The title HO comes from the truth that its 1:87 scale is roughly half those of O scale that was the littlest from the number of older and bigger , 1, 2 and 3 scales created by Märklin around 1900. In many British-speaking marketplaces it's pronounced "aitch-oh" and written using the letters HO today, however in German it's pronounced "hah-null", but still written using the letter H and numeral 0. Following the First World War there have been several tries to introduce one railway about 50 % smaller scale that might be more appropriate for more compact home designs and cheaper to fabricate.
H0 was produced to satisfy these aims. With this new scale, a track width of 16.5 mm is built to represent prototypical standard gauge track, along with a model scale of just 1:87 was selected. By as soon as 1922 the firm Bing in Nuremberg, Germany, has been marketing a "tabletop railway" for quite some time. This came on the elevated, quasi-ballasted track having a gauge of 16.5 mm that was referred to in those days either as 00 or H0. The trains initially were built with a clockwork drive, but from 1924 were driven electric. Accessory producers, for example Kibri, promoted structures within the corresponding scale. In the 1935 Leipzig Spring Fair, an electrical tabletop railway, Trix Express, was displayed to some gauge referred to as Half Nought Gauge, that was then abbreviated as Gauge 00 ("nought-nought").
Märklin, another German firm, adopted suit using its 00 gauge railway for that 1935 Leipzig Fall Fair. The Märklin 00 gauge track that made an appearance a lot more than 10 years after Bing's tabletop railway were built with a much the same appearance towards the previous Bing track. Around the Märklin version, however, the rails were fixed towards the container 'ballast' as with the prototype, although the Bing tracks were simply placed in to the ballast, to ensure that track and ballast were created of single sheet of metal. HO scale trains elsewhere were coded in reaction to the economical demands from the Great Depression. The trains first made an appearance within the UK, initially instead of 00 gauges, but tend to not make commercial headway from the established 00 gauge.
However, it grew to become extremely popular within the United States, where it required off within the late nineteen fifties after curiosity about model railroads as toys started to say no and much more emphasis started to become put on realism in reaction to enthusiast demand. While HO scale is as simple as character more delicate than scale, its more compact size enables modelers to suit more particulars and much more scale miles right into a comparable area.
HO Scale Engine
Within the nineteen fifties HO started to challenge the marketplace dominance of gauge and, within the sixties, because it started to overtake 0 scale in recognition, the stalwarts of other dimensions, including Gilbert (makers of American Flyer) and Lionel Corporation started manufacturing HO trains. Presently, HO is easily the most popular model railroad scale both in continental Europe and The United States, whereas OO gauge (4 mm: feet or 1:76.2 with 16.5 mm track) continues to be dominant in Great Britain. You will find some modelers in the UK who use HO gauge. On their behalf, the British 1:87 Scale Society was created in 1994 it puts out an every three months journal with news, sights, and practical advice for modelers and enthusiasts. The paper, Continental Modeler, concentrates on the railways of other nations, including America and Europe, and it has extensive coverage of HO gauge designs.
Today, HO locomotives, moving stock (cars or carriages), structures, and HO scale scenery can be found from a lot of producers in a number of cost brackets. Based on the NMRA standard S-1.2 mainly utilized in The United States, in HO scale, 3.5 mm (.1378 in) signifies 1 real feet (304.8 mm) this ratio calculates to around 1:87.1.
Based on the MOROP standard NEM 010 mainly utilized in Europe, the size is precisely 1:87. In HO, rails are often spread 16.5 mm (.64961 in) apart which models the conventional railroad gauge of just 1,435 mm (4 foot 8 1/2 in). Modern HO trains operate on two-rail track, that is run by household power (different the current put on the rails to alter the rate, and polarity to alter direction), or by Digital Command Control (delivering digital instructions to some decoder in every locomotive). Some trains, most particularly by Märklin of Germany, operate on alternating electric current, provided with a "third rail" composed of small bumps on each tie lower the center from the track. On simple, usually temporary designs, energy is provided with an energy pack composed of the transformer and rectifier, a rheostat or potentiometer for controlling current provided towards the track (and therefore train speed), along with a change to control train direction-a double pole, double throw slide or toggle switch wired to turn back polarity around the rails. On permanent designs, multiple energy supplies are typically used, using the trackage split into electric isolated sections known as blocks toggle or rotary switches (sometimes relays) are utilized to choose which energy supply controls the learn a specific block. Using the creation of digital command control, block divisions are largely removed, because the computerized remotes can control any train anywhere around the track anytime, with minor restrictions.
