Model train enthusiasts are familiar with grouping model trains into scales. There are many scales to choose from, but the largest of the most popular scales, at 1:22 actual size is the G scale (i.e. the real thing is 22 times bigger than the model),. This scale was first made by the Ernst Paul Lehmann Patentwerk Company in Germany in 1881, often referred to as Lehmann Gross Bahn or LGB. English speakers may also know it as the “Lehman Big Train”. The US branch of the business is known as LGB of America. The G scale models are considerably larger than other scales with a train car height of about 6 inches. This is in comparison to an O scale train which at 1:48 scale is roughly half the size of a G scale train. This makes the O scale train car height about 3.6 inches.
Because G scale model trains are so large, they are also commonly referred to as “Garden Railroading” hence the name. Another interpretation of the G is that the word for big in German is “grob” and as we learned in the preceding paragraph, this scale has German origins. In order to run a G scale model train, you will need number 1 gauge track which measures 45mm between the rails.
G scale trains are very durable due to their size and so they make an excellent choice to be used outdoors in the garden. They require little or no maintenance other than wiping the track occasionally. Their durability also makes them ideal for smaller children to enjoy with their parents. Mom and Dad can be confident that their investment will last for many years even when toddlers are in the house. Small children usually lack the gentleness required of the smaller scale trains like an N scale train, which at 1.1 inches high is much more delicate than a G scale model. If the big train lover has the space, these trains can also be used indoors. Be careful though, these monsters have been known to take over a room or even an entire basement!
G scale trains are also made in the US by leading manufacturer Aristo-Craft and Bachmann in Irving, New Jersey. This company has been around for a while and also has a free club and forum on their website. You can also peruse the catalog or get an instruction manual for their trains.
Article courtesy of “The Enthusists Guide to Model Trains”