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Table 2 Clearance Info for Various Grades

Table 2 below shows the various clearances for 2%, 3 %, and 4% grades:

  Clearance (Rise) 2% Run 3% Run 4% Run
Scale inches inches inches inches
O 6.5 325 216.67 162.5
S 5.5 275 183.33 137.5
HO 3.5 175 116.67 87.5
TT 2.5 125 83.33 87.5
N 2 100 66.67 50
Z 1.5 75 50 37.5

Note: Rise/Run x 100 = Per Cent Grade (Slope)

Table 3 Manufacturer vs Scale

Table 3 below lists the major companies that produce most of the locomotive train products for each of the Scale Models:

Company Scale Manufactured
Aristo-Craft Trains G Scale
Athern All
Atlas Model RR Co. HO and N Scale
Atlas O Scale
Bachmann HO, N and G Scale
Hag Trains (Switzerland) HO scale
Kato USA Inc. HO and N Scale
LGB of America G Scale
Life-Like Inc. HO, N, O, and G Scale
Lionel O, S, and G Scale
Mehano Models (Slovenia) HO scale
Micro Trains Line N and Z Scale
Model Die Casting, Inc. HO, N, and G Scale
MTH Trains O and HO Scale
USA Trains G Scale
Walthers, Inc. G, O, S, HO, N, and Z Scale

Table 1 Model Train Scales

Table 1 below defines the various more common model train scales and gauges:

N Scale (ratio of model dimension to actual size) 1:148 to 1:160 Varies with manufacturer and country
     
N-Scale gauge  (distance between track rails) 9 mm (0.354 in)  
     
N-Scale Minimum diameter 17 in  
     
HO Scale (ratio of model dimension to actual size) 1:87  

     
HO -Scale gauge  (distance between track rails) 16.5 mm (0.650 in)  
     
HO- scale minimum diameter 30 in  
     
HOn3-1/2 Scale (ratio of model dimension to actual size) 1:87 Used for narrow gauge railroads
     
HOn3-1/2 -Scale gauge  (distance 12 mm (0.472 in) 3 ½ scale feet between rails
     
HOn 3-1/2- scale minimum diameter 30 in  
     
O Scale (ratio of model dimension to actual size) 1:48  
     
O-Scale gauge  (distance between track rails) 30 mm (1.181 in) (at 1:48 scale),  
     
O- scale minimum diameter 31 in  
     
O -27 Scale (ratio of model dimension to actual size) 1:48  
     
O-27 Scale gauge  (distance between track rails) 30 mm (1.181 in) (at 1:48 scale),  
     
O- 27 scale minimum diameter 27 in  
     
     
S-Scale (ratio of model dimension to actual size) 1:64  
     
S-Scale gauge  (distance between track rails) 22.42 mm (0.883 in)  
     
S- scale minimum diameter 40 in  
     
TT-Scale (ratio of model dimension to actual size) 1:120  
     
TT-Scale gauge  (distance between track rails) 12 mm (0.472 in)  
     
TT- scale minimum diameter 21 in  
     
G-Scale (ratio of model dimension to actual size) 1:22.5  
     
G-Scale gauge  (distance between track rails) 1.77 in  
     
G- scale minimum diameter 5 feet  

 

     
Z-Scale (ratio of model dimension to actual size) 1:220  
     
Z-Scale gauge  (distance between track rails) 6.5 mm(0.256 in)  
     
Z- scale minimum diameter 11.5 in  

G SCALE MODEL TRAINS

G model train layouts are very popular among railroad hobbyists, who really want something large in terms of scale and different because of the application to model train outdoor layouts.  

In order for the hobbyist to fully decide weather or not to build a G Scale layout one first investigate the task in terms of relative space requirements and relative equipment costs.  

Refer to Table 1 for a definition of the more popular model scales such as G, O, HO, N  and their associated specifications.  

