Märklin introduced the Z Gauge (1:220 scale) in 1972. It is the smallest currently-available model railway scale. Märklin (or Maerklin) is a German toy company, founded in 1859. ... 1972 was a leap year that started on a Saturday. ... This article needs cleanup. ...
Although its very small size can be used to make proportionally small layouts, its proponents cite its primary advantage as being able to produce more scale miles in the same space that would be used by a larger-scale layout. For example, a 4x8 sheet of plywood is 384 scale feet long in O scale. The same space is 1760 feet—1/3 of a mile—in Z scale. Even when compared to N scale, Z scale permits 37.5% more mileage in the same space. O scale (or O gauge) is a scale commonly used for toy trains and model railroading. ... N scale (or N gauge) is a popular model railway standard, allowing hobbyists to build layouts that take up less space than HO scale, or pack longer runs containing more detail into a similar amount of space. ...
This allows longer trains and smoother curves, and thus more realistic operation than is possible in larger scales under most circumstances.
There are now many different manufacturers of this equipment, and it has thus become less of a curiosity and more of a legitimate modelling scale. However, Z-scale rolling stock, buildings and figures remain much more scarce than their counterparts in the two most popular scales, HO and N. HO scale (H0 scale in continental Europe) is the most popular scale of model railway in most of the world outside the United Kingdom, where the slightly larger in scale OO gauge is most common. ...
You can learn more about Z gauge model railroading such as it's history, the continuing growth of Z, as well as what's currently available in Z gauge in this three-part Beginning In Z Scale series of articles at Ztrains.com.
The low weight of Z scale locomotives contributes also to their difficulty to pull trains uphill and in practice the grade should be kept rather moderate.
Tungsten powder and lead are popular choices among Z scale enthusiasts for this purpose.
Z scale enthusiasts throughout Europe and North America participate regularly at most national and regional model railroad exhibitions and shows, where they have demonstrated the outstanding operational and layout design characteristics of the scale.
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