List of narrow-gauge model railway scales

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00-9 'pizza' layout, Starbottom Lane by Richard Glover

Railway modelling has long used a variety of scales and gauges to represent its models of real subjects. In most cases, gauge and scale are chosen together, so as to represent Stephenson standard gauge. By choosing a smaller gauge than this for a particular scale, the model represents a narrow-gauge example.[1][2]

Such gauge and scale combinations are of course used for the deliberate modelling of particular narrow-gauge subjects, where the choice of subject is behind the choice of combination. Narrow-gauge modelling has also become especially popular from the purely modelling aspects: it combines a conveniently visible large scale that is easier to work on, with a narrow model gauge that allows tighter radius curves and so fits layouts into smaller spaces. This has been a particular reason in Europe where, houses being generally smaller than in the US, there is rarely space for 0 gauge and even 00 gauge is restricted in the size of curves.

At times, particularly in the early days before the inertia of popular scales developed, modellers would choose seemingly random scales in order to model a particular prototype and its original gauge whilst using a readily available gauge.[3] As the range of commercial products increases, both for gauges and scales, it is easier to find a combination that is already supported and so there is less need to scratch-build everything.[1]

Naming[edit]

Naming of these gauge and scale combinations follows a few broad rules, but not always consistently. Some, such as G gauge and SM32 were defined from the outset as narrow-gauge scales and so have a single component to their name.

British[edit]

Many names, particularly those of British origin, such as O14 and 00-9 combine the name of the scale used with the physical measurement of the gauge, i.e. the 7mm to the foot scale from standard O gauge with a rail gauge of 14mm, giving a precise representation of 2 ft (610 mm) prototypes. As it is the scale that controls interoperability between models and also the manufacture of non-railway scenery etc., it is the scale rather than the gauge that takes the primary position in names.

European[edit]

The German model railway standards organisation NEM document NEM010 defines all model railway gauges, including narrow gauges.[2] Unusually, unlike the British model railway trade, this recognised narrow-gauge modelling from the outset. This may be because of Europe's greater prototypical use of the larger narrow gauges for smaller branch lines.

NEM010 defines and names narrow gauges for all the supported scales although it takes a broad approach and groups the prototypes into 'nominal size' ranges or 'Nenngröße'. It defines these prototype gauge ranges as:[2]

Gauge Description NEM code letter
1,250–1,700 millimetres 49–67 in standard gauge
850–1,250 millimetres 33–49 in metre gauge m
650–850 millimetres 26–33 in narrow gauge e
400–650 millimetres 16–26 in industrial i
Feldbahn f
300–400 millimetres 12–16 in park p

Names are of the form 'H0e', comparable to 00-9, as 'Narrow gauge in H0 scale'. They the scale and approximate prototype gauge represented, with the model gauge used (9mm) being implied.[2]

The scales used include the general European modelling range of Z, N, TT, H0, 0 and also the large model engineering gauges of I to X, including 3½", 5", 7¼" and 10¼" gauge. As 00 is a particularly British scale, it is not included within this German standard. However the predominantly US imperial-based S scale (1:64) does feature.

US[edit]

US gauges are named as On30 or Sn3, composed of the scale, 'n' for narrow gauge and the dimensions of the prototype gauge being modelled. These are universally in imperial units rather than metric, but there is no consistency between using inches or feet. Both On42 and On2 are used, but when referring to the prototype gauge, e.g. On30 / On2½, the gauge is usually given in inches.

Gauge and scale combinations[edit]

Gauge
1 gauge O gauge EM gauge H0 / 00 gauge TT gauge N gauge Z gauge T gauge
Scale 45 mm 32 mm 0.875 inches (22.2 mm) 21 mm 0.75 inches (19 mm) 18.2 mm 16.5 mm 14.3 mm 14 mm 12.7 mm 12 mm 10.5 mm 9 mm 6.5 mm 3 mm
SE scale 7/8" 1:13.7 SE[ng 1]
2 ft
(610 mm)[4][5]
SE[ng 1]
18 in
(457 mm)
16 mm scale 1:19 SM45[ng 2]
2 ft 9 in
(838 mm)
SM32[ng 2]
2 ft
(610 mm)[6]
F scale 1:20.3 Fn3
3 ft
(914 mm)[7]
Fn2
2 ft
(610 mm)
G scale 1:22.5 G[ng 3]
1,000 mm
(3 ft 3 38 in)
Gn15[ng 4]
15 in
(381 mm)
Gnine
8 in
(203 mm)[9][10]
Miniature ride-on
H scale 1/2" 1:24 H
3 ft 6 in
(1,067 mm)
3/8" 1:32 3/8n20
20 in
(508 mm)[11]
P34 9mm 1:34 P34[ng 5]
3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm)
O scale
[note 1]
7mm 1:43.5 O21[ng 6]
3 ft
(914 mm)
O16.5[ng 7]
2 ft 4 in
(711 mm)
O14[ng 8]
2 ft
(610 mm)[13]
O9
/ On15[ng 9]
15 in
(381 mm)
1:45 0e[ng 10]
750 mm
(2 ft 5 12 in)
0p[ng 9]
400 mm
(15 34 in)
1/4" 1:48 On42[ng 11]
3 ft 6 in
(1,067 mm)
On3[ng 12]
3 ft
(914 mm)
On30 / On2½[ng 13]
2 ft 6 in
(762 mm)
On2[ng 14]
2 ft
(610 mm)
On20[ng 15]
20 in
(508 mm)[17]
On18
18 in
(457 mm)
Of
450 mm
(17 2332 in)
1:50 Pempoul [ng 16]
1,000 mm
6mm Towy Valley Tramway [ng 17]
2 ft
(610 mm)
5.5 mm 5.5mm 1:55 5.5 mm[ng 18]
3 ft
(914 mm)[22]
5.5 mm[ng 18]
2 ft
(610 mm)[21]
S scale 3/16” 1:64 Sm[ng 19]
European metre gauge

