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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.
G is not for "Garden" Scale (although that is where many of the set-ups are). It stands for Grosse Bahn which means "Large Train" in Germany where it was first used.
 

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Dang. My room is ready and I have my table up. I pulled out all of my trains and realized I don't have many boxcars at all. I was going to use those pictures to determine what I can buy online. I have 1 or 2 scale ones and a few traditional (semi scale) and I have a couple of the original O27 ones. They definitely look weird side by side. I reckon Menards is a safe bet. I'm guessing they are not quite scale based on the military box cars and some PRR ones I got from them. I also imagine anything MPC era or later should be Ok. KLine, MTH, etc.
 

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Actually, MPC era had a lot of semi-scale cars, so I wouldn't be that quick to assume they'll all be scale.

Menard's boxcars are very close to scale, close enough that you are hard pressed to see the difference. They're pretty plain with few added on details, but they usually have good looking graphics, and the price is sure right.

You have to be careful determining what is scale and what is not, it all depends on the prototype that is being represented. Menards standard boxcars are models of 40' boxcars, and at 10" long for the body, they're spot on. They're slightly narrower than scale by about 1/8", but that's one dimension that's usually less noticeable. They're also slightly shorter than the true scale car, again not really all that significant.

Here's the Menard's 40' boxcar compared to the Lionel Vision Line PFE Reefer. Few will argue that the VL Reefer is not scale sized. A lot more added-on detail on the expensive spread, but remember three of the Lionel cars costs the same as about a dozen of the Menard's cars! :D


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If you're just looking for some decent looking cars that can be represented as scale sized, you can consider the Menard's line.
 

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I'm not going to be a scale crazy. I'll take anything on the larger end, the older, smaller ones I have just look to small.

I've seen some older Lionel boxcars on ebay not horribly expensive. I'm hoping I can roll the dice and do ok.
 

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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 👍


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 :)
The pics are not coming they on my I-Phone - not sure why not?
 

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The pics are not coming they on my I-Phone - not sure why not?
Can you load them on to your computer?
Just drop the image, use the little box by the smiley face, second to the left.
Boston & Maine has not been here for a long time.
 

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The pictures do not come up. The link must of been broken.
I thought he was saying he couldn't insert pictures here.
OK
 

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He quoted the first post. Those pictures do not show up at all here or on a phone. the problem is in the post itself.
Posts 124 and 130 identified the problem.
The thread is only from 2010? :geek:
We should update it?
Add what is missing and edit B&M's posts if needed.
He wouldn't mind. :unsure:
 

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His pictures were comparison of different brands that I do not own. I can't duplicate them.
If supplied I can.
I looked at the thread, a lot of links no longer work.
But still some good talk in it.
You need the trains to retake pictures, and he had back grounds added that looked nice.
It would be nice to add the pictures back in post #1 or replace them.
Instead ,Edit, in big letters, PICTURES GONE from this post. Sorry. :)
 
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