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The meaning of various "scales"

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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, November 15, 2003 2:32 PM
The "G" scale, being 45mm track width, and is ALSO known as Gauge 1 among old Liver Steamers, has actually been around for about 50-60 years. Longer in great Britain. The British have been modelling live steam for almost as long as the actual prototypes have existed. "G" came to be used recently for "Garden" but it's still the same old 45mm Gauge 1 track width from the earlier era. Several SCALES are modeled on this gauge, usually from 1:20 all the way down to 1:32.

The Aster Allegheny, a 1:29 live steam monster for "G" scale weighs in at 40 pounds and will easily pull a single human of up to 200 lbs weight. The problem is getting a car to ride on that you could BALANCE on and that would ITSELF hold that weight.

You track bed has to be solid also, but then I test mine by actually walking on it, heel to toe, all the way around to do this. (Learned this trick from the steamers.) I use Brass rail on kit ties and It supports me just fine and stays in place. I use red lava crusher fines for bed and ballast, buried in a trench 10"-12" deep, 8" wide, and then elevated about 1" above road level, and dressed at the edges. Lava crusher fines, red OR black, are like glue when tamped, settled and finally in place. And they drain VERY well.

I import it from Hawaii from a Concrete supplier I used to do computer work for. They have their own quarry. It's very pricey, and to me, worth every penny of it. I used it for my layout in Hawaii, and am now stockpiling it for use here in the SW next spring.

3.5" Track Gaugers have tried to ride and found it also too difficult to deal with.

5" Track Gaugers have been successful at it tho it is still not easy.

Those who wi***o have riding models generally start at 7" gauge rail width and go up from there.

Steam loco prices go up radically as gauge goes up also. A Ready To Run Steam Loco for 7" gauge can easily cost $200k. I've seen several go for over $500k, depending on quality of detail of the model. Most are exquisite.

Many folks at this level are true machinists who either build them from scratch, or purchase kits for assembly. Still VERY pricey.

But at nearly $30k, so is that Aster Allegheny mentioned above. Out of MY league to be sure.

If all this sounds outrageous in $$$, remember, many Rail Societies around the country are trying to restore actual Baldwin Prototypes and others and can easily spend over a million dollars in so doing.

Note: Steam Boilers actually require Certification. And if you play by the book, even "G" scale ones do too. If you purchase a "G" scale steamer, make sure the Boilers is indeed Ceritified. At this level, they are usually made from Silver Soldered Copper and require DISTILLED, ( not filtered, NOT ionized, and CERTAINLY NOT TAP,) water.

Regards and good luck to Live Steaming.
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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, November 14, 2003 10:29 PM
Live steam.... this is the most common designation for ride-on trains since most of the locomotives run on real steam.

"G" scale is an all inclusive term refering to all of the scales you mentioned above.

I would suggest buying a locomotive and power supply first, otherwise you won't be able to test your track as you build. Not a good idea to build all your track without testing it along the way....you could end up tearing some out and rebuilding if you build problems into your track.

Welcome to large scale garden railroading......OLD DAD
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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, January 9, 2003 12:02 PM
Thanks for clearing that up, and I really like those larger trains vs the smaller G stuff but it's a matter of space to do the job and realism. I suppose the G stuff can be just as spendy. I forgot to mention that my dies made the rail joiners only and that track would have to be forged elsewhere. Does anybody know the real name for that 8" gage and what magazines or clubs support the hobby. Is it even alive anymore?

Baadfinger on 11 acres of prestine railroad building property! LOL
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, January 8, 2003 2:50 PM
Unless I am totaly off base here, you sure can't ride a G scale train unless your about 6 inches long and weigh less than 10 lbs. It excellent though for bringing beer from the garage to the garden however, so long as you have someone to load it up for you. I digress. G gauge from what I have figured is 45mm track. The cars range in length from about 10-24 inches and in weight from 1-15lbs. I am in the midst of one he** of a layout, that quite possibly will never work, and this is an excellent place to get info and all around good conversation. Good luck to all.

P.S. The size scale you ride has a name also but I can't recall what it is at the moment.
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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, January 7, 2003 10:43 AM
Being a tool & diemaker, I built some dies awhile ago for a group down in Southern Oregon that had a dream railroad built all over the farm. They were the Over the hill, Steam Club and they simply called their gage 8". An adult or child of modest size could ride the train, straddled the cars of course, and it was fairly easy to lay track. When I retire soon, I may get this out again and build myself a "Garden" setup. If it is called G gage please get back to me so I don't end up buying the wrong track. Thanks

Tom May- PO Box 63 - Lakebay, WA 98349
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The meaning of various "scales"
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, January 3, 2003 10:46 PM
We decided a week ago to build a garden railway, and we are full of questions. What does "G" scale mean compared to 1:29, #1, 1:20.3, 120:3, and so on? What, exactly, is G-scale? Also, we want to build our layout and have all the track down before we buy our first locomotive. What is a good source of information on the details of track layout, installation of track, and so on? Thanks for any info. Ann Raab

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