On30 Narrow Gauge Model Railroading

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

On30 Powered Equipment Minimum Radius

When I initially was considering modeling in On30, one of the first areas of research was the minimum radius required to operate the various commercial products. I am modeling in a very small space (102 inches x 30 inches, or approximately 260cm x 76cm) and I wanted to ensure the commercial On30 products of interest would be a reasonable fit. Around the internet I found a number of pieces of data. From these various web sites/pages and other sources, I put together the following table that I use as a reference -- perhaps it will help other modelers as well. Below the table you will find links to some of the major sources I used to assemble the table -- in a few cases, I have made adjustments based on my experience and/or data from other sources not listed.

Also please note that there is a separate entry coming on this blog that provides minimum radius information on On30 powered equipment kits that use HO mechanisms as donor chassis for On30 powered equipment.

Manfacturer Model Manufacturer
Reported to
Operate at
(may need
Bachmann On30 2-6-0 Mogul 18" or greater 12"
Bachmann On30 0-4-0 Porter 12" or greater 6"
Bachmann On30 0-4-2 Porter 15" or greater 9"
Bachmann On30 2-4-4-2 Articulated 18" or greater
Bachmann On30 2-6-6-2 Articulated 18" or greater 18"
Bachmann On30 Baldwin 4-6-0 22" or greater 17"
Bachmann On30 14-ton Two-Truck Stearns Heisler 15" or greater
Bachmann On30 1890's 4-4-0 American Inside Frame 18" or greater 15"
Bachmann On30 Modern 4-4-0 American Outside Frame 18" or greater 15"
Bachmann On30 2-4-4 Forney Inside/Outside Frame 22" or greater 18"
Bachmann On30 28-Ton Two-Truck Class B Climax 18" or greater 12"
Bachmann On30 Two Truck Shay 18" or greater 15"
Bachmann On30 2-8-0 Outside Frame 22" or greater 12"-18"
Bachmann On30 0-6-0 18" or greater
Bachmann On30 Rail Truck 18" or greater 10"
Bachmann On30 Rail Bus & Trailer 18" or greater 18"
Bachmann On30 Closed Street Car 15" or greater 3"
Bachmann On30 0-4-0 Side Rod Gas Mechanical 12" or greater 6"
Bachmann On30 Whitcomb 50-ton Center Cab 15" or greater
Accucraft Trains On30 Plymouth Diesel Switcher 0-4-0
Model No: AM55-013 (unpainted, yellow)
6" or greater 6"
Accucraft Trains On30 Diesel Switcher 0-4-0
Model No: AM55-033 (D&RGW #50)
AM55-034 (Sumpter Valley RR #101)
6" or greater 6"
Broadway Limited On30 C-16 2-8-0 18" or greater 15"
Precision Scale Co
On30 K27 2-8-2 26" or greater 26"

(more entries coming)

Where to find additional information:



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An active modeler in 1:64 scale (S scale) since 1998 and a relatively new On30 modeler, Michael's primary interests are in model railroading, structure modeling and control systems for model railroading. Michael is a life member of the National Model Railroad Association (NMRA), a member of the National Association of S Gaugers (NASG) and the Bristol S Gauge Railroaders.

Michael and his wife Deane Louise co-own Pine Canyon Scale Models, a manufacturer of S Scale and O scale structures.

Michael is a past chair of the NMRA's Digital Command Control (DCC) Working Group and was a contributor to the NMRA's DCC Standards activities. Michael continues to play an active role in the use of NMRA DCC in S Scale model railroading.

Michael previously served as the NASG National Secretary and Librarian for the NASG's Russell M. Mobley Memorial Library.


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