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Riding Railkits Information
One Inch Scale Information

Riding Railkits Inc

281 Hwy 654 West
Callander, ON P0H 1H0
T. 705.752.4361
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About 1" Scale

I'm frequently asked by newcomers about the various sizes of large scale trains (model trains ridable by adults). Here is some basic information to answer the most common questions.

In the world of ridable model railroads, there are two common scales: 1" (meaning 1" to the foot or 1/12th full size) and 1.5" (1/8th full size). The smaller 1" scale trains run on 4 3/4" gauge track (rails are 4 3/4" apart), while the 1.5" trains are designed for 7 1/4" or 7 1/2" gauge track.

Although both sizes are "riding" size, Riding Railkits Inc. deals mostly with 1" scale equipment. We think it is much more practical to work with. Two people can easily lift a 1" scale diesel engine, while the same engine in 1.5" scale would require a hoist.

1" scale equipment is about 10" wide, and stands 13" or 14" tall. The length varies with equipment - a GP9 locomotive is 56" long over the couplers, passenger cars are almost 7' long, and a model 40' boxcar is about 44" overall.

In general, the broader you can lay out your curved track, the better. 1"scale diesels and 40' freight cars will easily negotiate a 15' radius turn, whereas some streamlined passenger cars and larger steam locomotives (such as 4-6-2s or 4-8-4s) with their longer wheelbase may require as much as 30' or 40' radius curves.

Both steam and diesel locomotives are available commercially. Steam locomotives are fully functional, and the diesels are generally battery powered, as are ours. A wide range of rolling stock is manufactured and available either as kits or ready-to-run.

Additionally, there are suppliers of trucks, couplers, etc., allowing you to scratch-build your own rolling stock. Scratch-building in 1" scale can be great fun; the models are large and impressive, and it's possible to incorporate a huge amount of detail.

Despite the large size of these models, you do not require an estate to have a home track. A standard suburban lot (60' by 120') is plenty big enough for a track that circles the house. There are also over 90 clubs around the US and Canada with track in one or both the "ridable" scales where you can run your railway.