Lionel Used

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does anyone know the difference between the gages in model rail roading?

they advertise: HO gage-N gage-O gage-S gage etc.

if youd like the in depth version to your question ie: scale differences, why they are, and how they came to be.... then please feel free to email me. its a long story. the easiest answer is:

O gauge = O scale = the largest scale you listed. (Lionel)
S gauge = S scale = American Flyer = smaller than O, but larger than HO.
HO gauge = HO Scale = 1/87th = the most popular of all scales = "Half O" scale (its half the size dimensionally from O scale. it is the only scale that can ride on another scales tracks. [will fit on 2 rails of O scale track, since O scale is the only scale that makes a 3 rail version {YUK!}])
N gauge = N scale = the smallest of the scales you listed.

all these listed are 'standard' gauges. that means they are models of the "standard gauge" real life 4'-8.5" rail system. real life trains at that measurement in the US are called "standard gauge". plain HO, O or N refers to a model of this, in their designated scale proportions. HO is 87 times less the size than 1 of the real thing for instance.

also dont be confused by "standard gauge". way back in the early part of last century, Lionel used to make 'standard gauge' scale trains. this was before the advent of model scale size designations like O, HO, and N. reason was these scales werent invented yet. more about that in the email if you wish.

if the model scale designations are On3, Nn3 or something like HOn3 (most common), then these are model designations for models of 'narrow gauge' real life trains. these are trains that have rails spaced closer together than the standard 4'-8.5". notice capital scale size, and little n. the number designates a whole other range of scales. there is an HO2 1/2" for instance. that is just a smaller, narrower gauge than even the HOn3 version which is already a narrow gauge.

in real life, trains are only, wide gauge, standard gauge, or narrow gauge. no scale for them since they are the real thing. if i had to guess, the order youve listed the scales in is by their popularity.
i am guessing that youve already seen a model in each of these sizes, i will remind you that there are pictures everywhere of these 4 scales set right next to each other for a comparative view.

as one would gather from this sort of picture, the N scale is almost ant sized compared to O scale. the above listed answer by Mike gives you the sizes of the scales. i can only always remember the HO one. i personally dont know anyone who refers to models by the scale ratios. its always HO gauge, or Lionel, or N scale etc etc.

Find Lionel Used On eBay Below:

