrow gauge being
modelled (as opposed to no suffix if 4' 8.5" standard gauge is being
modeled, or a "w" if wide gauge is being modelled), and the prototype gauge
being modelled (in feet or inches or centimeters, which can be confusing).
My issue with Gn15 is that G is really a gauge (1 3/4" between the rails)
and not a single scale, as G models come in 1:22.5 proportion if they are
representing European meter gauge trains, 1:20.5 proportion if they are
representing American 3' gauge, and a compromise 1:29 proportion if they
have standard gauge prototypes (I believe this size is used because the
resulting cars look OK when mixed with 1:22.5 or 1:20.5 equipment - the
correct proportion for standard gauge models on 1 3/4" gauge track should be
1:32, which is known as No. 1 gauge or scale.) Since the "G" comes from the
G in LGB who started it all with 1:22.5 European models, there is some basis
to say G scale means 1:22.5. (But then what should we call 1:20.5 scale,
where a lot of very nice modelling is being done?)
No!! The gauge of the wheels must match the gauge of the track. Gn15 is
usually (maybe always as I'm not aware of any commercially available Gn15
models) scratch built or kitbashed, as in taking the superstrucrure from a
small LGB locomotive and mounting it over the mechanism of an HO locomotive.
DCC can be used on Gn15. The constraints on using DCC are usually being
able to fit a decoder inside the model, and finding a decoder that will
handle the model's motor current. Gn15 models should have plenty of room
for decoders, and being HO motors, many decoders are available that will
handle the current.
This being the case, I would not recommend you pursue Gn15 just yet. Get
some experience with a commercially available scale and gauge before getting
into something that depends on heavy modification or scratch building.
"G" isn't any specific scale - it is "narrow gauge on 45mm gauge track".
As the narrow gauge represented by different manufacturers can be anything from
750mm to 4' 3.177" and the "scale" anything from 1:20.3 to 1:29, the "G" part of
"Gn15" is broadly meaningless.
The designation you were looking for is "#3n15" or "3n15" or "22.5n15".
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