O Scale Model Railroads and Trains

Trains stir the imagination and stimulate a sense of adventure in railroading enthusiasts of all ages and O scale sets are no exception. O scale model railroads bring history alive for both the child at play and the serious collector. With a wide variety of train sets, tracks, and realistic buildings available, they are something the entire family can enjoy.

How large are O scale trains?

In model railroading, scale refers to the proportion of a model train to the real thing, which is known as the prototype. O scale model trains and train cars are 1/48 the size of their prototypes. This means that an O scale 12-inch model coal car measures 48 feet in real life.

What is the difference between O scale and O gauge?

While scale refers to the size of the model train, gauge refers to the distance between the running rails of the track. O scale model trains run on O gauge tracks, which measure 1 1/4 inches between the inside corners of the outside rails.

How do you choose O scale model trains and layouts?

Whether you are planning to create realistic transport routes and cityscapes or simply want to play with a train, a new model O scale setup provides hours of fun. You may want to consider a few variables as you look for a train set:

  • Types of trains: Engines, freight cars, and passenger trains representing every age of rail travel are available in 1/48 scale. All trains run on O gauge tracks, so you can collect as many as you want without having to change your design.
  • Amount of track: While a circuitous route may wander through a variety of miniature landscapes, a circular route can be just as attractive. The variety of O gauge track sections that are available creates endless design possibilities.
  • Space requirements: Between the size of your trains and the myriad accessories, you will want to ensure that your design will fit your space. How much detail you add is ultimately a matter of personal preference.
Are train sets in O scale appropriate gifts for kids?

An O scale train set is a wonderful gift for boys and girls. While young children may be mesmerized by the sight of a model locomotive chugging along, they also like to handle the trains themselves. Fortunately, O scale engines are large and rugged enough to withstand the attention of well-meaning little engineers. In addition to operating the transformer, older children will enjoy designing the rail layout and populating it with buildings, vehicles, people, trees, and small animals.