Once a common model railroading technique for those seeking more scale realism before 2 rail wiring was widely understood, outside 3rd rail has become somewhat of a lost art. This group is intended to be an ongoing library of information on this technique from old magazine articles, pictures and videos, to new techniques and layouts that may still do it this way.

The idea is centered around 3 rail track such as that used by Lionel and other O gauge companies. The center rail however is moved out from between the main rails to the outside of them hence the name.

Some modern day subway lines still use outside 3rd rail. The focus of this group is not on subway/traction model railroad layouts but rather the old technique of using outside 3rd rail to obtain more of a scale appearing layout while still using a 3rd rail for power. Traction/subway layouts will not be excluded though.

Examples of some great well known outside 3rd rail O scale layouts were the late Frank Ellison's Delta Lines and the late John Armstrong's Canandaigua Southern. 

If you have any pictures or videos of any outside 3rd rail or even stud rail or functional overhead wire pantograph based layouts, please send them in. This group welcomes all versions of 3 rail electrification that doesn't involve a conventional center 3rd rail.

Group Information

  • 8 Members
  • 0 Topics
  • Started on

Group Email Addresses

Group Settings

  • All members can post to the group.
  • Posts to this group do not require approval from the moderators.
  • Posts from new users require approval from the moderators.
  • Messages are set to reply to group.
  • Subscriptions to this group do not require approval from the moderators.
  • Archive is visible to members only.
  • Wiki is visible to members only.
  • Members can edit their messages.
  • Members can set their subscriptions to no email.

 or  Log In If You Are Already A Member

Archived Messages