00-SF (16.2mm gauge + 1.0mm flangeway) (was: Re: PECO and North American trackage.)

Hi Jim,
> >It's been in Templot right from the beginning in 1980. > > > That doesn't necessarily make it a standard :-)
No it doesn't. But the fact that someone somewhere is successfully using it is good enough for me.
Alternatively, perhaps you can point me to the UK authority which sets and determines model railway standards? :-)
> > Although "EM minus 2" had been known about as an option > > for finescale 00 since the inception of the present EM > > standards, as with many gauges there didn't appear to be > > an accepted designation for it. So in Templot I called > > it 00-SF (special fine). > > > I still can't remember any discussions about this 'new' > 00 gauge when the gauge of EM was adjusted to 18.2mm
I can remember it being much discussed in the model railway circles which I was in in the 70s. If you were somewhere else at the time that is unfortunate. But not knowing about a thing does not make it invalid! > Sounds a bit like the 7mm scale Fine standards situation > where there now seems to be about four gauges at the > last count - I think I've heard of 31mm, 31.2mm, 31.5mm > and the original 32mm.
That's correct. Called respectively 0-XF, 0-SF, 0-MF and 0-G0GF in Templot. The Gauge 0 Guild has settled on 31.2mm as the optimum, and is also using the designation 0-SF for it.
0-SF and 0-XF are now very popular and gaining ground in 7mm scale. For exactly the same reason that 00-SF will gain ground in 4mm scale - it gives improved running and better track appearance (from narrower flangeways) without requiring any change to existing wheels. So your stock remains interchangeable with every other 00 gauge layout.
This compares with the daft 00 finescale standards published by D0GA, which require modellers to change *both* track *and* wheels. (In which case it would be much easier to go to EM, for which the required parts are readily available.) And having so changed your wheels, they won't run on your friend's 00 gauge layout. > Taking up slop in a set of standards might be OK under > controlled circumstances but is surely going to start > causing problems when locos and stock, which depend on > the slop to perform satisfactorily, come up against the > tighter gauges.
If this is true you are effectively saying that EM gauge doesn't work!
Consider Romford/Markits driving wheels:
1. The same wheels are used for both 00 and EM. It is surely therefore logical to have the same flangeway gap for both?
2. EM axles put the wheels 16.5mm apart. 00 axles put the wheels 14.5mm apart. That is a difference of 2mm. If the wheels are 2mm closer together for 00 then it is surely logical to have the rails 2mm closer together also? EM track gauge is 18.2mm. So that means a gauge of 16.2mm for 00. All simple and obvious.
The proviso is that we are talking about similar model railways, using similar radii and similar prototypical switch and crossing angles for both EM and 00.
Notice also that the one critical dimension, the CHECK gauge, is virtually identical for both 00-BF and 00-SF. (i.e. 15.25mm for 00-BF, 15.2mm for 00-SF). So not such a drastic change after all! (00-BF is the traditional BRMSB 00 finescale.)
Clearly if you are talking about "train set" curves with radii down to 18" or less, then 16.2mm won't work. For those you do need more "slop" as you say, and it was for such railways that 16.5mm gauge was originally adopted.
The argument about "not reducing the gauge any more" is a nonsense in my view. If having the correct track gauge is important to you then you don't model in 00 in the first place - you use P4. If the gauge should be 4'-8.1/2", saying that 4'-1.1/2" is ok but 4'-0.5/8" isn't, is just bizarre.
The FACT is that 16.2mm gauge with 1.0mm flangeways works *very* well for traditional finescale 00 wheels, and also accepts most modern r-t-r stock straight from the box. What more could you want? And if you don't believe me, go along to the Carshalton club and have a look:
http://www.carshalton-sutton-mrc.co.uk/layouts00.html
But if you don't like the idea don't do it - it's not compulsory!
Martin. ---------- email: snipped-for-privacy@templot.com web: http://www.templot.com
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On 5 May 2004 03:16:37 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@ision.co.uk (Martin Wynne) wrote:
Martin,

[Sucks air through teeth] I don't know about that :-)

Well, it started off with the BRMSB after the war, but the task has been taken over by all the specialist scale societies who have produced standards for their own scales and usually support the standards with track gauges and wheel form tools. We don't have the benefit of something like the NMRA in North America, but our smaller specialist societies and associations seem to do a pretty good job.

