Electric trains are popular toys and models that run on electric current. The H0 gauge is the most standard size, with more models available, while the 0 scale is recommended for children. Larger scales are used for displays. Clubs and societies exist worldwide for enthusiasts to share tips and work together.
An electric train generally refers to a toy or model train that is capable of running on electric current. However, the term can also apply to some trains that run on electricity but are full-scale, fully functional travel options. Electric trains are a very popular hob for many who have a fascination with trains. The models depict freight trains and passenger trains.
Most electric trains are referred to by their size. The most standard electric train size is H0 gauge. This size has a width between the outer rails of 65 inches (16.5 mm). However, the slightly larger 0 scale is also very popular, especially with young children.
The reason for the popularity of the H0 electric train scale is its smaller size, which allows more features to be included in one model as it takes up less space. Many H0 toy trains have very elaborate stage design, especially for those who take the hobby seriously. As such, space often becomes at a premium, leading to a desire for a smaller sized electric train. In addition, there are more models, both trains and settings, available for H0 scale, which further helps it gain popularity.
Bigger sizes are recommended for kids for a couple of different reasons. First, a very small electric train is a beautiful piece of machinery with very small and fragile parts. Also, correctly aligning the train on the track is more difficult for smaller hands who may not have the most developed fine motor skills. Therefore, many recommend the 0 scale for a child getting their first toy train.
For some displays, such as trains circling a Christmas tree, for example, even larger scales are desired. However, these toy electric trains are very specialized and do not receive much widespread acceptance among serious electric train enthusiasts. Instead, these larger scales are primarily meant to create visual appeal in a given setting.
For those wishing to get involved in electric train hobs, there are a number of societies or clubs in many different parts of the world. These clubs often travel within a limited geographic area putting on shows for those who may be members of the club or others simply interested in the hobby. Those who want to get involved can get some good tips from going to such shows. Many who own electric trains form close-knit fraternities and often work together to help each other get the most out of the hobby.