3/ Model trains

Introducing Model Trains to your Village
Adding any animation to your  village will create a feel of life. Colour and movement will enhance any scene.
The quickest and easiest way to achieve this is by adding a model train to the village, but what scale?
The closest scale and gauge combination is what is known as On30. This is a narrow gauge train built to 1:48 scale made by Bachmann, these were in fact designed to match the Department 56 buildings so perfect for Lemax. They are close enough to look "right". Because it is a model train scale there are many accessories that are available to enhance your village including figures!
Just to clarify what scale and gauge means, the scale is the actual ratio between real life size and the model size. The gauge is a train term, which is the width between the rails. It is common for two modellers to both model a scale but each do a different gauge to represent the width of the rails in the area or a time period.
In Australia, like many countries throughout the world, we have different gauges in different states, sometimes more than one gauge in each state. Common gauges in Australia is 4'8", 5'3", 3'6" 30" and 24" as well as others. Obviously the people are a similar size so a carriage is designed to accommodate real life size people. The track width can vary though and this affects the width of the trains. Imagine a carriage built for a track width of 5'3" being run on track only 30" wide, it would be very top heavy and unstable, so the carriages are built to the ratio of the track width. A perfect example of this in Victoria's "Puffing Billy", it runs on 30" track gauge whereas elsewhere in Victoria the gauge is 5'3". The carriages and locomotives are still made to accommodate real people but are engineered differently, enabling them to operate safely on the narrower track. Narrow gauge or track width was cheaper to build so was popular on lesser traveled lines.
I mentioned On30 trains earlier, this is very much the "Puffing Billy" train. The O denotes the scale of 1:48, the n means a narrow guage, and the 30 tells us that the track gauge or width is 30".

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