Rail transport modelling scales

# Rail transport modelling scales

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Rail transport modelling
Rail transport modelling
Railway modelling or model railroading is a hobby in which rail transport systems are modelled at a reduced scale...

utilises a variety of scales
Scale (ratio)
The scale ratio of some sort of model which represents an original proportionally is the ratio of a linear dimension of the model to the same dimension of the original. Examples include a 3-dimensional scale model of a building or the scale drawings of the elevations or plans of a building. In such...

(ratio between the real world and the model) to ensure scale model
Scale model
A scale model is a physical model, a representation or copy of an object that is larger or smaller than the actual size of the object, which seeks to maintain the relative proportions of the physical size of the original object. Very often the scale model is used as a guide to making the object in...

s look correct when placed next to each other. Model railway scales are standardized worldwide by many organizations and hobbyist groups. Some of the scales are recognized globally, while others are less widespread and, in many cases, virtually unknown outside their circle of origin. Scales may be expressed as a numeric ratio (eg: 1/87 or 1:87) or as a letter defined in rail transport modelling standards (eg: HO
HO scale
HO or H0 is the most popular scale of model railway in the world.According to the NMRA standard S-1.2 predominantly used in North America, in HO scale, represents 1 real foot ; this ratio works out to about 1:87.1. According to the MOROP standard NEM 010 predominantly used in Europe, the scale is...

, OO, N
N scale
N scale is a popular model railway scale/track gauge. Depending upon the manufacturer , the scale ranges from 1:148 to 1:160. In all cases, the gauge is . The term N gauge refers to the track dimensions, but in the UK in particular N gauge refers to a 1:148 scale with track gauge modelling...

, O
O scale
O scale is a scale commonly used for toy trains and model railroading. Originally introduced by German toy manufacturer Märklin around 1900, by the 1930s three-rail alternating current O gauge was the most common model railroad scale in the United States and remained so until the early 1960s...

, G
G scale
G scale is a scale for model railways, and because of its size and durability, G scale is often used outdoors. Such installations are known as garden railways.-LGB:...

, TT
TT scale
thumb|right|250px|TT scale model railroadTT scale is a niche model railroading scale, whose name stands for Table Top.Its 1:120 scale and gauge sizes it almost halfway between HO scale and N scale...

and Z
Z scale
Z scale is one of the smallest commercially available model railway scales with a track gauge of . Z scale trains operate on 0-10 volts direct current and offer the same operating characteristics as all other two-rail, direct-current, analog model railways...

.) The majority of commercial model railway equipment manufacturers base their offerings on NEM or NMRA standards in most popular scales.

## Terminology

Although scale
Scale (ratio)
The scale ratio of some sort of model which represents an original proportionally is the ratio of a linear dimension of the model to the same dimension of the original. Examples include a 3-dimensional scale model of a building or the scale drawings of the elevations or plans of a building. In such...

and gauge
Rail gauge
Track gauge or rail gauge is the distance between the inner sides of the heads of the two load bearing rails that make up a single railway line. Sixty percent of the world's railways use a standard gauge of . Wider gauges are called broad gauge; smaller gauges, narrow gauge. Break-of-gauge refers...

are often confused, Scale means the ratio between a unit of measurement on a model compared with a unit of measurement in corresponding full size prototype, while gauge is the distance between the two running rails of the track. About 60% of the world's railways have a track gauge of known as "standard gauge", but there are also narrow gauge railways where the track gauge is less than standard and broad gauge railways
Broad-gauge railways use a track gauge greater than the standard gauge of .- List :For list see: List of broad gauges, by gauge and country- History :...

where the gauge is wider. In a similar manner, a scale model railway may have several track gauges in one scale.

In addition to the scale and gauge issue, rail transport modelling standards are also applied to other attributes such as catenary, rolling stock wheel profile
A wheelset is the wheel-axle assembly of a railroad car. The frame assembly beneath each end of a car, railcar or locomotive that holds the wheelsets is called the bogie...

A loading gauge defines the maximum height and width for railway vehicles and their loads to ensure safe passage through bridges, tunnels and other structures...

The minimum railway curve radius, the shortest design radius, has an important bearing on constructions costs and operating costs and, in combination with superelevation in the case of train tracks, determines the maximum safe speed of a curve. Superelevation is not a factor on tramway tracks...

and grades for slopes, to ensure interoperation of scale models produced by different manufacturers. Globally, the two dominating standard organizations are NMRA in North America and MOROP
MOROP
MOROP is a European association that federates national associations of railroad and model railroad enthusiasts. MOROP was founded in Genoa in 1954 and now has its headquarters in Bern . In 2006, MOROP federated 22 national associations from 17 European countries, with a total of more than 30,000...

in Europe with their NEM standard.

## History of scale standards

The first model railways were not built to any particular scale and were more like toys than miniature representations of the full size prototype. Eventually, the authenticity of models grew and benefits of standardization became more obvious. The most significant and the most basic area of standardization was the model track gauge. At first, certain gauges became de facto
De facto
De facto is a Latin expression that means "concerning fact." In law, it often means "in practice but not necessarily ordained by law" or "in practice or actuality, but not officially established." It is commonly used in contrast to de jure when referring to matters of law, governance, or...

standards in hobbyist and manufacturer circles. While the first unofficial standard gauges made interchangeability possible, the rolling stock were still only a rough approximation of the full scale prototype.

