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· In depth idiot
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QUOTE (Robert Stokes @ 19 Jun 2008, 17:59) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>One would have thought that with that sort of size (gauge 1) you could have had a perfectly accurate gauge/scale combination. It means that even if I can afford it I won't be moving to that scale but might, just might, one day try O gauge.
There was no grand plan when the real railway started. George Stephenson and the various parties associated with him settled on what we now know as standard gauge, but it was not apparently obvious to all the other groups who started railway enterprises of their own in the UK, that using the same gauge would facilitate a national system. The Brunel broad gauge is the best known, but there were also lines built a few inches larger or smaller than standard gauge. But in time 'the penny dropped' and use of a single gauge was standardised.

There was no grand plan when making models of the railway started. The various parties involved used whatever scale and gauge they liked, and it took years for a consensus to emerge on scale and gauge combinations. There were strong opinions about how to achieve good looking working models, and many argued that using slightly narrower track than true scale was advantageous, not least to provide more working space for overscale mechanical parts as mentioned in Ravenser's post. One of the exponents of this view was Henry Greenly, and a good example of his legacy is the Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Railway, sometimes referred to as the world's largest model railway. It uses roughly 1/4 scale track (15" gauge), with locomotives built to 1/3 scale.

But that's all history. For an almost exact scale/gauge combination that is extremely well supported commercially, HO takes a lot of beating.
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