Model Trains – The Greatest Hobby in the World

Model trains have captured hobbyists for a long time.  It is a magnificent way to spend time and to express your artistic talent.

There are many aspects of model trains, other then just collecting the locomotives.

The model train hobby also includes building scenery as well as learning all the knowledge that goes along with model trains like scales and gauges.

The scale of a model train refers to the size of a model train to the large real prototype.

The four most popular scales of model trains are G, O, HO, and N scale.

G scale which has a ratio of 1:22 and the O scale which has a ratio of 1:48 are grouped together into the larger-scale trains category. They run on a No. 1 track.

HO scale has a ratio of 1:87 and it is half the size smaller then the O scale. HO literally stands for half an O.

The N scale has a ratio of 1:160 and is a half a size smaller then the HO scale.

They all have their purposes and good points.

Other less popular scales are the S scale, the TT scale and the Z scale.

The S scale has a ratio of 1:64.  TT scale has a ratio of 1:120 which is slightly larger the N scale. And the Z scale has a ratio of 1:220 which is even smaller the n the N scale.

When model train enthusiasts talk about gauge, they are referring to the size of the track between the two rails of track.

With so many different manufacturers making trains and tracks, they all had to agree upon certain sizes that would be manufactured so that trains and tracks were interchangeable.

A standard gauge is usually four feet and eight and a half inches.

A narrow gauge is a term used for rails that are closer together than the standard gauge.

It is usually around three feet to three and a half feet.

Another large aspect of model trains is the scenery.

Train hobbyists place and run their trains through landscape layouts. These layouts can be designed and created to fit the vision of the hobbyist.  They are free to include mountains, trees, rock formations, valleys hills or fields and meadows.

A dramatic effect can include bodies of water like ponds, lakes, rivers, streams or even waterfalls.

Figuring out where to lay your track with in your landscape is fun, as well as creative.

Your track can be laid in a way that enables your train to be continuously running in a loop.

It can also be laid in a basic oval shape, a figure eight, twice around which is two loops or in a dogbone shape.

It is a good idea to avoid tight bends to avoid your train derailing.

Building model trains is such a large part of the world of hobbies. People young and old have gotten caught up in its thrill and excitement. One of the most exciting parts of building model trains is being able to share the experience with your kids or your grand kids.

Be Sociable, Share!
The following two tabs change content below.

Dan Morgan

Dan Morgan fell in love with model trains at the age of six when he visited an NMRA Convention in Seattle with his father. Forty two years later, his passion remains just as strong. After achieving a successful career in architecture, Dan’s particular interest is within layouts and buildings. With a wealth of knowledge on the subject, Dan loves nothing more than sharing this with others and is delighted in the forum of members who are brought together over the hobby they have in common. Dan lives with his wife Helen in Washington. As a professional painter, Helen has learnt through Dan about Model Trains and they now enjoy working on projects together. The only member of the family who isn’t allowed to join in is their over-enthusiastic Labrador called William who has been strictly banned from the workshop! You can find Dan on Google here!
About The Author

Dan Morgan

Dan Morgan fell in love with model trains at the age of six when he visited an NMRA Convention in Seattle with his father. Forty two years later, his passion remains just as strong. After achieving a successful career in architecture, Dan’s particular interest is within layouts and buildings. With a wealth of knowledge on the subject, Dan loves nothing more than sharing this with others and is delighted in the forum of members who are brought together over the hobby they have in common. Dan lives with his wife Helen in Washington. As a professional painter, Helen has learnt through Dan about Model Trains and they now enjoy working on projects together. The only member of the family who isn’t allowed to join in is their over-enthusiastic Labrador called William who has been strictly banned from the workshop! You can find Dan on Google here!