Eventually the unofficial or manufacturer specific scale standards became more established and were adopted by various model railway standardization bodies such as NMRA and MOROP
MOROP
MOROP is a European association that federates national associations of railroad and model railroad enthusiasts. MOROP was founded in Genoa in 1954 and now has its headquarters in Bern . In 2006, MOROP federated 22 national associations from 17 European countries, with a total of more than 30,000...

. However, despite of existing scale and gauge standards they were very often poorly implemented in design and manufacturing processes with commercial manufacturers before the World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. The conformity to scale standards grew strongly in the 1950s and 1960s when many new model railway accessories manufacturers were born and to whom the standard conformity was vital.

For most standardized model railway scales, the nominal scale reduction ratio is not applied systematically to all the components of a scale model railway, and normally the standards give scale specific design guidelines for all the scales they cover. Reliability of operations requires that certain parts be made oversize. A typical example is the wheel flanges, which must be proportionally higher in smaller scales to ensure that lighter and smaller models do not derail easily as they would if universal flange proportions were used in all the scales. For instance, a Z scale
Z scale
Z scale is one of the smallest commercially available model railway scales with a track gauge of . Z scale trains operate on 0-10 volts direct current and offer the same operating characteristics as all other two-rail, direct-current, analog model railways...

wheel flange as defined in the NEM standard should be about 9% of the scale nominal standard gauge , whereas the same standard gives only 5% for standard gauge I scale
1 gauge
Gauge 1 is a model railroadingand toy train standard, popular in the early 20th century, particularly with European manufacturers. Its track measures , making it larger than 0 gauge but slightly smaller than wide gauge, which came to be the dominant U.S...

.

While standards that put the emphasis on operational reliability satisfy most users and the industry, certain groups of dedicated hobby modellers who were dissatisfied with the scale inaccuracies in the name of reliability have developed alternative scale standards where prototype proportions are maintained to the extent possible. These alternative standards are called finescale standards. Finescale standards are very much restricted to discerning hobbyists since, by definition, finescale model railways are generally less reliable and more expensive to manufacture, which makes them unsuitable for mass-production products.

## Mixing of scales

It is possible to use different scales of models together effectively, especially to create a false sense of depth (referred to as "forced perspective"). Scales close to each other are also hard to tell apart with the naked eye. An onlooker seeing a 1:43 model car next to a 1:48 scale model train might not notice anything wrong, for example.

Some common examples of mixing scales are:
• a foreshortening technique using N scale
N scale
N scale is a popular model railway scale/track gauge. Depending upon the manufacturer , the scale ranges from 1:148 to 1:160. In all cases, the gauge is . The term N gauge refers to the track dimensions, but in the UK in particular N gauge refers to a 1:148 scale with track gauge modelling...

(1:160) model trains in the background (distance) with H0 scale (1:87) in the foreground.
• mixing 1:43 scale
1:43 scale
1:43 scale is an extremely popular size of die-cast model for adult collectors in Europe, Asia and the US. There are many manufacturers in this scale producing everything from customized and accurate race cars to emergency vehicles to family sedans and SUVs, including several making the...

, 1:48 scale
1:48 scale
1:48 scale is popular among modelers both as diecast models, plastic models made from kits, and construction toys. It is especially popular with manufacturers of model airplanes and model trains...

and 1:50 scale
1:50 scale
1:50 scale is a popular size for diecast models from European manufacturers such as Conrad, Tekno, NZG, WSI and LionToys. Typically they produce scale models of construction vehicles, tower cranes, trucks and buses. These are often the official models distributed by the manufacturers of the real...

die-cast models with 0 scale model trains.
• using Matchbox cars (1:64 to 1:100) with H0 scale and S scale
S scale
S Scale is a model railroad scale modeled at 1:64 scale, S scale track gauge is . S gauge trains are manufactured in both DC and AC powered varieties...

.
• mixing 00 scale British model trains with H0 scale models.
• using 1:144 scale
1:144 scale
1:144 scale is a scale used for some scale models such as micro/mini armor. 1:144 means that the dimensions of the model are 1/144 the dimensions of the original life-sized object...

die-cast models with N scale
N scale
N scale is a popular model railway scale/track gauge. Depending upon the manufacturer , the scale ranges from 1:148 to 1:160. In all cases, the gauge is . The term N gauge refers to the track dimensions, but in the UK in particular N gauge refers to a 1:148 scale with track gauge modelling...

.

## Scales

Name Size/Scale
Scale (ratio)
The scale ratio of some sort of model which represents an original proportionally is the ratio of a linear dimension of the model to the same dimension of the original. Examples include a 3-dimensional scale model of a building or the scale drawings of the elevations or plans of a building. In such...

