In model electric railroading scale is used to designate size. Many different sizes, scales, of model trains are available to hobbyists. Scale is the relative size in proportion to the real thing. That is to say, for example, HO scale models are 1/87th the size of the real thing. A 40 foot boxcar car modeled in HO scale requires the space of 87 of them to match a real 40 foot boxcar.
The enjoyment of model railroading started some 150 years ago. There are many different scales to model; G scale, O scale, S scale, HO scale, N scale, and Z scale. G scale is 1/25th, a large size which is often modeled outside do to its size. O scale which is 1/48th in size was first produced in the United States by Lionel. Today O scale many toy train sets run on three-rail track, which allows for complex track layouts to be built without complicated electrical wiring. Lionel, MTH, Williams and Atlas continue to make O scale trains and accessories. S scale which is smaller in size (1/64th) than O scale is popular because of its more realistic looking track (2 rail vs 3 rail). The A.C. Gilbert Company began producing S scale trains in the 1930's under the name American Flyer. Today Lionel, Pikesville Models and American Models offer model railroaders S scale products. N scale (1/160th) trains are very popular among collectors who have limited space. N scale trains were produced in Germany in 1962 and entered the United States in 1967. Highly detailed locomotives, freight cars and passenger trains has made them popular. Z scale (1/220th) was also developed in Germany. Marklin Trains first released the Z scale train in 1972. Micro-Trains produces some of the finest and highest quality Z scale trains available and their made right here in the USA.
The continued popularity of model railroading has lead manufacturers to develop ready-to-run train sets. Just take them out of the box, setup is easy, an go. Trains and Toy Soldiers offers a large selection of trains no matter what scale you choose to run.