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A Guide to Buying Scale Model Railroads and Trains

O Gauge train sets were first introduced in the early 1900s and were the most commonly used type of model trains in the United States until the 1960s. O Scale trains are model trains that generally run on two-rail tracks that are 2 inches apart and have a size ratio of 1:48, while O Gauge model trains usually run on three-rail tracks that are 2 inches apart and may not be precisely to scale. You can find a variety of new and used O Scale model railroads and trains on eBay.

Who produces O Scale and O Gauge train sets?

There are several companies that produce model engines and have been making model trains for many years, such as:

  • Atlas - Atlas and their sister company, Atlas O, are family-owned businesses that offer O Scale locomotives and tracks.
  • Lionel - Lionel has been in the hobby railway business since 1900. They have an extensive Christmas-themed line of railroad sets.
  • Bachmann Industries - Bachmann produces highly detailed cars, including a line of Thomas the Train models and sets.
  • MTH - MTH, formerly Mike's Train House, offers full, O scale model engines in their Premier line of locomotives. MTH also offers imported models from other companies.
What power sources do O Scale train sets use?

The engines are powered by electricity that runs through the railway tracks. Manipulating this electricity is accomplished by means of remote-control systems. These systems control the flow of power in order to adjust the speed and direction of the train and to control other items in the trainset layout.

Some of the available power sources are:

  • Alternating current - Alternating current is the power of choice for most three-rail model trains and tracks. The outer rails on the tracks are grounded and the center rail is live.
  • Direct current - With direct current, one rail is positive and the other is negative. The rails can be reversed to change the train's direction.
  • Bluetooth - Train hobbyists can run their trains with the use of smart devices with Bluetooth technology.
  • Digital command control - Digital Command Control is a modular control system that uses a remote throttle to send signals to boosters, which in turn send signals to the rail tracks.
What ages can operate O Scale train sets?

The O Gauge trains were originally made as toy trains and so were made to be durable and hold up to play. O Scale train sets are collected by all ages, and they are still well-built and made to last. The larger-size O Scale trains and tracks are well-suited for smaller hands. Most of these model trains can be run by children ages 10 and older or eight and up if the child is mature enough and under adult supervision.

How do you select O Scale trains and railroads on eBay?

eBay has a nice variety of O Scale railroads and trains categorized by different features. The categories are:

  • Grading: Some options include C-10 Mint-Brand New, C-6 Very Good, C-2 Restoration Required, and C-1 Junk, Parts Value only.
  • Brand: eBay has various brands available such as American Flyer, Atlas, K-Line, Lionel, Marx, and Williams.
  • Year: You can also choose the year. Choices are Pre-1910, 1910-1944, 1945-1969, 1970-1987, and 1988-Now.
  • Vintage: Do you want vintage trains and railroads for your collection or not? This is also a choice on eBay.
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