Sn3½[ng 20]
3 ft 6 in
(1,067 mm)[23][24]

Sn3[ng 21]
3 ft
(914 mm)
Sn2
2 ft
(610 mm)[26]
Sn2[ng 22]
2 ft
(610 mm)[23]
00 scale 4mm 1:76.2 00n3[ng 23]
3 ft
(914 mm)
00-9[ng 24]
2 ft 3 in
(686 mm)
500 mm
(19 34 in)
495 mm
(19 12 in)
H0 scale 3.5mm 1:87 H0m[ng 25]
1,000 mm
HOn3½[ng 26]
3 ft 6 in
(1,067 mm)
HOn3[ng 27]
3 ft
(914 mm)
H0e[ng 28]

HOn30 / HOn2½[ng 29]
750 mm
(2 ft 5 12 in)

H0f
H0i[ng 30]
600 mm
(1 ft 11 58 in)
TT scale 3 mm 1:100 TTn3[ng 31]
3 ft
(914 mm)
NZ120[24]
N scale 2mm 1:160 Nn3[ng 32]
T scale 1:450
[note 2]
T gauge
3 ft 6 in
(1,067 mm)
Standard gauge is shaded

Gauges[edit]

  1. ^ a b SE or 7/8" – used to model 2 ft. Less commonly used with 32 mm track to represent 18 in (457 mm) minimum gauge.
  2. ^ a b SM322 ft (610 mm).
  3. ^ G scale – Originally developed as 'groß' in Germany by LGB to represent 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in). Now widely thought of as 'Garden' gauge.
  4. ^ Gn15 – using G scale and commonly available 00 running gear to model the 15 in (381 mm) minimum gauge railways of Sir Arthur Heywood and his successors.[8]
  5. ^ P343 ft 6 in (1,067 mm)[12]
  6. ^ O21[1] 3 ft (914 mm)
  7. ^ O16.5 – UK 7 mm scale with 00 16.5 mm gauge, used to model gauges between 2 ft (610 mm) and 2 ft 6 in (762 mm).
  8. ^ O14Finescale modelling of British 2ft gauge using 7 mm O scale and a unique 14 mm gauge.
  9. ^ a b O9 / On15 – UK 7mm scale on a 9 mm gauge to model 15 in (381 mm) minimum gauge and 18 in (457 mm) industrial railways.[14]
  10. ^ 0e
  11. ^ On42Queensland sugar cane railways[15] and US subjects[16] of 3 ft 6 in
    (1,067 mm)
  12. ^ On3 – Using US O scale (1:48 ratio) with 0.75 in gauge track to represent 3 ft (914 mm). Probably the second most popular US scale for 3 ft (914 mm).
  13. ^ On30 – 1:48 scale with 16.5 mm track to represent 2 ft 6 in (762 mm), in practice anything between 2 ft (610 mm) and 3 ft (914 mm). On2½ is another name for the same standard. Commercial support, particularly from Bachmann, is available.
  14. ^ On2 – Precise modelling of USA 2ft gauge using 1:48 O scale and a unique 12.7 mm gauge. This may be considered a Finescale version of On30. There is little to no commercial support for the mechanical aspects of this unique gauge but it is sometimes possible to re-use or re-gauge commercial models for On30.
  15. ^ On20 – Extremely rare gauge primarily for modeling 20" mining railroads in the USA
  16. ^ Pempoul – Finescale modelling of French metre gauge at 1:50 scale on 18.2 mm Finescale EM gauge. So far only used by Gordon & Maggie Gravett.[18][19]
  17. ^ Towy Valley Tramway – Finescale modelling of 2ftt gauge on 12mm.[20]
  18. ^ a b 5.5 mm – Used to represent both 3 ft (914 mm) (on 16.5mm) & 2 ft (610 mm) (on 12mm) gauges. British outline two foot gauge[21] is one of the oldest narrow gauge modelling scales, when the GEM company in 1963 launched white metal kits to represent Welsh slate railways, using readily available TT gauge parts. Three foot gauge in this scale is mostly US[22] and has little in common with the two foot.
  19. ^ Sm – 1:64 metre gauge; Continental European.
  20. ^ Sn3½ – Using S scale (1:64 ratio) with 16.5 mm H0/00 gauge track to represent 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm). Popular in Australasia.
  21. ^ Sn3 – Using S scale (1:64 ratio) with 14.3 mm (0.563 in) gauge track to represent 3 ft (914 mm). Limited commercial support.[25]
  22. ^ Sn2 – Used rarely in Australia for modelling 2 ft (610 mm)[23]
  23. ^ 00n3 – 1:76 12 mm British, Irish and Manx 3 ft (914 mm).
  24. ^ 00-92 ft 3 in (686 mm) 1:76 9 mm 2 ft 3 in (686 mm) British and British Empire subjects from 2 ft to 2 ft 6 in.
  25. ^ H0m – 1:87 12 mm 850 to <1250 mm; Continental European.
  26. ^ HOn3½ – 1:87 12 mm 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm).
  27. ^ HOn3 – Using HO scale (1:87 ratio) with 10.5 mm gauge track. Historically the most popular of the scale/gauge combinations for modelling 3 ft gauge in the USA.
  28. ^ H0e – 1:87 9 mm 650 to <850 mm; Continental European.
  29. ^ HOn30 HOn2½ – 1:87 9 mm 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) American.
  30. ^ H0f (H0i) – 1:87 6.5 mm (Z gauge) 400 to 650 mm; Continental European.
  31. ^ TTn3 – 3 mm scale on 9 mm gauge to model 3ft prototypes. Some use in Australasia at TTn3&12; for their 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) lines, and known as NZ120 in New Zealand[23]
  32. ^ Nn3 or N-6.5 – Using N scale (1:160 ratio ) with Z gauge 6.5 mm track to represent 3ft gauge.[27][28][29]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ UK O gauge uses a scale of 7mm/foot, Europe uses 1:45 and the US 1:48
  2. ^ T gauge is a constant 3 mm gauge, although it defines two scale standards: 1:480 for modelling Stephenson gauge and 1:450 for Japanese 3 ft 6 in
    (1,067 mm).

