All you need to know about o gauge model trains

More than one hundred years ago, model trains were not considered the high detailed, intricate, time demanding hobby that they are today. They were toy trains, meant for children and given as Christmas presents.

Back in those days (last quarter of the 19th century) cars and buses weren’t the norm. People took trains to go to work and to move from city to city. Immigrants who arrived from Europe took trains in New York to take them to other parts of the country, where they would try their luck.

Toy trains had been sold for over 60 years by the time German manufacturer Marklin introduced O gauge model trains to the market in 1900. The exact year is unknown, since this happened such a long time ago. Nevertheless, O gauge model trains were an instant success, and they became the standard of the industry for several decades.

It wasn’t until the 60s that O gauge model trains were substituted as the most sought after trains by smaller trains, particularly the HO and N gauge model trains.

Nevertheless, O gauge model trains are still somewhat popular. Back before smaller trains were invented, O gauge trains were cheaper than their competition, and they also made excellent toys for small children.

The term “O gauge model trains” is actually a derivation of the number zero. When German toy manufacturer Marklin introduced O gauge model trains more than one hundred years ago, the company though that there would never be a smaller train, so they named the scale “0” (zero) in order to reflect that it was the minimum scale there would ever be.

Nowadays, O gauge model trains are considered large trains, while HO gauge model trains (whose name comes from HALF O scale) are considered normal or medium sized trains, and N gauge scale trains are considered small trains.

It’s funny that it was also Marklin who introduced the Z scale in 1972. They again though that they had achieved the smallest train scale possible, and thus named the scale “Z”, the last letter of the alphabet to reflect the fact that the Z scale was the last scale to be invented. However, it took the Japanese 20 years to come up with the T scale, which was much smaller.

Nevertheless, O gauge model trains are still somewhat popular. They’re specially appealing for those who don’t want to bother building up a layout and just want to enjoy watching a big, colorful train running around the Christmas three.

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