What is a railroad “gauge” versus a “scale”?

Railroad “gauge” refers to track size whereas “scale” measures the size relationship between a model train and its real-world train prototype. For example, a model locomotive that is 1/24th the size of the real thing is called 1:24 scale. Sometimes you’ll see the terms “gauge” and “scale” used interchangeably even though, technically, they’re different.



G-Scales range from 1:20 to 1:32

G Gauge Track is 1.75” (45mm) (distance from rail to rail)

All of the G Scales run on G Gauge track.

G scale emigrated from Europe, and is most often used in garden railways. Major makers include Aristo-Craft, USA Trains, Bachmann and LGB. G scale was first introduced by the German company, Ernst Paul Lehmann Patentwerk, under the brand, Lehmann Gross Bahn (LGB) in 1968. This first line of G-Scale Trains was available in Europe and the US and included steam, electric, and diesel prototypes.


Garden Railroads

G-Scale is frequently referred to as “Garden Scale”. It is one of the largest scales available in model railroading. Its size and durability make these trains well suited for outdoor layouts.

Garden Railroads are model railroad layouts placed outside, usually winding through backyard landscaping. Garden railroads can be described as the marriage of two hobbies; model railroading and gardening.

G Scale modeling information is included in our DGRS G Scale Clinic Notes

See also“What is a Garden Railroad?”