Broadway Limited HO Scale

The first model trains were released about 1840, although the first electric trains appeared about the turn of the 20th century. They truly began obtaining recognition during the early 1920s when many department stores began using the electric powered model trains in their Christmas window exhibits. The idea of model railroading as a hobby definitely began gaining in popularity in the later part of the 1920s and early 1930s.

In the us this hobby is referred to as model railroading in the UK, Canada and Australia it is called railway modeling.

The terms scale and gauge will often be misused and transposed.

 



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Scale indicates the ratio between the dimensions of a actual or full size train and that of a model train. For instance, HO scale is the most popular and has a ratio of 1:87 which means that 1 foot (30.5 cm) on the model equals 87 feet (26.5 m) of a actual train. Scales are usually depicted by letters such as HO, N, O, etc. which equal the various ratios of the miniatures to the full size real thing.

Gauge is the length between the two rails of track. Almost all of the railroad tracks across the world have what is referred to as standard gauge, which is a track gauge of 4 feet 8 ½ inches or 1,435 mm. There's also narrow gauge railways that have a gauge or length less than standard gauge and there are broad gauge railways that have a gauge larger than standard gauge.
In order to confuse you all the more in scale modeling each scale could have a couple of track gauges.

Scale ratios of scales listed on our site:
G scale= 1:22.5
HO scale= 1:87
N scale= 1:148, 1:160, 1:150 (Jap)
O scale= 1:48 (US), 1:43.5 (UK), 1:45 (Eur)
OO scale= 1:76
S scale= 1:64
Z scale= 1:220

Brass
Brass model trains in the beginning came from Japan. Mostly then and today in HO scale, the first brass model trains from the late 1940s were totally hand made remarkably accurate and exact. That's why some of the earliest versions have grown to be many of the most sought-after collectors items and will bring in as much as tens of thousands of dollars at auction today. A number of the brass model trains these days come out of production plants in South Korea. The brass model trains have been commonly manufactured in shorter runs of 150 or fewer and decorated with specific train lines for instance "Santa Fe" or "Union Pacific" helping to make them far more unique.

Steam
Even though early railroading was first based upon steam engine locomotives, hardly any model trains were actually steam driven. Earlier models were in fact relatively dangerous.
Nevertheless, many of the model train manufacturers made an effort to duplicate both the choo choo sound as well as the smoke puffing. They accomplished this with both petroleum based aromatic fluids, smoke pellets and hot wire smoking mechanisms.


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