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HO Scale Model Railroads & Trains

HO scale represents 1:87 scale, which is about half of O gauge, hence the name HO. This size train originated in Germany and was first produced in the '20s by Bing, a company in Nuremburg, Germany. They introduced a tabletop railway after World War I that was produced for a gauge of 16.5. Trix Express displayed a gauge at the 1935 Leipzig Spring Fair that was described as half naught gauge, which was abbreviated 00. The production of this size model train increased in response to the Great Depression, when people were attracted to the smaller size and lower price of these trains.

After World War II, HO scale model railroads grew significantly in popularity. As these trains were easy to mass produce, their prices were lower than the previously popular O gauge trains. Layouts were easy to construct using manufactured pieces, and they were easy to tuck into a corner of the basement. By the '60s, HO scale had surpassed O gauge as the most popular scale in model railroading.

HO scale is currently the most popular scale in model railroading in the United States and continental Europe. A vast number of items are available in ready to run, snap-together kits, and craftsman kits.


Quick Facts

  • HO scale was originally written H0 scale and called half naught scale. Hobbyists in the United States who were not used to saying the word "naught" changed the term to O and began using the letter O rather than the number 0 when referring to HO scale
  • The majority of HO scale model trains run on two-rail track using direct current. A few use alternating current and use tracks that supply the power through a third rail
  • In 2014, the world's longest HO scale model train was 1,134 feet long. It consisted of 23 locomotives and 1,662 cars. The train took about 30 minutes to pass by

Recommended Items at Auction

See all items

trains
Oct 13, 5:30 PM EDT
trains
by BLG Auction Services
Est: $0- $0
$21 Bid
Hornby Buffers. Includes a large quantity of mixed post and pre-war. (40+) (TR7)
Oct 12, 10:00 AM AEDT
Hornby Buffers. Includes a large quantity of mixed post and pre-war. (40+) (TR7)
by Davidson Auctions
Est: AUD30- AUD60
AUD201 Bid
Three Electrotren HO-gauge Articulated Auto Transporters
Oct 10, 6:00 PM AEDT
Three Electrotren HO-gauge Articulated Auto Transporters
by Trains, Planes and Automobiles
Est: AUD50- AUD100
AUD401 Bid
ExactRail HO Scale Box Cars & Grain Hopper Car
Oct 23, 10:00 AM CDT
ExactRail HO Scale Box Cars & Grain Hopper Car
by Kraft Auction Service
Est: $0- $0
$251 Bid
Life-Like HO Scale S3 Locomotive #1262 C&NW
Oct 23, 10:00 AM CDT
Life-Like HO Scale S3 Locomotive #1262 C&NW
by Kraft Auction Service
Est: $0- $0
$251 Bid
Life-Like HO Scale Locomotive #4056 & 4065B C&NW
Oct 23, 10:00 AM CDT
Life-Like HO Scale Locomotive #4056 & 4065B C&NW
by Kraft Auction Service
Est: $0- $0
$251 Bid
Life-Like HO Scale Locomotive #4056 & 4057B C&NW
Oct 23, 10:00 AM CDT
Life-Like HO Scale Locomotive #4056 & 4057B C&NW
by Kraft Auction Service
Est: $0- $0
$251 Bid
Life-Like HO Scale GP18 C&NW #1774 Locomotive
Oct 23, 10:00 AM CDT
Life-Like HO Scale GP18 C&NW #1774 Locomotive
by Kraft Auction Service
Est: $0- $0
$251 Bid
Five various custom F3 diesel locomotives
Oct 13, 10:00 AM EDT
Five various custom F3 diesel locomotives
by Stout Auctions Toy and Train Specialists
Est: $20- $150
$101 Bid
Lot of 4 Life-Like HO Scale Model Kit Buildings
Oct 10, 11:00 AM EDT
Lot of 4 Life-Like HO Scale Model Kit Buildings
by Denise Ryan Auction Co.
Est: $25- $500
$101 Bid
HO SCALE MODEL TRAIN TRANSFORMER TRACK
Oct 12, 12:00 PM EDT
HO SCALE MODEL TRAIN TRANSFORMER TRACK
by Converse Auctions
Est: $20- $40
$100 Bids
Menards HO Scale Dakota Cabinet Works Building
Oct 23, 10:00 AM CDT
Menards HO Scale Dakota Cabinet Works Building
by Kraft Auction Service
Est: $0- $0
$250 Bids
Life-Like HO SD7 Locomotive #1663 Chicago & NW
Oct 23, 10:00 AM CDT
Life-Like HO SD7 Locomotive #1663 Chicago & NW
by Kraft Auction Service
Est: $0- $0
$250 Bids
Mini Metals HO Scale Cars, Semi Trucks, Pickups
Oct 23, 10:00 AM CDT
Mini Metals HO Scale Cars, Semi Trucks, Pickups
by Kraft Auction Service
Est: $0- $0
$250 Bids
Large Lot of Vintage HO Scale Train Items
Oct 10, 11:00 AM EDT
Large Lot of Vintage HO Scale Train Items
by Denise Ryan Auction Co.
Est: $25- $500
$100 Bids
Five Electrotren HO-gauge Wagons
Oct 10, 6:00 PM AEDT
Five Electrotren HO-gauge Wagons
by Trains, Planes and Automobiles
Est: AUD100- AUD200
AUD700 Bids
Electrotren 1401 HO-gauge Track Cleaning Tank Wagon "Shell"
Oct 10, 6:00 PM AEDT
Electrotren 1401 HO-gauge Track Cleaning Tank Wagon "Shell"
by Trains, Planes and Automobiles
Est: AUD30- AUD60
AUD200 Bids
Five Electrotren 5000 HO-gauge MZA bogie Passenger Coaches
Oct 10, 6:00 PM AEDT
Five Electrotren 5000 HO-gauge MZA bogie Passenger Coaches
by Trains, Planes and Automobiles
Est: AUD100- AUD200
AUD700 Bids
Three HO-gauge Wagons
Oct 10, 6:00 PM AEDT
Three HO-gauge Wagons
by Trains, Planes and Automobiles
Est: AUD20- AUD40
AUD150 Bids
Electrotren 2051 HO-gauge DSB Diesel Locomotive
Oct 10, 6:00 PM AEDT
Electrotren 2051 HO-gauge DSB Diesel Locomotive
by Trains, Planes and Automobiles
Est: AUD100- AUD200
AUD800 Bids
Life-Like HO GP18 Locomotive No. 8140 Chicago & NW
Oct 23, 10:00 AM CDT
Life-Like HO GP18 Locomotive No. 8140 Chicago & NW
by Kraft Auction Service
Est: $0- $0
$250 Bids
Life-Like HO Scale GP7 Locomotive #1519 C&NW
Oct 23, 10:00 AM CDT
Life-Like HO Scale GP7 Locomotive #1519 C&NW
by Kraft Auction Service
Est: $0- $0
$250 Bids
Life-Like HO Scale E7 Locomotive #5009A C&NW
Oct 23, 10:00 AM CDT
Life-Like HO Scale E7 Locomotive #5009A C&NW
by Kraft Auction Service
Est: $0- $0
$250 Bids

Sellers Who Sell HO Scale Model Railroads & Trains


Kraft Auction Service

Kraft Auction Service

Trains, Planes and Automobiles

Trains, Planes and Automobiles

Davidson Auctions

Davidson Auctions

Denise Ryan Auction Co.

Denise Ryan Auction Co.