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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had assumed that this site would have forums, threads, regarding outdoor railroads involving gauges of railway bigger, sometimes a lot bigger, than 45 MM.

I am a G scale operator. That is the route I have gone to satisfy my desire for large scale train operation. G scale is the largest mass produced size of model trains, and thus is the biggest possible scale I can afford because I can only spend like $1000 per year on my train habit.

So what's the deal with bigger trains? I have seen occasional, rare photographs where somebody has a train which they can sit on and ride around to different parts of their property. I have also seen trains too small for that but still about twice the size of G scale.

I am sure some of you have information about this stuff, and I'd love to know what you know. I don't think I have the search terms for successful Google navigation, and it's more fun to hear your stories anyway.
 

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I’m no expert, but the wikipedia page has a run-down of the different scales using very elaborate terminology. Also, Accucraft sells some ride-on stuff, but I guess you’d have to up your train budget by at least an order of magnitude or so. Probably out of reach for your average Joe Engineer, but youtube has videos up of some clubs it’s algorithm has shown me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I’m no expert, but the wikipedia page has a run-down of the different scales using very elaborate terminology. Also, Accucraft sells some ride-on stuff, but I guess you’d have to up your train budget by at least an order of magnitude or so. Probably out of reach for your average Joe Engineer, but youtube has videos up of some clubs it’s algorithm has shown me.
I would have also thought that if you want a train with the kind of track gauges that can support rolling stock which you can ride on, it would cost a magnitude more. That is a very reasonable assumption. However, despite what little research I have gathered about these ultra large train setups, I think I have seen some indications that in fact, they are not so much more expensive. I am still waiting for other answers to confirm this, but I think I saw somewhere that you could get a kit to build a railroad with a very large track gauge, for something like $1500. One forum had a user who posted a photo of a track that he had laid out in his backyard. He said he had paid like $750 for what looked like a 15 or 20 foot half-circle of an 8 inch gauge track. Of course, I guarantee that you CAN get trains in these larger gauges which would cost thousands of dollars, for example if you are going for model replicas of real steam locomotives these would definitely cost a ton. And something you can ride on would probably need at LEAST 12 or 14 inch track gauge, but companies in this arena would likely offer a ride-on locomotive that is simple in design, and is not a replica of prototypical locomotives. It will be interesting to see.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I’m no expert, but the wikipedia page has a run-down of the different scales using very elaborate terminology. Also, Accucraft sells some ride-on stuff, but I guess you’d have to up your train budget by at least an order of magnitude or so. Probably out of reach for your average Joe Engineer, but youtube has videos up of some clubs it’s algorithm has shown me.
Oh, hey! The first answers are in. Another user on this forum had posted about his 45mm locomotive kit where he was building a steam engine, and this cost $3100... A lot of money considering it's just G scale type stuff. But anyway, I did a google search of the exact model he was working on, the Aster Hobby - LNER Thompson Class B1
and found the website who sells it. Livesteamstation.com. These guys have an array of train gauges, and evidently the 7-1/4" and 7-1/2 inch gauges are called "Ride-on". I took a look around and so far what I see.... These are definitely huge trains, but I can't seem to gather much information on these about this so-called "Ride-on" angle to the deal. I mean as big as they are, it's hard to imagine a full sized adult riding on something that is a 7-1/2 inch gauge model, but the home page on the website shows an adult man riding behind one of the locomotives. The image explains my original questions, and its not the locomotives the dude rides on, but the locomotives can tow platforms that you can sit on.

What is odd to me is the track they sell. I looked closely and it appears... They sell rail made of cold-roll steel... 1 inch tall rails, 10 feet long for $26 each. I guess you provide your own wooden ties and build it but it's not entire clear on that... So you take two of these cold-roll steel rails, you get some of the ties they sell at $2.80 per pop, and you can make 10 feet of track for about $100 or so. This is economical, and confirms my original thought that the cost for acquiring bigger rail does not increase proportionately over smaller rail at some point, and you assemble the track yourself.

In my past, I worked for a construction equipment company. It was a tough job for me as I was having personal issues at the time, but they had a fairly large amount of acreage to accomodate storage and the different facilities. I could imagine somebody with a big imagination and budget, installing a railroad for employees to get around the property more quickly.

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The European model engineering gauges (and scales) for miniature train (what you call "Ride-on trains") are 3.5 Inch (1:16), 5 Inch (1:11), 7.25 Inch (1:8); in the USA also 4.75 Inch (1:12) and 7.5 Inch (1:8) are used. I still have a 3.5 Inch loco and had a 7.25 Inch loco.
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More on this can be found in my e-book on the subject of Gauge and Scale. It can be downloaded at no cost at all from my website: Gauge and Scale – Many different model trains in all scales & gauges

Regards
Fred
 

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Many groups and clubs with ride on in the US. Just a few

Pennsylvania Live Steamers
Ridge live steamers
Finger lakes live steamers
Sacramento Valley Live steamers.
Train Mountain

Search those for hours of fun

Jerry
 

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I had assumed that this site would have forums, threads, regarding outdoor railroads involving gauges of railway bigger, sometimes a lot bigger, than 45 MM.

I am a G scale operator. That is the route I have gone to satisfy my desire for large scale train operation. G scale is the largest mass produced size of model trains, and thus is the biggest possible scale I can afford because I can only spend like $1000 per year on my train habit.

