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MODEL RAILROAD SCALES

 

This is a small list of the model railroad scales which are available today. Scale represents the proportion of the size of the model to the real thing.  Scale is often spoken of as a ratio.  For example, a real locomotive would be 1:1. HO scale is 1:87. This means that an HO locomotive is about 1/87th the size of a real one. You would need 87 HO locomotives lined up to equal the length of a real locomotive of exactly that same type! Remember, something often confused with scale is gauge. Gauge represents the distance between the inside of the two rails. Typically HO scale trains run on HO gauge track. But they could run on N gauge track -- if they represented narrow gauge equipment. Model people and buildings would be the same size but the distance between the rails would be smaller.  Trains built to run on G gauge track come in different scales. In other words: they are slightly larger or smaller in size but the distance between the rails is the same. Here just a few of the most common scales:
Scale

Ratio

Description

Z

1:220

Very small size, not recommended for small children

N

1:160

Second most common scale, good for small area's.

TT

1:120

Table Top - not very common.

HO

1:87

“H  Zero” is technically correct, but pronounced “H - OH”. Most common scale.  Derived from Half “O” scale

S

1:64

-

O

1:48

Pronounced “Oh”, but technically “Zero” 1.25” gauge

1

1:32

Original 1.75” gauge, which is now obsolete. Presently 45mm 

2

-

Obsolete

Half

1:24

 -

G

1:22

Commonly referred to as “G Scale”, designed to run on  gauge 1 (45mm)

Standard

-

2 1/8” gauge,  Lionel, American Flyer and others
As you can see in the highlighted area, my personal preference is HO. Most items in my collection are in this scale. Although I have some pieces in scale 1. Just could not resist. If I had the availability of unlimited space, this would actually be my preferred scale.


 


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