HO scale is currently the most widely used scale of model railway in the world.
But this wasn’t always the case. HO scale trains were created during the Great Depression where they first originated in the United Kingdom. They were to be an alternative to the OO gauge. The HO scale however didn’t take over the dominance of the OO gauge, except in the United States where it became really popular in the 1950s. This was due to the decline in popularity of model railroads, as toys began to disappear and people became fascinated with realism and in response to hobbyist demand.
A great advantage of the HO scale, is that due to its small size, it lets modelers include more details and more scale miles into an equivalent area.
Today, HO is the most popular railroad scale in Europe and North America while the OO gauge is still the preferred option in the United Kingdom.
Availability of HO Model Trains
Due to its popularity, a wide variety of models, kits and supplies are available for the model train hobbyist to choose from. The models are typically available in three varieties:
1) Ready-to-Run – These models are ready to be used. Integral parts are already installed at the factory.
2) Shake-the-Box – These are known as easy to assemble.
3) Craftsman Kits – To use these kits you have to possess a much higher skill level for assembling as they typically include several hundred parts.
Advantages of HO Model Trains
The ratio of a HO scale is 1:87 which is almost twice the size of the second most popular scale, N. The large size makes it popular with beginners due to its handling.
The HO scale is so widely used due to it being “middle of the road”. It’s big enough so you can include a lot of detail as compared to the smaller N and Z scales. And children can play with it without the fear of them swallowing small parts.
Smaller scales such as N and Z are typically more expensive because of a more exact manufacturing process. S, O and G scale model trains also tend to be more expensive, because they aren’t as popular.
Basically, the HO scale gives the balance of having more detail and requiring less space due to its size.
HO Model Train Parts and Accessories
The first step in constructing a good HO train track is to use a good locomotive. This is usually the most expensive part you will have to purchase. Look for something that will run smoothly and won’t break down easily.
Another vital aspect of your locomotive is that it has many conductive wheels. They are used to pick up power from the track, so the more amount of conducting wheels on the track, the better. Cheap versions only carry conductive metal on the front two or back two wheels, while more expensive locomotives pick up power from all four or six wheels.
Also important is a sturdy engine that can completely utilize the electricity.
Because HO model trains are so popular, you shouldn’t find it difficult to find accessories to match your locomotive and track. You may want to get additional cars for the HO model train. You can also use all types of scenery to enhance the look of the layout.
Looking for model train equipment at heavily discounted prices? Check this resource out…
Want more information on HO model trains? Then check out the popular and 100% FREE Model Train Newsletter. This is compulsory reading for any model train beginner. It contains valuable information on the right way to build your dream model railroad and achieve this within the time, space and budget you have available. More at www.BuildModelRailroad.com/