Many G scale model railroad layouts pictures and associated G scale model railroad track plans are available in model railroad magazines and books. It is also possible to purchase G Scale Train Videos at a local hobby shop or on the Internet. These videos generally depict many railroad life-like scenes that the hobbyist can duplicate in his own layout. In this manner the novice will be able to decide what accessories are also required such as railroad signals stations, buildings, figurines, etc. A familiarization with these is the best way to get introduced to G scale railroading requirements leading to the ultimate development of your own G scale model railroad. Of course for outdoor applications one must be able to integrate the layout with existing landscaping. Refer to the listing below for  the most popular brands vs the scales they manufacture.  The following  listing  also discusses  the various types of  items manufactured.

 Aristo-Craft Trains of  Irvington, N.J. is a G-scale manufacturer of steam, diesel, passenger and  freight cars and associated accessories.

Athearn of  Long Beach, CA Atlas Model Railroad Co. manufactures all scale steam, diesel, passenger and  freight cars and associated accessories.

Atlas Model Railroad Co.  of  Hillside, NJ is an HO and N-scale manufacturer of steam, diesel, passenger and  freight cars and associated accessories.

Atlas O LLC of  Hillside, NJ is a O-scale manufacturer of steam, diesel, passenger and  freight cars and associated accessories.

Bachmann of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is an HO, N and G Scale manufacturer of steam, diesel, passenger and  freight cars and associated accessories.

Broadway Limited Imports of Ormond Beach, FL is an HO and N-scale manufacturer of steam, diesel, passenger and  freight cars and associated accessories.

Kato USA Inc of  Schaumburg, IL is an HO and N-scale manufacturer of steam, diesel, passenger and  freight cars and associated accessories

LGB of America of San Diego, CA is a G-scale manufacturer of steam, diesel, passenger and  freight cars and associated accessories

Life-Like Products, Inc. is now owned by Walthers, Inc of Baltimore Maryland which manufactures Life-Like steam, diesel, passenger and  freight cars and associated accessories for HO, N, O, and G Scales.

Lionel of Chesterfield, MI is an O, S and G Scale manufacturer of steam, diesel, passenger and  freight cars and associated accessories.

Micro Trains Line of Talent, OR is an N and Z Scale manufacturer of steam, diesel, passenger and  freight cars and associated accessories 

Model Die Casting, Inc. of Carson City,  NV is an HO, N and G Scale manufacturer of steam, diesel, passenger and  freight cars and associated accessories, under the Roundhouse name.

MTH Trains of of Columbia, Maryland is an O and HO Scale manufacturer of steam, diesel, passenger and  freight cars and associated accessories.

USA Trains of Malden, MA is a G Scale manufacturer of steam, diesel, passenger and  freight cars and associated accessories.

Walthers, Inc of Milwaukee, WI is an G, O, S, HO, N, and Z Scale Scale manufacturer and/or distributor of steam, diesel, passenger and  freight cars and associated accessories.

O SCALE MODEL TRAINS

O scale model train layouts are very popular among railroad hobbyists who prefer larger model locomotives, freight cars, passenger cars because they are easier to handle because of their size. The equipment also tends to be more rugged and virtually indestructible compared to the HO and N Scale model train counterparts. Of course, it is understood that the O Scale layout requires a lot more real estate to implement anything of even minimum complexity. If one recalls, the O-Gauge layouts constructed during Christmas time were generally limited to what ever could fit on a 4 x8 ft table. 

In order for the hobbyist to fully decide which scale is best from his/her perspective it is a good idea to read about O scale model railroad layouts in terms of relative space requirements and relative equipment costs.  Refer to Table 1 for a definition of the more popular model scales such as O, G, HO, N scale model trains and their associated specifications.  

Many O scale model railroad layouts pictures and associated O model railroad track plans are available in model railroad magazines and books. It is also possible to purchase O Train Videos at a local hobby shop or on the Internet. These videos generally depict many railroad life-like scenes that the hobbyist can duplicate in his own layout. In this manner, the novice will be able to decide what accessories are also required such as railroad signals stations, buildings, figurines, etc. A familiarization with these is the best way to get introduced to O scale railroading requirements leading to the ultimate development of your own O scale model railroad. Refer to the listing below for  the most popular brands vs the scales they manufacture.  The following  listing  also discusses  the various types of  items manufactured.

