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What is "O"-scale?

O scale (or O gauge) are model railroads in the scale range of 1:43 to 1:48. This scale was introduced by the German manufacturer Maerklin around 1900.

Toy trains have a third rail for current pickup. These toy trains (for example Lionel, MTH - or Maerklin in former times...) are often called "O-Gauge" or "high rail" in the US.

But O-scale also means 2-rail "scale" railroads - and this site is about "O-scale"! Running on 32 mm gauge rails and built to 1:48 scale (in the US) and 1:43.5 or 1:45 (in Europe) O-scale model trains are double the size of H0 (="half O") and even 2 axle locos can have excellent current pickup in this scale because of the higher weight of the equipment.

Besides the standard gauge there are also narrow gauge railroads in O-scale:

0n3 = 3foot narrow gauge - (railroads like D&RGW used this gauge) and 0e = 750mm narrow gauge and 0m = 1m narrow gauge - with mostly European prototypes (like the RhB in Switzerland).

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