LIONEL PREWAR 6656 YELLOW STOCK CAR IN ORIGINAL BOX
LIONEL PREWAR 6656 YELLOW STOCK CAR IN ORIGINAL BOX
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Lionel O Gauge 027 Lot of Track
Lionel O Gauge 027 Lot of Track
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LIONEL TRAIN TEXACO GAS OIL CHROME PLATED RAILROAD TANK CAR 6 9147
LIONEL TRAIN TEXACO GAS OIL CHROME PLATED RAILROAD TANK CAR 6 9147
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LIONEL LOT OF TWELVE PIECES OF SHORT SECTIONS OF LIONEL FAST TRACK EXCELLENT
LIONEL LOT OF TWELVE PIECES OF SHORT SECTIONS OF LIONEL FAST TRACK EXCELLENT
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Lionel 2150WS 681 2671W 2421 2422 2423 2429
Lionel 2150WS 681 2671W 2421 2422 2423 2429
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Lionel 2173WS Freight set 681 2671W 3472 3469 6465 6457
Lionel 2173WS Freight set 681 2671W 3472 3469 6465 6457
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Oscale Lionel Union Pacific 3 car engines w 8 passenger cars nice alco set
Oscale Lionel Union Pacific 3 car engines w 8 passenger cars nice alco set
$259.99
LIONEL 36875 POLAR EXPRESS ADD ON CONDUCTOR ANNOUNCEMENT PASSENGER CAR NICE
LIONEL 36875 POLAR EXPRESS ADD ON CONDUCTOR ANNOUNCEMENT PASSENGER CAR NICE
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LIONEL 1062 0 4 0 STEAM ENGINE W DESIRABLE 1060T SOUTHERN PACIFIC TENDER 1963
LIONEL 1062 0 4 0 STEAM ENGINE W DESIRABLE 1060T SOUTHERN PACIFIC TENDER 1963
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Lionel Minneapolis  St Louis Diesel Super Freight O gauge electric train set
Lionel Minneapolis St Louis Diesel Super Freight O gauge electric train set
$240.00
LIONEL 6 25307BM BOXCAR IN ORIGINAL BOX c 8
LIONEL 6 25307BM BOXCAR IN ORIGINAL BOX c 8
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O Scale Trains Lionel Detroit Toledo Ironton Box Car 9750
O Scale Trains Lionel Detroit Toledo Ironton Box Car 9750
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LIONEL 18128 18129 18134 SANTA FE WARBONNET F 3 ABA SET
LIONEL 18128 18129 18134 SANTA FE WARBONNET F 3 ABA SET
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LIONEL 9153 CHEVRON STANDARD OIL SINGLE DOME TANK CAR C 7
LIONEL 9153 CHEVRON STANDARD OIL SINGLE DOME TANK CAR C 7
$15.60
LIONEL FLAT CAR NO LOAD
LIONEL FLAT CAR NO LOAD
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LIONEL 39119 SOUTHERN PWC 4 CAR PASSENGER SET LN
LIONEL 39119 SOUTHERN PWC 4 CAR PASSENGER SET LN
$375.00
1959 Lionel Instruction For Remote Control Non Derailing No 1122 E Switches ORG
1959 Lionel Instruction For Remote Control Non Derailing No 1122 E Switches ORG
$3.95
1958 LIONEL TRAINS REMOTE CONTROL TRACK SETS No 6019 INSTRUCTIONS
1958 LIONEL TRAINS REMOTE CONTROL TRACK SETS No 6019 INSTRUCTIONS
$3.95
Lionel Operating Instructions for Hand Controlled No 1022 Switches Original
Lionel Operating Instructions for Hand Controlled No 1022 Switches Original
$3.95
Lionel How To Install Operate No 362 Barrel Loader Instructions 362 96 4 53 TT
Lionel How To Install Operate No 362 Barrel Loader Instructions 362 96 4 53 TT
$6.95
LIONEL 6 27844 BNSF SHAMU WHALE ROTARY BATHTUB GONDOLA 3 CAR SET O SCALE
LIONEL 6 27844 BNSF SHAMU WHALE ROTARY BATHTUB GONDOLA 3 CAR SET O SCALE
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1939 LIONEL TRAINS INSTRUCTION MANUAL
1939 LIONEL TRAINS INSTRUCTION MANUAL
$16.99
Lionel 2352 Postwar Pennsylvania Electric Locomotive
Lionel 2352 Postwar Pennsylvania Electric Locomotive
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O Scale Lionel Baltimore and Ohio 532000 Zinc Die cast hopper car 6 51501 NOS
O Scale Lionel Baltimore and Ohio 532000 Zinc Die cast hopper car 6 51501 NOS
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lionel tracks 32 pieces 20 straight and 12 curve
lionel tracks 32 pieces 20 straight and 12 curve
$45.00
Lionel 1963 Accessory Catalog Pulp paper 6
Lionel 1963 Accessory Catalog Pulp paper 6
$1.00
O Scale Trains Lionel Canadian Pacific Gondola 9336
O Scale Trains Lionel Canadian Pacific Gondola 9336
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used lionel train set
used lionel train set
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1952 Lionel Train Set Track Transformer Manual Lionel booklet and Accessories
1952 Lionel Train Set Track Transformer Manual Lionel booklet and Accessories
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Lionel Junction Little Steam LionChief Loco 8 0 4 0 steam switcher
Lionel Junction Little Steam LionChief Loco 8 0 4 0 steam switcher
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Lionel Early Pullman Car Red No 601 for O Guage
Lionel Early Pullman Car Red No 601 for O Guage
$42.00
Lionel  6 x rusty lock ons
Lionel 6 x rusty lock ons
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