 Aristo-Craft Trains of  Irvington, N.J. is a G-scale manufacturer of steam, diesel, passenger and  freight cars and associated accessories.

Athearn of  Long Beach, CA Atlas Model Railroad Co. manufactures all scale steam, diesel, passenger and  freight cars and associated accessories.

Atlas Model Railroad Co.  of  Hillside, NJ is an HO and N-scale manufacturer of steam, diesel, passenger and  freight cars and associated accessories.

Atlas O LLC of  Hillside, NJ is a O-scale manufacturer of steam, diesel, passenger and  freight cars and associated accessories.

Bachmann of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is an HO, N and G Scale manufacturer of steam, diesel, passenger and  freight cars and associated accessories.

Broadway Limited Imports of Ormond Beach, FL is an HO and N-scale manufacturer of steam, diesel, passenger and  freight cars and associated accessories.

Kato USA Inc of  Schaumburg, IL is an HO and N-scale manufacturer of steam, diesel, passenger and  freight cars and associated accessories

LGB of America of San Diego, CA is a G-scale manufacturer of steam, diesel, passenger and  freight cars and associated accessories

Life-Like Products, Inc. is now owned by Walthers, Inc of Baltimore Maryland which manufactures Life-Like steam, diesel, passenger and  freight cars and associated accessories for HO, N, O, and G Scales.

Lionel of Chesterfield, MI is an O, S and G Scale manufacturer of steam, diesel, passenger and  freight cars and associated accessories.

Micro Trains Line of Talent, OR is an N and Z Scale manufacturer of steam, diesel, passenger and  freight cars and associated accessories 

Model Die Casting, Inc. of Carson City,  NV is an HO, N and G Scale manufacturer of steam, diesel, passenger and  freight cars and associated accessories, under the Roundhouse name.

MTH Trains of of Columbia, Maryland is an O and HO Scale manufacturer of steam, diesel, passenger and  freight cars and associated accessories.

USA Trains of Malden, MA is a G Scale manufacturer of steam, diesel, passenger and  freight cars and associated accessories.

Walthers, Inc of Milwaukee, WI is an G, O, S, HO, N, and Z Scale Scale manufacturer and/or distributor of steam, diesel, passenger and  freight cars and associated accessories.

N SCALE TRAINS

There are many types of N-scale Train sets.  They range from electrically powered to  battery powered.  One the most famous are the N-scale Thomas Trains which are toy steam trains meant for the youngest of children starting at pre-kindergarten age. Thomas the steam engine has a smiling face. The set normally comes with a set of freight or passenger trains, Thomas’ friends, metal track, and an electrical plug-in power pack.  These N scale Thomas and Friends models, which are electrically powered, are made by Tomix, a Japanese manufacturer. Tomix also makes toy diesel engines as well.  

Bachmann Model Trains makes a series of  N–Scale railroad Thomas train sets, that are electrically powered and available in Ho as well as G scales. In addition, Bachmann manufactures Bachmann model railroad train sets other than the Thomas series in N Scale as well as Ho scale. 

 Trackmaster Trains manufactures a series of battery powered Thomas Trains made of plastic. They too reflect characters from the Thomas & Friends stories and videos.  They run on brown plastic track, and almost all of the engines are battery powered.  Of course these trains are incompatible with the wooden track. 

Thomas Wooden Trains manufactures a series of hand powered push type Thomas Trains for youngsters from 2 to 5 years old, which are excellent for developing motor skills and imagination. Track and accessories are also made of wood. Of course these are not N-Scale, but are a great starter set. 

