What do Model Train Scales, Rail spacing, Rail Height, and Track Code, Fishplate / Joiner mean?
The scale shows the reduction ratio according to the reality of the model. The use of model products that are reduced/produced using the same scale will ensure that the model area created is accurate and realistic.
There are many generally accepted scale values in the world as well as different scales used by smaller groups. Scales can be represented as numerical proportions (eg 1/87), mostly expressed in letter codes such as HO, OO, N, TT, and Z as determined by the standards. NEM and NMRA standards are decisive for the scales and standards established by these institutions.
The scale indicates the reduction ratio between the real and the model. A model locomotive with a 1/87 scale or HO scale is the fact that its reality is reduced by 1 in 87. If we give an example, the HO scale model of a wagon, which is actually 10 meters tall, will be 11.5 cm in length.
Rail spacing (Gauge) is the distance between two iron rails forming a line on the railway. In most railways in the world, this distance, which we will call the rail spacing, is 1,435 meters (1435mm). When we look at the HO scale, this length corresponds to 16.5 mm (1.65 cm).
For many scales used in model training in its historical development; You can use the table at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rail_transport_modelling_scales
Almost all scales used in modeling are listed at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_scale_model_sizes
Here are some examples of some scales that manufacturers use popularly.
Model train scales comparison chart
You can take advantage of the image below for locomotives and wagons for HO, TT, N, and Z.
Different sizes can be seen on HO-OO-On30 models using the same rail spacing. It is thought that there is a serious difference, especially between OO and HO. However, you have the opportunity to evaluate this difference in the photos below.
Model train rail spacing dimensions
You can find a comparison image below for common rail spacing measurements.
You can use the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Model_railroad_scales for all information used for model train scales and for companies producing at these scales.
The track height (Track Code) indicates the height of the rails on the railway from the ground. Along with the height, the thickness also makes some difference. In real life, heavier / thicker rails are used on the main lines, and lighter rails are laid on the secondary roads.
Model rails are also available in different height rail types and are expressed in inches per the height of the rail from the top of the crossbar. While the rails produced by model train manufacturers are generally used at a single height and often different heights from company to company, some private companies also produce model rails of different heights.
Commonly used values are 100.83, 70, and 55. If you are making your main lines with Code 100 rails in a realistic setup, you should make the secondary/sidelines with code 83 rails. You can find the recommended values for rail heights and thicknesses at https://www.nmra.org/standards/
|Code Ray||Height (A)||Rail Thickness (C)|
Height of Model Train Rail profiles
Rail profiles may have different heights for different manufacturers. In other words, one manufacturer can produce Code 100 rails while another can produce Code 83. For this reason, the height difference may arise between the rails of different manufacturers, but with a small filing process, the protrusion on the rail surface can be removed, and the transition adapters used by some manufacturers can be used.
Rail joiners (Fishplate / Joiner) are small metal or plastic parts that allow the rails to transmit electricity to each other. The metal ones of these parts make the rails united and electrically unified. In special applications such as understanding line usage, the method of cutting rails in some regions on the fiction or plastic connectors is used.