G scale model trains are the workhorses of garden railways around the world. Running on 1 gauge track, 1:22.5 G scale trains have been around since 1969. That’s when the German company Ernst Paul Lehmann Patentwerk released its new line of brightly colored, highly durable, plastic LGB (for Lehmann Gross Bahn, or "Lehmann Big Train") locomotives and railcars to the world.

Despite its relatively recent association with LGB, garden railways were popularized in England during the earliest years of the 20th century. Precursors to G scale, garden railway trains ran on 1 gauge tracks, although O gauge tracks were also known to loop and circle around British backyards, which generally had more room for this sort of thing than the interiors of most British homes.

Garden railways did not catch on in the U.S. until the 1920s. In 1924, at the Los Angeles Fair, the Fairplex Garden Railroad was erected under a tent. In 1935, the layout moved outdoors where it has remained ever since, the largest and longest running railway of its kind in the world. In 1997, the tracks and trains were swapped out from their original gauge, which was ½-inch to 1-foot or 1:24, to proper G gauge.

Despite this early success and acceptance, garden railways remained a novelty in the U.S. before World War II—American Flyer promoted "Backyard Railroading" in its advertising, but never sold many trains designed for outdoor use. After the war, with the smaller O scale and HO scale trains firmly entrenched among model railroaders, the notion that big trains would ever again gain acceptance must have seemed fanciful. Which is why the introduction of the LGB G scale in 1969 was such a gutsy move.

LGB did not help its cause in the U.S. by initially offering only European trains—there’s probably only so much fun a boy in Iowa is going to have with a model train labeled "Austrian Federal" or "Rhaetian Railway." The new scale did not fare much better in England, where traditions were even more firmly established.

But in 1972, Model Railroader magazine published an article about LGB. From then on, the G scale began its rise in acceptance among an increasing number of model train enthusiasts. Today, LGB makes G scale trains for all the popular U.S. road names—from B&O to Santa Fe—all of which run on brass tracks that are designed to weather the elements.


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Recent News: G Scale Trains

Source: Google News

Train museum members ride to Dothan for show
Santa Rosa Press Gazette, September 18th

Ed Dice with the WFRM and ECGRC said, “We have being participating with the train show for several years. This time we have nine ECGRC members setting up and staffing the run. We will set up a large scale train exhibit (G scale) like the garden trains...Read more

Trainfest 2014 to be largest ever
hngnews.com, September 17th

The annual two-day public event attracts train hobbyists and families who come to see and learn more about the hobby of model railroading. Visitors experience nearly 70 remarkable operating railroads from Z to G scale, over 100 manufacturers and hobby ...Read more

Chambersburg area arts, entertainment and family events
FlipSidePA, September 16th

Open house: 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Cumberland Valley Model Railroad Club, 440 Nelson St., Chambersburg; Hogwarts Ezxpress and other new layouts; free; Bill Robinson at 264-3081 or the club at 263-6447; www.cvmrrc.com. Cruise-in: Cars, trucks and ...Read more

Longwood Gardens Presents Autumn's Colors
Daily Local News, September 12th

The Garden Railway opens September 6 and features an enchanting display of G-scale model trains. This custom model train traverses bridges, tunnels, and water features. This is the 14th year the Railway has delighted guests and is now in a new location...Read more

Big Texas Train Show exhibits historical models in Houston
Your Houston News, September 11th

Local NRHS members put on this year's Big Texas Train Show to raise awareness for a new Texas Railroading Heritage Museum to be established in the City of Tomball near the Burlington Northern Santa Fe mainline by 2016. The society's former location ...Read more

Train Days returns to Los Altos: Museum highlights model railroading
Los Altos Town Crier, August 27th

Participants include the Live Steamers from the Bay Area Garden Railway Society (G scale); the Diablo Pacific Short Line (G scale); the Golden Gate Lionel Railroad Club (O scale); a private collector's Swiss Narrow Gauge (HO scale); Peninsula NTrak and ...Read more

Train club to hold Wm. Crooks Day event Aug. 30th
Northland Press, August 25th

The William Crooks Locomotive was the first locomotive to operate in the state of Minnesota. It was built between 1861 and 1865, and it first provided service a year later in 1862 for the St. Paul and Pacific Railroad, a rail line that eventually...Read more

Train club holds open house in Warren
WKBN.com, August 22nd

Membership is open to people who love trains. “Anyone. You don't have to have a G-scale train. Many of our members do not have their own layout or their own trains and this kind of fills in for those just interested in railroading,” Riverside Railroad...Read more