You're going to have to point me to the relevant issues of magazines where it was discussed. I've got all the copies of the RM, MRC and MRN (and variants) from 1960 and I can't remember any such discussion. Considering how reactive the letters pages in some of the magazines were at that time - especially on the matter of scale to gauge ratio - I would have expected such a proposal to have generated a fair amount of comment which I wouldn't have missed or forgotten about.

I haven't snipped the rest of your response in case others want to read it and don't have access to the original.
What I say is that a gauge is being created which can be totally incompatible with a large proportion of existing 00 gauge modelling practice. In 4mm 00 gauge a lot of people expect long wheelbase locos and stock to get round curves well under 24" radius, and they are also looking for pointwork with tight radii as well. Introducing a gauge which will be indistinguishable from the 16.5mm gauge to a lot of 00 modellers, but will require a much tighter set of tolerances and design and operational restrictions, could lead to lots of problems farther down the road if the use of 16.2mm expands.
I suspect that there might be a kickback in 7mm as well where the interest in the sub 32mm gauges has apparently increased over the last year or so, this kickback emanating from people who find they can't get there 0-8-0 through a crossover laid to the tighter standards, when it used to go through a similar crossover laid to the old standards.
I just find it a bit funny that people are now willing to basterdise the scale/gauge ratio even further and give the UK yet another scale/gauge ratio which no one else in the world will recognise. UK modellers were, arguably, the leaders in railway modelling to develop much more accurate scale/gauge relationships, starting with EM after WW2 and following on with 2mm, S, P4, S7 and 14.2 on 3mm in the succeeding years. Now, here we are in the 21st century advocating several steps backwards :-)
And I think we have to take note of world trends since our major manufacturers of UK 4mm goods trade on the world market and are unlikely to give support to any gauge peculiar to the UK.
Jim.
PS Haven't had a scale/gauge ratio argument for a long time on here - might get Anthony New back posting :-)
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(Martin Wynne) wrote:

Lot of snipping, but - and I hate to point out the obvious (AS IF!!!) but if there was an active British HO standard, all this would be irrelevant. I often wonder what would happen if one of the major American or European manufacturers decided to test the waters out with a large offering of British outline HO, as Athearn was rumoured to be interested in a few years back. And I would be back modelling my first love, L&SWR. Instead of American outline On30.
Ah well, my BLI C-16 is tooting for me, again...
Steve Newcastle NSW Aust
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Hi Jim, > We don't have the benefit of something like the NMRA in North America
I'm not too sure about the benefit. With rigid control of entrenched standards, innovation is next to impossible. Look at the battle the proto87 modellers are having to get their standards recognised by the NMRA - and simply to get to where we were in the UK 40 years ago with the work done on P4 by the Manchester club and then the MRSG.
Although there is always a need for a common WHEEL standard, I don't believe the same is true for TRACK. 7mm modellers have been the first to realise this. There is now an "industry-standard" Gauge 0 wheelset, but modellers have a choice of track gauges to use with it, of varying degrees of "slop".
You can choose the tightest gauge (0-XF - 31.0mm) and get superb running, but be restricted to easy curves, long prototypical pointwork, and careful baseboard construction.
Or at the other end of the scale you can choose traditional 0-G0GF (32.0mm), get rougher running, but be able to run trains round a dinner plate and through short toy-like turnouts. Or in a more hostile track maintenance environment, such as on a garden railway.
And with a couple of other options in between.
But all using the same wheels, which will run on *any* of them, and can therefore be taken to friends' layouts, club tracks, etc. This aspect of interchangeable running is very important and common in 7mm scale (and explains the slow take-up of S7).
But you don't take your tracks with you, so there is no reason why they should be built to the same standard as your friend is using on a different style of layout.
The same can apply in 00. Run you stock today on Peco track, bumping through the crossings. Run it tommorow on traditional BRMSB finescale track, with a rough ride through the crossings because many modern wheels are narrower than that standard requires (2.6mm min wheel-width). Run it the next day on 00-SF (16.2mm) and get running quality equal to that of EM.
All from the same stock - and nowadays in many cases unmodified r-t-r.
> PS Haven't had a scale/gauge ratio argument for a long > time on here - might get Anthony New back posting :-)
That do? :-)
Martin. ---------- email: snipped-for-privacy@templot.com web: http://www.templot.com
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My layout has 2 standards of trackwork. My newer sections are my published H0 finescale standard (1mm flangeway) and the older track uses AMRA (Australian Model Railway Association's standard, 1.25mm flangeway) track. Both use the same check gauge of 15.2mm. The difference in the track is hard to see, however the finescale track allows narrow wheels to run with out wheel drop in the crossings..
--
Terry Flynn

