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G Scale or G Gauge Model Trains, what is this?

January 24, 2013

G gauge is a gauge for model trains

G scale is a scale for model railway, and because of its size and durability, G gauge is very often used in gardens. Such installations are named as garden trains.


G gauge was released from Ernst Paul Lehmann Patentwerk under their brand name of LGB, meant for outdoor/indoor use. The biggest European manufacturer of G gauge railways, and considered the one that really made garden railways famous. Their railroads are sold as the Lehmann Garten Bahn (or “Lehmann Big Railways”). Lehman Patentwerk was founded in 1881 and started manufacturing LGB in 1968. The remains of the company, subject to seemingly endless litigation, had been bought by Märklin, and facturing of certain items seems to be continuing. The American side of the business, known formerly as LGB of America LGBoA, has somewhat less clear position in the newly arranged company under the Märklin aegis. LGB manufactures models of US and European originals, of diesel, steam and electric prototypes as well as a big range of accessories, trucks and coaches.

‘G Gauge’ versus ‘G Scale’

The term “scale” is a misnomer, as the real scale of the engines that run on it vary from system to system, country to country. G scale is more correctly called “G Gauge“, as the gauge of the track, 45 mm (1.772 in), is the one consistency. I believe this is incorrect: G scale properly refers only to 22,5:1 scale. Gauge refers to distance between railheads; track having 45 mm gauge is properly referred to as #1 Gauge track. It is the term “G Gauge” that is the misnomer.

The given name comes from the German groß (meaning “big”). Traditionally, G scale is the use of 45 mm (1,772 in) gauge track, as used for standard gauge (Gauge I) scale models, for modelling 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) narrow gauge railways, using the correct scale of 1:22.5. Metre gauge is the most common narrow gauge in Europe, where it is known as IIm.
Most people think that the “G” in G Scale stands for Garden Scale. This is also a misnomer, but the term Garden Railways has picked up usage over the last decades in the media to describe G Gauge Railways.

Wrightway Rolling Stock 1:32 and 10mm scale custom built North American, British and European passenger models.
Northern Fine Scale items in 10mm scale British only freight models in kit form
Accucraft has 5 scales:

Fn3 is 1:20.3
Gauge 1 is 1:32
Their ½” scale is 1:24
They also build 1:29 scale North American models in electric and live steam under the AML brand
Also British live steam and electric models in 1:19 scale [called 16mm] and Isle of Man live steam and electric models in 1:20.3 scale – the Isle of Man uses three foot gauge track, the same width as the dominant US Colorado narrow gauge.
Aristo-Craft is scale 1:29, “Classic” series is 1:24

Aster scale is 1:32, 1:30 for Japanese prototypes and 1:22.5 for Japanese and European narrow gauge.

Bachmann’s “Big Haulers” series is scale 1:22.5, while their “Spectrum” Series is 1:20.3 scale

Hartland Locomotive Works products are designed to fit with 1:24 scale Narrow Gauge equipment and 1:29 Standard Gauge models.
LGB is 1:22.5 scale
Mainline America scale is 1:32
Märklin “MAXI” is 1:32 in scale
MTH Rail-King is 1:32 in scale
Piko scale is 1:27-1:29
USA Trains “Ultimate” Series scale is 1:29, “American” Series is 1:24 scale

LGB and several other producers [Peco,Train-Li, PIKO] manufacture track made from brass which can remain outside in all weathers – a fast wipe and it is already for use. Track can also be obtained in less expensive aluminium as well as oxidation-resistant, but more expensive, stainless steel.


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