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

Spring Creek Model Trains thrives in rural Nebraska
Lincoln Journal Star, June 27th

In addition, the open house will include Kansas City T-Rail (N scale) and Charlie Horner from Lincoln (G scale). “This is big for us," Dave said. "We've never done anything before with our store location." The store is the reason they are doing it. The...Read more

ig tiny trains: Model rail club visits valley
Conway Daily Sun, June 23rd

The club is specifically a "G" gauge club, featuring larger format model trains that are on a 1:24 scale (meaning that one inch on the model represents 24 inches on a real locomotive). With the large "G" scale trains, many collectors set up tracks both...Read more

Garden trains entertain, educate Botanical Center guests
Quad-Cities Online, June 21st

ROCK ISLAND - Trains chugged serenely over miniature tracks at the Quad City Botanical Center on Sunday at the grand reopening of the Garden Train Railway Exhibit. The reopening party celebrated a recent expansion of the railroad that tripled its size...Read more

Rail Day is Saturday at Transportation Museum
Salisbury Post, June 17th

The Beaver Creek Railroad's G-scale display, Daniel Peck's Garden Railroad Display, and the Atlantic Coast S-Gaugers will be in attendance during the Rail Day Festival. As part of the event's theme of focusing on the future of rail and other forms of ...Read more

Q-C Botancial Center hosts event for 'garden railroad'
Quad City Times, June 15th

Model railroads are described by size; garden railroads, or G-scale, run on tracks with rails that are 1½ inches apart. Stop by on a Sunday when the trains are running and you'll see any of 21 locomotives and several hundred other cars, known as...Read more

Riding the rails
Quad City Times, June 14th

Model railroads are described by size; garden railroads, or G-scale, run on tracks with rails that are 1½ inches apart. Stop by on a Sunday when the trains are running and you'll see any of 21 locomotives and several hundred other cars, known as...Read more

Next model train open house to be held June 20
Log Cabin Democrat, June 13th

These, along with newer railroad features, added activities and refreshments, will be a treat for both kids and adults at the next Model Train Open House, sponsored by the Central Arkansas Model Railroad Club, June 20. ... exhibit space for operating...Read more

Circus trains roll into Valparaiso at model railroad event
Chicago Tribune, June 2nd

"Circus Train Day" on Saturday, June 6, will offer a colorful look at a slice of Americana in a model-railroad setting. It takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Illiana Garden Railway Society's special set of tracks at Samuelson's Garden Center...Read more