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Model Railroading > Outdoor HO Scale?

Date: 11/04/00 14:54
Outdoor HO Scale?
Author: railyard

I have seen several outdoor railroads that are done in G or O scale and don't seem to have any problems with the elements. I realize that the tracks problably needs to be checked for corrosion and debris before each run, but my question is this.

Is it possible to build an outdoor setup in HO scale? I live in a house built on a crawl space (no basement to build in), but it is on a little over an acre of ground, so there would be plenty of room for long straight shots, fairly large yards, etc etc etc.

Does anyone have experience in this or have comments on problems or suggestions.


Date: 11/04/00 15:31
RE: Outdoor HO Scale?
Author: steamco

I have seen some articles about outdoor HO in some older MR magazines, one was built along on a fence and another built on concrete supports. Winter time, if you get snow, may need a snow plow to clear your track. Bruce Petty

Date: 11/04/00 17:30
RE: Outdoor HO Scale?
Author: Doc

In theory HO track is pretty much the same as the "big stuff", however...a bug may be the size of a dog in O or G, but would be a bull moose in HO scale. Likewise leaves, bits of grass, and dust would pose a real problem. However, you already mentioned cleaning the rails. Wind would be a big factor, temp changes might act different on HO track as well. I have thought of an outside run myself, and would like to hear from someone who has tried it. Perhaps the answer would be found in one of the outdoor railroad mags?

Date: 11/04/00 17:39
RE: Outdoor HO Scale?
Author: atsfman

I do HO inside and have a fairly large G railroad outside. After 10 years working with the G, I would not be inclined to try HO outside. For the reasons already mentioned in the other posts, plus HO track DOES NOT HAVE TREATED TIES FOR ULTRA VIOLET LIGHT FROM THE SUN. That alone will put a fairly quick end to your railroad. Plus I can tell you that falling leaves, acorns, squirrels who love to RUN over everything in sight, and the electrical questions make it even tougher. I use radio control/battery power outside, I wouldn't even consider trying track power on G, at least in Kansas, Dorothy.

I believe you will be much happier with an inside solution to your railroad location.


Date: 11/05/00 09:57
RE: Outdoor HO Scale?
Author: hogger

There was an article in Railroad Model Craftsman in the early 70's about an Athearn F7a and F7b converted to radio control. It had a self contained power source on board. If you're into wooden ties and hand laying track it maybe possible. You wouldn't want to leave your rolling stock out where the sun could ruin it, plastic that is. Brass and wooden cars would be a different matter. Like those that run G with battery power, that would be the way to go.

Now you never said where you live. Do you have a wide range of temperatures? How about snow and or rain?


Date: 11/05/00 10:46
RE: Outdoor HO Scale?
Author: railyard

I'm in southern Indiana, so temperature range from -5F to 100F, moderate rain and snow most years.

I am intrigued by the hand laying of rail. Sounds interesting!


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