5 Reasons to Choose HO Scale

August 04, 2021

5 Reasons to Choose HO Scale

What Is HO scale?

HO scale is 1/87th the size of the real thing or 3.5 mm to every 1 foot. So a HO scale locomotive is going to be 1/87th the size of an actual locomotive, and a HO scale railway is going to be 1/87th the size of the actual railway.

The minimum requirement for a HO scale turning radius is 15 inches, HO scale rails are 16.5 mm apart,  and the average HO scale train is about 15 to 22 inches long.

But why choose HO scale? Well, with its size, popularity, price point, and ease of use, HO scale is one of the most popular model train scales.

1. SIZE: HO Scale Model Railways are Space-Conscious

When considering what scale to use for your model railroad, size is going to be a huge factor. How much room do you have to spare? How much detail, how many trains, and how many items do you want in the space?

HO scale is called HO because it is about half the size of the O Scale, landing right about the middle of the available train scales. This has made HO scale very popular, as it is large enough to see the finer details but small enough to be able to model within a home.

 A man running a HO Scale model train through the house.

If you have a room, attic, or basement specifically for model railroading, HO scale trains, rails, and structures are likely a great choice for that space.

2. POPULARITY: Hobbyists and Newcomers Prefer HO Scale Trains

There are over 100 manufacturers of HO scale trains from Accurail to Woodland Scenics. With so many manufacturers, it is easy to find all the items you’re looking for. Locomotives, rolling stock, specific rail lines, HO scale tracks, buildings, figurines, scenery, and more are all going to be abundantly available in HO scale.


3. AVAILABILITY: Varieties of HO Scale Trains, Accessories, and More

HO Scale trains and buildings lined up on a store shelf.

If you model by photograph, time period, or specific rail line, then you will understand the importance of availability. With the popularity of HO scale, specific rolling stock, locomotives, and buildings are widely available.

With a plethora of HO scale trains, buildings, and other accessories, recreating the Columbia River Gorge, a 1:1 model of a southwestern town, or a bustling cityscape becomes a doable task.


4. PRICE:  Affordable HO Scale Layouts

With over 100 manufacturers, the price of HO scale items has been driven down as companies compete to get more business. You can find HO scale trains and sets in a large variety of prices and qualities. From the more basic and inexpensive train set to the more intricate and detailed rolling stock pieces.

When choosing HO scale, you open up the possibilities for a wide range of pricing options. Whether you’re a hobbyists with a dedicated budget or a newcomer looking for inspiration before modeling your layout, HO scale trains are the budget-friendly option for all modelers.


5. Ease of Use: HO Scale Is Easy for Everyone To Work With

Ease of use is another reason people love HO scale models. These trains, figurines, and buildings are all large enough to easily see, handle, and work with. For those that enjoy painting and detailing their own items, HO scale is large enough to make this work possible but small enough to still be done inside a home.

A Small HO Scale barrel being painted.

So what will you build next? Will you be dedicating your basement to a specific rail-line? Or perhaps you want to recreate a piece of history. Whatever your project may be, you can find all things HO Scale here with us at TrainLife.

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