Is HO a standad scale?

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Brainchild, Nov 26, 2005.

  1. Brainchild

    Brainchild New Member

    I mean if I buy a cheaper set for my son for christmas,will it fit with a more expensive setup on down the line if he stays intrested in railroading?
    Is all HO track interchangable,and do all hte cars couple together in the same way,or do I have ot stay with the same maker to keep everything hooking up?

  2. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    HO is a standard scale, as well as the most common scale by far.

    Is all HO track interchangeable? Well, sort of. Standard-gauge HO track is all the same width, but the rails come in several sizes (called codes)--the most common is Code 100, then Code 83. They can be used together but require little adapters.

    Recently, HO track has come out that is made with built-in plastic roadbed, rather than just the ties and rails. The plastic-roadbed kind is not interchangeable with other brands of the plastic roadbed, but most can be made to work with the non-roadbed kind.

    There are two kinds of couplers--the cheap kind (called "horn-hook" couplers or X2Fs) and knuckle couplers (known by many names and brands, the best known is Kadee.) It's easy to swap out knuckle couplers for Kadees if you want to later.

    In general, though, model railroad equipment has a surprisingly good set of standards. There are a few exceptions, but generally equipment is made to work to a common standard.

    It's probably worthwhile to spend a bit more for a better-quality set, if only because it is less likely to break after a few hours, derail frequently, and look like a cheap toy.
  3. Brainchild

    Brainchild New Member

    Thanks Jetrock.It's been a long time since I did any type of R&R.Used to dabble a bit as a young teen,but that's been a looooooong time ago:(

    Guess now I better go looking for a fairly good deal on a set:)
  4. wjstix

    wjstix Member

    I think a starter set that includes track w/ roadbed from Bachmann or Atlas would be a great way to start, makes things a lot easier. I think Bachmann and Athearn both sets come with Bachmann track. Right now I'd say Atlas code 83 track w/roadbed is more realistic looking, but Bachmann has many more types of curves, switches, crossings etc. for later expansion of the layout.
  5. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    the atlas roadbed track has removeable tracks in case you want use only the track.

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