Model Train – Not A Toy!
A Model Train is normally a Scale Model replica of a real train. These should not be viewed as toys but are more of collectible replicas of an important element of our transportation system. Here’s some interesting information.
A model train is normally a scale version replica. This means that the model train looks just like its real counterpart, down to small hardware Details. There are different Model Railroad standards and scales.
The HO scale is the most common one and therefore tends to have the largest variety of trains and accessories available.
The N scale is probably the next most popular type. This scale is popular as an alternative to HO because it allows more complex layouts to be constructed in limited spacing. Many hobbyists believe that you must sacrifice Detail and authenticity for the space gains. However with the modern, automated processes, a great deal of detail can be incorporated into the model train at this scale.
The Z scale is one of the smallest commercially available scales in Model Railroading. It is popular with hobbyists who have limited space for their setups like apartment dwellers, etc. A simple setup can actually fit in a briefcase. This includes the track Layout and landscape, buildings, and a Power supply.
The OO scale is one of the most popular scales in England. A British train manufacturer called Homby is the largest manufacturer of OO scale trains.
And the O scale is the largest scale for model trains available commercially. It was developed in the 1900’s by Marklin, the German toy manufacturer. They chose this scale since it was the same proportion used in doll houses. In this scale, ¼’ equals 1 foot of length.
As model trains became more cost effective and more people wanted to get involved, space considerations became more important. So the HO scale was born which about half the size of the O scale.
If we look at a typical setup for an HO model train, we find that there is a great deal of variation and investment in terms of choosing an Engine, cars, and the myriad of accessories. The engine alone can cost several hundreds of dollars and the total investment can rise substantially depending upon the desire and available budget of the model railroad enthusiast.
It is not altogether uncommon for hobbyists to invest $100,000 or more in their setup over a period of years. However the results can be truly amazing. Watching a model train weave its way around a complex track through tunnels, mountains, and stopping in scale version towns can be an awe inspiring experience.
There is a great attraction and allure to this Hobby and many people have been devoted and enthusiastic hobbyists for years.
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