Ho model train basic guide

HO Model Train

One train enthusiast might want a model train that runs through a garden outside.  Another train enthusiast might have extensive space for spreading out a large set of train tracks and someone else might have a smaller space but wants to fill it with a couple of different train tracks.  To fulfill all of these different needs, model train makers have made several different sizes of trains.  

The most popular size of the large scale trains is size O.  The scale for O is 1/48th.  Meaning it is one 48th the size of a regular sized train.  The gauge for O is 1 ¼ inches.  Many of these larger sized trains are used outdoors in gardens.  Of course this does not fill the needs of everyone in the train world.

The HO gauge is half the size of the larger O scale.  HO stands for “Half of O”.  The HO scale is 1/87.  HO trains use the standard size track gauge of 16.5mm.  HO scale is a popular size to use in layouts.  They are small enough to be able to use creative scenery with well-designed track plans in a reasonable amount of space.  But they are also large enough to be able to accommodate a great deal of detail in finer models.  They are also large enough for children to handle without the risk of small parts or tiny components being damaged.  With the HO scale being able to provide the balance between the detail of larger scales and the lower space requirements of smaller scales, it is a highly sought after railroad line by train hobbyists compared to other scales.


HO scale model trains first appeared in the UK during the 1930’s.  They were introduced as an alternative to OO scale.  But OO scale was already established in the UK and therefore HO scale had a hard time making any real commercial headway.  Luckily, the hobbyists of the United States high demand of a realistic based toy during the late 1950’s allowed the HO scale model trains to really take off throughout the 1960’s and continued right up to today.  More then two thirds of train lovers have ranked HO scale as their favorite train scale.  
Due to the popularity of the HO scale, a huge array of locomotives, sets, accessories and rolling stock are made by many different companies.  Train lovers can find a large array of HO scale train sets with ready-to-run trains and modular track, craftsman grade kits, supplies for building models from scratch, and even high detailed limited-edition locomotive models made of brass.  Hobbyists will even go to the lengths of seeking out not only local hobby shop supplies, but look to global suppliers and foreign manufacturers to find that exact piece to complete their layout.

So if you have dreams of seeing a vast landscape with rolling hills or a small town and all of the things you think the towns people of your landscape will enjoy, the HO scale model trains are for you.  Awe your friends with watching your magnificent locomotive chugging down the track, winding through the hills and through a tunnel.  The HO scale model trains can make all of your dreams come true.

Jonah V. Zennith is a model train enthusiast and expert writer. For more information on successful model train guides visit http://www.modeltrainpros.com

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