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Information Courtesy of W.K. Walthers

Z Scale

Z scale was developed in by Märklin in the early 1970's, and is the smallest of all the working models -- so tiny that a little layout will even fit in a briefcase. Most Z trains and equipment are based on European railways.

N Scale

This scale is an ideal choice for apartments or anyone with limited space. N-scale trains are easy to store when not in use and are ruggedly built for trouble-free operation. The small size is fine for teenagers and adults; younger children will need an adult to help to set up or take down a set.

HO Scale

"HO" means "half - o;" models are half the size of O Scale. HO is the most popular scale with the greatest selection of sets and accessories, as it allows lots of railroad action in a small area. Children may need adult help to set up or take down the set.

S Scale

S Scale trains appeared in the 1950s (American Flyer was one of several popular brands) as houses grew smaller. Its chief advantage was size; larger than HO for more detail and improved reliability, but smaller than O Scale so less room was needed for a layout. Today, the selection of kits and assembled items is small, but this has made S Scale popular with modelers who enjoy the challenges of scratch building and kitbashing.

O Scale

(also On30, 027)
O Scale trains also include "On30" Sets, which are O Scale models that run on a narrower track -- just 30 scale inches wide. They're ideal for use with Christmas Villages. "O27" gauge sets will take tighter curves -- which makes these O Scale sets a good choice when space for bigger trains is limited. (The number 27 refers to the 27" diameter of a full circle of track.) If you grew up with Lionel trains, you'll remember that they were O Scale models. Ruggedly built, they're a good choice for youngsters or permanent layouts. Many sets feature animated accessories.

G Scale

Big models, sometimes called "Large Scale" trains. Sizes range from 1/22.5 to 1/25 and also includes #1 gauge (1/32 Scale) equipment. The largest electrically powered models, starter sets set up in small areas. Some brands can be used outdoors, in garden layouts. The large size of G-scale trains allows for rugged handling by younger children. Many models have working parts that enhance play value.


(unfortunately our search engine will query both HO and O scale when asking for just O scale.
To eliminate HO try using a manufacturer name such as Lionel to narrow your search)

How to use the abbreviations in the search engine. For example H will equal HO so just use the H
for the scale HO as indicated in the table below.

1/12 = 1/12 100 = 1/100 480 = 1/480 I = I  
1/24 = 1/24 110 = 1/110 500 = 1/500 N = N  
1/25 = 1/25 120 = 1/120 535 = 1/535 Nn3 = Nn3
1/3 = 1/3   144 = 1/144 542 = 1/542 O = O  
1/32 = 1/32 146 = 1/146 550 = 1/550 On2 = On2
1/4 = 1/4   150 = 1/150 570 = 1/570 ON20 = On20
1/43 = 1/43  196 = 1/196 600 = 1/600 On24 = On24
1/48 = 1/48 200 = 1/200 700 = 1/700 On3 = On3
1/50 = 1/50 220 = 1/220 A = accessories On30 = On30
1/70 = 1/70 255 = 1/255 G = G   S = S  
1/72 = 1/72 350 = 1/350 H = HO   Sn3 = Sn3  
1/8 = 1/8   400 = 1/400 Hn30 = HOn30 T = TT  
1/96 = 1/96 426 = 1/426 HOn3 = HOn3 V = V  
            Z = Z  

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