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Pros and Cons of Model Train Scales

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Pros and Cons of Model Train Scales

This article is about the pros and cons of the different model train scales. Information is given about reasons to choose a certain scale. Areas to consider are available space, use of accessories, and availability of equipment. When starting your model railroad you should consider what you are most interested in.

For example do you want detailed model train scenery, would you like your layout to showcase several scenic locations, do you like operating accessories, and how much space do you have available? There are so many possibilities and variations. Your model railroad can run the gamut from having a simple one train setup, or a complex one with many operating accessories and multiple trains that highlight different scenery locations or anything in between.

Features of the O scale

The most popular scales are O, HO, N and G. The O scale is the scale that became most popular by the Lionel train company. It represents a size of 1/48 of the prototype it is modeled after. The O scale is kind of an intermediate size. Many interesting layouts can be done on 4’x6′ or 4’x8′ bench work. Why choose HO? The HO scale is 1/87 of the prototype and is about half the size of the O scale. This size has become very popular since you can have about twice the layout in the same size as an O scale layout. The trains have excellent detail and there are many accessories available.

What about the N scale?

N scale model trains are becoming more and more popular because of their small size. This scale is 1/160 of the prototype. This makes it about half the size of the HO scale. The N scale came into prominence in the 1960’s. A key feature of this scale is that a very diverse layout can be built with different scenic layouts in a much smaller space. For example you can have your train go from the Great Outdoors with mountains; tunnels and rivers, then pass through low-lying farm lands with corn fields, farm houses, and small country towns to the big city with factories and switching terminals all on a 4’x6′ or 4’x8′ table top

What is G scale?

The G scale model trains are often called Garden trains. This is because of their size they are well suited to be set up in a garden and used outdoors. They are 1/22 of the actual size. These trains were first introduced in Germany around 1881. They continue to be popular in Europe and the US. Because of their size they are more durable than the smaller scales. This feature makes them popular with parents and children since they will stand up better to rougher use. When picking a scale to use for your model railroad you need to consider many factors.

You need to know the size of the area that you will set up your trains in. Who will be using them most? How elaborate do you want your layout to be and how realistic? Do you just want a simple circle to go around an outside garden or do you want an elaborate setup with all kinds of different scenery and accessories. For example, are you interested in creating detailed scenery with multiple scenic settings you will need a large amount of space or a smaller scale? For a simple one train setup almost any scale will do.

Do you want to have the adults and kids enjoy the trains outside? Then the G scale is for you. If you want many operating accessories with remote controlled bridges, automatic crossing gates, and all sorts of operating freight cars such as dumping log and coal carriers, then you should look at the O scale with its large diversity of this type of equipment. This is part of the fun of model railroading. There are so many possibilities.

To learn more about this great hobby, just click on the resource link below. Trainman Neil has been a model train enthusiast for over 30 years. You can visit his website to learn all about the many aspects of model railroading and what makes it so appealing to so many people.

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