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.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Airfix Model Railways

Airfix Model Railways

Dave McCarthy's Airfix Model Railway treasure trove is an in-depth archive of the company's plastic railway kits fr… [read review or visit site]

Gateway NMRA

Gateway NMRA

This great reference site for model railroaders, from the Gateway (St. Louis) division of the NMRA (National Model … [read review or visit site]

HOseeker.net

HOseeker.net

This site is a treasure trove of HO scale model railroad manufacturer catalogs and other reference information, inv… [read review or visit site]

Postwar Lionel Trains Library

Postwar Lionel Trains Library

Bernie Schulz’s Lionel Trains Library focuses exclusively on postwar Lionel trains and accessories. The site cont… [read review or visit site]

Eric's Trains

Eric's Trains

Eric Siegel's site displays his collection of O-gauge/O-scale trains, tracks, turntables, and other accessories. A … [read review or visit site]

Tech Model Railroad Club of MIT

Tech Model Railroad Club of MIT

MIT's model railroad club, as one might expect, has one of the best websites for learning about how people play wit… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Aristocraft 2-8-2 Mikado Steam Locomotive, G Scale, Atsf/santa Fe, Plus TenderAristocraft Usra Mallet 2-8-8-2 Steam Locomotive, D&rgw/rio Grande #3414 Aristocraft 4-6-2 Pacific Steam Locomotive Atsf/santa Fe #3419Usa Trains 20006s Die-cast Rio Grande J1e Hudson Steam Locomotive & Tender LnUsed Rare Lgb 21020 Santa's Christmas Fortuna Flyer Propeller Car With BoxUsa Trains Engine For PartsAristocraft Rail Diesel Car (rdc 3), Santa Fe, Art22860, G ScaleG Scale Train Accessiory Oil Well DrillAristocraft G Scale Engineer And Walk Around Throttle For 2 Trains!Bachmann 'g' 96201m Handcar W/ Trailer CarG Scale Lgb Forney Steam Locomotive Rio Grande With Mts Decoder Installed Usa Trains Gp-9 Union Pacific R22106 # 718 New In Box- Excellent Condition - Aristocraft Wireless Remote Control System. G Scale. Works With Lgb.Aristo-craft Art-21502 Prr/pennsylvania #762 Mikado 2-8-2 Steam Locomotive Nib Aristocraft Sd-45 Diesel Locomotive, Santa Fe "warbonnet", G ScaleFort Wilderness Railway Observation Coach (walt Disney World) Accucraft G-scaleLgb G Scale Orensten And Koppel 0-4-0 Locomotive #1411 (bst 07-924)Garden Metal Models Go2001 Combination Catwalk/bridge Ties Nib G ScaleLgb 94605 Magic Pustefix Bubble Car Usa Trains Gp-9 Union Pacific R22106 # 717- Excellent Condition - Old Sound G Scale Lgb Set Of 3 Streamlined Passenger Cars Custom Painted Canadian PacificLot Of Lgb: Engine, Tank Car, Flat Car W/container, 12 FiguresAristocraft Gas Electric Doodlebug, Art 21210, Santa Fe, G ScaleLot Of 2 Garden Metal Models Go2121 Combination Catwalk/bridge Ties Nib G ScaleAristo-craft 22010 Fa-1 Santa Fe Warbonnet Diesel Locomotive Ln/boxGarden Metal Models G01241 24 Inch Deck Girder Bridge G ScaleAristo-craft 22110 Santa Fe U-25b Diesel Locomotive Ln/box Delton C-16 2-8-0 Denver & Rio Grande G-scale Aristocraft Gas Electric Doodlebug, Santa Fe, G ScaleBachmann Big Haulers Train 4-6-0 Anniversary Steam Locomotive #81099 G Scale Bachmann 81180 Pardee & Curtin Lumber Climax Steam Locomotive Ln/boxG Scale / Gauge Train Transformer Bridgewerks Works Cover Is LooseOriginal Bachmann Big Haulers 1:20.3 Scale Baldwin Industrial 2-6-0 Mogul #81699Garden Metal Models G01461 46 Inch Deck Girder Bridge G ScaleUsa Trains Clinchfield Diesel Locomotive 2006 Parts Or RepairLgb # 16150- 22.5 Degree Left Hand Switch Track W/box (nib)Aristo-craft Kodak Tank Car - Art 41307 - Excellent Condition - Lightly Used Pola D-8734 Operating Saw Mill - Limited Edition G Scale BuildingBachmann G Scale - Lot (18) Metal / Steel Wheel Sets - Aristocraft, Lgb, UsaLgb G Scale Trains New York Central Steam Locomotive No 20232 With Smoke UnitAristo - Craft Trains Bnsf 100 Ton HopperAccucraft Ams Am31-490 1:20.3 Scale Conoco Tank Car # 17Ozark Miniatures G (1/2") Scale Portable Steam Power Plant Craftsmen Kit18 Different Aristo-craft G-scale Lil' People For Scenics Figures & AccessoriesUsa Trains R17104 Intermodal Container Car Ttx-427075 - Hanjin / Apl - G GaugeLgb # 16050- 22.5 Degree Right Hand Switch Track W/box (nib)Color Miini Wireless Camera And ReceiverLgb 10610 G Scale 48" Straight Track (6) Nib2 Rea Gondolas. Beauties.Aristo-craft Kodak Tank Car - Art 41307 - Excellent Condition - Lightly Used Hartland Locomotive Works Clinchfield M.o.w. Hopper Set G Scale 7 CarsUsed 1997 Assembled Piko 62228-0121 Lake George Station G ScaleLgb 2056 Rio Grande Powered Diesel Locomotive Ln/boxLgb 43352 Christmas Box Car W/soundAristo-craft 22010 Fa-1 Santa Fe Warbonnet Diesel Locomotive Ex/boxAristo-craft Art 22101 Southern Pacific Ge U25-b Diesel LocomotiveDelton 2264-y Mack Rail Bus Ln/boxPhoenix Bachmann Climax Locomotive Sound System, Nib, Model 97, With PaperworkLgb 1210 1200 Manual 1205 1215 Electric Left Right Switch 4pc Lot G Train TrackG Scale / Gauge Train Engine Lgb Santa Fe # 329 Its Mate Is Listed Also

