# Trains (Homework Question)

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by Caitlin, Nov 27, 2001.

1. ### CaitlinNew Member

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Hi, I need to find out what HO and O scales are in railroad modeling. Please answer ASAP. It's homework!

Thanks, Caitlin!
2. ### IMRL393Member

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Hi, Caitlin!

"O" scale is 1:48, or 0.250 inch to a foot. It is one of the "older" scales in model railroading, invented by the Ives Co. in 1910.
It was actually smaller than some of the other scales that were out, and maybe because of this became very popular.

"HO" scale is 1:87, or 0.138 inch to a foot. It is close to (but not exactly) half the scale of "O", so it is "Half O", or "HO." This is the most popular scale today. Yea us !!!!!!!!

My understanding is that HO was developed in the 1930s, when the Depression caused tight budgets for model railroaders.

As I can hear some of the N-scalers in the background, I will point out that "N" scale is one of the newer scales, at 1:160. At about half HO scale, it seems to be increasing in popularity with those who can work with such a small model scale. I have trouble enough with the small parts in HO scale, sometimes!

There is even a "Z" scale at 1:220, but you need a microscope to see it !!!!!!!!!!

(just kidding)

At the opposite end, there is "G" at 1:22.5 - these are the big trains you usually see at some Christmas displays.

Hoep this helps!

- George
3. ### shamusRegistered Member

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Hi Caitlin,
Just to confuse things abit, With H0 and 00 being the same gauge track used by 99% of the model railroaders (1% use for 00 the proper gauge track and make it) I must point out that with H0 being 3.5mm to the foot, - 00 is in fact 4mm to the foot and 0 gauge is 7mm. (H0=Half 0)

Now for the N-scale, 1-160th = Continental scales. British N-scale is in fact 1-148th. but still both run on 9mm scale track width. True scalers will make an effort to model in 2mm to the foot which is not either 1-160 or 1-148. as they cannot use 9mm (n-scale track) so have to make their own.

I just remembered, H0/00 people you can buy if you model in H0 or 00, are the wrong size, for one scale they are too small, the other too large. Oh dear, Oh dear,- what a compromise,

Geewiz. Same applies to the N-scale figures Continental/British.

Shamus
4. ### IMRL393Member

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Nickpicking, the original O is (was?) exactly 1/4 inch (0.250) to the foot, because it was created on the "English" (now "American" ?) scale. This converts (at 25.4 mm/in) to 6.35 mm (to three significant figures). HO, at 1:87, is 0.138 inch (to 3SF), or 3.50 mm (again, to 3 SF).

So I still hold that HO is not EXACTLY half O.

Yeah, I know - picky, picky!

- George
5. ### shamusRegistered Member

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Okay, I can live with that.

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