HO scale has several gauges representing both standard and narrow gauges in roughly 1:87 scales. Standards are defined by the NMRA (in North America) and the NEM (in Continental Europe). While the standards are in practice interchangeable, they are not strictly identical. The first "pre-measured" track obtainable in the nineteen forties had steel rails clipped to some fiber tie base. It was known as flexible track as it may be "flexed" around any curve inside a continuous fashion. The sections were offered as three-feet measures, and also the rail finishes were of a sheet metal track connector which was soldered to the bottom of the rail. As brass grew to become more easily available, the steel rail was eliminated, together with its corrosion problems. Brass flex-track remains available lengthy after sectional track was introduced, because the three-feet measures of rail reduced the amount of joints. The greatest drawback to flex-track was it needed to be attached to some roadbed. True-Scale made preformed wood roadbed sections, replicating ballast, the flex track could be attached with small steel spikes. These spikes were formed similar to real railroad spikes, and were fitted through holes pre-drilled within the fiber flex track ties base. A noticeable difference is made when "sectional track" grew to become available in a number of standardized measures, like the ubiquitous 9 in (228.6 mm) straight and curved tracks of 15 in (381. mm), 18 in (457.2 mm), and 22 in (558.8 mm) radii. They are associated with curves as tight as 108 ft. (32.9 m), which within the real life would simply be available on some industrial spurs and lightweight rail systems.
Sectional track was a noticeable difference in establishing track on the family room floor since the rail was mounted on a rigid plastic tie base, and may withstand rough handling from kids and pets without suffering much damage. With flex track, which may be bent to the preferred shape (within reason), it grew to become easy to create railroads with larger curves, with them better models. Individual rails are for sale to individuals that desire to spike their very own rails to ties. Individual ties could be glued to some seem base or pre-created tie and ballast sections milled from wood can be used as a far more durable, if somewhat unnaturally uniform, look is preferred. You will find a number of preassembled track sections produced by Marklin utilizing their unique three-rail system. This track work is a touch bigger searching than in keeping with scale, but it's considered quite trouble-free, and it is liked by many who are curious about reducing a lot of the operational issues that include HO scale railroading. Just like other preformed track, it's also obtainable in several radius designs. In most cases very sharp radius curves are just appropriate for single unit operation, for example trolley cars, or for brief-combined cars and locos for example found around industrial works. Longer wheelbase trucks (bogies) and longer vehicle and loco overhangs require using larger radius curves. Today it's quite common to buy six-axle diesels and a full-length passenger car that won't run correctly on curves under 24 in (609.6 mm) in radius.
HO scale track was initially manufactured with steel rails on fiber ties, then brass rail on fiber ties, then brass rail on plastic tie. With time, track made from Nickel silver (an alloy of nickel and brass) grew to become more prevalent because of its superior potential to deal with corrosion. Today, just about all HO scale track is of nickel silver, although Bachmann, Existence-Like and Model Energy still manufacture steel track.
HO Scale Train Set In The USA, Atlas acquired an earlier lead in track manufacturing, as well as their sectional, flex, and turnout track rules the United States market. Within the United Kingdom, Peco's type of flex track and "Electrofrog" (powered frog) and "Insulfrog" (insulated frog) turnouts tend to be more common. Atlas, Bachmann, Life-Like and several other manufactures produce affordable, snap-together track with integral roadbed. Kato also manufactures a complete type of "HO Unitrack", nevertheless it has not caught on his or her N scale Unitrack has. Rail height is measured in thousandths inch "Code 83" track includes a rail that is .083" high. As HO's generally available rail dimensions, particularly the popular "Code 100", are somewhat large (associated with very heavily trafficked lines), many modelers go for hands-laid fine scale track with individually laid wooden sleepers/crossties and rails guaranteed by really small railroad spikes. Around Australia, many club-possessed designs employ Code 100 track to ensure that club people may also run OO-scale models and older moving stock with coarse (deep) wheel flanges.
