G Scale is made to a proportion/scale of 1:22 or approximately 1/2 inch to the foot. In G scale a figure of a six foot man would be three inches tall.
O Scale is built to a proportion of 1:48 or 1/4 inch to the foot. Lionel and similar O scale model trains pick up AC electrical power from a third rail in the track. Some Lionel trains are referred to as O-27 because of the tight, 27″ radius of the track.
HO Scale is ‘Half O“, almost, and is built to a proportion of 1:87 scale. It is the most popular of all the scales available.
N Scale is the smallest size trains the Museum operates; it’s built to a scale of 1:160. The advantage of N scale is that you can build a lot of model railroad layout and scenery in a small space.
Z scale is built to a proportion of a very small 1:220th and is lovingly revered to as a “layout in a suitcase”.
Our HO and N scale layouts operate on DC (direct current) or DCC (digital command control) power. DCC sends a signal through the rails that allow trains to be controlled remotely, including the use of sound effects.
In addition to our model train layouts, the Museum features a large selection of railroad art that depicts railroad scenes and steam, diesel, and electric locomotives. Many of the trains in these paintings no longer exist. The few steam locomotives that still exist can be found operating on scenic/tourist railroads or restored and exhibited in railroad museums such as the Virginia Transportation Museum in Roanoke.