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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Anyone who has looked into the world of O gauge has discovered that there are many sizes. Below are some photographs that I hope will help outline what will size-up with what.

  1. For reference, the MTH Premier Line is 1:48 scale, which is the definition of O scale. All products in the Atlas Big O, Atlas Master, Atlas Trainman, K-Line O Scale, Lionel Standard O, and Weaver lines are also 1:48 scale and match the size of the MTH Premier Line car shown below.
  2. It appears that the Atlas Industrial Rail, K-Line O-27, Lionel Traditional, and MTH Rugged Rails product lines are equal in size and would be classified as being O-27 gauge.
  3. As the pictures show, the MTH Railking Line falls between O scale and O-27 gauge. In fact, there are even three categories within this product line - Railking, Railking Imperial, and Railking Scale. More about this can be read here.
Credit for the images below belongs to a gentleman named Sean from another forum. He did a great job showing the differences :thumbsup:


MTH Premier v. MTH Railking


MTH Premier v. Lionel Traditional


MTH Railking v. Lionel Traditional


MTH Railking v. MTH Rugged Rails


Lionel Traditional v. Atlas Industrial Rail


Lionel Traditional v. K-Line O-27


Lionel Traditional v. MTH Rugged Rails


MTH Premier v. Lionel Prewar :)
 

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B&M,

Thanks for the info. Interesting comparison. That's "my guys" in that last pic ... prewar tinplate Lionel ... baby O ... ohh baby, ohh baby!

TJ
 

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And the model house in the back ground looks like a real house too.:thumbsup:
 

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Thanks for the help with the scale, now lets talk about the wheels, are the prewar lionel wheels deeper than the post war? or is that the diffence between true O and O-27.
My pre war trains run fine on the fast track until they come up to a switch or accessory track, the rails are not deep enough for the wheels.
thanks
joe
 

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The flanges on the prewar wheels are larger than the flanges on the post war wheels. The prewar crossings don't work well with postwar cars, and vice-versa. The crossing carry the same part number, so you have to test them. I haven't tried 022 switches.
 

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The shadows of a nearby tree on the house move/change from photo to photo - this a piece of FasTrack set on a a piece of Trex which likely is the cap piece for a deck, with the neighbor's house in the background. We could probably tell in which order these photos were taken, if we really cared.

Great comparison, though. Definitely some food for thought.
 

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I don't think that Lionel has a standard O/27 gauge.
As there O gauge is all over the place. Some boxcars are just longer and not as tall some are shorter and a little taller.

As far as I'm concerned only there track is consistent.
O gauge is a confusing mess. I should have just gone with G.
 

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I don't think that Lionel has a standard O/27 gauge.
As there O gauge is all over the place. Some boxcars are just longer and not as tall some are shorter and a little taller.

As far as I'm concerned only there track is consistent.
O gauge is a confusing mess. I should have just gone with G.

:laugh:

Once you learn about the differences of O and O/27 it is not that confusing.

O track is a bit taller then O/27, but most of the O will run on O/27. It is the curves and switches that will give true O trains a problem.
I would say that all O/27 will run on O.

I run on O/27 track and mix O sized box cars with O/27 box cars.
I don't care.:D O are just a bit bigger.

If your new to O and O/27 check out this site to learn, when done click down the bottom of the page to view a lot more info. There is a ton of usefull info on Thors site.

But by all means ask here too ,you need to.

edit,
http://www.thortrains.net/otrix1.htm
 

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:laugh:

Once you learn about the differences of O and O/27 it is not that confusing.

O track is a bit taller then O/27, but most of the O will run on O/27. It is the curves and switches that will give true O trains a problem.
I would say that all O/27 will run on O.

I run on O/27 track and mix O sized box cars with O/27 box cars.
I don't care.:D O are just a bit bigger.

If your new to O and O/27 check out this site to learn, when done click down the bottom of the page to view a lot more info. There is a ton of usefull info on Thors site.

But by all means ask here too ,you need to.

edit,
http://www.thortrains.net/otrix1.htm
Thanks,but i'm pretty much done as my sons train now has 10 cars and 50X110 of of fast track,good enough for a 2 years olds Christmas present.
 

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Blimey!

It's a world gone MAD!!! :p Too many varients... so dizzy!
 

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Great reference page thank you. So I found a RMT flat car I would like to aquire. Any idea how it will hold up next to Lionel traditional?
 

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for out of scale O, check the Lionel Crossing gate and signal from the 80's and the gateman is also larger than it should be. When you compare the railking buildings Doors and figures and then place the old Lionel gateman beside. Gateman looks like a giant!

I also noticed the differences in the K-line box cars and the MTH and newer lionel ones. kind of crazy.

Chris
 

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Making it match

I have a Williams ABA set in Illinois Central . I bought 8 Lionel passenger cars to go with them. The Williams were all larger . Having seen this mistake I like The Williams cars better but can't seem to find the passenger cars to go with it. Anybody know a seller of these kinds of cars.
 

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I have a Williams ABA set in Illinois Central . I bought 8 Lionel passenger cars to go with them. The Williams were all larger . Having seen this mistake I like The Williams cars better but can't seem to find the passenger cars to go with it. Anybody know a seller of these kinds of cars.

What passenger cars did you get?
I would think some Lionel heavyweights would go with them.

They sell Williams/Bachmann O scale, I never looked at any close up.
Dimensions,
navigates 0-42 curves​
single-car length 17.75", height 3.625

Take a look,
http://www.wholesaletrains.com/OProducts2.asp?Scale=O&Item=WLMSHVYWTS


I would have to pull them out and look, but I think my Lionel heavyweights are just as big if not bigger.
 

