About Gauge 3


Historically, some Gauge ‘3’ models of standard gauge prototypes were built to a scale of ½" to the foot. However, well known prolific locomotive designers like Henry Greenly and “LBSC” worked to the established scale of 17/32” (or 13.5mm) to the foot. The only standards that must be observed are the track gauge of 2½" or 63.5mm and the standards for wheel measurements.


The Gauge ‘3’ Society began on the 28th of April 1990 has now been in existence for 30 years in April 2020.

The organisation's aims are to encourage interest and participation in building and running scenic gauge ‘3’ model railways, while encouraging friendly co-operation within the membership by means of informal meetings and get-togethers.

While gauge ‘3’ can easily be operated at ground level, many of the gauge-3 running lines, of which there are a good number in the UK, are built to the comfortable operating height of approximately 3ft, which suits the over-50 crowd, who represent a fair proportion of the current membership. These lines are built for scenic running and do not carry full-size passengers.

With the growth of Gauge ‘3’ , the availability of carriage and freight stock has improved considerably, and a number of specialist retailers offer a selection of both kits and ready-to-run stock. The majority of live steam locomotives still tend to be built by their owners, or are purchased second-hand, but there is now a growing range of battery electric and 2-rail locomotives available from the retail trade.