Gauge
Rail gauge
Track gauge or rail gauge is the distance between the inner sides of the heads of the two load bearing rails that make up a single railway line. Sixty percent of the world's railways use a standard gauge of . Wider gauges are called broad gauge; smaller gauges, narrow gauge. Break-of-gauge refers...

in mm
Grand Scale 1:4 and up 254 mm and up . Several large scales exist, but are not strictly model railroading gauges. Instead, they are used mostly in commercial settings, such as amusement park
Amusement park
thumb|Cinderella Castle in [[Magic Kingdom]], [[Disney World]]Amusement and theme parks are terms for a group of entertainment attractions and rides and other events in a location for the enjoyment of large numbers of people...

rides.
Live steam
Live steam
Live steam is steam under pressure, obtained by heating water in a boiler. The steam is used to operate stationary or moving equipment.A live steam machine or device is one powered by steam, but the term is usually reserved for those that are replicas, scale models, toys, or otherwise used for...

1:8 184 or 190 Ridable
Ridable miniature railway
A ridable miniature railway is a ground-level, large scale model railway that hauls passengers using locomotives that are models of full-sized railway locomotives .-Overview:Typically they have a rail track gauge between and , though both larger and...

, outdoor gauge, named according to the gauge in inches, and scale in inches per foot, for example gauge, 1.5 inch scale. The gauge is in the western parts of US and Canada, where the scale sometimes is 1.6 inch for diesel-type models. Private and public (club) tracks exist in many areas, among them the world's largest model railroad, Train Mountain, with over 25 miles (40 km) of tracks. Powerful locomotives can pull 50 or more passengers. Narrow gauge models in this gauge can be as large as 1:3 scale.
Live steam
Live steam
Live steam is steam under pressure, obtained by heating water in a boiler. The steam is used to operate stationary or moving equipment.A live steam machine or device is one powered by steam, but the term is usually reserved for those that are replicas, scale models, toys, or otherwise used for...

1:12 127 or 121 Ridable, outdoor gauge. The gauge is in Europe, but in US and Canada. For standard gauge prototypes at 5 inch, the scale is 1-1/16 inch per foot or approximately 1:11.3. Together with the 1:8 scale above, this is a popular scale for backyard railroad
A backyard railroad is a privately owned, outdoor railroad, most often in miniature, but large enough for one or several persons to ride on. The rail gauge can be anything from to or more. Smaller backyard or outdoor railroads that cannot be ridden are called garden railroads.Hundreds, even...

s. Pulling power is enough for more than a dozen passengers on level tracks.
SE scale
SE scale
SE scale is a designation used by a growing number of modellers to describe miniature trains which run on either Gauge 1 track or O gauge track. In SE scale, 7/8ths of an inch equals one foot, which is a ratio of 1:13.7...

7/8 inch
1:13.71 45 Models of gauge prototypes using track. Used by folks modelling the Maine 2-footers, but increasingly also by anyone interested in very large scale models of industrial prototypes, including the many Welsh slate mines and other European operations. Although this is mostly a scratch-builders scale, there is an increasing supply of kits, parts and figures. Some modelers using 7/8 scale operate on track, used to replicate gauge industrial lines found in Great Britain and other countries.
Live steam
Live steam
Live steam is steam under pressure, obtained by heating water in a boiler. The steam is used to operate stationary or moving equipment.A live steam machine or device is one powered by steam, but the term is usually reserved for those that are replicas, scale models, toys, or otherwise used for...

1:16 89 Ridable, outdoor gauge. The gauge is the world over.
gauge 3 1:22.6 63.5 One of the original model railroad scales standardized in 1909, a minority interest, which is undergoing a revival in the UK and in Germany (where it is known as Spur II). gauge 3 track is commercially available, as are a growing number of locomotive and rolling stock kits . The European standard of 1:22.5 scale trains on track is called IIm scale, as per European narrow gauge naming conventions or G scale
G scale
G scale is a scale for model railways, and because of its size and durability, G scale is often used outdoors. Such installations are known as garden railways.-LGB:...

, its popular name.
Live steam
Live steam
Live steam is steam under pressure, obtained by heating water in a boiler. The steam is used to operate stationary or moving equipment.A live steam machine or device is one powered by steam, but the term is usually reserved for those that are replicas, scale models, toys, or otherwise used for...

1:24 63 At , this is the smallest of the "ridable" gauges. Only one or two passengers can be pulled. This was one of the first popular live steam gauges, developed in England in the early 1900s, though now less popular than the larger gauges it still has a following. A model can normally be lifted by one person.
Wide gauge
Wide Gauge
Standard Gauge, also known as Wide Gauge, was an early model railway and toy train rail gauge, introduced in the United States in 1906 by Lionel Corporation. As it was a toy standard, rather than a scale modeling standard, the actual scale of Standard Gauge locomotives and rolling stock varied...

