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OO Gauge Model Railroads & Trains

OO gauge, or OO scale, is the most popular size of model railroading in Great Britain. OO scale models are sized at 1:76 scale, but run on HO scale, or 1:87, track. These models are larger than HO scale models. The scale was developed because early electric motors and clockwork mechanisms were difficult to fit into models of British locomotives, which were smaller than European and American models.

OO scale model trains were first introduced by the Bing company of Germany in 1922. The product Bing produced was called the Table Top Railway. A moderate success at first, the Table Top Railway gained further popularity after it was redesigned and re-released by the Trix company. A British version was released by Bassett- Lowke in collaboration with Trix and was called the Bassett-Lowke Twin Train Table Railway. This model railroad was so popular it began to cut into the sales of Meccano's Hornby O gauge trains, so Meccano responded by introducing the Hornby Dublo line in 1938.

While OO scale did not catch on in the United States, it remained popular in Great Britain. It is now the most commonly used scale for model railroading in Britain and Hornby continues to be the largest manufacturer of OO scale model railroad products. Bachmann Branchline, the UK branch of Bachmann Industries, is also a major supplier of OO scale model trains.


Quick Facts

  • OO scale and HO scale trains run on the same size track, but the models do not fit together well because OO scale models are larger than HO scale models
  • Lionel introduced a line of OO scale model trains in 1938. The line was not a success and Lionel stopped manufacturing the models in 1942
  • OO scale is also used to represent Irish railroads, although it is slightly too narrow

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Bamfords Auctioneers and Valuers Ltd

Bamfords Auctioneers and Valuers Ltd