An Introduction to OO Scale Narrow Gauge Modelling
Narrow gauge modelling has been around for almost as long as standard gauge. Due to a lack of ready to run models, narrow gauge was only possible for those who had the time, patience and skill to scratch build their own models. This is until recently when Peco began producing track, rolling stock and accessories. Minitrains have also entered the market, producing incredible little ready to run locomotives, rolling stock and the recent addition of tight radius set track. Having seen the potential, Heljian and Bachmann currently have locomotives in development with release dates for 2017.
What is OO Scale Narrow Gauge?
OO scale narrow gauge, (commonly knows as 00-9) is 1/76 scale. The major difference is the narrow gauge trains run on N scale track (9mm between the rails) as opposed to standard OO gauge, (16.5mm between the rails). This represents roughly a 2ft narrow gauge line. To give you an idea of scale, here's one of Minitrains Gmeinder diesel locomotives next to a Hornby Class 08.
As you can see, there is quite a difference in size.
What is the difference between 00-9 & N scale track?
There are no running differences between N scale and 00-9, they're both 9mm between the rails and run a standard code 80 rail. The only difference being that 00-9 track has the correct sleeper size and spacing as N scale sleepers look cramped in a 00-9 situation. The photo below shows from top to bottom: OO standard gauge, 00-9 narrow gauge and N standard gauge.
Why model narrow gauge?
Real world narrow gauge railways were always unique. They were generally built on a low budget in harsh environments. Due to the size of the locomotives you can build a railway in a very small area (narrow gauge railways have been built in suitcase and pizza boxes) but still add a lot of character. Here's an example:
Venturing into narrow gauge can be an exciting experience. Building a layout in a small space also means it can be completed in much less time than most standard gauge layouts.
Hearns Hobbies are now carrying Minitrains and Peco narrow gauge products. See our range online or come in store to see these wonderful little trains.