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Hi Jim,
> You're going to have to point me to the relevant issues of > magazines where it was discussed.
Why me? If you think I'm going to go rummaging through 30 years of back numbers and letters pages you must be joking! Do your own rummaging. :-)
In fact I said nothing about magazines. I do remember "EM minus 2" being discussed among EM modellers in the Worcester area in the 70s and in the West Mercian EM Gauge Group meetings at the time.
As I explained, I was manufacturing such pointwork commercially at that time. I sent hundreds of 00-SF turnouts to customers all over the world - without any complaints that I can recall and several customers came back for more. I would hardly have done that if 00-SF was an entirely unknown quantity.
I also remember a tutorial evening in the late 70s when the local Worcester club visited my workshop. Everyone built a turnout for the evening (in plain copper-clad), and they weren't allowed home until they had done so! I recall that half of them were in EM and the other half in 00-SF, so that I had enough track gauges to go round. I don't remember anyone thinking that there was anything special or unusual about that.
I suspect the reason that 00-SF went quiet in the intervening years is that the finescale modellers who might have been attracted to it migrated instead to EM and P4. But not all - David Smith has written in the previous thread that 00-SF is still alive and kicking - and waiting to be rediscovered by a new generation of 00 modellers.
All this retrospective stuff is of course entirely beside the point - we should be discussing the merits of 00-SF, not who mentioned it first.
regards,
Martin. ---------- email: snipped-for-privacy@templot.com web: http://www.templot.com
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On 6 May 2004 09:43:59 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@ision.co.uk (Martin Wynne) wrote:
Martin,

