HO scale model trains are 1/87 the size of real trains and 1/2 the size of O scale model trains (HO stands for "half O"). As with O scale trains, the letter "O" in HO is a misnomer since the designation was initially conceived as a zero to identify trains that were smaller in scale than 1. But the use of the letter O rather than the numeral 0 crept into everyday speech among model-train buffs and remains the standard way to refer to HO scale today.
Though first invented in the 1930s, HO scale model trains didn’t become popular in the U.S. and Europe until the 1950s when the scale was heavily promoted by Märklin, Lionel, Athearn, and others. HO never quite gained acceptance in England, though, where larger 00 scale trains still predominate.
HO has two important benefits over trains of larger sizes. First, an HO scale layout of reasonably ambitious detail and complexity can fit on a table rather than requiring an entire room, as is the case with larger scales. Second, HO trains are less expensive to manufacture than OO, O, and other large-scale trains, which makes them more affordable to collectors and enthusiasts alike...
Most HO scale trains run on two-rail tracks using direct current (DC). Adjusting the voltage delivered to the tracks can increase or decrease the speed of the trains; reversing the polarity causes the trains to roll in reverse. Some manufacturers, notably Märklin, produce HO scale trains that operate on alternating current (AC), which is delivered to the train via a conductive third rail.
The gauge used by the majority of HO scale model trains is a standard HO gauge track that’s roughly proportional to the size of the trains running on top of it. But as with the OO scale trains in England that run on HO gauge tracks, HO scale trains are also made to run on a variety of different gauge tracks, which themselves are scaled-down versions of historical railroad track sizes.
Of these variants, the most common is called HOn3. This code denotes an HO scale train running on a track similar to the 3-foot, narrow gauge tracks used by Rocky Mountain railroad operators in the late 19th century.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of HO for collectors is the opportunity to join a local module club. Members of such clubs build modules of predetermined size; each module has a finite length of track. When members get together at model train exhibitions or in private homes, the modules are linked up and trains are run on the resulting massive layout, which often feels like more than just the sum of its parts.
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Recent News: HO Scale Model Trains
Source: Google News
Casper Calendar for June 19, 2013Casper Star-Tribune Online, June 18th
11 a.m.-2 p.m., 1356 N. Center St. Fun with model trains with N Scale enthusiast Harry Buhler and HO Scale collector Homer Whitlock. Info: 235-4950 or 266-6439. NAMI. * 7:30 p.m., 133 W. Sixth St. Connections/All Diagnosis support group for persons...Read more
O Scale Model Trains Gaining Popularity All Around the World and Not Only in ...SBWire (press release), June 18th
Initially created by German toy manufacturer Märklin around 1900, through the nineteen thirties three-rail alternating electric current O gauge was the most typical model railroad scale within the United States and continued to be so before the early...Read more
Gauge 1 Is the Smaller G Scale Model Train when It Comes to G Scale Model ...SBWire (press release), June 17th
Lewes, DE -- (SBWIRE) -- 06/17/2013 -- Gauge 1 (also known to as Gauge One) is really a model railroading and toy train standard, popular in early twentieth century, particularly with European producers. Its track measures 1.75 in (44.45 mm), which...Read more
HO Scale or H0 Scale Is Easily the Most Popular Scale of Model Railways on the ...SBWire (press release), June 17th
In HO scale, rails are often spread 16.5 mm (.64961 in) apart which models the conventional railroad gauge of just 1,435 mm (4 foot 8 1/2 in) The title HO comes from the truth that its 1:87 scale is roughly half those of O scale that was the littlest...Read more
Photos: Model trains on display at Annville Train StationLebanon Daily News, June 13th
Model train enthusiast Edward Wagner Jr. on Thursday puts his HO train on a track set up in the Annville Train Station on Moyer Street in Annville. The public is invited to several The layouts include N scale and HO, O and T gauge trains. (LEBANON...Read more
Toy Trains - More Fun for Dad than a NecktieLog Cabin Democrat, June 11th
The Central Arkansas Model Railroad Club (CAMRC) in Conway suggests for fathers and grandfathers what could be a memorable alternative for an enjoyable and nostalgic celebration of Father's Day. They can see the vintage toy trains of their boyhood in...Read more
Model-train display seeks volunteersArizona Republic, June 5th
Most adults remember the Lionel and HO scale model railroads from their childhoods. The museum's “big trains” are two to four times the size of those standards of yesteryear's model-train hobbyists and run on 45-mm gauge track. Many times members of...Read more
From G Scale to Z Scale, Model Train Figures Inspire Creativity when It Comes ...SBWire (press release), May 29th
Lewes, DE -- (SBWIRE) -- 05/29/2013 -- Model train figures find great use not only with those who like to explore their passion for model trains but, also for those who want to use the figurines for architectural purposes. Widely used to depict real...Read more