History on the term:
HO scale as it relates to the 1:87
model car industry
HO scale (H0
scale in continental Europe) is the most popular scale
of model railway in most of the world (outside the United
Kingdom, where the slightly larger in scale OO scale is
most common). The name is derived from the German Halb-null
("half-zero"), because its 1:87 scale is approximately
half that of O scale.
In HO scale,
3.5 millimetres represents 1 real foot; this awkward ratio
works out to about 1:87.086. In HO, rails are usually
spaced 16.5 millimeters apart which models the standard
railroad gauge of 4' 8.5" or 1435mm.
A grain silo on the Chesapeake Bay & Western RR layout.
The visitors center in Suffolk, VA has this layout to
show the railroads in the county.
A Newport News Public Schools bus is seen here on the
Chesapeake Bay & Western RR layout.HO scale trains
first appeared in the United Kingdom in the 1930s,
originally as an alternative to OO scale. It proved unsuitable
for scale modelling UK trains. However, it became very
popular in the United States, where it took off in the
after interest in model railroads as toys began to decline
and more emphasis began to be placed on realism in response
to hobbyist demand. While HO scale is by nature more delicate
than O scale, its smaller size allows modelers to fit
more details and more scale miles into a comparable area.
as HO scale began to overtake O scale in popularity, even
the stalwarts of other sizes, including Gilbert (makers
of American Flyer) and Lionel Corporation began manufacturing
HO is the most popular model railroad scale in both continental
Europe and North America, whereas OO gauge is still dominant
in Britain. Today, HO locomotives, rolling stock (cars
or carriages), buildings, and scenery are available from
a large number of manufacturers in a variety of price
HO scale has several narrower gauges to represent narrow
gauge trains in the same scale as their HO counterparts.
HO 16,5 mm Standard gauge
HOm 12 mm Meter gauge
HOn3-1/2 12 mm 3'6" gauge 3'6" is the "standard"
gauge in much of Africa, Queensland (Aus), New Zealand
and also non-Shinkansen lines in Japan
HOn3 10.5 mm 36" gauge
HOn30 / HOe 9 mm 30" gauge Typically for lines in
24-30" gauge. Known as HOe in Europe
HOz / HOf 6,5 mm 15" gauge Known as HOf in Europe
addition, the term HO, when used in the hobby of slot
car racing, does not denote a precise scale, but a general
size of track on which the cars can range from 1:87 to
Modern HO trains run on realistic-looking two-rail track,
which is powered by direct current (varying the voltage
applied to the rails to change the speed, and polarity
to change direction), or by Digital Command Control (sending
commands to a decoder in each locomotive). Some trains,
most notably by Märklin of Germany, run on alternating
current, supplied by a "third rail" consisting
of small bumps on each tie down the center of the track.
Commonly manufactured curved track in HO scale may have
a radius of around 360mm which models a full-scale curved
radius of 32 metres. This is an extremely tight curve
which may be more representative of a 19th Century mountain
pass, or a Light Rail in-road system. Compare this with
modern Very Fast Trains which use a minimum curvature
radius of 4000 metres!
Note that the
inner curved rail will have a radius 16.5mm shorter than
the outer curved rail! Additionally, if you would like
to have 2 tracks curving alongside each other then you
will need the outer track to have a higher radius than
the inner track. One manufacturer makes a No.1 Curved
radius of 371mm, a No.2 Curved radius of 438mm and a No.3
curved radius of 505mm for this purpose.
There also exists a finer, more prototype-accurate set
of HO model railroad standards called Proto:87, designed
to forego the usual compromises used in the manufacture
of model railroad components. Its track gauge and scale
are the same, but components like wheels and track have
been narrowed down to correct 1:87 scale.
ALL 1:87 scale diecast model cars (in stock and out
only IN STOCK 1:87 scale diecast model cars