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HO trains became popular with model train collectors in the 1950’s as discontent grew with the OO scale trains. A viable alternative was needed to meet the demands of the ballooning number of model train collectors. HO model trains were able to fill this need with the advent of mass production.
The HO model train was perfected in its infancy by a company called Lionel. Lionel is now a household name for model trains primarily because of their innovation and attention to detail. By creating a model train that closely mimicked the real thing they were able to capture the attention and following of model train collectors worldwide.
The HO model trains were rather large and took up a lot of space so they invented the N and the Z scale model trains. At roughly half the size of the HO model train the N scale was a welcome alternative for those that wanted to collect trains and still be able to find a place in their home to set up the train sets. The Z scale model trains were one third the size of their big brother the HO trains. Deep down the consensus was that if you had the HO model train you had the best.
As the popularity of the HO train increased, the industry saw a need for a larger version. Out of design centers came the O, S and G scale model trains. The O scale model train weighed in at two times the size of the HO trains while the S scale was one third larger than it’s smaller companion the HO train. But the real giant was the G scale model trains, which were so big that they needed to be run outside unless you had a very large indoor space to house it.
The HO model train is still considered to be the most popular and sought after of all model trains. Especially the vintage models that represent a time of innocence and sense of nostalgia. If you are really serious about your model trains then find yourself a well preserved antique HO train set and watch the envious eyes of your fellow hobbyists.
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