N scale trains layouts are very popular among railroad hobbyists, because the models are smaller (by nearly a half the size) than they are in HO scale, thus requiring a lot less space.    The term scale/track gauge is used interchangeably. In the UK, model railway is used synonymously with model railroad.  The model train scale, in this instance N scale, ranges from 1:148 to 1:160,  as compared to real-world dimensions. Gauge is defined as the distance between the rails which is 9 mm  which translates to 0.354 in. The term N gauge model railroad refers to the track dimensions, but in the UK in particular N gauge refers to a 1:148 scale with 9 mm (0.354 in) track gauge modeling. The terms N scale model trains and N gauge model trains are often used interchangeably. As previously mentioned, N scale model train layouts use up less space than HO scale.

While N scale is quite small, it is not the smallest commercially available scale, as Z scale is smaller yet at 1:220 and     T scale is 1:450. Refer to Table 1 for a definition of the more popular model scales and their associated specifications. In order for the hobbyist to fully decide which scale is best from his/her perspective it is a good idea to read about each model train scale in terms of relative space requirements and relative equipment costs. 

Many N scale model railroad layout pictures and associated track plans are available model railroad magazines and books. A familiarization with these is the best way to get introduced to N scale railroading requirements leading to the ultimate development of his/her own N scale model railroad. 

Refer to the listing below for  the most popular brands vs the scales they manufacture.  The following  listing  also discusses  the various types of  items manufactured.

 Aristo-Craft Trains of  Irvington, N.J. is a G-scale manufacturer of steam, diesel, passenger and  freight cars and associated accessories.

Athearn of  Long Beach, CA Atlas Model Railroad Co. manufactures all scale steam, diesel, passenger and  freight cars and associated accessories.

Atlas Model Railroad Co.  of  Hillside, NJ is an HO and N-scale manufacturer of steam, diesel, passenger and  freight cars and associated accessories.

Atlas O LLC of  Hillside, NJ is a O-scale manufacturer of steam, diesel, passenger and  freight cars and associated accessories.

Bachmann of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is an HO, N and G Scale manufacturer of steam, diesel, passenger and  freight cars and associated accessories.

Broadway Limited Imports of Ormond Beach, FL is an HO and N-scale manufacturer of steam, diesel, passenger and  freight cars and associated accessories.

Kato USA Inc of  Schaumburg, IL is an HO and N-scale manufacturer of steam, diesel, passenger and  freight cars and associated accessories

LGB of America of San Diego, CA is a G-scale manufacturer of steam, diesel, passenger and  freight cars and associated accessories

Life-Like Products, Inc. is now owned by Walthers, Inc of Baltimore Maryland which manufactures Life-Like steam, diesel, passenger and  freight cars and associated accessories for HO, N, O, and G Scales.

Lionel of Chesterfield, MI is an O, S and G Scale manufacturer of steam, diesel, passenger and  freight cars and associated accessories.

Micro Trains Line of Talent, OR is an N and Z Scale manufacturer of steam, diesel, passenger and  freight cars and associated accessories 

Model Die Casting, Inc. of Carson City,  NV is an HO, N and G Scale manufacturer of steam, diesel, passenger and  freight cars and associated accessories, under the Roundhouse name.

MTH Trains of of Columbia, Maryland is an O and HO Scale manufacturer of steam, diesel, passenger and  freight cars and associated accessories.

USA Trains of Malden, MA is a G Scale manufacturer of steam, diesel, passenger and  freight cars and associated accessories.

Walthers, Inc of Milwaukee, WI is an G, O, S, HO, N, and Z Scale Scale manufacturer and/or distributor of steam, diesel, passenger and  freight cars and associated accessories.

HO Model Train Scale

HO model train layouts are very popular among railroad hobbyists, particularly adults, because they permit the construction of a reasonably sized layout as compared to O-Gauge which was most probably the size scale used their own childhood during a typical holiday layout. If one recalls, the O-Gauge layouts were generally limited to what ever could fit on a 4 x8 ft table. Of course N scale is another alternative, but many adults (old timers) find the equipment difficult to handle since it is half the size of HO. 

