Gauge One is usually regarded as the largest of the model railway scales. It sits at the cross roads between model engineering and model railways, attracting enthusiasts from both hobbies.
Traditionally it has been used as the basis for outdoor scenic railways for which it’s size allows the reliable operation of live steam locos as well as electrically powered models. For outside use stud contact has been found to be the most reliable but modern batteries and radio control systems are rapidly finding favour. Indoor railways are quite suitable for two rail pickup.
There are several scales in use today. 10mm : 1ft (1/30.5 scale) was established as early as the 1920s by H.Greenly and is still the predominant scale in the UK. More recently overseas commercial manufactures have produced models using 3/8” : 1ft (1/32 scale) In addition there are several ‘narrow gauge’ scales which use the same track spacing. These include 16mm and ‘G’ scale at 22mm : 1ft. There is a growing interest in the GWR broad gauge which is being modelled at 1/32 scale (3/8”) and in Prototen scale which uses 10mm scale and 47mm track.
For those thinking about Gauge One for the first time some dimensions may be helpful. Minimum radius curves for standard gauge locos is about 7ft for short 0-6-0s. 8ft is suitable for most 4-6-0s and 9ft for all but the largest Pacifics. 10ft should cover any British prototype.
The principal organization which supports the hobby is The Gauge One Model Railway Association, whose approximate 2000 plus members represent just about every facet of the hobby. Much of the associations activities are centred on Get together's at members homes where suitable garden railways are open for members use. Several regional groups are well established and new ones being formed to enable members to enjoy local events.
For more information on Gauge One visit the following website