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In most of the English speaking countries the HO model train layout is the most popular type of model train setup. Let's take a more in-depth look at several aspects of the HO model train format.

In this brief introduction we'll cover the history of the HO format, the gauge of the format, the availability of the format in the current market, what controls the HO model train setup, and some of the advantages of an HO layout.

This is a very unique type of model train when compared to the many other formats. The format happens to get its name from the size of the trains it showcases. A 1:87 scale ratio is always used to designate the size of HO model trains. This happens to be half the size of O scale model trains.

Since it is much smaller than the O scale, this format grew in popularity during the Great Depression of the 1930's. In the 1960's it became the most popular format for model trains.

The concepts behind the gauge sizing of the format are easy to comprehend by most measures. This format works to make use of two separate formats around the world. NMRA is the name of the format put to use in the United States. While NGM is name that Europe has came up with their standard.

While the two standards can be often interchanged, one must understand that compatibility issues sometimes occur when this takes place.

Being the most popular format has led to standard HO model train layouts becoming the most available scale in most countries. All hobby shops around the globe feature a wide selection of HO model train products.

It is well known that this type of train is more readily available and offered in a much wider selection of kits than many of the other scales.

The controls on the typical HO model train kit are also very easy to learn. The rail system in these setups is powered by direct current. Different factors such as speed and velocity can be changed by simply changing the amount of voltage being applied to the train track. Most systems start off with a simple power pack until users graduate to more advanced control systems.

The most advantages happen to be offered by this specific format of model train. The much smaller micro scaled formats just do not offer the type of detail that can be seen in these types of trains.

With it being so readily available, the price is usually very competitive. These systems are also very portable in case a modeler wants to take his show on the run to various conventions across the country.

Since this is the most popular format currently offered we also see a great variety in landscapes and themes available. Some modelers build luscious outdoor landscapes while others prefer to go a more difficult route and pursue the creation of miniature national monuments. These types of landscaping are often featured in magazines and at conventions around the world.

The HO model train layout can be a very competitive investment if a person prefers miniatures as a hobby. It is always available on the market place and the features it provides are not present on a lot of the smaller types of scaling.

The ability to self design landscapes might be the greatest advantage of this sometimes simple format.

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