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Author Topic: G Gauge & G Scale Quandry  (Read 3297 times)

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« on: May 30, 2013, 05:04:29 PM »

Having already a an old Bachmann Big Hauler Royal Blue Line set comprising Locomotive, Tender, Mixed Coach and Observation Coach plus rails and DC Controller etc, I recently set about starting to realise my boyhood passion again of building a model train layout. Indoor Space is not a problem as we have a large amount of Garaging and Shedding on the property. Looking at the information available I decided that the scale of the Existing Set would be 1:20.3 (Largest G Scale) as against 1;22.5 which I assumed would be a smaller scale and so I have purchased a Big Hauler Baldwin Industrial 2-6-0 Mogul P/No 81699 (I believe it is in the correct box) which indicates it to be 1:20.3 Scale. However it is obviously a smaller scale than the Big Hauler "Royal Blue Line" Train I already had. Can someone please clarify this for me as I am remote from any local information and I have to generally order via email/ebay or similar. Thank you 

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« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2013, 05:15:20 PM »

All Bachmann trains in the "Big Hauler" line are nominally 1:22 or 1:24.

The "Spectrum" line engines are all quite accurate 1:20.3.

Happy RRing,


Sequoia Pacific RR in 1:20 / 70.6mm
Boonville Light & Power Co. in 1:20 / 45mm
Navarro Engineering & Construction Co. in 1:20 / 32mm
NMRA Life Member #3370
Member: Bay Area Electric Railway Association
Member: Society for the Preservation of Carter Railroad Resources
Chuck N

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« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2013, 07:49:51 PM »

You are mixing apples and oranges.  if you had similar engines in different scales, the one in 1:22.5 scale would be smaller than one in 1:20.3 scale.  In real life the ten wheeler was larger than an industrial Mogul.  Hence, the confusion. 

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« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2013, 09:59:10 PM »

your two locomotives are actually a fine match..and they are roughly the same scale..
IMO, dont even worry about it! Wink
they will go together fine..
your models are different sizes, because in real life locomotives came in many different sizes..
even locomotives on the same railroad, at the same time..

Here is Kevins excellent comparison photo:

Those three locomotives are the same scale! Smiley
If they were real locomotives, and not models, they would have the same proportion to each other
as the models do..happens all the time..locomotives are a very varied bunch..
So, IMO its all really a non-issue in this case..and IMO, there is no quandary at all..


Kevin Strong

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« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2013, 02:33:45 AM »

It's a larger scale (1:20.3 vs 1:22.5), but it's a model of a locomotive that is much, much smaller than the 4-6-0. The prototype for the 4-6-0 is actually fairly large by narrow gauge standards; not quite as big as the iconic Colorado narrow gauge locos, but larger than the locos run on many narrow gauge lines up until the 30s. The "industrial" 2-6-0 has no specific prototype, but it's built in the spirit of the very small locos built by Baldwin, Alco, and Glover Locomotive for whatever industries needed diminutive motive power to shift cars around their factories.

Technically, Bachmann's "industrial" 2-6-0 repurposed the boiler, cab, and tender from Bachmann's 1:22.5 2-4-2. It's "1:20.3" in the same spirit Bachmann's "1:20.3 20-foot freight cars" are 1:20.3. They're freight cars that--when measured at 1:20.3--scale to 20' long. They have no prototype; they're completely freelance.

But that's the "fun" part of modeling in G-scale, particularly narrow gauge. Unlike standard gauge, where there was generally a "universal" overall size for cars and locomotives (called the "loading gauge"), narrow gauge equipment varied wildly in size depending on when it was built and why it was built. As the photo Scot posted illustrates, all three of those locos are 1:20.3, each built for different reasons. On the left is a D&RGW K-37, which was built from the boiler of a standard gauge 2-8-0, but placed on a narrow gauge 2-8-2 frame. As the photo shows, it really hangs over the rails, because it was originally built to standard gauge proportions. The middle locomotive is a medium-sized Baldwin locomotive that was built for export, but in line with other locos built for domestic use... a typical "average" narrow gauge locomotive. On the right, an 0-4-4 built in the late 19th century by the T.H. Paul locomotive works, originally as an 0-4-2. It was designed for very light track, so it's quite small.

The upshot of all this is that you can use many of the "1:22.5" models on a 1:20.3 railroad and be pretty accurate. Passenger cars and cabooses are the notable exceptions because they're built to accommodate people, and have to be at least a certain height so folks don't bump their heads. But if you look long enough, you'll find prototypes for many of the smaller cars when measured in 1:20.3.

We, as modelers, tend to want our rolling stock to be more-or-less uniform in size, because that's what we see on trains. The reality is that the prototypes--both standard and narrow gauge--weren't anywhere near as concerned with that as we are. The cars were there for one reason--to make them money. So long as they made the railroad more money than they cost the railroad, they were good.



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