1:26.59 or 1:28.25 53.975 Called Standard Gauge by Lionel, who trademarked the name. Other manufacturers used the same gauge and called it Wide Gauge. Not widely produced after 1940. Gauge No. 2
Gauge No. 2
2 gauge is a model railway gauge originally , but standardised in 1909 at but since fallen into disuse. The gauge was introduced by Märklin at the Leipzig toy fair in 1891. 2 gauge was equivalent to 1:22,5 scale. / gauge was standardised in 1909 as gauge 3...

using track of gauge was one of the standard model gauges in 1909.
16 mm scale 1:19.05 32 This scale was first developed in the UK in the 1950s to depict narrow gauge prototypes utilising or "O gauge" track and wheels, but really took off in popularity during the 1960s and 70s. Originally, it was mostly used as an indoor modelling scale, but has also developed as a popular scale for garden railways of narrow gauge prototypes. Some manufacturers that produce models depicting North American narrow gauge prototypes have also adopted this scale for use alongside the near-compatible Fn3 (15 mm or 1: 20.32) scale on track already popular in the US. Both electric, battery and live steam
Live steam
Live steam is steam under pressure, obtained by heating water in a boiler. The steam is used to operate stationary or moving equipment.A live steam machine or device is one powered by steam, but the term is usually reserved for those that are replicas, scale models, toys, or otherwise used for...

propulsion is used to power model locomotives in this scale, and is supported by a growing range of commercially available ready-to-run models, kits and parts.
Fn3 scale 1:20.3 45 Similar to G Scale below, this scale also uses gauge track, and is used for both indoor and garden railway
Garden railway
A garden railroad or garden railway is a model railway system set up outdoors in a garden. While G is the most popular scale for garden railroads, 16 mm scale has a dedicated and growing following especially in the UK. Model locomotives in this scale are often live steam scale models of British...

s of narrow gauge prototypes. The scale of 1:20.3 was developed to depict North American gauge trains in exact proportion to their correct track gauge whilst using gauge model track. It equates to 15 mm = 1 foot (1 : 20.32) scale. Increasingly popular for both electric and live steam
Live steam
Live steam is steam under pressure, obtained by heating water in a boiler. The steam is used to operate stationary or moving equipment.A live steam machine or device is one powered by steam, but the term is usually reserved for those that are replicas, scale models, toys, or otherwise used for...

propulsion of model locomotives, with an ever growing range of commercially available ready-to-run models, kits and parts. Fn3 scale, together with G scale and ½ inch (1:24) scale, are commonly and collectively referred to as "Large Scale" by many modellers.
G scale
G scale
G scale is a scale for model railways, and because of its size and durability, G scale is often used outdoors. Such installations are known as garden railways.-LGB:...

various 45 (Originally from the German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

groß (meaning "big"), now also G as in Garden) G is generally used for garden railway
Garden railway
A garden railroad or garden railway is a model railway system set up outdoors in a garden. While G is the most popular scale for garden railroads, 16 mm scale has a dedicated and growing following especially in the UK. Model locomotives in this scale are often live steam scale models of British...

s of narrow gauge prototypes, and uses the same track gauge as 1 gauge
1 gauge
Gauge 1 is a model railroadingand toy train standard, popular in the early 20th century, particularly with European manufacturers. Its track measures , making it larger than 0 gauge but slightly smaller than wide gauge, which came to be the dominant U.S...

, below. The scale ranges aproximatively from 1/19 to 1/29, according to the size and gauge of the prototype.
IIm scale 1:22.5 45 Similar to G scale above, this scale also uses gauge track, and is used for both indoor and garden railway
Garden railway
A garden railroad or garden railway is a model railway system set up outdoors in a garden. While G is the most popular scale for garden railroads, 16 mm scale has a dedicated and growing following especially in the UK. Model locomotives in this scale are often live steam scale models of British...

s of narrow gauge prototypes. It depicts 1 metre gauge trains in exact proportion to their correct track gauge.
½ inch scale
1:24 scale
1:24 is a very popular size for Die-cast toy vehicles, which are collected by children and adults. Primarily automobiles are made in this scale, with a few examples of tractor trailers and other larger equipment. Plastic automobile kits are frequently made in this scale.1:24 is the largest of the...

1:24 45 Similar to G Scale above, this scale also runs on gauge track, and is generally used for both indoor and garden railways of narrow gauge prototypes. The scale of 1:24 in combination with track is an attempt to model North American and UK narrow gauge or narrow gauge
Cape gauge
Cape gauge is a track gauge of between the inside of the rail heads and is classified as narrow gauge. It has installations of around .The gauge was first used by Norwegian engineer Carl Abraham Pihl and the first line was opened in 1862.- Nomenclature :...

trains in better proportion to the rails they run on.
Gauge 2 1:29 50.4/45 The dominant scale used in the United States for models of "standard gauge" trains running on track, even though 1:32 is more prototypically correct. 1:29 represents standard gauge using gauge track, the original gauge 2. This fell into disuse as gauge 1 at 1.75 inch was very close. Some manufacturers kept the scale for the models but running them on slightly narrow gauge track.
1 gauge
1 gauge
Gauge 1 is a model railroadingand toy train standard, popular in the early 20th century, particularly with European manufacturers. Its track measures , making it larger than 0 gauge but slightly smaller than wide gauge, which came to be the dominant U.S...

