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Hi folks,

I usually just browse the sci-fi forums here but my 7 yr old wants a train layout and I have some questions.

He has taken a liking to some of the European locomotives (of various eras). I have done some research and I found that some HO scale locomotives (and OO scale) will work on American track but some will not.

When looking/shopping online, what do I need to look for to be able to tell if the locomotive is compatable on American track?

Thanks!

Dave
 

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Hi Dave!

Just 3 things really.

One is the voltage. Many European train models will be running 220 volts instead of 120. You will have to find a way to knock down the voltage, either with a different motor or a different transformer.

The second is the gauge of the wheels.

"Ho" is 1/87th scale. This is pretty much 1/2 of "O" Gauge, 1/43rd scale.

"OO" Gauge is actually 1/72nd scale and is therefore larger than Ho...but not to an extent where the two models couldn't co-exist together. However, you will need to re-gauge your OO wheels using an HO guage.

Finally, the train couplers are different. In America and Canada, we use a coupler that looks like a hand. Two interlocking "Hands" join together and hold the trains tight. These mount high to the body.

In Europe, they use a "Hook and Ring" set up. The hool lifts up over the ring and then drops in place, locking the two train cars together. These mount low to the body.

Unfortunatly, the two systems don't work together unless you can modify the European to fit our system or the American to fit theirs.

That being said, Kadee does make a Europen to American cross over coupler. It uses the American "Hand" and mounts it to the European train car body.

I hope this helps to answer your question.

Trevor Ursulescu
Monster Hobbies

http://www.monster-hobbies.com
 
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