In order for the hobbyist to fully decide which scale is best from his/her perspective it is a good idea to read about ho model railroad layouts in terms of relative space requirements and relative equipment costs.  Refer to Table 1 for a definition of the more popular model scales such as HO, O, N, G and their associated specifications.

Many ho scale model railroad layouts pictures and associated ho model railroad track plans are available in model railroad magazines and books. It is also possible to purchase HO Train Videos at a local hobby shop or on the Internet. These videos generally depict many railroad life-like scenes that the hobbyist can duplicate in his own layout. In this manner the novice will be able to decide what accessories are also required such as railroad signals stations, buildings, figurines, etc. A familiarization with these is the best way to get introduced to ho scale railroading requirements leading to the ultimate development of your own ho scale model railroad. 

Refer to the listing below for  the most popular brands vs the scales they manufacture.  The following  listing  also discusses  the various types of  items manufactured.

 Aristo-Craft Trains of  Irvington, N.J. is a G-scale manufacturer of steam, diesel, passenger and  freight cars and associated accessories.

Athearn of  Long Beach, CA Atlas Model Railroad Co. manufactures all scale steam, diesel, passenger and  freight cars and associated accessories.

Atlas Model Railroad Co.  of  Hillside, NJ is an HO and N-scale manufacturer of steam, diesel, passenger and  freight cars and associated accessories.

Atlas O LLC of  Hillside, NJ is a O-scale manufacturer of steam, diesel, passenger and  freight cars and associated accessories.

Bachmann of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is an HO, N and G Scale manufacturer of steam, diesel, passenger and  freight cars and associated accessories.

Broadway Limited Imports of Ormond Beach, FL is an HO and N-scale manufacturer of steam, diesel, passenger and  freight cars and associated accessories.

Kato USA Inc of  Schaumburg, IL is an HO and N-scale manufacturer of steam, diesel, passenger and  freight cars and associated accessories

LGB of America of San Diego, CA is a G-scale manufacturer of steam, diesel, passenger and  freight cars and associated accessories

Life-Like Products, Inc. is now owned by Walthers, Inc of Baltimore Maryland which manufactures Life-Like steam, diesel, passenger and  freight cars and associated accessories for HO, N, O, and G Scales.

Lionel of Chesterfield, MI is an O, S and G Scale manufacturer of steam, diesel, passenger and  freight cars and associated accessories.

Micro Trains Line of Talent, OR is an N and Z Scale manufacturer of steam, diesel, passenger and  freight cars and associated accessories 

Model Die Casting, Inc. of Carson City,  NV is an HO, N and G Scale manufacturer of steam, diesel, passenger and  freight cars and associated accessories, under the Roundhouse name.

MTH Trains of of Columbia, Maryland is an O and HO Scale manufacturer of steam, diesel, passenger and  freight cars and associated accessories.

USA Trains of Malden, MA is a G Scale manufacturer of steam, diesel, passenger and  freight cars and associated accessories.

Walthers, Inc of Milwaukee, WI is an G, O, S, HO, N, and Z Scale Scale manufacturer and/or distributor of steam, diesel, passenger and  freight cars and associated accessories.

Model Train Scale Attributes

The most popular model train scales are HO,N,O,and G scale respectively.  One might ask why do we have scale models at all?  It should be understood that the individual scales  evolved with the popularity of the hobby with the adult community. Although the hobby is probably over one hundred years old, the original model trains were actually “Toy Trains”  built to satisfy the motor skills of  little children, hence they were made out of wood and pushed around a track by hand, and were also larger than the O scale of today.  Prior to the twentieth century there were some steam powered trains made for adults.  Then in the early twentieth century wind-up Toy Trains and electrified trains came into being.  Ofcourse they were still not built to scale. That did not occur until manufacturing processes permited acurate modeling, which inturn increased the interest of the adult population.  Read on for the more specific details associated with these scales.

HO Model Scales Trains

N SCALE TRAINS

O SCALE  MODEL TRAINS

G SCALE TRAINS

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