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Friday, January 3, 2014

All Scales, All Gauges

3 days ago the idea struck me to create a list and basic information about every scale, every gauge that has been used for model railroads.  With the help of the Internet and fellow modelers on railroad forums: this is the result of 2 1/2 days of research and editing:

Scales and Gauges

This is a compilation of nearly all the model railroad scales.  Am I missing a few?  Probably, but I'll update the pdf when new scales and gauges come to my attention.

Each scale/ gauge combination has the following information:  the scale's name, gauge in millimeters and inches, the prototype gauge represented, the length of a 40 foot US standard box car (or simply 40 feet), the status of the scale in the hobby, and one or two notes about the particular combination which may be important.

Also, the document is in three parts:

Part I is a full list of every scale going from smallest scale to largest (T to full sized 15 inch gauge) and within each scale grouping the gauges also go from most narrow to most broad (9 inch to 5 foot)  For simplicity, only the scale/gauge combinations which have actually been used successfully on an operating layout.  In other words, no theoretical scale/gauge combinations.

Part II takes a look at the narrow gauge scales with the following categories:  less than 2 foot gauge, 30 inch gauge, 3 foot and meter gauge, 42 inch gauge.

Part III looks at the outdoor scales.  There are two type of outdoor scales; the typical garden railway scales collectively named "Large Scale", and the very large models which are strong enough for adults to ride on.

So what was the point of this?  Well, for starters, having a list such as this will help modelers decide which scale and which gauge to pursue.  This will be especially helpful to beginners who are looking for the scale and gauge which suits their situation best.  This can be a great help to those looking to model their favorite narrow gauge either inside or in the garden.  For those short on space, this list will show which scales and gauges are likely candidates for a small area.

The 40 foot box car length is a great tool to picture how one scale or gauge compares to another.  The large scale community has a variety of scales, most run on 32mm (O gauge) or 45mm (gauge 1) track.  Using this list, a modeler can see the difference between 1/24 and 1/20.3.

There are a variety of uses for an all encompassing list of scales and gauges.  This pdf is for public use for anyone, and this is a tool I think is valuable to any modeler.


1 comment:

  1. Your list is a very good resource; that is quite a task to list all known scales. Thank you for compiling it. If I might suggest some additions to the Outdoor Riding Scales: I see you have 12-1/4" gauge (as noted, common overseas). However, in the U.S. 12" gauge is more common. Although there is virtually no commercial support now, vintage equipment can be found. I can think of at least a half-dozen railroads in this gauge off the top of my head (including my own). Standard Gauge on 12" gauge is 2-1/2"=1', and 3' narrow gauge models are built to 4"=1'. Similarly, 3' narrow gauge models are built on 15" gauge at 5"=1' scale (popular on the west coast), with standard gauge models being 3"=1'. Once again, good job on the list and thanks for sharing it.