G Scale Model Train Forum banner

1 - 20 of 30 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hay guys: My twelve year old son and I our as green as they come Im very new at this G scale train stuff.
So please bare with me. We have been reeding alot about G scale or garden railways.
Can someone explain what standard gauge and narrow gauge means.And are we talking about track or the trains?
And scale how do you know what scale train you have? I guess my question is what scale is L.G.B. and what size track should i use?
Thanks Scott & Austin
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,235 Posts
Standard gauge is 4 feet 8 1/2 inches between the rails. All modern interstate railroads in commerce and passenger traffic are standard gauge. For the most part this has been the case for the past 100+ years.


Narrow gauge is anything less than 4' 8 1/2" between the rails. Common narrow gauge in the USA is 3' between the rails. In Maine there were several 2' railroads. Other gauges were also used. A few of these Narrow gauge lines are now tourist lines. In the 1800s and the early part of the last century these narrow gauge railroads were vital to the commerce of the regions they served.


The D&RGW narrow gauge was a vital part of the economy of southwestern Colorado.



Standard gauge trains are sold in "G" in scales of 1:32 (correct) and 1:29 (not a correct scale, but looks nice). Narrow gauge trains are sold in 1:24, 1:22.5, and 1:20.5 (correct for 3' gauge). All of these will run on 45mm track.

Much of LGB is 1:22.5. This scale is correct for the European meter gauge trains. While they made American style trains, the scale was not correct. They also made models that represented modern trains. The scale on these was variable and never stated. I have some freight cars and they run well with my 1:29 cars. The modern engines are a mixed scale. Somewhere between 1:22.5 and 1:29. The length may be one scale and the height may be another.


Hope this helps. There are many scales that run on "G" gauge track. Some refer it to gauge 1 rather than G gauge.

Welcome to the hobby. You'll get a lot of help here at MLS.


Cheere,

Chuck N
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,167 Posts
Welcome to the "fun" part of large scale. We are diverse bunch running from 1:13.7 scale to 1:32 scale all on the same track. The former running on "G" gauge 45 mm track (also known as Gauge 1) as 2 foot narrow gauge and the latter as standard, 4' 8 1/2", gauge with many scales in between. Most LGB is a European prototype meter narrow gauge at 1:22.5 scale. The LGB American prototype trains are another story (aka "Gummi" scale). More info here - http://www.trains.com/grw/objects/pdf/scale.pdf.

-Brian
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
470 Posts
Welcome to the world of garden railways and the dizzy part, trying to understand scale and gauge.
Do not be afraid to ask questions, somebody will be happy to answer. My first advice, find a local club and go visit layouts, that will show you the difference quite quickly.


Unlike the other scales, example O, G changes the train size. In O, if you want to model standard gauge railroads, you use standard gauge track, 4'8.5" in the real world. If you want to model 30 inch real world track, narrow gauge, you model On30 and the track is narrower.
Not in G, LGB is nominally 1:22.5, which gives you a track gauge of 1 meter, narrow gauge. To model 3 foot narrow gauge, you purchase Fn3 models, Bachmann Spectrum is one of them, and use the same 45 mm gauge track but your scale is 1:20.3. If you want to model standard gauge, you purchase 1:29 or 1:32 models and run them on the same 45mm track. Instead of changing track, we change the model size.
So, we model in different scales, 1:20.3 1;22.5 1:24, 1:29 and 1:32, and throw in 7/8 and 16mm to keep things a little psychotic...... but we do this all on 45 gauge track....
I am going to include a page from garden Railways magazine that might help.


The tables printed here will, we hope, answer what is perhaps the most often asked question we hear:
What are the diff e r e n c e s between the scales and gauges?
Over the years, all of these scales and gauges have evolved, and some (which we have not listed) have died out.
Granted, it is confusing, and we have attempted to print the correct information here in the most understandable form possible.
It may take some study to learn it all. If you don’t feel like taking the time, just use the information below as a reference.

Useful but confusing information on scale and gauge 1
PROPORTIONS OF A MODEL TO ITS PROTOTYPE
Scale name Proportion Written scale
11�2" scale 2 1:8 1.5" or 11�2"=1'0"
7�8" scale 1:13.7 .875" or 7�8" = 1'0"
16mm scale 1:19 (approx) 16mm =1'0"
15mm scale 1:20.3 15mm =1'0" 11
G scale 1:22.5 .533"=1'0"
1�2" scale 1:24 .500" or 1�2"=1'0"
â€"â€" 1:29 .414" = 1'0"
1 scale 1:32 .375" or 3�8" or 10mm=1'0"
0 scale 1 : 4 8 .25" or 1�4" or 7mm=1'0" 9

TRACK GAUGES
commonly used in the garden
Gauge 3 21�2" or 64mm
Gauge 1 4 13�4" or 45mm 3
(No name) 11�2" 1 0
Gauge 0 11�4" or 32mm