HO Scale Figures
HO scale's popularity lies somewhat in its middle-of-the-road status. It is large enough to accommodate a great deal of detail in finer models, more so than the smaller N and Z scales, and can also be easily handled by children without as much fear of swallowing small parts. Models are usually less expensive than the smaller scales because of more exacting manufacturing process in N and Z, and also less expensive than S, O and G scales because of the smaller amount of material; the larger audience and the resultant economy of scale also drives HO prices down. The size lends itself to elaborate track plans in a reasonable amount of room space, not as much as N but considerably more than S or 0. In short, HO scale provides the balance between the detail of larger scales and the lower space requirements of smaller scales. Because of the scale's popularity, a huge array of models, kits and supplies are manufactured. The annual HO scale catalog by Wm. K. Walthers, North America's largest model railroad supplier, lists more than 1,000 pages of products in that scale alone.
Models are generally available in three varieties:
Ready-to-Run models are fully ready for use right out of the box. Generally this means couplers, trucks (bogies), and other integral parts are installed at the factory, although some super detailing parts may still need to be attached.
Shake-the-Box kits are simple, easy-to-assemble kits; a freight car might include a one-piece body, a chassis, trucks, couplers, and a counterweight, while a structure kit might include walls, windows, doors, and glazing.
Craftsman Kits require a much higher level of skill to assemble and can include several hundreds of parts. In addition to these kits, numerous manufacturers sell individual supplies for super detailing, scratch building, and kit bashing. Quality varies extremely. Toy like, ready-to-run trains using plastic molds which are well over 50 years old are still sold; on the other side are highly detailed limited-edition locomotive models made of brass by companies based in Japan and South Korea. A popular locomotive such as the F7/F9 may be available in thirty different versions with prices ranging from twenty to several thousand dollars or euros.
In other hobbies, the term HO is often used more loosely than in railroad modeling. In slot car racing, HO does not denote a precise scale of car, but a general size of track on which the cars can range from 1:87 to approximately 1:64 scales. Small plastic model soldiers are often popularly referred to as HO size if they are close to an inch high, though the actual scale is usually 1:76 or 1:72. Even in model railroading, the term HO can be stretched.
Some British producers have marketed railway accessories such as detail items and figures, as "HO/OO" in an attempt to make them attractive to modelers in either scale. Sometimes the actual scale was OO, sometimes it split the difference (about 1:82). These items may be marketed as HO, especially in the US. In addition, some manufacturers or importers tend to label any small-scale model, regardless of exact scale, as HO scale in order to increase sales to railroad modelers. The sizes of "HO" automobiles, for example, from different manufacturers, can vary greatly.
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Currently active significant manufacturers and marketers of HO railroad equipment as of 2008, include, but are not limited to:
Arlo-Micromodel resin cast models and kits
Athabasca Scale Models
Atlas Model Railroad
Blackstone Models (HOn3)
Broadway Limited Imports
Campbell Scale Models
Electrotren (part of Hornby)
Fleischmann (Part of Modelleisenbahn GmbH)
Hodgdon Scale Models in Connecticut
Hunterline Craftsman Kits
International Hobby Corp
Jouef (part of Hornby)
Kato Precision Railroad Models
Liliput (part of Bachmann)
MTH Electric Trains
Northwest Short Line (NWSL)
Precision Craft Models, Inc.
Rapido Trains Inc (Canada).
Rivarossi (part of Hornby)
Roco (part of Modelleisenbahn GmbH)
Sachsenmodelle (part of the Tillig group)
Spectrum (part of Bachmann)
Trix (part of the Märklin group)
Wm. K. Walthers
Significant historical manufacturers and marketers of HO equipment which are no longer active in HO, include
American Railroad Models (American Beauty)
Associated Hobby Manufacturers (AHM)
Aurora Plastics Corporation
Hobbytown of Boston
Lima - bankruptcy in 2004, later acquired by Hornby
Pacific Fast Mail (PFM)
Penn Line Manufacturing
True Line Trains
Varney Scale Models