Model/prototype gauge and scale relationship

If one is prepared to build some rolling stock oneself, there is plenty of possibilities to
use ready made track and mechanisms. And if one doesn't have to stick to a certain scale, it may be easier to find suitable equipment to start with. For example, if it's a 1067 mm prototype railway one plans on modelling, either 12 mm track (TT) in the scale 1:87 (H0) can be used, or one can use 16.5 mm track (H0) and model in the scale 1:64.

This diagram shows
how you can use standard gauge track of another
scale to become narrow gauge
This diagram lists some common prototype gauges and model track gauges. Note that standard track will not quite look like narrow gauge track in another scale. Ties are relatively longer and wider and spaced further apart compared to the track gauge on narrow gauge. The narrower the gauge, the more pronounced the difference. (But some narrow gauge tracks are so overgrown that one can get away with it.)

When it comes to rolling stock, wheel sizes don't decrease as much as track gauge does, so unless you're modelling a specific prototype and thus know what diameter wheels you need, you should try to use large standard gauge wheels and long wheel base trucks if you use them to model narrow gauge in a larger scale.

If you haven't already decided what you want to model, I recommend you think about this possibility.

Last modified 1998 Nov 03,
content reviewed 2000 Sep 05
by Urban

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