An electric train is generally referring to a toy or model train that is capable of running on electrical current. However, the term can also apply to some trains which run on electricity but are full-scale, fully-functional travel options. Electric trains are very popular hobbies for many who have a fascination with trains. The models depict freight trains and passenger trains.
Most electric trains are referred to by their sizes. The most standard electric train size is the H0 gauge. This size has a width between the outer rails of .65 inches (16.5 mm). However, the slightly larger 0 scale is also very popular, especially where young children are concerned.
The reason for the popularity of the H0 electric train scale is its smaller size, which allows for more features to be included in a model as it takes up less space. Many H0 model trains have a very elaborate set designs, especially for those who treat the hobby seriously. As such, space often becomes a premium, leading to the desire for a smaller electric train size. Further, there are more models available, both for trains and settings, for the H0 scale, which further helps it gain popularity.
For children, larger sizes are recommended for a couple of different reasons. First, a very small electric train is a fine piece of machinery that has very small and breakable parts. Also, aligning the train on the track properly is harder for smaller hands who may not have the most developed of fine motor skills. Therefore, many recommend 0 scale for a child receiving his or her first electric train.
For some displays, such as trains going around a Christmas tree, for example, even larger scales are desired. However, these toy electric trains are very specialized and do not receive a lot of widespread acceptance among serious electric train hobbyists. Instead, these larger scales are mainly meant to create visual appeal in a certain setting.
For who wish to get involved in electric train hobbies, there are a number of societies or clubs in many different parts of the world. These clubs often travel within a limited geographic area putting on shows for those who may be members of the club, or others just interested in the hobby. Those who want to get involved may get some good advice from going to such shows. Many of those who own electric trains create very close fraternities and often work together to help each other get the most out of the hobby.