Sidebar: Track Gauges

Real Track Gauges

There are dozens of track gauges in use around the world, and if transit, obscure and disused gauges are included, it numbers in the hundreds. Below are some of the most widely-used real track gauges; for a complete list, see this Wikipedia page.


Track Gauge(s)


600 mm, 2'

750 mm, Bosnian (760 mm), 2' 6", 800 mm

Swedish 3' (891 mm), 900 mm, 3'


3' 6", a.k.a. Cape Gauge

4' 6", a.k.a. Scotch Gauge


4' 8" (1,435 mm), used on ~55% of the world's railroads


1520 mm, 5'

5' 3"

Iberian (1,668 mm)

5' 6"


Brunel (2,140 mm)

Model Track Gauges

Below are just some of the more widely-used model track gauges; for a complete list, see this Wikipedia page. Note that many gauges are used for multiple modeling scales.

Track Gauge

Scale(s) Using the Gauge

45 mm

1 Gauge, Fn3 Scale, G Scale, IIm Scale

32 mm

O Scale, Q Scale

31.75 mm


22.42 mm

S Scale

16.5 mm

00 Gauge, HO Scale, 4 mm Scale, Sn3 Scale, On30 Scale

12 mm

TT Scale, 3 mm Scale

9.5 mm

000 Gauge, 2 mm Scale

9 mm

N Scale, HOn2-1/2

6.5 mm

Z Scale, Nn3 Scale, H0f Scale

Real and Model Worlds Meet

In the real world, there's a track gauge measuring 15 inches that was used principally for small industrial railroads. But there's also a modeling gauge that's 15 inches, and the scale that uses it is referred to as Grand Scale.


Copyright 2018 by David K. Smith. All Rights Reserved.
Corrections and contributions gratefully accepted!
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