Recent News: G Scale Trains

Source: Google News

What's on in Dover: 9 things to do this weekend (August 1 and 2)
Dover Express, July 31st

Fans of model railways should go to the Astor Theatre, Stanhope Road, Deal, where there will be more than 15 model railway layouts, along with a number of trade stands, on show in a variety of scales from tiny Z gauge to garden sized G scale in both...Read more

Summer Model Train Show to be held Aug. 8 and 9
Tehachapi News, July 29th

The club will host the Lancaster and Northwestern G Scale Club and its modular G Scale layout in addition to Tehachapi Loop Railroad Club's own HO layout headed by Wilson James, with toy trains/Lionel to be run by Doug Pickard. N-scale layouts will be ...Read more

Getting Out
Ellwood City Ledger, July 29th

Featured will be G scale, O scale and HO scale operating layouts and train-related vendors. A large rail memorabilia auction will begin at 6 p.m. Proceeds benefit the West Pittsburg station restoration project. Interested vendors or information: www...Read more

Natural materials key to building fairy garden magic
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, July 26th

And as a naturalist, of course she couldn't resist adding some living plants, too. They include dwarf evergreens seen in previous G-scale model train exhibits at the Domes, as well as Scotch moss, sedum and begonias. "Many garden centers will have a...Read more

Group of garden railway hobbyists grows in popularity in the Twin Cities
Minneapolis Star Tribune, July 21st

Garden railroaders usually use G-scale trains, which are more rugged and less likely to tip over in the wind. Steve Monson, an electrical engineer from Brooklyn Park, said some model railroad enthusiasts losing their eyesight appreciate G-scale because...Read more

Historic Cold Spring Village Railroad Days
Cape May County Herald (press release), July 16th

Sponsored by the Crest Savings Bank, Railroad Days is the perfect outing for folks interested in railroad history, model and toy trains, or just enjoying a unique collection in a unique historical setting. Visitors will find presentations and railroad...Read more

Arboretum opens ticket sales for Winter Lights Exhibit
Asheville Citizen-Times, July 9th

Visitors can also enjoy the Arboretum's family-favorite, Rocky Cove Railroad, a G-Scale (garden scale) model train that demonstrates the coming of trains to Western North Carolina at the turn of the 20th century. This lighted model made its debut at...Read more

All aboard: G-scale train, memory garden featured on annual historical society ...
Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier, July 7th

Rolling stock on the G-scale tracks includes a locomotive with a battery-pack, a coal car and an orange rail car. Tracks are laid through the garden, passing alongside rocks and plants and over trussed bridges. “This train is intended for outdoor use...Read more