railroading, "scale" refers to the size relation
of the model to the prototype. There are several scales of
model railroads. The most common being O scale, HO scale,
and N scale; O being the largest and N the smallest. HO
scale is the most popular and the scale is 1:87. This
means that one inch on the ruler equals 87 inches on the
prototype. So, for example, if you have an object that is
about 7 and a half feet long in real life, it would be
about 1 inch long on your model railroad.
N Scale is 1:160. If you have been paying attention, you
will understand that this means that an object that is
about 13 feet long in real life will be about 1 inch long
on your layout. I like HO scale the best but I, like many
model railroaders, have to deal with lack of space for a
large layout, so I have chosen N scale to do my modeling.
N scale is about 1/2 the size of HO scale and so you can
get a lot more N scale "modeling" in the same
space than with HO scale.
HO scale (left) alongside a similar style
N scale covered hopper (right) relative to a quarter.
As you can see, N scale is about 1/2 the size of HO scale.
What does this mean? One can get nearly DOUBLE
the amount of "stuff" in the same space when
modeling N scale compared to HO scale modeling.