ONEHAGGISI'M JUST CURIOUS, IS THOMAS THE TANK ENGINE A STANDARD GAUGE RAILWAY OR IS IT A NARROW GAUGE RAILWAY??? MARK.
Thomas and friend's are std gauge trains for the most part,there is also a 2' line refer-ed to in some stories
All of the original Awdry text was most railway like in its operation (UK) unlike the Brit Alcroft rubbish.also all of the Thomas characters are based on real UK locomotives coach's and wagons.
Hornby does quite a range of buildings and trains from the Thomas stories I believe Bachmann also does some of them between the two quite a layout is possable all done to 4mm scale which is the scale of English OO trains but they run on 16.5mm gauge track a compromise a lot in the UK are prepared to live with.
regards John Busby
I believe Lionel also make a ready to run Thomas in O gauge, and some of the other locos too, including the evil diesel shunter - a fair representation of a British Rail class 08 shunter.
I remember seeing the Rev. Awdry's OO layout at a model railway exhibition in Bristol, England, many years. Some of his models, including those of the narrow gauge Skarloy Railway (based on the real life 2' 3" gauge Tal-y-llyn Railway in Wales) are now on show at the Tal-y-llyn Railway's museum at Tywyn in Wales. Well worth a visit, even if you don't have time for a ride on the TR!
From a modelling point of view 16.5mm track is not really accurate to represent 4' 8.5" gauge in 4mm: 1' scale but most UK model railroaders have always lived with that. For modelling the Tal-y-llyn Railway however in 4mm scale, N guage track is spot on so this scale/gauge combination has been popular here for many years.
Interiors and people figures make such a difference. Especially the people.
My five year old has been fascinated with the Thomas stuff for several years, since about age two, maybe three. That's what prompted me to put a train under the Christmas tree this past year and is resulting in a 6X12 layout in the basement, a place where he and I can go chill while my wife spends time with our daughter (arriving in July).
I'm certainly not Anti-Thomas, but think it's a bit overblown, the brand name syuff is overpriced compared to other wooden railway stuff (of which my some has a veritable mountain) and the Bachman engines are priced 50% over what comparable Bachman engines cost. So, we're not doing Thomas in HO. He's moved to being intersted in all trains now, so I'm planning on buying a couple lower end engines and one good one (MTH 4-6-2) to run initially, replacing lower end with higher as he gets older and less apt to have an "OOPS! - SMASH" moment.