S Scale Model Trains – A Bit of History

The S scale is an interchangeable description of a model train size with the American Flyer brand name of model trains and railroads.  S scale model trains are a sixty fourth of the size of a real train, putting them between the HO and O sizes of train models.  S scale model trains are available in both AC and DC power types.  The S scale uses a two rail track instead of the classic three rail track which uses the middle rail to provide electricity.  There has been an S scale train renaissance in the past twenty years or so, and even people who are not normally interested in model trains are impressed by these exotic models.

The S scale model trains were given the letter S in 1943 by the Model Railroading Association.  The one sixty fourth size scale was specified to be exactly one half of the already available one thirty second size.  The scale system is used to let people know about the relation in size between the model train and the train it is based on.  

S scale model trains are sometimes referred to as S gauge trains because of the space between the rails on the track.  Before the S scale came about, all the trains used three rail track, while the S scale model trains use only two.  While newcomers to the model train world will use “S scale” and “S gauge” interchangeably, the main difference between the two is that “scale” is used in the states, while “gauge” is used in the United Kingdom.  Ironically, the National Association of S Gaugers is located in America, while the S Scale Model Railway Society can be found in the UK.  The S scale model trains were created almost simultaneously in the United States and the United Kingdom in the 1930s, and no one is really sure who to point to as the creators of the S scale trains.

The renaissance of S scale model trains began in the 1980s when American model trains started to appear with an S scale on the market again.  Newcomers and long time model train enthusiasts began buying out the stores of the S train models, causing companies to start mass producing the particular scale of model train.  Ever since they started to make a comeback in the early 1980s, more and more S scale trains are produced by American based model train companies.

Everything for your collection at S Scale Model Trains

Caroline Michaels’ blogs and articles focus on product reviews, news, and consumer education. In addition to authoring and publishing, Caroline is an Internet Marketing entrepreneur and business consultant.

S Scale Model Trains



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