The HO Model Scale Train Is The Model Railroaders Scale Of Choice

In spite of the financial difficulty of the time period, which was during what was referred to as the “Great Depression,” people retained their hope that things would improve.

One activity that relieved some of the worry and stress for some people during these troubling times was through maintaining or developing an interest in a hobby.  One of the more rewarding and enjoyable hobbies of the time, and continues to maintain its popularity today is model railroading.

The model HO scale trains were created as a direct response to the pressures of this economically depressed time.  Not only was, and is this scale more affordable when compared to the O scale, it is also around half the size of its closest competitor.

The actual scale size is 1/87th the size of its real life prototype.  Another way to view this scale to put it into something more tangible is in knowing that the scale is 87 times smaller than the real life version or prototype.

Where one could argue that this scale is more fragile than the O scale, it’s smaller size provides the hobbyist with some very desirable side benefits.  For example, this scale provides the model railroader with the opportunity to add more detail and scale miles to his or her layouts.

Moreover, the scale itself reflects a further exactness of detail in it’s selection of locomotives, rail cars, and accessories which lends to a more realistic representation of the real life prototype, and the layout the hobbyist is constructing.

Today’s model railroading enthusiast has the opportunity when shopping for an HO scale train and its accessories to look at multiple manufacturers, and will also be pleased to discover that the market offers a wide degree of pricing as well.

For your convenience you can either do your shopping for HO products online where there an abundance of ads for model train manufacturers who sell this scale and its accessories, and this includes websites such as Amazon, or you can choose to do your shopping at the model train hobby shop which is closest to where you live.  If you choose the latter, you can always rely on the employees to be of assistance and to be an excellent resource when you have questions.

As for powering this great little scale, the hobbyist can choose to run his locomotives with direct current or by Digital Command Control.  The choice is always a matter of personal preference, and what will work best with the type of railroad the model railroader has decided to create.

An added benefit which applies to the HO scale is that it offers five different gauges to choose from, and this is where hobbyist who are new to model railroading can become confused.  Knowing the difference in scale and gauge is an important part of a model train hobbyist initial education.

Just remember, that scale is the difference in size when comparing the model to the real life prototype, and gauge is the distance which is measured from the inside of a rail track to the inside of the opposite rail.  With that knowledge you can determine which gauge you would prefer to select.

When you make the decision to build your layout around the HO Scale you may want to take a look at the catalog made available by WM. K. Walthers who is the principal model train supplier in North America.

His catalog has over a thousand pages that contain products for this one scale alone.  You may very well find that you’ll have little need to shop anywhere else for a model train kit if this is what you’ve decided to work with as first time endeavor.  Additionally, there are three types of kits which you can choose from and they are as follows:

  1. Craftsman kits which require a higher level of skill to work with.
  2. Ready-To-Run kits, and these are exactly as the name implies.  Kits which are ready to run after you take them out of the box.
  3. Shake The Box kits which are quite easy to assemble and are perfect for the novice.

If you decide to make the make HO trains and accessories the centerpiece of your layout there are a few things which you should consider before making this commitment, and for that matter the following questions should be considered when working with any scale.

The first issue is one of availability.  Are there enough products available for this scale, and the answer is yes when it comes to the HO scale.  In fact, there is an amazing amount of products which are readily available and from multiple sources.  This, of course, is good news for the enthusiast.  Moreover, of the various scales which one may choose to work with, there is a much higher probability that you find whatever you may be looking for simply because of HO scales popularity.

Next, budget and the expense of building a layout are generally an important issue for most model railroaders.  Choosing the HO scale will not make things easier for the model railroader, but it in some ways this decision may just do that.  Having mentioned already that there are numerous suppliers available this makes it possible for the hobbyist to start wherever he or she may wish.  You may begin with a relatively inexpensive ready-to-run kit or you may shoot for the moon and buy the most expensive products in this scale.  The choice is yours to make.  It’s always important to remember that a model train layout is built over time, and expenses can always be controlled by taking advantage of this by buying trains or accessories as they are needed.

Another important factor which the model train hobbyist must realistically evaluate is the amount of space he or she has available in which to build their layout.  Not only is this scale accommodative to smaller spaces, although not as well as smaller scales such as the N or Z scale, it is none-the-less suitable.  Just as important, it is an easy scale to handle and one which will allow for a 15 inch radius for the curves which are almost always planned into a layout.

This scale is best served when a layout is built in the around-the-wall style if the space the hobbyist is working with is somewhat narrow or confined.

 

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