model train set on track

I Play with “O” Gauge

e*Train Issue: Oct 2008   |   Posted in: ,

By Mike Stella

If you ever are lucky enough to work in a train store at Christmas time and you get to sell “O” gauge trains to the public, you will find yourself constantly explaining the difference between 0-27 and “O”, between “Scale size” and regular “Lionel size”, and why everything is still considered “O” gauge!

Sixty years ago there was a need to have trains that cost a few dollars less than the deluxe models, as a few dollars was a lot of money.  Lionel and others wanted to capture as big a share of the toy train market as possible and price was the way to do it.

In 2008, everybody seems to have a catalog that is 1/2″ thick filled with hundreds of the same items over and over and over again.  Price doesn’t seem to matter anymore.  I don’t know anyone buying $1000+ locomotives every year.

I believe manufactures are killing our hobby and are trying to sell as much as possible before we all say “I have enough” and stop buying new trains altogether.

Maybe then we can all return to the great hobby of building a model railroad and playing with our toy trains?  I may not be around to see it but I know that that day is coming very soon.

Until then, Happy Railroading to all.

I have to go look at the newest catalogs to see what I can’t live without!!!

An “O” Gauge GS4 by MTH.  I call it a mini-GS4.
A GS4 by Lionel pulls in.   This is “O” Gauge too?
Finally, a “Scale-O” GS4 from Williams dwarfs the other two!
The Williams, Lionel, and MTH are ALL “O” Gauge?