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Thee isn't a single "brand" that is "true" O-scale. Each maker, Lionel, MTH, Williams, Atlas, etc. has some true 1:48 "scale" items and some "semi-scale", typically a bit smaller. You have to zero in on the actual item within a brand to know if it's really O-scale.

Note that I'm not talking about Europe here, where 1:43 is considered "true" O-scale. ;)
 

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If I remember correctly The cross ties on the O-27 were brown and on the traditional o gauge they are black. The 27 stood for the radius of the turns. The O-27 were designed to use a smaller layout a full circle is just a bit over 2 feet. My layout uses traditional 0-72 (a full circle would be 6 feet) just so I can run any engine on it. The rails were a little taller on the O-27 to make it a little harder to derail.
Herman
 

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The color of the ties is not universal. I've seen brown, black, and silver O27, and I have in my possession black and silver tie O31 track. I'm pretty sure I had some O31 that had brown ties as well.

The ties are a different shape on O31 track, they have "ears" where the O27 track ties are normally formed square.

The taller rails on O31 have no effect on the propensity to derail AFAIK.
 

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This is a great thread. Too bad I had to find out the hard way. Love those williams box cars, almost a 1/2 inch difference in hieght. Thanks
 

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Does the 'O' in O scale stand for an abbreviated word or is just the letter of the alphabet that came up next when listing scales like A,1:1 B, 1:2 ? Is the O in 027 a zero or the letter O and does it possibly mean CIRCLE = 27 inches? Probably a search term that would answer these question but I'm search impaired.
 

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Thanks John

Please share a search term or thread name to tell me what the O in O scale or HO, or other letters to designate different scales, stand for. Thanks Doug
 

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Please share a search term or thread name to tell me what the O in O scale or HO, or other letters to designate different scales, stand for. Thanks Doug
I don't think the O stands for anything.

Does this help you a little?
There are more but these are the main ones.

train_scales02.gif

Now O scale gets a little tricky, as O/27 is a bit smaller, that is explained in the beginning here in this thread.

Notice that ON30 runs on 5/8's wide, as is HO and HOn30, a different size but these run on the same tracks.


Edit,
There is an SG that stands for standard gauge it is bigger then the G. By the way G stands for garden trains.
O I don't think it stands for anything but HO stands for half of O.
 

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Technically (and historically), it was "Zero Gauge", rather than "Ohh Gauge" ...

From wiki ...

The name for O gauge and O scale is derived from "0 [zero] gauge" or "Gauge 0", because it was smaller than Gauge 1 and the other existing standards. It was created in part because manufacturers realized their best selling trains were the smaller scales.
 

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TJ's right about the O originally being a zero. As Ed states, HO was named for being roughly "Half of O scale" and G is for Garden scale since it often used outdoors. TT is for Table Top. Z scale was so-named because if was thought to be the smallest scale anyone could build a working model train, but then the even smaller T scale came along. I don't know the reason N scale was named that.

Bottom line is there's little science or consistency behind these names.
 

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Now that you said that TJ, I seem to remember servoguy stating that too when we were discussing track or switches one time.

I got to thinking about S standing for standard gauge and realized that we have S for S gauge trains.

So I changed that to SG for standard gauge. I just took a guess. :dunno:
Someone correct me if I am wrong.


I wonder what DUG thinks?
 

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Thanks Ed, John, TJ, Eljefe

I was foolishly looking for some metric system like analogy to describe the progression in gauge/scale designations.

Finding no overriding formula, I revel in the complexity. It appears to me that some names came from size variations (1 gage and zero gage) some came about as marketing schemes (Lionel radius 27 inches).

Great info, Thanks again for you help. I think I'll go loiter in the 'How to Post pictures' thread and see if I can figure out how to make a Gallery. Doug
 

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I don't think Standard Gauge ever had a number/letter designation, Ed. It used 2-1/8" track which Lionel dubbed "the Standard of the world" as a marketing ploy, to strongly suggest that any other track was somehow sub-standard or inferior.

TJ
 

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I was foolishly looking for some metric system like analogy to describe the progression in gauge/scale designations.

Finding no overriding formula, I revel in the complexity. It appears to me that some names came from size variations (1 gage and zero gage) some came about as marketing schemes (Lionel radius 27 inches).

Great info, Thanks again for you help. I think I'll go loiter in the 'How to Post pictures' thread and see if I can figure out how to make a Gallery. Doug

Dug, take note we do have a picture gallery problem that it seems no one can fix.

Read about the problem here,

http://www.modeltrainforum.com/showthread.php?t=16843
you can post in the gallery but all your pictures will only show up under one picture!
Messes up the whole thing!

Here is an example, this member has posted different pictures but see how it comes out in the gallery? They are all the same header picture but if you click on them you will see a different picture.
I wish someone could fix this, I went to clean all my pictures up so they were more organized and found this problem.
I ended up deleting all my pictures. And am still waiting for a fix to re-post them.
I would say this is a loss for the site as others stopped posting in the gallery too.
Example,
http://www.modeltrainforum.com/gallery/browseimages.php?c=3&userid=6849

I don't think Standard Gauge ever had a number/letter designation, Ed. It used 2-1/8" track which Lionel dubbed t"he Standard of the world" as a marketing ploy, to strongly suggest that any other track was somehow sub-standard or inferior.

TJ
Yep now that you said that I seem to remember reading the same quote somewhere.
"The Standard of the world"
 
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