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Running OO Gauge on HO Scale Code 83 Track

Jim sent in this question for readers:

“I’m looking at buying some OO gauge from England. Will there be any issues running on HO scale code 83 track? The locos will be DCC on the track as well as turn outs. Any help would great thank you.”

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7 Responses to Running OO Gauge on HO Scale Code 83 Track

  • Peter Brixxeysays:

    You might want to search for the manufacturers web sites, you should be able to find the information and specs there. If not, I am sure they will have a “contact us” link.

    Use Google.co.uk for your searches, and set your VPN if you have one to the UK.

  • Peter Brixeysays:

    RP-25 Wheel sets should be OK, but not NEM. I just acquired a new Loco from Germany with NEM wheels and it bumps along on Code 83.

  • Sheldon Clarksays:

    UK Gauge 00 stock is traditionally designed to run on standard Code 100 Track, but modern stock will be OK on Code 75, the UK fine scale track available from PECO. This means that modern stock will be OK on US Code 83. If you have any reservations about specific stock, you should contact the manufacturer. You would also be well advised to check with the manufacturer whether the DCC chip fitted to any loco, or which you intend to purchase to fit, is compatible with your DCC controller. Please note that UK locomotives that have already been fitted with a chip are advertised as “DCC on board”, “DCC fitted”, “DCC Sound” or DCC sound fitted.” Any loco you see advertised as “DCC ready”, “DCC 6”, “DCC Next 18” or similar doesn’t actually have a chip fitted, it simply has a blanking plug which needs to be removed & replaced with a suitable decoder. Another aspect of UK 00 models that could prove to be a problem for you is the fact that they are almost always supplied with hook and bar couplings of various types which are not always compatible with each other and, although modern stock is generally fitted with NEM coupling pockets, making it easy to change couplings, some older stock is not; in such cases, removing the factory-fitted coupling may merely involve undoing 1 or 2 screws, but in others may require some work with a saw and file(s) before you can fit your own NEM coupler pocket. Manufacturers’ catalogues usually indicate whether specific items of stock are fitted with NEM pockets; such information is always specific to individual catalogue numbers, not to descriptions such as “BR Mk1 Tourist Second Open” or “Stanier Vestibule Third”.

  • Kevin Chingsays:

    Hi Jim,
    There wont be a problem with the gauge but you will need to be aware of the wheel flange size on some OO loco’s the wheel flanges may be to large to clear the sleepers and the narrow clearance with turnout guard rails etc. Check before buying. enjoy your hobby.

  • Jim Mooresays:

    Thank you all for your comments,im doing more research on code 100 track to run these locos

  • Stephen Duncansays:

    If you can switch out the wheels for RP25 there will be no issues at all. It is the deep flanges that tend to cause the problems. When I rebuilt my HO scale railway recently I used code 100 Atlas with Code 100 switches (DCC friendly). I have two sections with pieces of code 83 rail – on a bridge. Every so often I have issues with a car running on the ties (sleepers) when they hit that section. Other than that the OO things should be just fine.

  • David Stokessays:

    HO and OO gauge track are both 16.5mm between the rail heads, so British locos should run on US layouts and vice versa. British loco and rolling stock wheels aren’t always made to NMRA Code 25, meaning that the flanges may ride on the spike heads, especially if the rail is of the lighter types now available.

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