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Author Topic: Large Scale vs G scale  (Read 6048 times)

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« on: December 18, 2014, 03:12:17 PM »

I'm assuming by everything I've read that Bachmann Large Scale trains are in fact G scale. Just curious why Bachmann refers to them as Large Scale instead of G? If I assumed wrong, you know what they say about assuming. LOL
Chuck N

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« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2014, 04:11:28 PM »

Bachmann makes large scale trains in two scales: 1:20.3 and 1:22.5/24.  There are many scales that run on our "G" gauge track.  All are "G" gauge.  LGB's meter gauge trains are generally, but not universally recognized as G Scale (1:22.5).


Over on <> is a recent thread on scale.  Look for a post by Pete Thornton.  He has posted a figure by Scot Lawrence that very nicely shows our most common scales.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2014, 04:29:09 PM by Chuck N » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2014, 05:11:55 PM »

G Scale and Large Scale are terms commonly seen used interchangeable.
However, the term LS Large Scale is properly used to refer to range of scales that are made to be operated together. They all use the same wheel and track profiles to facilitate this.

G Scale properly used is scale proportion 1: 22.5 made to run on Gauge 1 track (45 mm)

Bachmann makes Large Scale trains in two scales, which run on Gauge 1 (also seen referred to as #1 Gauge and G Gauge)  track.
  • Bachmann Spectrum line is scale proportion 1:20.3 (NMRA standards scales  Fn3 ) models of narrow gauge equipment.
  • Bachmann  Big Haulers line is nominally scale proportion 1:22.5

Jerry Barnes

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« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2014, 01:01:08 AM »

The Thomas series seems to be about 1/25 scale, so that would be a third.

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« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2014, 02:37:14 AM »

Thanks Hunt, that clears it up.

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« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2014, 01:18:55 PM »

I am going to do my best to spin your head around.
IF, you follow NMRA doctrine (and most here don't), there is NO 'G' scale. NMRA defines 'LS' and 'F' as scales that operate on 45mm track. NMRA defines 'F' Scale as a ratio of 1:20.3. It defines 'LS" Scale (a misnomer in my opinion) as "The term LS (Large Scales) is used to refer to range of scales developed to be able to be operated together, typically in an outdoors setting, for example a garden. LS models all use the same wheel and track profiles to facilitate interchange.", copied directly from their S-1.2 Standard ( for further reading if you are interested). In reality I don't believe there was ever any organized effort on the part of manufacturers to 'be interchangeable', I think it was just good business.
At some time in the past I answered a similar question here,27396.0.html Which provides a bit more of the math involved.
Kevin Strong

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« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2014, 05:46:49 PM »

...In reality I don't believe there was ever any organized effort on the part of manufacturers to 'be interchangeable'...
There wasn't. The standards were drawn up on behalf of the modeler, so that they'd have the confidence that when they bought products which ran on 45mm track and adhered to these standards--regardless of scale or manufacturer--they'd all operate reliably on the same track. The NMRA's standards were written from the perspective that large scale railroaders overwhelmingly operate multiple scales on their railroads, thus there's a need for things to be compatible at least so far as where the wheels meet the rails. The scale of the model itself doesn't enter the equation when drilled down to such a specific aspect of operation, thus the NMRA standards don't reference the specific scale at all.

"F" scale is broken out on its own because "F" exists commercially both as standard gauge (70mm) and narrow gauge (45mm). The standards for "Fn3" (45mm) are identical to those for large scale, since the track is the same.

It's still up to the manufacturers to decide whether or not to adhere to the NMRA's (or anyone's) standards. But they're there for the benefit of the modeler should they decide to do so.

For the record, Bachmann's wheels are pretty good when it comes to meeting these standards.




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« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2014, 01:37:28 PM »

Perhaps some history will help.

In Europe 1:22.5 is actually II scale and 1:22.5 on 45mm track is actually IIm.  Yes there are both standard and narrow gauge models in this scale on different gauge tracks. For a long time LGB only produced scale meter gauge models in that scale.

LGB called its trains Gross Bahn or large trains which is the origin of the term G.

In the early and mid 90s the major manufacturers, the model press, and yes the NMRA met and agreed on interchange.  Subsequent meetings agreed on G to be the generic term covering all of Large Scale and also for the manufacturers to put the scale of their models on their packages.  Some did some did not.  (I still have the signatures on the agreements).

Today it is likely gest to refer to this as Large Scale and when interested refer to the scale in use as the term G means many different things to different people.



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« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2014, 02:00:12 PM »

I deliberately side stepped that piece of history in an attempt to move the conversation to more how things are referred today. Our segment of the hobby is small enough when compared to the others, fragmenting further with additional confusion on the part of a new comer will only do more damage than good. Our segment of the hobby is the only hobby in the world with no less than five distinct scales utilizing the same track gauge to represent differing prototype gauges. The term 'G', has become to me, a term meaning 'General' or 'Garden', not a particular scale. I am well aware that I will garner the ire of those who revel in their gnat's eyelash splitting accuracy in history, but at some point we need to 'Stop the Madness' and try to clearly define the scales for people. I am too new to the large scale hobby to have access to the real history, which I do not deny nor do I diminish it's relevance, but lets keep it history. I would love to see a single place document where the history is explained, as history, and transitioned to modern day where a new comer can read, learn and make decisions on real information not the opinions of the 42 first people he met in this hobby. I am now in possession of several thousand dollars worth of merchandise on my storage shelves that would not have ever been there had I known then what I know now.
Stan, you seem to often have the answers to those questions, so with that said I challenge you to write that all inclusive document to aide new large scale hobbyists in making sound choices.
Bob C.
Chuck N

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« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2014, 04:38:12 PM »

Even in the early LGB time they played fast and loose with scale.  Their whole line of Austrian cars and engines based on the Zillertal Bahn isn't 1:22.5 or meter gauge.  The Zillertal Bahn is 760mm gauge.

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