Hon30 model trains are kind of a niche hobby even within the already niche hobby of model trains.
The HOn30 gauge is widely known as the modelling of HO scale trains on narrower N gauge tracks. The ratio used in traditional HO trains is 1:87, which means you have a lot of lee-way to make everything look the way you want and not have to worry about the immense size of the trains, to begin with.
What are Hon30 trains?
HOn30 trains are trains that use the HOn30 gauge and they are used in the US, with the H0e (e for European) being used mostly for the European prototypes. But in the end, it’s all basically the same concept – Models that have a narrow-gauge railway and are built on the very popular model railway scale HO.
The difference and what really makes all of this exciting and different is that they are using a track gauge of 9 mm.
What tracks do Hon30 use?
Hon30 trains usually run on an N gauge train track. To better understand this, the 9 mm track is the one usually used for the N scale models that are only 1:148, so about half the size of a traditional HO gauge track.
Even if the track is a traditional 9mm to start with, the reality is that the N scale track might not always be used due to the sleepers and ties that can be out of scale. Either that or they are too close to one another and that can bring in issues with certain types of HO scale trains.
Because of that, there are HOn30 tracks available, which will make the entire process a lot more distinctive and convenient at the same time.
You will notice that the HOn30 gauge is mostly used to model the 2 ft gauge railroads in the state of Maine.
The RTR models of Hon30 are very scarce, and that means this type of model can be pretty hard to find more often than not. This is also similar with the MinitrainS line that was updated, but normally these types of tracks are rarer and also a bit more expensive.
This is why you have to adapt to the situation and actively figure out how to manage and handle this kind of process.
What trains can run on Hon30?
There are many different types of trains that you can run on the Hon30. But for the most part, you will have the HO trains that run on an N scale sized tracks.
This means you won’t be able to do straight runs of passenger trains that are too long, so that’s definitely something that you may want to consider.
It all comes down to value and adaptability, and if you do it right this will help you immensely no matter what kind of trains you want to put on your HOn30 layout. That’s definitely something to pursue and if you tackle it the right way it’ll be a great advantage every time.
The good thing about this is that more and more Hon30 trains are becoming available on the market. Initially, and even today, these models tend to be on the scarce side, which is a bit unfortunate.
But the good thing about all of this is better understanding and tackling this type of model will be worth it.
That being said, the Hon30 system is not really for beginners.
It will take a little while for everything to come together nicely, and you will have all sorts of twists and turns. At the end of the day this goes to show the true value of model building and how it can actually push things to the next level for you and just entice you to bring in better value.
What scale and gauge does Hon30 run at?
As we mentioned above, the Hon30 is using a HO scale equipment. The track itself has a 30 inch gauge, which is something that a lot of people passionate about this topic might find a little bit confusing.
That being said, the scale is 1:87 which is not really small or large, it certainly stands out and it will bring in front some very creative aspects for you to keep in mind.
The scale might sound small at first, but in the end you will find that it works quite well. It’s definitely not for people that are new to the model train world, as it does require a lot of attention, experimentation and so on.
But it will work quite nicely and you will find it very dependable for the most part.
What is the best Hon30 model train layout?
For a lot of people the best Hon30 model train layout tends to be one that’s round. You can’t really go with many straight lines in this situation, which means there’s a bit of a challenge trying to put everything together nicely and making it work well in a straight line. A round or oval model layout is a lot better here and it will do wonders.
Some consider using the narrow gauge layout, but then again that can also be a bit difficult to pursue.
While the Hon30 train layouts might not be for the beginners in general, they are a lot of fun to pursue and you have a plethora of interesting options to check out. It’s certainly worth giving them a shot and you will find the overall experience to be a very pleasant and exciting one.
Adaptability is key when it comes to this kind of stuff and you really want to test it out and use it as you see fit. There are obvious challenges related to this process, but overall the experience is nice, and the quality is unlike anything out there.
So yes, if you don’t mind experimenting a bit and trying out all kinds of layouts, the Hon30 is definitely one of the better things out there in this situation!
Otherwise if you want a train that’s in a slightly more popular size, try our electric train guide here!
Peter has been building model trains for longer than he can remember. An avid fan of HO and O scale this blog is a creative outlet to allow him to dive further into other scales and aspects of the model train community and hobby.