Porvoo Model Railroaders: Shark Bay Railroad - A three rail model railroad in O scale

In this video the members of the model railway club from Porvoo, Finland, present their particularly rare three rail model railroad layout in O scale. The members call their layout “Shark Bay Railroad”. They were weathering their locomotives, trains and coaches in an absolutely perfect way. The model trains are equipped with digital control from Lionel (Legacy) and MTH (DCS). The locomotives rumble along the tracks through an industrial landscape with a sawmill, a brewery and even a small fishing port.

Let me explain the use of a third rail in model railroading: Early toy trains used two metal rail tracks like most real trains. However, manufacturers quickly found that using a center rail for electric power and the two outer rails for common or ground made electrical contact much more reliable and less prone to short circuits.

Three rail contact also negates the need for insulated wheels, an important consideration before plastics wheels became widely available. Therefore, most models on the Finnish model railway display are made of metal. Finally, the entire layout is not very large. There is a marshalling yard on the left, and a circuit on the right. So the locomotives and the loving weathering are special.

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