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Not all O Gauge track is the same

M.T.H. Electric Trains produces two different O Gauge track systems, RealTrax and ScaleTrax. Lionel Trains produces several different types of O Gauge track systems, most often described as O or O-27. RealTrax, like Lionel's O is the more popular of today's O Gauge track systems. O-27 was developed by Lionel years ago for their ready-to-run train sets and is still in use today. M.T.H. consumers often inquire if our products will operate on O-27 track and generally, the answer is yes if the product can negotiate that sharp of a curve.

O and O-27 use the same width straight track so O-27 trains can run on O Gauge track and in some cases O Gauge trains can run on O-27 track. The primary difference between the track from an appearance standpoint is the height of O Gauge track compared to that of O-27. The O Gauge rails are taller than the O-27 rails causing the train to sit higher off of the layout surface. Generally, this difference will have no impact on the operation of any O Gauge train.


A more important difference between the two track systems is the sharpness or diameter of the O-27 curve when compared to that of O Gauge. The sharpest O-27 curve measures 27" in diameter compared to the sharpest O Gauge curve which is 31" in diameter. Each track system also has wider curves though a greater variety of the wider curve sizes lies in the O Gauge systems. O-27 features 42" and 54" diameter curves while O Gauge includes those sizes as well as 72", 82", 96" and in some systems even wider curves.

Locomotives designed to operate on a 42" curve cannot operate on 31" or 27". The minimum curve size is just that, the minimum sharpness of curve the train can negotiate without derailing. Trains can always operate on curves wider than their minimum recommendation.



  • It Takes EIGHT O-31 Curves To Make A Circle
  • It Takes TWELVE O-42 Curves To Make A Circle
  • It Takes TWELVE O-54 Curves To Make A Circle
  • It Takes SIXTEEN O-72 Curves To Make A Circle
  • It Takes SIXTEEN O-82 Curves To Make A Circle