Lionel Gauge 101

What Is Gauge?

On the real railroads as well as toy trains, Gauge refers to the distance between the outside rails of the track. Lionel offers four distinct product lines: Imagineering, G-Gauge (also known as Garden Gauge), S-Gauge and O-Gauge.

Imagineering:

Imagineering is the perfect pre-school age introduction to Lionel Trains! Imagineering playsets are non-powered (push/pull) sets designed to capture a child’s imagination. These sets usually retail for around $49.99 and include a complete layout of track with a detailed train, rolling stock and a functioning accessory that works with the set.

G-Gauge:

Lionel’s G-Gauge sets are battery powered sets and are approximately 1:24 scale. Lionel G-Gauge track, which is wider than O-Gauge track, supports G-Gauge cars and locomotives. These sets are highly detailed and perfect for children 4 and up. These sets run with a simple remote control that allows the train to go forward or backward as well as enable whistle and bell sounds. G-Gauge sets usually retail around $139.95 to $164.95 and make a great starter set or gift for any family.

S-Gauge:

Lionel S-Gauge sets and locomotives are approximately 1:64 scale and are sold under the name American Flyer®. Lionel S-Gauge track (AF FasTrack®) is narrower than O, has two rails and supports American Flyer and other S-Gauge cars. Lionel recommends S-Gauge for train hobbyist and collectors who prefer a scale smaller than our Traditional O-Gauge or O Scale line.

Traditional S-Gauge

  • Based on classic American Flyer® designs
  • Approximate scale proportions
  • Easy to control lights, sounds, and smoke
  • Very accessible products to customers
  • Ready-to-Run sets are Traditional S-Gauge, and contain everything a customer needs to run their train in minutes – train set, oval of track, and, power supply.
  • Lionel launched a new remote system for engines in 2015 under the FlyerChief™ umbrella. These are new sets with enhanced sound, long distance controls, AC/DC Compatible and are easy to set-up and operate
  • To allow customers to continue to add product, Lionel sells specialty track products, rolling stock.


S Scale:

  • Higher-end products
  • Larger than Traditional S-Gauge products since they are more true to 1:64 scale proportions
  • Contains more detail with separately applied parts
  • Engines have sophisticated electronics such as the Lionel LEGACY™ Control System , Lionel RailSounds® , and Digital Command Control (DCC)
  • Geared towards collectors and sophisticated hobbyists
  • Optional Kadee coupler mounting pads
O-Gauge:

Lionel O-Gauge track systems- which include O, O-27, and FasTrack® - all measure 1-¼” between the outer rails. Any O-Gauge car or locomotive can ride on Lionel O-Gauge track, as long as the curve track used on your layout can accommodate your particular cars (see Minimum Curve section – this text should link to a modal of Gauge size). Lionel O-Gauge sets are electric sets that are approximately 1:48 scale and are what most people envision when the think about Lionel. O-Gauge is divided into two categories: Traditional O-Gauge and O Scale.

Traditional O-Gauge

  • Based on classic Lionel designs
  • Approximate scale proportions
  • Easy to control lights, sounds, and smoke
  • Very accessible products to customers
  • Lionel’s popular Ready-to-Run sets are Traditional O-Gauge, and contain everything a customer needs to run their train in minutes – train set, oval of track, and, transformer.
  • Lionel launched a new remote system for engines in 2012 under the LionChief™ umbrella. These are new sets with enhanced sound, long distance controls, AC/DC Compatible and are easy to set-up and operate
  • To allow customers to continue to add product, Lionel sells specialty track products, rolling stock, and a wide range of operating and non-operating accessories

O Scale

  • Higher-end products
  • Contain more details with many separately applied parts
  • Engines have sophisticated electronics such as the Lionel LEGACY™ Control System and Lionel RailSounds®
  • Larger than Traditional O-gauge products since they are more true to 1:48 scale proportions
  • Geared towards collectors and sophisticated hobbyists