So what's the deal with bigger trains? I have seen occasional, rare photographs where somebody has a train which they can sit on and ride around to different parts of their property. I have also seen trains too small for that but still about twice the size of G scale.

I am sure some of you have information about this stuff, and I'd love to know what you know. I don't think I have the search terms for successful Google navigation, and it's more fun to hear your stories anyway.
You might want to check out gauge 3. 2 1/2" track gauge, 1:22.5 scale. This is mainly a scratchbuilders scale, with not a lot of support in the US, but gaining support in England. In Germany it is called Spur II.
Check out The Forum for Gauge 3 Model Trains - Index
2 1/2 gage is the largest scenic scale and the smallest ride on scale. For scenic it is referred to as gauge 3. For ride on it is referred to as 2 1/2" gage.
This is what I want to rune at some time in the future,
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The European model engineering gauges (and scales) for miniature train (what you call "Ride-on trains") are 3.5 Inch (1:16), 5 Inch (1:11), 7.25 Inch (1:8); in the USA also 4.75 Inch (1:12) and 7.5 Inch (1:8) are used. I still have a 3.5 Inch loco and had a 7.25 Inch loco. View attachment 63604
View attachment 63603

More on this can be found in my e-book on the subject of Gauge and Scale. It can be downloaded at no cost at all from my website: Gauge and Scale – Many different model trains in all scales & gauges

Regards
Fred
Download I did! Thanks, your work will give me a great way to pass some evening downtime.

I can see that these ride-on trains come in an array of scales, gauges and sizes. I am curious however about the relatively small size of gauge which is designated for ride-on activities. Less than 4 inches wide. I mean this is still larger than G but close enough. I know that I am not about to be sitting on my G scale locomotive for a ride. I know that you can manufacture really tough and heavy duty trains in a 3.5" gauge configuration, but its still a surprise to my initial expectations that I would find something along the lines of 14 inch wide railways.

I will message you once I finish reading this!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
You might want to check out gauge 3. 2 1/2" track gauge, 1:22.5 scale. This is mainly a scratchbuilders scale, with not a lot of support in the US, but gaining support in England. In Germany it is called Spur II.
Check out The Forum for Gauge 3 Model Trains - Index
2 1/2 gage is the largest scenic scale and the smallest ride on scale. For scenic it is referred to as gauge 3. For ride on it is referred to as 2 1/2" gage.
This is what I want to rune at some time in the future,
**** I thought 3 1/2 was super small to be considered "ride-on", but that again comes down to my original assumption that any train which a person is going to be able to ride, would at least have a track gauge which approximates most of the width of his or her body, Of course, pulleys and bunjee cords and stuff are obviously small when compared to a person, but it is still askew to someone who is new to the arena of ride-on trains to imagine that you could actually get on a train that has a size which is similar to G scale.

I imagine this doesn't mean that I can get on a G scale train for that matter, as it is not designed to support heavy weight. I would assume a 2 1/2 gauge car for riding is made with really tough track and really tough metal trucks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The European model engineering gauges (and scales) for miniature train (what you call "Ride-on trains") are 3.5 Inch (1:16), 5 Inch (1:11), 7.25 Inch (1:8); in the USA also 4.75 Inch (1:12) and 7.5 Inch (1:8) are used. I still have a 3.5 Inch loco and had a 7.25 Inch loco. View attachment 63604
View attachment 63603

More on this can be found in my e-book on the subject of Gauge and Scale. It can be downloaded at no cost at all from my website: Gauge and Scale – Many different model trains in all scales & gauges

Regards
Fred
I read that book! Good work, it gave me extra insight and information that I did not already know, but it also enhanced things I kinda knew some about but enjayed learning more. The book discussed 15 inch gauge which is actually along the lines of what I was thinking would be "a thing" that people install on their properties or at railway clubs. I guess because when I hear that people ride on a Gauge 3 train, I think to myself how does this not tip over.

If I were a man of means I would probably want to see to it that everyday folks can get trains with track gauges around 10 or 12 inches as a means of general transportation to different points of their multi acre property. I would have to address the eventuality of injury accidents of course, and deal with seeking to prevent them in my designs as well as user training/information. I can just imagine being sued all the time when people lose a finger. When I was a kid and teen, I lived in a house on the eastern edge of Reno, NV... And our yard was literally the last house on the edge of many miles of very sparsely populated basin and range. I had often fantasized about having a railway installed leading from the house up into the mountains which were immediately behind my house. This of course would take on the character more like a roller coaster of very great heights, but not if you design the grade to be a series of winding curves up the the mountain. Yes, I can envision weird and extremely narrow gauge railroads going every which way to different places.
 

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**** I thought 3 1/2 was super small to be considered "ride-on", but that again comes down to my original assumption that any train which a person is going to be able to ride, would at least have a track gauge which approximates most of the width of his or her body, Of course, pulleys and bunjee cords and stuff are obviously small when compared to a person, but it is still askew to someone who is new to the arena of ride-on trains to imagine that you could actually get on a train that has a size which is similar to G scale.

I imagine this doesn't mean that I can get on a G scale train for that matter, as it is not designed to support heavy weight. I would assume a 2 1/2 gauge car for riding is made with really tough track and really tough metal trucks.
Your assumptions are pretty accurate. The 2 1/2" ride on equipment is far heavier duty than the gauge 3 scenic stuff. 2 1/2" gage is usually elevated so that your legs have a place to go.
 
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