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Model Railroad – what is Gauge 1 (Gauge I)

January 25, 2013

Gauge 1

1 Scale is a model railway and model train standard, popular in the early 20th century, particularly with British manufacturers. Its track measures 1.75 in (44.45 mm), making it bigger than 0 scale but little smaller than wide scale, which came to be the dominant USA standard during the 1920s.


1 Gauge was standardised, according to Model Railways and Locomotive magazine of August 1909 at 1.75 in (44.45 mm). The dimension between the wheel tyres at 117⁄32 in (38.894 mm) and between the centre of the track 48 mm (no inch equivalent suggesting it was metric users requirement only). The wheel width was set at 19⁄64 in (7.541 mm).


calling it gauge, rather than scale, was more often used in the early days with the four gauges for which standards were adopted being No. 0 (commonly called O gauge nowadays), No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3.





Initially as popular in the United States as in the UK, Gauge I lost dominace in the United States due to WW1, which dramatically decreased foreign imports, allowing the U.S. wide scale standard to gain popularity. After World War I, most surviving United States producers switched to wide scale. In the UK and the rest of the world I Scale also declined, although more slowly, and by the 1940s had practically disappeared.


In the 50s and 60s Scale I experienced a renaissance, first in the UK and then everywhere. This was helped by I Scale being the same scale as the modern G gauge, a famous standard for outdoor model railways.





Although vintage Gauge 1 trains use the same track standard as modern G scale, scale modeling was not a primary design consideration in I Gauge heyday, so the actual size and scale of the engines and cars varied. Generally, Scale I items worked out to around 1:32 scale (roughly 10mm = 1 foot). G scale at 1:22.5 means the Gauge 1 track represents 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) (metre gauge) track. Such railroads are to be found in, among other places, Switzerland, the creative source for many commercial G gauge railways.


By comparison, I Gauge, 1:32 scale makes it nearly 3 times the dimensions of modern H0 scale, the most known size today.



Live steams


Due to the size of the engines they are able to be powered with live steam, which to many is a large advantage as they are cheaper than traditional live steam garden railways. These are usually fired by gas or methylated spirit, which are both very popular. Another form, which is becomingpopular is coal, which gives the owner the unforgettable smell that only steam locos carry.



Märklin, in Germany, has manufactured several different lines of model trains that can be considered Scale I in the past. In the late 60s, Märklin reentered the large scale market with a modest range of Gauge 1 model trains.


In the early 2000’s, Maerklin added a second line of Gauge I trains under the trade name “Maxi”. These model trains were made of stamped metal and were more toylike in appearance in comparison to their scale version of I Scale model trains. The Maxi line was intended to compete against the more famous LGB product line, which also operates on 45mm gauged track, but is scaled to IIm standards.The I Scale trains product series continues in production, super-detailed and more expensive than the Maxi line

Gauge 1, 1 Gauge, Gauge I, I Gauge, Scale 1, 1 Scale is a model railroading and toy train standard.

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