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 gauge 1 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 scale, which was ½-inch to 1-foot or 1:24, to proper G scale...
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
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Railroad Association Prepares For a Busy Summer Season New Layout Being ...Northland Press, May 13th
There is also a G scale train running high in the ceiling to show you another modeling scale that is used today. This scale will be used in a new outside layout north of the building that will be in the construction mode this summer, by our members. We...Read more
It's Time to Get On BoardSanta Barbara Independent, May 13th
Operators from local railroad clubs will be running indoor HO scale model trains and G scale outdoor trains all day. Children and adults of all ages will have a great time! There will be food, raffle prizes and a special scavenger hunt for the kids...Read more
Train Society to hold open houseShelton Herald, May 13th
The Boothe Memorial Train Society will hold an open house on Sunday, May 19 from 1-4 p.m. Four operating train layouts from “N”, “HO”, “O” and “G” scale will be on display. The Boothe Memorial Railroad Society is located in Boothe Memorial Park at 5800...Read more
New attractions available in RedFork Main Street - Events on SaturdayTulsa Business, May 10th
11 a.m. - Tulsa Garden Railway will begin operating their G-Scale railroad 'City' next to the Frisco 4500 Meteor Steam Train. Tulsa Garden Railway will operate until 2 p.m.. For more information about the Tulsa Garden Railway and the event on Saturday...Read more
Torrington Model Railroaders celebrate National Train DayTorrington Register Citizen, May 4th
Kevin Hales, president of TAMR, said he got his first train at age 7 and was later encouraged by his wife to continue the hobby. Model railroaders run the age gamut, from, “the age of 25 to 93, and we have a couple of kids involved too,” according to...Read more
May 2013 Gwinnett Parks & Recreation CalendarPatch.com, April 30th
May 11, 10:00am-5:00pm – National Train Day. Free! Celebrate National Train Day in the park! The Vines Garden Railroad will celebrate its seasonal opening of the only public G scale garden railroad in the state of Georgia. Activities ongoing from 10...Read more
Model railroader creates elaborate layouts with botanical materialsCharleston Gazette, April 28th
G-scale trains are the largest model trains. One inch on a G-scale train translates to about 25 inches on a real train. The settings frame intricate buildings that often replicate well-known local structures, also made entirely of botanicals by Applied...Read more
Outdoor model railroad coming to Sun City Westnewszap.com, April 25th
Plans for the so-called G-scale railroad were approved by the RCSCW Governing Board during its regular meeting April 25 at the R.H. Johnson social hall, 19803 R.H. Johnson Blvd. “We're looking forward to it and are expecting a lot of excitement around...Read more