TRACK GAUGES
as they relate to the different scales
Scale Actual Represented Scaled
gauge gauge gauge
1:8 Ga. 1 15" 14"
1:13.7 Ga. 1 2' narrow 2'0"
1:19 5 Ga. 0 2' narrow 2'0"
1:20.3 Ga. 3 Standard 6 4'23�4"
Ga. 1 7 3' narrow 3'0"
Ga. 0 2' narrow 2'1"
1:22.5 Ga. 3 Standard 4'81�4"
Ga. 1 3' narrow 3'31�3"
Ga. 0 2' narrow 2'41�8"
1:24 Ga. 3 Standard 5'0"
Ga. 1 3' narrow 3'6"
Ga. 0 2' narrow 2'6"
1:29 Ga. 1 Standard 4'31�3"
1:32 Ga. 1 Standard 4'8"
Ga. 0 3' narrow 3'4"

PLANNING DIMENSIONS
for 1:22.5-scale (and related) trains on ga. 1 track
Minimum track radius: 2'0" 8
Minimum track spacing,
measured from track centerlines: 7.5" (allow more
on curves)
Clearance from center of track to structures
Straight track: 27�8"
Curved track: 33�4"
Minimum height for tunnels: 8"

FOOTNOTES
1. Scale is simply the proportion of the model to the full-size item, and gauge is nothing more
than the distance between the rails. The terms are sometimes incorrectly used
interchangeably.
2. 11�2" scale is commonly used for larger, ride-on trains. However, there are some modelers who
are using this scale on gauge 1 track to represent 15" gauge railways such as those designed
by Sir Arthur Heywood in Britain. We’ve not listed the larger gauges in this scale because they
fall outside the scope of this magazine.
3. There is a slight discrepancy between the metric measurements and the imperial. Today,
gauge 1 is considered to be 45mm.
4 . Gauge 1 is commonlyâ€"and incorrectlyâ€"called “G gaugeâ€� by some manufacturers, dealers,
and hobbyists. This is an unfortunate misnomer that merely adds to the confusion. Large-scale
trains run on gauge 1 track, as thay have for over 100 years.
5. 1:19, or 16mm, scale evolved from gauge 0 (32mm) track. The idea was to choose an existing
gauge and design models of 2’ gauge trains around it, which is why this scale works out quite
well. However, modeling to other gauges in this scale is almost nonexistent, so only gauge 0
has been included here.
6. Standard gauge on full-size railroads is 4'81�2". Anything less is considered narrow gauge.
Anything more is considered wide or broad gauge.
7. There was a gauge 2 (2"), which was quite popular in the early part of the century, but has
long since died.
8. While 2' radius is commonly used, trains tend to look much better going around wider curves.
A rule of thumb is to use the widest radius your space will allow. Six to ten feet is not unusual.
9. There is a slight discrepancy between the metric measurements and the imperial.
10. The correct gauge for accurate modeling of 3' gauge trains in 1�2" scale. Little is available
commercially in this gauge.
11. The correct scale for accurate modeling of 3' gauge trains on gauge-1 track.
This information was reprinted from the June 1997 issue of Garden Railways magazine. Revised 10-9-02
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,896 Posts
HI Scott..

"Gauge" means the distance between the rails...nothing more.
"Standard gauge" is 4 feet eight and a half inches..thats what all the modern US railroads are running on.
anything narrower than that is "narrow gauge"..
3-foot gauge, 30 inch gauge, 2 foot gauge, and many other narrow gauges..

In the Large Scale model train world, there are models of both standard gauge and narrow gauge prototypes..
but! here is the tricky bit..they ALL run on the same "G-gauge" track! 45mm gauge.

If you look through an issue of Garden Railways magazine, you see the big modern diesels by USA trains, Aristocraft, and MTH..
these are all models of standard gauge prototypes, in either 1/29 or 1/32 scale..
There are also some models of standard gauge steam locos..
Such as the Aristocraft pacific and 2-8-8-2, MTH Hudson and Big Boy..etc..

LGB and Bachmann make models of mostly Narrow gauge prototypes!
these model locomotives and cars run on the exact same track as the big modern diesels,
but they are models of 3-foot gauge prototypes rather than Standard gauge prototypes..
generally 3-foot gauge prototypes..

Bachmann Spectrum locomotives are all 1/20.3 scale, models of 3-foot gauge prototypes.
LGB is more fluid..their models arent always exact to scale..but they can generally be considered 1/22.5 scale.
There is also some 1/24 scale out there too..
These three scales (1/20.3, 1/22.5 and 1/24) of narrow gauge trains are "close enough" that they can mixed and matched without any glaring visable problems.

The exact scales arent terribly important..they all run on the same "G-gauge" track..so track isnt an issue.

Most people pick either Standard gauge in 1/29 or 1/32 scale...the diesels and modern (1920's-1940's) steam.
Or Narrow Gauge..the 3-foot gauge earlier steam engines, 1870's-1900 era..