For those of us who didn't reside in the Worcester area at the time, how would we have known about it. At least with other 'new' gauges and standards, the model railway press was used to publish the proposals for all to see.
And you were the one that stated that the 16.2mm gauge was a standard - we're just questioning how and where that standard was established :-)
I also forgot to ask if 16.2mm gauge was compatible with NMRA wheelsets - haven't got all the data to hand at the moment to check it out. That could be a bit of a problems if it isn't.
Jim.
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Hi Jim,
> For those of us who didn't reside in the Worcester > area at the time, how would we have known about it?
The same way that we found out about it, I presume.
I've been racking my brains to remember how that came about, but 30 years degradation of the grey cells doesn't help!
Our track guru was the late Roy Miller, who was a leading figure in the EMGS at the time. It was Roy who provided me with much of the prototype track data which went into Templot when I was first developing it in the early 80s. If there were any new ideas about, Roy would certainly know about them. The EMGS published an occasional journal called "Marshalling Yard" in those days, so that might be somewhere to look.
On the other hand I have a vague recollection of "EM minus 2" having an HMRS connection, or maybe it was first mentioned by someone at an HMRS meeting. If I was going to start rummaging through old papers I think I would start with the HMRS newsletters of that period.
I'm not going to do that, partly because it would take me an age to find them (!), but mainly because I don't see where this is getting us. It is what we can do with 00-SF today that is of interest.
> At least with other 'new' gauges and standards, > the model railway press was used to publish the > proposals for all to see.
Well there isn't much to propose, is there? Someone says "EM minus 2" and the whole thing is defined. So you turn yourself a few track gauges to try it. It works just fine, so you carry on. Others take an interest and try it for themselves. But no-one is under any obligation to write learned articles about it.
The only difficult part, as always, is deciding what to call it. As I explained, I adopted the designation 00-SF for it in Templot, but I'm sure others have used different terms.
> And you were the one that stated that the 16.2mm > gauge was a standard - we're just questioning how > and where that standard was established :-)
This raises the question of what you mean by "standard" and "established". As far as I'm concerned, if someone is using a set of dimensions successfully, then that is an established standard.
> I also forgot to ask if 16.2mm gauge was compatible > with NMRA wheelsets
Pass. There's no problem that I can see in the dimensions, but Terry Flynn will no doubt say otherwise, and I haven't ever tried them myself. But David Smith wrote here yesterday:
> I can confirm 16.2 gauge with 1mm flangeways works > with all the '00' wheels I have so far come across. > They also ride smooth over the frogs with no drop > into the gap.
so over to you, David, for the definitive answer. :-)
But are NMRA whelsets now in common use for UK 00 gauge models?
Martin. ---------- email: snipped-for-privacy@templot.com web: http://www.templot.com
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I don't recall it cropping up during my editorship of Marshalling Yard - or during the may years that I was on the EMGS Committee. Neither do i recall any mention of "EM minus 2". I remeber the addition of 0.2mm to the track gauge and just why that happened but that isn't "EM minus 2" - it's "EM plus 0.2"!!
Martin Wynne wrote:

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Hornby now seem to be producing models close to NMRA wheel dimensions.
--
Terry Flynn

For HO scale track standards go to
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(Martin Wynne) wrote:

The answer is as compatible as Peco Track is to NMRA wheels plus a little worse because the 00-SF gauge is 0.05mm to tight.in my opinion. Most wheels to the NMRA standard are set close to the minimum NMRA back to back dimension. This means most have a check gauge around 15.2mm, depending on the flange width, and most will run well on HO finescale 16.25mm gauge. However if you use 00-SF 16.20mm gauge, it means you have to have the back to back adjusted slightly smaller. The NMRA standard allows a maximum check gauge of 15.4mm, their rounded up metric error value. At this maximum you will have problems with Peco, HO finescale and 00-SF.
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Terry Flynn

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Hi Jim,
> What I say is that a gauge is being created which > can be totally incompatible with a large proportion > of existing 00 gauge modelling practice. In 4mm 00 > gauge a lot of people expect long wheelbase locos > and stock to get round curves well under 24" radius, > and they are also looking for pointwork with tight > radii as well.
I think you have completely missed the point here. No-one has ever suggested (well certainly I haven't) that 00-SF could be a replacement for regular 00, or that it could ever be used for toy train curves of 'well under 24" radius' or similar short pointwork. It will never register as the merest blip on Peco's radar!
It is solely for modellers who build there own track, to much easier curves than that (typically 48" or more) and using prototypical switch and crossing designs and angles.
In other words modellers who might otherwise use EM or P4. So why would they look at 00-SF? Because in today's busy world, many modellers who want a large working model railway (i.e. something more than a "shunting plank") have realised that it will take them half a lifetime to build if all the stock has to be constructed from kits, or be laboriously converted from r-t-r.
Whereas on the market now is a much improved range of r-t-r, finished to a standard better than many can achieve from kits, which will run better on 00-SF than it does on regular 00, and do so straight out of the box. And because the reduced 1mm flangeway of 00-SF looks so much better than the awful 00/H0 flangeway with its yawning gaps at the crossings.
So 00-SF can be regarded as a poor man's EM (you will certainly be poor after buying all the stock!), but it allows a large layout to be up and running in half the time. As soon as you have laid the track, in fact.
Of course the incorrect gauge is a disappointment, but this hobby is full of compromises. If built as proper 4mm scale track, with correct sleeper sizes, spacings, rail sections and fixings, 00 track can look acceptable to all but the finescale fundamentalists. It is the ludicrous Peco H0 track which has given 00 gauge such a bad name and made it a laughing-stock among many modellers in EM and P4.
> I just find it a bit funny that people are now > willing to basterdise the scale/gauge ratio even > further and give the UK yet another scale/gauge > ratio which no one else in the world will recognise.
??? If I'm building a layout in the privacy of my own home and choose to lay track to a funny gauge, what the hell does it matter what the rest of the world thinks about it? As I said in my previous post, it is WHEELS which need to be standardised and agreed. TRACK is something which you build in private between friends. :-)
Martin. ---------- email: snipped-for-privacy@templot.com web: http://www.templot.com
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On 7 May 2004 07:09:07 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@ision.co.uk (Martin Wynne) wrote:
Martin,