3/8 inch scale
1:32 45 This large scale, once rarely seen indoors in modern use but frequently used for modelling standard gauge
Standard gauge
The standard gauge is a widely-used track gauge . Approximately 60% of the world's existing railway lines are built to this gauge...

trains as garden railway
Garden railway
A garden railroad or garden railway is a model railway system set up outdoors in a garden. While G is the most popular scale for garden railroads, 16 mm scale has a dedicated and growing following especially in the UK. Model locomotives in this scale are often live steam scale models of British...

s, is making a come-back. The Japanese firm of Aster Hobby offers ready-to-run gas-fired livesteam models. Accucraft Trains also offer finely crafted livesteam models in this scale. Gauge 1 has seen something of a remarkable revival in recent years after decades of near extinction commercially, with a growing number of smaller UK manufacturers offering electrically powered and live steam
Live steam
Live steam is steam under pressure, obtained by heating water in a boiler. The steam is used to operate stationary or moving equipment.A live steam machine or device is one powered by steam, but the term is usually reserved for those that are replicas, scale models, toys, or otherwise used for...

locomotives and rolling stock in ready to run, parts and kit form. Some manufacturers offer so-called Gauge 1 items in 1:30.48 scale (10 mm = 1 foot) that also run on gauge track. Gauge 1 also has its own international association .
L gauge
Lego train
Lego Trains is a product range and theme of the construction toy Lego, which incorporates buildable train sets. Products in the range have included locomotives, tracks, rolling stock, train stations, signal houses, and other track-side buildings. The theme is popular among adult fans, as well as...

1:38 (nominal) 38 Unofficial designation of toy trains built from LEGO
Lego
Lego is a line of construction toys manufactured by the Lego Group, a privately held company based in Billund, Denmark. The company's flagship product, Lego, consists of colorful interlocking plastic bricks and an accompanying array of gears, minifigures and various other parts...

. Equipment can be built to differing widths in relation to the track gauge, and are becoming increasingly popular among persons who grew up with the building toy system.
0 scale 1:43.5 (Great Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

and France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

),
1:45 (Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

and Czech
Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

),
1:48 (US
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

)
32 Name originally was '0' (zero), '1' through '6' were already in use for larger scales. In the US, this is frequently considered a 'toy train
Toy train
A toy train is a toy that represents a train. It is distinguished from a model train by an emphasis on low cost and durability, rather than scale modeling. A toy train can be as simple as a pull toy that does not even run on track, or it might be operated by clockwork or a battery...

' scale rather than for scale modellers. However, though toy trains use this gauge, they are often nowhere near scale. Scale modellers have begun to use this gauge for their scale models, resulting in a two separate groups of modellers within this "scale": "hi-railers", those who run toy train equipment on oversized track and scale modellers, who run scale equipment on scale track. A limited few have been able to combine both. Nowadays, even high-railers have the option of extremely precise scale models and track. Lionel, LLC
Lionel, LLC
Lionel, LLC is a designer and importer of toy trains and model railroads, based in Chesterfield Township, Michigan. Its roots lie in the 1969 purchase of the Lionel product line by cereal conglomerate General Mills....

, MTH Electric Trains
MTH Electric Trains
MTH Electric Trains, formerly Mike's Train House, is an American toy train and model railroad designer, importer, and manufacturer, based in Columbia, Maryland...

, and Atlas O are major manufacturers of this scale. While in Russia and former Soviet countries is used gauge of 1520 mm (4 ft 11 5 / 6), but for the models, the norms of standards NEM. Therefore, the gauge for the models is 32 mm, rather than about 34. In this model, the rolling stock are made in scale 1:45.
Proto:48 1:48 29.90 These are to the same scale as US O gauge but are accurate scale models in all dimensions including track and wheels.
On30
On30
On30 is the most common term used to describe the modelling of narrow gauge railways in O scale on HO gauge track. Other terms used include O16.5, Oe, and On2½. It is part of the hobby of rail transport modelling.- Definitions :...

1:48 16.5 Narrow-gauge 0-scale models running on H0 gauge track.
ScaleSeven
ScaleSeven
ScaleSeven is a set of finescale model railway standards for 1:43.5 using true-to-prototype track and wheel standards. It is principally used to model British standard gauge , Irish Broad Gauge , or Great Western broad gauge....

1:43.5 33 Exact scale version of British O gauge.
Z0 gauge 1:60 24 Got attention in Germany around 1950 as an attempt of a scale between O and HO. Z0 means "Zwischen-Null" (between O).
S gauge 1:64 22.42 Originally called "H-1" because it was half the size of Gauge 1 (1:32), the "S" name is derived from 'S'ixty-fourth. In the US, American Flyer
American Flyer
American Flyer was a popular brand of toy train and model railroad in the United States in the middle part of the 20th century.- The Chicago era, 1907–1938 :...

toy train
Toy train
A toy train is a toy that represents a train. It is distinguished from a model train by an emphasis on low cost and durability, rather than scale modeling. A toy train can be as simple as a pull toy that does not even run on track, or it might be operated by clockwork or a battery...