Of course, you cAN run both if you like! ;)
I have a Bachmann spectrum mogul, 1870's 3-foot gauge.
and a set of USA Trains Alco PA passenger diesels, 1950's standard gauge,
both sitting on the shelf behind me as I type this..
and I plan to run both on my railroad! (when I get it built!)

they all run on the same track..you get into problems with scale when it comes to figures and buildings..
A building in 1/32 scale (if placed on a 1/32 scale model with modern diesels)
is significantly smaller than a 1/20.3 scale model of the SAME building! (if placed on a 120.3 scale model with 1870's narrow gauge trains)

start out by thinking in terms of standard gauge or narrow gauge..
which are you more interested in?
those are the main two "classes" of locomotives and rolling stock available..
Once you have that straight, you can get into more detail about all the different scales and where they came from and what they mean..

Scot
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,235 Posts
Scott and Austin:

Your first decision is what do you like!!! I have been in the hobby since about 1980. My early purchases were LGB, that's all that was available. I now have 1:20.3, 1:22.5, 1:24, and 1:29. I like them all. I usually bring out one scale at a time. Last week I was running 1:20.3, Today I took out 1:29. Some you can mix and others you can't. I think that 1:22.5 and 1.24 go well together, but they are too small for 1:20.5. What doesn't mix for me is standard gauge models and narrow gauge models.


All my buildings are Pola (nominally 1:22.5). Frankly, they are just there and I don't worry about them, they are background.

Chuck N
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thanks guys I get it. My son Austin had to go to bed, big test tomarow at school but can't wait to have him read your explations
.
Im sure ill be back with lots of ? Thanks again...Scott & Austin
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,235 Posts
In which part of the country do you live. There are probably people here on MLS that live near you and could give you one on one help. Many parts of the country have Garden Railway Clubs, they are an excellent source of information. There are often open houses where you can see operating garden railroads. It would help you greatly if you could make some local contacts before you get too far along. There are a lot of mistakes that can be made in constructing a RR outside, I know, I've made most of them. Meeting with others can help to prevent your reinventing a square wheel.

Get a copy of Garden Railways Magazine. That has a lot of information and usually includes a list of all the clubs in the country.

Chuck N
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,167 Posts
Posted By Plant man on 12/04/2008 8:41 PM
We live in Chambersburg PA. I don't know of any G scale clubs.
Scott




You're in the neighborhood of the Susquehanna Valley club ( http://www.svgrs.net/ ) and not far from York where the East Coast Large Scale Train Show takes place. Tom McCloud is the current President and runs Appalachian Nurseries in your town. He also has the sideline biz Small Plants for Big Trains ( http://www.smallplants4bigtrains.com/ ).


-Brian
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
514 Posts
Hi Scott,

The scale and gauge questions have been answered very comprehensively.



This is another slant: I model US railroads, although I am in UK. Not having a large budget I chose Bachmann Big Hauler rolling stock and their Anniversary 4-6-0 locos and I also have Aristo-Craft 1.29 stock. These ranges represent very good models at a very reasonable price. I rarely mix them as there is a slight size difference but it is not that really an issue to me.


You may wish for the more expensive models; believe me there is a great deal to choose from especially in the States.

Read the Fora where usually you will get good advice and help and also get Garden Railways magazine and surf the net looking at dealers web sites - there are some with very good deals right now.


I hope you go for it and get to enjoy a great hobby.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Hay Brian, You'll never believe this I know Tom
Im in the same trade as Tom
Execpt we do landscape & design + have a 40 acre nurcery. Ill be giveing Tom a call
Thanks Scott & Austin

PS. Austin got up early today just to read what you guys had to say.

Thanks again Scott
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,334 Posts
HEY PLANT MAN and SON

Now thay you have all these answers I just want to say WELCOME TO MLS.

from THE NEW RIVER & WESTERN RAIL ROAD.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
116 Posts
You can make one large layout in 40 acres. You might even be able to run a train out to pick up small plants and deliver them to your shipping building. Just a thought.

Big John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,167 Posts
Posted By Plant man on 12/05/2008 5:55 AM
Hay Brian, You'll never believe this I know Tom
Im in the same trade as Tom
Except we do landscape & design + have a 40 acre nursery. Ill be giving Tom a call
Thanks Scott & Austin

PS. Austin got up early today just to read what you guys had to say.

Thanks again Scott





I figured with a name like "Plant Man" you probably did. Tom & Fern usually come to one of our club's meeting every year with small plants to sell. I have a few on my layout. They usually do a garden railway open house/seminar during the year too. I am also in the design/build biz down in the DC area. No, 40 acres, though
.


-Brian
 

·
Super Modulator
Joined
·
20,766 Posts
I can't hold my tongue any longer:

(picture beavis or butthead's voice):

he he he, he said "LGB" and "scale" in the same sentence...

Regards, Greg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Hay Brian, I called Tom McCloud today got the rundown on the Susquehanna Valley Garden Railway Society club.
Not wasting any time got the membership Applicationand sent in.
Tom invited Austin and I to there club Christmas party this sat.
Boy oh boy we have a lot of stuff to read and decision to make.
I LOVE IT THE WHEELS ARE TURNING IN MY HEAD.
Scott & Austin
 
1 - 20 of 30 Posts
Top