Whenever someone develops an interest in model railways, more often than not, they get fed with different information regarding the scale and gauge, leaving them utterly confused. That is why if you’re into model railways and you are also confused about gauges and scales, we are here to try and get some facts straight.
For starters, the scale is the proportion of size the model is of the real train. On the other hand, a gauge is a distance that is between the rails. Most real railways have a gauge that measures about 4ft 8½ inches, and it is considered the standard gauge. Other railways have both narrower and broader gauges than this, like 3ft or 5ft 3 inches.
What is a Narrow Gauge?
When it comes to model railways, you may often hear the term “narrow gauge.” This term means that the actual real trains being modeled uses a smaller gauge rather than the standard size, which is 4ft 8½ inches. The most common narrow gauges come in different dimensions throughout the world, which are 2ft 6inches, 3ft, and 1meter. At the same time, the 3ft 6 inches gauge is considered typical in some places because it is believed to be their standard gauge.
Narrow gauges are often used when there are tight spaces if it has twisty and steep routes or where the case for a railway was built on the cheap in the first place. This characteristic results to narrow gauge railways having their archaic and unique character and equipment. Model railways that have narrow gauges will develop a run-down charm later in their lives, which is why most modelers choose them even if model railways that have narrow gauge is quite hard to find in the world compared to model railways with a standard gauge.
Types of Gauges
- O-Gauge – The O-Gauge is easy to control, and it has approximate scale proportions. It typically measures one ¼ between the outer rails, and it is a scale that is considered to be less popular than it was, mostly because of the space required for this gauge.
- S-Gauge – The S-Gauge is about 1:64 in scale, and it is narrower compared to the O-Gauge. If you are a train hobbyist and collector that likes a scale smaller than the traditional O-Gauge, then we suggest that you go for the S-Gauge model railway.
- HO-Gauge – The HO gauge is considered to be the most standard gauge in the world. It uses a 1:87 or 3.5mm per foot scale along with a 16.5 mm track.
- G-Gauge – The G-Gauge approximately has a 1:24 scale, this is wider than the O-Gauge track, and this gauge supports both locomotives and G-Gauge cars. This gauge type is perfect for kids four and up. Trains with this gauge often come with a simple remote control that enables you to control the train forward and backward as well as allow bell sounds and whistles.