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Modelling the Narrow Gauge". The 7mm Narrow Gauge Association. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Normen Europäischer Modellbahnen Maßstäbe, Nenngrößen, Spurweiten" (PDF) (in German). NEM. 2011. Retrieved 2014-05-15. 
  3. ^ Cyril R. Burch (March 1963). "Building Glyn Valley Tramway coaches". Narrow Gauge Journal. Ynys Gwyntog. 1. (6). 
  4. ^ Ferdinand Mels. "7/8ths SE Scale". 78ths.com. 
  5. ^ "The SE Lounge 7/8"=1'-0"". 7-8ths.info. 
  6. ^ "The Association of 16mm Narrow Gauge Modellers". Association of 16mm Narrow Gauge Modellers. 
  7. ^ "Welcome to Accucraft". Accucraft UK. 
  8. ^ "A little Gn15 history lesson". gnine.info. 
  9. ^ "What is Gnine? An introduction.". gnine.info. 
  10. ^ "Gnine". pepper7.com. 
  11. ^ Marsh, Kim (July 2002). "No Hope Coast". Narrow Gauge & Short Line Gazette. July 2002: 71. 
  12. ^ "Track and Wheel Standards for 1:34 NZR" (PDF). New Zealand Model Railway Guild. 
  13. ^ "About O14". O14 Group. 
  14. ^ "Railway modelling in 7mm scale on 9mm gauge track". O9 Modeller. 
  15. ^ "Modelling Queensland Rail in On42". Queensland's Rail Heritage. 
  16. ^ "Red Rocket". Continental Modeller: 433–435. June 2006. 
  17. ^ Green, Woodie (July 2000). "My On20 Mogollon Railway: Narrow minded". Narrow Gauge & Short Line Gazette. July 2000: 62. 
  18. ^ "Pempoul - Réseau Breton". 24th Exhibition. Uckfield Model Railway Club. 2008. 
  19. ^ "Pempoul by Gordon & Maggie Gravett at Railex". RMweb. 2009. 
  20. ^ Dennis Harrison (July 2014). "Towy Valley Tramway". Narrow Gauge & Industrial Railway Modelling Review. Vol. 13 no. 99. pp. 94–103. 
  21. ^ a b "5.5 mm Association". 
  22. ^ a b "Modelling 3 foot narrow gauge on H0 track". 
  23. ^ a b c d "Modelling the Railways of Tasmania". Rail Tasmania. 
  24. ^ a b "Modelling the railways of New Zealand". New Zealand Model Railway Guild. 
  25. ^ "Sn3 and HOn3". Slim Gauge Guild. 
  26. ^ "Standards". Sn2 Trains. November 2012. 
  27. ^ Mark Fielder. "Why model in British Nn3?". 
  28. ^ "Bridge over the Blyth". Norfolk and Suffolk Narrow Gauge Modellers. 
  29. ^ "Killashandra - Irish Nn3". RMweb. 29 August 2014.