s used this gauge, but it is also used for more precise modelling and supported by several manufacturers. In the UK, S scale modelling is largely the preserve of a dedicated few hand-building models or using a small number of available kits and parts, mostly depicting standard gauge prototypes but also narrow and broad gauge subjects too. The UK-based S Scale Model Railway Society is the oldest scale support society in the world, being first established in 1946. In the United States, S scale has a small but growing following in the modelling of standard gauge railroads, especially those of the 1940s and 1950s era, a focus that is supported by S Helper Service and American Models , among others. This scale is also popular in North America to depict narrow gauge prototypes (using dedicated gauge track and known as "Sn3"), and elsewhere to depict the narrow gauge railways (using H0 scale gauge track and known as "Sn3½") of South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
00 gauge 1:76.2 16.5 This scale is today the most popular modelling scale in the UK, although it once had some following in the US (on gauge track) before WW2. 00 or "Double-Oh", together with EM gauge and P4 standards are all to 4 mm scale as the scale is the same, but the track standards are incompatible. 00 uses the same track as HO ( gauge), which is not correct for this slightly larger scale, but it is the most common British standard for ready-to-run trains. In Britain there exists The Double 0 Gauge Association to promote this scale. Narrow gauge modelling of prototypes ("00n3" on track) was once popular although now less so, but the depiction of approximately or prototypes ("OO9
OO9
OO9 is a model railway scale and gauge combination of 4 mm scale and gauge tracks, which models a prototype track gauge of . It is a common choice in the United Kingdom for the modelling of narrow gauge railways whose prototype gauges lie approximately between and...

" on track) has a greater following with a flourishing supply of kits and parts from many small UK-based suppliers.
EM gauge
EM gauge
EM gauge is a variant of 4 mm to a foot scale used in model railways....

1:76.2 18.2 EM gauge was an earlier attempt in the 1950s to improve the inaccuracies of 00 gauge, with wider, more accurate track at between the rails, but still narrower than the correct gauge. The gauge was later widened to . The UK-based EM Gauge Society exists to supports modellers of these standards.
P4 gauge
P4 gauge
P4 or Protofour is a set of standards for model railways allowing a more accurate construction of models to a scale of 4 mm to 1 foot , the predominant scale of model railways of the British prototype...

1:76.2 18.83 P4 was created in the 1960s as the most accurate possible standards for modelling in 4 mm scale. Supported by the UK based Scalefour Society.
H0 scale 1:87 16.5 This is the most popular model railway scale in the world, although not in the United Kingdom. The name is derived from "Half 0" and the European (NEM
Normen Europäischer Modelleisenbahnen
NEM standards are the standards for model railroads issued by the MOROP. NEM stands for Normen Europäischer Modellbahnen , Normas Europeas de Modelismo or Normes Européennes de Modélisme , the German translating to European Standards for Model Railways)...

) standards define the scale as exactly 1:87, the US NMRA
The National Model Railroad Association is a non-profit organization for those involved in the hobby or business of model railroading. It was founded in the United States in 1935, and is now active in Canada, Australia, Great Britain, and the Netherlands...

as 1:87.1 (3.5 mm : 1 ft). There is a vast selection of ready-to-run, kits and parts for locomotives, rolling stock and scenic items from many manufacturers depicting trains from all around the world. During the 1970s, companies such as Tyco Toys
Tyco Toys
Tyco Toys is an American toy manufacturer. Since 1997 it has been a division of the Mattel toy company.-History:Mantua Metal Products was a Woodbury Heights, New Jersey, metalworks business founded in 1926 by John Tyler and family...

and Life-Like made cheap, oversized, underdetailed toy trains that ran on H0 scale track, and were sold in packages called train sets, and were built only for speed, much like a slot car
Slot car
A slot car is a powered miniature auto or other vehicle that is guided by a groove or slot in the track on which it runs. A pin or blade extends from the bottom of the car into the slot...

set. This term eventually carried over to the model railroad industry.
Proto:87
Proto:87
Proto:87 is a model railroad special interest group founded in 1978, dedicated to providing a finescale alternative to traditional H0 scale.Due to manufacturing restrictions and considerations such as durability, ease of operation and price, most model railroad products feature significant...

1:87 16.5 An alternative finescale standard for HO, with wheels and track that correspond with the prototype's, taking its lead from the establishment of P4 standards in the UK.
HOn3 1:87 10.5 H0 scale using 3-scale-foot narrow-gauge track.
HOn3-1/2 scale
HOn3-1/2 scale
HOn3½ or HOn3.5 represents the modelling of gauge railways in HO scale, resulting in a model track gauge of . Trains are operated using direct current or Digital Command Control over realistic-looking two-rail track....

,
H0m in Europe
1:87 12.00 H0 scale using gauge track to represent Cape gauge
Cape gauge
Cape gauge is a track gauge of between the inside of the rail heads and is classified as narrow gauge. It has installations of around .The gauge was first used by Norwegian engineer Carl Abraham Pihl and the first line was opened in 1862.- Nomenclature :...

used as "standard" gauge in many African countries, New Zealand, Queensland, Japan, etc. European H0m ('metre gauge
Metre gauge
Metre gauge refers to narrow gauge railways and tramways with a track gauge of . In some African, American and Asian countries it is the main gauge. In Europe it has been used for local railways in France, Germany, and Belgium, most of which were closed down in mid 20th century. Only in Switzerland...

') models represent prototype gauges ranging between 850 and 1250 mm (33.5 and 49.2 in).
H0e scale  1:87 9 European H0 Scale narrow gauge models using (the same as N scale
N scale
N scale is a popular model railway scale/track gauge. Depending upon the manufacturer , the scale ranges from 1:148 to 1:160. In all cases, the gauge is . The term N gauge refers to the track dimensions, but in the UK in particular N gauge refers to a 1:148 scale with track gauge modelling...

