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This section covers the decisions to be made when you reach the stage where you have decided to acquire locomotives and stock or build some track.

For more specific information on tracklaying topics follow this link

For more specific information on locomotive and stock topics follow this link

To me the primary attraction of Gauge 3 is that it is big... "The Largest Scenic Scale" does come with some problems though and not some of the ones you may be thinking of. A "Peak" diesel locomotive will be 93cm long and require a hand at each buffer end to lift it, nor will it fit sideways through a door. Similarly a bogie coach will be require the same lifting system. Your model, especially a live steam loco, will be several kilos in weight... The model is going to have to moved and stored when not in use. Remember this before setting your heart on anything!

Elsewhere you will find hints on building track and the types of track on offer. I would advise you to stick to one type throughout your layout. At the moment the G3 track market is not like that of the 00 Hornby or 00 Peco swappable arena. I have made both "kit" trackwork and "commercial" trackwork. I have to admit that the white metal chairs on mahogany sleepers do look VERY good. But the time taken to make more than a few will be long and painstaking.

I would suggest that your first loco be a small 0-6-0 or -C- type. This is because they can be made with simple hand tools and on the kitchen table.

In the main section there are guides to building your own locomotive. At this stage you can take advantage of the fact that "There Are No Rules" in Gauge 3 and your model can be made of anything. I make my locos of plastic covered wood and another member has a diesel outline loco made from sheet metal -on some parts the "Tate and Lyle" emblem still shows through the paintwork. Your first loco is probably going to be electric powered as these are very easy to use and manage.

It has become the de facto standard in G3 that all locos run off low voltage systems, in the region of 7.2 to 14.4 V. Power sources are either by Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) batteries or NiMH/NiCd cell packs. Expect your wiring to be rated at 10Amps and fused at this level. There is a temptation to use "thermal cut outs" but these can be dangerous as they self reset when they get cold.

What constitutes a loco? The answer is anything that moves on rails. Thus throughout the history of the railways there have been "Drasines" and "Critters". These are road vehicles adapted for life on the rails. The Skoda Estelle was a common one in The Warsaw Pact as was the VW camper van. Thus it is quite "legal" to have a VW camper van camper on a railway chassis. A more modern version of this would be the Leyland bus turned rail coach...

One member has what he calls his "plank". This is a brushless motor powered double bogie length of ply with strip wood re-enforcements underneath. It is his test and experimental vehicle and I have had it on my tracks. What the body shell will be is as yet unknown but another member is building a duplicate of it.

The Plank

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