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.
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 exactly 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.
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.
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, scaled track, buildings, figurines, scenery, and more are all going to be abundantly available in HO Scale.
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.
This makes recreating the Columbia River Gorge a doable task.
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 several different pricing options.
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.
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