) track to represent prototypes with gauge between 650 and 850 mm (25.6 and 33.5 in), particilarly and gauge.
3 mm scale 1:101.1 12 and 14.2 A UK version of TT introduced by the firm Tri-ang in the late 1950s (then known as "TT-3") and supported by several other firms offering kits and parts. Commercial production by Tri-ang petered out in the late 1960s, but "The 3 mm Society" was established in 1965 and a dedicated membership has kept this UK scale alive. TT-3 was originally designed to run on TT
TT scale
thumb|right|250px|TT scale model railroadTT scale is a niche model railroading scale, whose name stands for Table Top.Its 1:120 scale and gauge sizes it almost halfway between HO scale and N scale...

's gauge track, but latterly the more accurate gauge of (popularly known as "14.2") has been adopted by some seeking more accuracy. Like the intermediate EM gauge standard in 4 mm scale, some modellers in 3 mm scale developed track gauge, but this has largely been superseded by gauge. Both narrow gauge (using gauge track) and broad gauge
Irish gauge
Irish gauge railways use a track gauge of . It is used in* Ireland * Australia where it is also known as Victorian Broad Gauge* Brazil where it is also known as Bitola larga no Brasil....

(using gauge track) are also modelled in 3 mm scale in the UK.
TT scale
TT scale
thumb|right|250px|TT scale model railroadTT scale is a niche model railroading scale, whose name stands for Table Top.Its 1:120 scale and gauge sizes it almost halfway between HO scale and N scale...

1:120 12 Name stands for 'Table Top'. It is quite popular in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, particularly in Germany, especially in East Germany (former DDR
German Democratic Republic
The German Democratic Republic , informally called East Germany by West Germany and other countries, was a socialist state established in 1949 in the Soviet zone of occupied Germany, including East Berlin of the Allied-occupied capital city...

), has some popularity in countries of former USSR and a small following in the United States.
N scale
N scale
N scale is a popular model railway scale/track gauge. Depending upon the manufacturer , the scale ranges from 1:148 to 1:160. In all cases, the gauge is . The term N gauge refers to the track dimensions, but in the UK in particular N gauge refers to a 1:148 scale with track gauge modelling...

1:148
9 As with 1:160 N scale below, the name is derived from its Nine millimeter track gauge, but the scale is a slightly larger at 2.0625 mm = 1 foot (1 : 147.78). Developed as a UK commercial version of N scale in the late 1960s, models are restricted to depicting UK prototypes. Although nominally to 1:148 scale, some manufacturers took significant liberties with exact scale to suit production limitations. Despite the collapse of Graham Farish
Graham Farish
Graham Farish is a company that produces large quantities of British outline model railway equipment in N gauge.-History:The Poole, Dorset based manufacturer of radio parts and kits entered the model railway business in the late 1940s, after the need for radio sets reduced post World War II...

and its subsequent sale to Bachmann Industries
Bachmann Industries
Bachmann Industries is a Bermuda registered Chinese owned company, globally head quartered in Hong Kong; specializing in model railroading....

there is a growing choice of ready-to-run models available. A few commercial kits and parts to fit N scale loco mechanisms and wheels are offered by the UK firm Peco to enable narrow gauge prototypes to be modelled.
N scale
N scale
N scale is a popular model railway scale/track gauge. Depending upon the manufacturer , the scale ranges from 1:148 to 1:160. In all cases, the gauge is . The term N gauge refers to the track dimensions, but in the UK in particular N gauge refers to a 1:148 scale with track gauge modelling...

1:150
9 N scale in Japan is normally built to this scale, even though most rail lines are (narrow gauge
Cape gauge
Cape gauge is a track gauge of between the inside of the rail heads and is classified as narrow gauge. It has installations of around .The gauge was first used by Norwegian engineer Carl Abraham Pihl and the first line was opened in 1862.- Nomenclature :...

). Because the Shinkansen
Shinkansen
The , also known as THE BULLET TRAIN, is a network of high-speed railway lines in Japan operated by four Japan Railways Group companies. Starting with the Tōkaidō Shinkansen in 1964, the network has expanded to currently consist of of lines with maximum speeds of , of Mini-shinkansen with a...

lines are (standard gauge
Standard gauge
The standard gauge is a widely-used track gauge . Approximately 60% of the world's existing railway lines are built to this gauge...

), models of these are usually built to the scale of 1:160.
2 mm scale
2 mm scale
2mm scale is a scale used for railway modelling, largely of British subjects. It uses a scale of 2 mm on the model to 1-foot on the prototype, which scales out to 1:152. It is, therefore, similar in size to the slightly larger British N scale at 1:148 and the slightly smaller European/American...

1:152 9.42 British finescale standard, older than N scale, being first used as long ago as 1927 with photos and articles published in the model press. Became more popular in the 1950s, with The 2 mm Scale Association established by 1960 to promote and support modellers in this tiny scale, and it remains very active in the UK to this day. In recent years the finer track and wheel standards of 2 mm scale (but not the gauge) have also been adapted for use in 1:160 N scale (on gauge) in Europe and called "fiNe", and is supported by the FREMO modelling organisation. Since the 1950s, incredibly, 2 mm scale has been used to depict narrow gauge prototypes on various track gauges down to , but almost everything has to be hand-made, unless some Z scale parts are used.
N scale
N scale
N scale is a popular model railway scale/track gauge. Depending upon the manufacturer , the scale ranges from 1:148 to 1:160. In all cases, the gauge is . The term N gauge refers to the track dimensions, but in the UK in particular N gauge refers to a 1:148 scale with track gauge modelling...