I've no quibble with that, as long as you don't call it a standard :-)
BTW, it's just dawned on me that the 1mm flangeway is the same at that in my Scale7 trackwork - why not move up a scale or two where the 1mm flangeway looks really good :-)
Jim.
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On Wed, 05 May 2004 03:16:37 +0000, Martin Wynne wrote:

Not in my part of the world it wasn't....West Midlands and North wales. And I can't find any mention of it in MRN, RM, and MRC.

It may look better, but you have a hard job on your hands presenting a sound argument about better running, since you are increasing the constraints.
Ken, just an old fashioned coarse scale centre stud type.
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On Wed, 05 May 2004 21:29:44 +0100, "Ken Parkes"

Whilst not disputing its existence, I'll add myself to the list of people who've never heard of it (I didn't see much of the 1970s, though!).
Do its adherents just call it 00, so it doesn't really get noticed at exhibitions and things?
--
Arthur Figgis Surrey, UK

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wrote:

which
It probably gets called Finescale 00 in the same way that all vacuum cleaners are called "Hoovers". I've had two "finescale" 00 layouts (or at least I consider them finer scale than the average 00 layout). One was built with Peco finescale, the other with C&L components. For both layouts, I was asked "Is this EM?"..........
:-7 (wry smilie)
Cheers, Mick
Cheers, Mick
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On Wed, 05 May 2004 22:18:22 +0100, Mick Bryan wrote:

Well I had a finescale OO layout as did a few friends; the gauge was 16.5 and we moved the check rails, didn't you do the same?
Ken.
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(Martin Wynne) writes:
(snipped)

It sounds like I need to "de-lurk". So who sells 16.2 mm track gauges? Peco can't even be bothered to produce 00 pointwork. Can we expect to see the formation of the "00-SF Society"?

As a DOGA member, I find this claim a little misleading. The DOGA has published both ``Proposed Commercial'' and ``Finescale'' standards. The commercial standards are largely based on NMRA [H0] standards, and are aimed at the ready-to-run market. The finescale standards are directly taken from EM 18.2 mm gauge standards, and reduced by 1.7 mm where appropriate. They are intended for 00 modellers who use Alan Gibson, Sharman and Ultrascale wheels on their stock. What's "daft" about that?
I have seen finescale 00 locos with Ultrascale wheels running (successfully) through old Peco code 100 pointwork, admittedly not at express speed. But hardly an example of not running on another layout. Could this be a case of "not invented here"?
There is no doubt that UK 00 is a mess, although the signs are that things are slowly improving. There are at least four different wheel standards used for 00, but the RTR manufacturers seem to be catching on to the idea of a 2.8 mm tyre width (NMRA RP25/110).
--
Nigel White
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I have shown that for superior running you should adopt the most common check gauge used, and use a standard that adds up. A standard that is correctly toleranced. 00-SF fails this criteria. My HO finescale standards are correctly toleranced, works for most RTR wheels, and is suitable for complex track geometries.
--
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