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    

Roundhouse Darjeeling Live Steam LocomotiveAster Live Steam G Gauge C&s 2-6-0 Locomotive KitBachmann Spectrum Climax Steam Locomotive (unlettered)Brass G Scale Train Delton Colorado & Southern 0-4-0 L@@@@@kBachmann Spectrum 1.20.3 81398 4-4-0 Centennial G Scale LocomotiveUsa Trains Union Pacific Up Alco Pa-b-a Diesel Locomotive G Scale G Gauge RareBrass G Scale Train Delton Colorado & Southern 0-4-0 L@@@@@kUsa Trains Southern Pacific Gray/red R-22111 # 3838 For Parts OnlyUsa Trains Sd40-2 2nd Santa Fe Sf #5038 G Scale 1:29Usa Trains G Scale Union Pacific Up Alco S4 Diesel Switcher G Gauge Rare LocoLgb 20251 Forney Steam Locomotive "sandy River & Rangely Lakes" W/ Box TestedLgb 39680 Orient Express Passenger 2-car Set - Metal Wheels Ln/boxLgb G Scale 2028d Engine Locomotive And Tender D.s.p. & P.r.r. With BoxG Scale Usa Trains C&nw Alco S-4 Switcher #92, #r22554 Nib Gb BmAristo Craft Santa Fe Dash-9 Diesel LocomotiveBachmann Two Truck Shay G ScaleLgb 26182 W P & Y R Steam Locomotive & Tender #1 W/sound Ln/boxBrass G Scale The Train Depot Distributors Colorado & Southern 0-4-0 L@@@@@kLgb Seasons Greetings Trolley & Passenger Car Set Ln/boxUsa Trains Union Pacific Up G Scale Speeder Accucraft Ams (am31-393) 1:20.3 Denver & Rio Grande Western Wheel And Tie CarAristocraft Sd45 Union Pacific Up #3632 G Scale 1:29Ertl Collectables (h852) Coca-cola 1:25 Tractor TrailerLgb G #25570 Pennsylvania F7a Diesel #9833 W/ BoxMth G Scale Santa Fe #803 Dash 8 Diesel W/6 Wheel Trucks (mth 70-2074-1)Brass G Scale The Train Depot Distributors Colorado & Southern 0-4-0 L@@@@@kPola Lgb Built 2 Story Switch Tower G Gauge Nice LqqkUsa Trains R22301santa Fe Sd40-2 Locomotive Lights & Smoke G ScaleUsa Trains Road Atsf No. 6076 Intermodal Container Double Stack G Scale 1:29Delton Santa Fe #47 Powered Railbus/boxLgb 72351 G Christmas Trolley Starter Set Ln/boxBachman Spectrum G Scale Class B 2-truck Shay #81198 Ely Thomas New - DamagedAristo Craft Sd-45 Santa FeLgb Steam Locomotive And Tender 20232.6 L/nUsa Trains R19218c Canadian Pacific 40' Red Multimark Boxcar With Free TrackAristo-craft 23006-b Norfolk Southern Dash-9 Diesel Locomotive #9749 Exc. 1:29Pola Lgb Built 2 Story Building G Gauge Nice Needs Some Glue LqqkUsa Trains Sd40-2 2nd Southern Pacific Sp Speed Lettering 8476 G Scale 1:29Accucraft Ams Fn3 Jackson & Sharp Coach - Green - Unlettered - NewLgb Santa Fe 3-bay Covered Grain HopperBachmann (1:20.3) Denver & Rio Grande Western 2-bay Hopper W/ Coal LoadUsa Trains Union Pacific Up G Scale Extended Vision Caboose G Gauge Lights WheelLgb Union Pacific 3-bay Covered Grain HopperAristocraft G Scale Santa Fe Alco Fa-1 & Fb-1 LocomotivesAristo-craft Art-22423 Atsf/santa Fe #5598 Sd-45 Diesel Locomotive G Scale Usa Trains R22357 Santa Fe F-3 A Unit #24c Locomotive Lights & Smoke G ScaleFive Lgb # 3041 Circus Cars In Original Boxes, With AnimalsLgb Passenger Train Set 22301G Scale - Lgb -lot Of (48) Pieces Of #10000 300mm Brass Straight Track Sections!Portable Steam Power Donkey KitPola Lgb Built Water Tower Kit G Gauge Nice LqqkBachmann 83097 K-27 Locomotive 2-8-2 W/phoenix Sound & Crest Revolution BoardLgb 23620 Santa Fe Diesel Switcher Locomotive Ln/boxG Scale - Lgb - Lot Of (24) Pieces Of 600mm Brass Straight Track Sections! New Bright Holiday Express Passenger Car In BoxLgb 150 G Scale 150th Anniversary Train Set/boxAms Accucraft G Scale Trains Lot X3 Logging Cars Ready To Run As PicturedG Scale - Lgb - Season's Greetings Trolley Set Powered & Unpowered!Mth G Scale Santa Fe #3462 Hudson J3a Steam Loco (mth 70-3025-1)Aristo Craft Art-22408 Sd-45 Diesel Chicago & Northwestern G Scale As-is Lqqk