Narrow Gauge Model Railways - Scales & Gauges

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Here is a guide to the various scale/gauge combinations used for modelling narrow gauge railways.

Nm -  N scale models (1:160) running on 6.5mm gauge track to represent metre gauge trains eg Swiss RhB. 

TTn3.5 – TT scale models (1:120) running on 9mm gauge track to represent 3’6” gauge trains e.g Australian and New Zealand narrow gauge.   In New Zealand this scale/gauge combination is known as NZ120

OO9 – OO scale models (1:76) running on 9mm gauge track to represent various narrow gauge trains such as the 2’0” gauge Ffestiniog Railway

HOe – HO scale models (1:87) running on 9mm gauge track to represent 750mm or 760mm gauge trains such as the Austrian Zillertalbahn.

HOm – HO scale models (1:87) running on 12mm gauge track to represent metre gauge trains such as the Swiss RhB

Sn3.5 –  S scale models (1:64) running on 16.5mm gauge track to represent 3’6” gauge trains such as Australian & New Zealand narrow gauge.

On16.5 –  O scale models (1:43) running on 16.5mm gauge track to represent various narrow gauge trains such the 2’0” gauge Ffestiniog Railway

Oe –  O scale models (1:45) running on 16.5mm gauge track to represent 750mm or 760mm gauge trains such the Austrian Zillertalbahn.

Om – O scale models (1:45) running on 22.2mm gauge track to represent metre gauge trains such as the Swiss RhB

G – 1:22.5 scale models running on 45mm gauge track to represent metre gauge trains such as the Swiss RhB.    For American models a scale of 1:20.3 is used to represent 3’0” gauge trains.

Which should I choose? – This depends on a number of factors:  choice of country/prototype, available space for layout, availability of models. 

Another consideration is whether the narrow gauge models are to be incorporated into a layout running standard gauge trains too.   Here are some prototype locations with standard and narrow gauge and a suggestion of suitable scale/gauge combination:

Minffordd – Wales .  Standard gauge (OO) and 2’0” gauge (OO9)

Zell am See – Austria.  Standard gauge (HO) and 760mm gauge (HOe)

Nordhausen – Germany.  Standard gauge (HO) and metre gauge (HOm)
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