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

River City Modelers Fall Model Train Show set for October 11
KXLY Spokane, October 7th

This event will feature several different operating train layouts in various scales from G scale down to the popular HO Scale and the smaller N scale. There will also be an interactive wooden train called WTrak for kids to play with. Operation...Read more

Trains in all scales, sizes at Trainfest
The Advocate, October 7th

Five layouts in N, O and HO scales are located indoors, while two G-scale layouts are outdoors, including a garden railroad and live steam facility. The garden railroad is one of only two publicly accessible outdoor garden railroads in Louisiana, said...Read more

Special Train Decorates Bradley H. Foulk Children's Advocacy Center
ErieTVNews, October 6th

The GE Employee Community Fund donated a G-Scale locomotive, that travels around the ceiling of the waiting room. They had plenty of volunteer help from local building trades employees who volunteered their time and talent to create the special ...Read more

Best bets for Oct. 3
SouthFlorida.com, October 3rd

Toy Train Show: Toy train operating layouts will be featured including a "G" Scale Modular display. A CSX locomotive engineer will discuss Operation Life Saver Programs and provide handouts. The Kids Corner will provide coloring and activity books...Read more

Auto Biography: Westerly man has a passion for Ford Model A's
The Providence Journal, October 2nd

"They delivered freight from the railroad stations to customers," he said. "Anything dropped [off] by the [trains] and delivered locally." Indeed, Barker should know. He also owns a G-scale model railroad with 100 feet of rolling stock and 1,000 feet...Read more

Working on the railroad: Ottawa couple shares passion for model trains
The Times (subscription), September 17th

The sets includes boxcars with such Illinois brand names as the Cubs, the Bears and Caterpillar. In model train lingo, Walt said the main train set is G-scale, standard for outdoor exhibits. The layout includes 80 feet of track, a zoo, parks, a gas...Read more

Train enthusiasts on track for annual model train show
Temple Daily Telegram, September 15th

The depot is abuzz with activity as members of the railroaders club gather to prepare to welcome as many as 3,000 model train enthusiasts from across the nation to its 33rd annual Temple Model Train Show Sept. 19 and 20 at the Frank W. Mayborn Civic...Read more

G-Scale Junction keeps train enthusiasts on track
The Newark Advocate, August 30th

HEATH – Jim Dorenbusch got his first model train when he was 2, and has loved them ever since. Seven years ago, the Pataskala architect decided to turn his hobby into a business. He owns G-Scale Junction, 570 Hebron Road, which specializes in model ...Read more