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Model railroading and model trains have been the focus of Model Railroader for more than 25 years. Whether you’re building your first model railroad or a veteran model railroader.

“Introduction To Model Railroader” web pages. To introduce people to model railroading. Our goal is to help those who are interested in building a model railroad but who have never done it before or to assist those who may have a simple track plan and now wants to learn more.

Since these pages are designed for the novice, we go over the basics of model railroading, things like what scale means, and what trucks are. We also go over basic tool use. But don’t worry! We realize that more than a few potential model-railroaders are not completely comfortable using tools so we’ll make it simple.

Model trains come in many different sizes, or scales. For those just getting started in the hobby, deciding on a scale for themselves or their children can be a big dilemma. The short answer is that there is no one single “best” scale of course, but there may be the best scale for you.

Understanding Scale

If you’re trying to determine what scale model train you should buy, you need to know how many different options you have.

And just what do those letters mean anyway?

Read up on different​ scales and their proportions to the prototype. You should also learn the difference between scale and gauge. You can also get more details on a specific scale by following these links:

  • Z Scale
  • N Scale
  • TT Scale
  • HO / OO Scale
  • S Scale
  • O / O27 Scale
  • G / No. 1 Scales
  • “Standard Gauge”
  • Narrow Gauges

Making Your Decision

Now that you know a little more about your options, which scale is best for you? To answer that, let’s find out a little more about you.