1:160
9 Name derived from Nine millimeter; this is the second most popular scale worldwide. N scale developed by the German firm of Arnold Rapido in the early 1960s, and was rapidly adopted worldwide as the most popular small-scale modelling choice. In recent years, finer profile wheels and track have been developed by some manufacturers (although the gauge and standards have remained the same). Huge range of ready-to-run models available as well as supporting kits and parts. With the introduction of an even smaller Z scale in 1972, the modelling of narrower gauge prototypes has been possible using that scale's locomotive mechanisms, track and wheels. In North America the depiction of gauge railroads in N scale using Z scale track is known as "Nn3"; in Europe, metre gauge
Metre gauge
Metre gauge refers to narrow gauge railways and tramways with a track gauge of . In some African, American and Asian countries it is the main gauge. In Europe it has been used for local railways in France, Germany, and Belgium, most of which were closed down in mid 20th century. Only in Switzerland...

modelling in N scale is known as "Nm".
Z scale
Z scale
Z scale is one of the smallest commercially available model railway scales with a track gauge of . Z scale trains operate on 0-10 volts direct current and offer the same operating characteristics as all other two-rail, direct-current, analog model railways...

1:220 6.5 Until recently the smallest commercially available model railway scale, introduced by the German firm of Märklin
Märklin
Gebr. Märklin & Cie. GmbH or Märklin is a German toy company. The company was founded in 1859 and is based at Göppingen in Baden-Wurttemberg. Although it originally specialised in doll house accessories, today it is best known for model railways and technical toys...

in 1972 depicting German and other European prototypes. In North America, Micro Trains and others have introduced a range of US prototype models. On both continents, a growing range of kits and scenic accessories are still becoming available to help increase its popularity. In Europe a few enterprising manufacturers have developed even smaller metre gauge
Metre gauge
Metre gauge refers to narrow gauge railways and tramways with a track gauge of . In some African, American and Asian countries it is the main gauge. In Europe it has been used for local railways in France, Germany, and Belgium, most of which were closed down in mid 20th century. Only in Switzerland...

models (but still in 1:220 scale) known as "Zm" on gauge track.
ZZ scale
ZZ scale
ZZ scale is a model railroad scale with a standard gauge of only . Models for the scale are produced exclusively by Bandai, and depict Japanese prototypes such as Shinkansen trains. To date, no other traditional scale railway support exists for the scale...

1:300 4.8 Introduced by Bandai
Bandai
is a Japanese toy making and video game company, as well as the producer of a large number of plastic model kits. It is the world's third-largest producer of toys . Some ex-Bandai group companies produce anime and tokusatsu programs...

, ZZ scale was very briefly the smallest commercially available model railway available. As of 2005 only three Shinkansen
Shinkansen
The , also known as THE BULLET TRAIN, is a network of high-speed railway lines in Japan operated by four Japan Railways Group companies. Starting with the Tōkaidō Shinkansen in 1964, the network has expanded to currently consist of of lines with maximum speeds of , of Mini-shinkansen with a...

trains are available and limited other items. The trains are battery-powered and run on plastic rail. Bandai makes no accessories for this scale.
T scale
T scale
T scale , a.k.a. T Gauge, is a model railroad scale with a gauge of . It was introduced at the Tokyo Toy Show in 2006 by KK Eishindo of Japan, and went on sale in 2007. It is presently the smallest commercial model train scale in the world...

1:450
1:480
3 Announced by Eishindo
Eishindo
KK Eishindo is a Japanese manufacturer of model railroad products, including the smallest commercially made trains, T scale ....

of Japan in 2006 (and finally released for sale in 2008), T Gauge is the smallest commercially available model railroading scale in the world. Several trains are available, complete with track, as well as many accessories including buildings, people, trees and vehicles. The trains run on metal rails and controlled by a power supply. Because the Shinkansen
Shinkansen
The , also known as THE BULLET TRAIN, is a network of high-speed railway lines in Japan operated by four Japan Railways Group companies. Starting with the Tōkaidō Shinkansen in 1964, the network has expanded to currently consist of of lines with maximum speeds of , of Mini-shinkansen with a...

lines are (standard gauge
Standard gauge
The standard gauge is a widely-used track gauge . Approximately 60% of the world's existing railway lines are built to this gauge...

), models of these are usually built to the scale of 1:480.

The National Model Railroad Association is a non-profit organization for those involved in the hobby or business of model railroading. It was founded in the United States in 1935, and is now active in Canada, Australia, Great Britain, and the Netherlands...

• Normen Europäischer Modelleisenbahnen
Normen Europäischer Modelleisenbahnen
NEM standards are the standards for model railroads issued by the MOROP. NEM stands for Normen Europäischer Modellbahnen , Normas Europeas de Modelismo or Normes Européennes de Modélisme , the German translating to European Standards for Model Railways)...

• Rail transport modelling
Rail transport modelling
Railway modelling or model railroading is a hobby in which rail transport systems are modelled at a reduced scale...

• List of scale model sizes