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
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Annual train show to be held Saturday at Convention HallGadsden Times, April 15th
The association's 12-foot by 22-foot N Scale traveling layout will be one of those operating at the show, along with 30-foot by 40-foot and 24-foot by 30-foot HO Scale layouts, a 12-foot by 12-foot N Scale layout and a G Scale layout. Bertch said 75...Read more
Modeltrainfigures.com One Of The Most Popular Producers of Model Train ...DigitalJournal.com, April 15th
Their stock counts from 1:200 to 1:22,5 scale model items or in words of model train fans from Z Scale to G Scale. It is highly recommended to visit the website http://www.modeltrainfigures.com, they are always providing high quality model train...Read more
Gwinnett Parks and Rec honors volunteersGwinnettdailypost.com, April 12th
Silver Star Awards, a GCPR recognition, were presented to Norman Allum and Arnelle Obode. Allum was recognized for leading the charge as head engineer with Vines Garden Railroad in 2013, serving 111 hours while operating the largest G-scale railroad ...Read more
WELCOME TO THE '64 FAIR 1Queens Chronicle, April 10th
May 24 to May 26, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m, World's Fair Train Show at Queens Botanical Garden, 43-50 Main St., Flushing. The Long Island Garden Railway Society will create a working “G-scale” model train exhibit in a World's Fair-themed outdoor setting. On May...Read more
Museum tracks railroads' impact on state historyTbo.com, March 25th
In the Mabel Jordan Barn, a G-Scale model railroad belonging to Jim and Kathy Mercier of Auburndale was on display, as well as some smaller model systems. Model train and hobby shop vendors from across the area were also available for train enthusiasts ...Read more
City by City: Fort Worth areaFort Worth Star Telegram, March 24th
The model train show will take place on the west side of the gardens at Clark Station. The Clark Gardens G-scale trains came from the inspiration of Billie Clark, who wanted to provide a permanent attraction to the gardens. Since the construction of...Read more
Model Train Show rolling in March 29-30Mineral Wells Index, March 20th
According to Clark Gardens, the Clark Garden's G-scale trains came from the inspiration of Billie Clark, whose ultimate desire was to provide a permanent attraction inside the gardens. Since Clark Station's construction in April 2004, the tracks have...Read more
Column: Favorite theater of Sun Lakes residents reopensazcentral.com, March 18th
Join the train tour: See Trains in the Garden at the spring railroad tour from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, March 29-30. There will be 20 homes and the Cardon Children's Medical Center with G-scale garden railroads in the Phoenix metro area...Read more