S. Berliner, III's sbiii.com Sub-Z-Scale Model Railroad Continuation Page 1 keywords = IDL 1:1000 Teeny Trains miniature Z scale 1:220 1:400 1:440 1:450 1:480 1:900 model rail train HO mini Club Ztrack Western Fruit Express WFEX Great Northern GN Pennsylvania Pennsy PRR Berlinerwerke Vest Pocket Degnon Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal BEDT Marion River Carry schnable "

Updated:   31 Jul 2015: 22:45  ET
[Page created 24 Mar 2005; converted 29 Jan 2011
    original AT&T Worldnet Website begun 30 May 1996.]
URL:  http://sbiii.com/zscal_z1.html
[was at "home.att.net/~Berliner-Ultrasonics/zscal_z1.html"]

S. Berliner, III
Consultant in Ultrasonic Processing
"changing materials with high-intensity sound"

[consultation is on a fee basis]

Technical and Historical Writer, Oral Historian
Popularizer of Science and Technology
Rail, Auto, Air, Ordnance, and Model Enthusiast
Light-weight Linguist, Lay Minister, and Putative Philosopher

note - The vast bulk of my massive Web presence (over 485 pages) had been hosted by AT&T's WorldNet service since 30 May 1996; they dropped WorldNet effective 31 Mar 2010 and I have been scrambling to transfer everything.  Everything's saved but all the links have to be changed, mostly by hand.  See my sbiii.com Transfer Page for any updates on this tedious process.

S. Berliner, III's


Sub-Z-Scale Model Railroad
Continuation Page 1


S. Berliner, III's


Model Railroad
Continuation Page 1


NOTE:  Page size was limited by HTML to 30kB; thus, I had been forced to add new pages just for Z-Scale, more Z-scale, and articles about Z-scale.

Datsun/Nissan Z cars
If somehow you got here in error while looking for Datsun/Nissan Z cars, go away!
No, really, you are welcome, but you need to look elsewhere;
you might start at the Z Car Home Page.


The internal links, which work fine on my home page and others, don't seem to work here!  I'm working on it, but haven't a clue; I even just copied the working links over and they don't work here.  So, scroll away!

The Z-Scale Index Page:

On the main Z-Scale page:

    Z-Scale (follows)
    Z-Scale Narrow Gauge (really)
(moved to this page 13 Nov 01)
    Scale and Gauge
    Scale Conversion Table
    Z-Scale Miscellany
    Z-Scale Wiring Conventions
    Z-Scale Repair and Hobby Shops

Sub-Z-Scale Page:

    Z-Scale Narrow Gauge (really)
    Z-Scale Meter Gauge
    Half-Z Scale - 1:440 Tiny Trains!
        (moved from Page 2 to page 3 to this page)
    1:900 Scale - Tiniest Trains!
        (moved from Page 2 to page 3 to this page)

On this Sub-Z-Scale Continuation Page 1:

    T-SCALE (1:450!)   new (30 Jan 2011)
    Fabergé Egg (moved from Sub-Z-Scale Page to this page on 24 Mar 2005)
    IDL ~1:1000 Teeny Trains (now on succeeding Continuation Page 2)   new (03 Jan 2015)

Sub-Z-Scale Continuation Page 2:

    IDL ~1:1000 Teeny Trains   new (03 Jan 2015)
    IDL Modular Track   new (31 Jul 2015)

Sub-Z-Scale Continuation Page 3:

    IDL ~1:1000 Teeny Trains Update - Connectable Track   new (27 Oct 2015)

Z-Scale Continuation Page 1:

        Zictionary - lotZ of wordZ.

On the Z-Scale Continuation Page 2:

    Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal RR in Z
    Z-SCALE DIMENSIONS (with how to approximate a mile of track).
    Scale Card and Rule.
    Wish List - some goodieZ I'd like and some I have,
        like Freudenreich's Z Boxcab Diesel and GN/WFEX Reefer
        and Larry Hoff's Bobber Caboose and Crane!
    MT SP Moguls - the absolute top of the Wish List!

On the Z-Scale Continuation Page 3:

    Z-Scale Vehicles and Märklin Rubber Autos
    Half-Z Scale - 1:440 Tiny Trains!
    1:900 Scale - Tiniest Trains!
    Power - Volts, Amps, Watts for Z.
        [This is critically important!]

On the Z-Scale Continuation Page 4:

        Some More Z (all the latest!)
            including new HomaBed Z roadbed.

On the Z-Scale Continuation Page 5
            (a page for the Third Millennium):
        Even More Z (all the latest!)
        Microscopic Z Accessories.

Z-Scale Continuation Page 6
            (a page of the Third Millennium):
        V 32 001 Diesel Pneumatic in Z.
        Yet More Z (all the latest!)
        BEDT #14 in Z.
        8800 vs. 8805.

Freudenreich Z-Scale page:
            (concentrating my Freudenreich-Feinwerktechnik material in a single reference source)

        Freudenreich's Z Boxcab Diesels,
        Freight Cars,         and other Z products.

On the Z-Scale Articles page:

    Z-Scale Hell Gate Bridge

Ztrack page:

    Ztrack Magazine

On the first Model Railroad page:

    Sunrise Trail Division (STD) of the
        Northeastern Region (NER) of the
        National Model Railroad Association (NMRA)
    Long Island - Sunrise Trail Chapter (LIST) of the
        National Railway Historical Society (NRHS)
    Long Island Live Steamers (now on its own page)

On the second Model Railroad page:

  Vest Pocket Railroads You Can Model

You may also wish to see how I take the detailed photographs on the these pages; see my model RR page 4.

On separate pages:

    Berlinerwerke-Z Saga
    Berlinerwerke-Z Saga Continuation Page
    Berlinerwerke Saga (HO, included with Horseshoe Curve info.)
    Berlinerwerke Apocrypha (tall tales of the BW and its equipment and such).
    Schnable and other Giant RR Cars.


Z-Scale model railroading, at an incredible 220 times smaller than life size, or slightly under half the size of the familiar HO scale, with rails only 6.5mm (~¼") apart, was started in 1972 by Gebrüder Märklin (Maerklin Brothers - der site ist auf Deutsch) in Göppingen, Germany, as "mini-Club".  It is now handled in the U. S. by Märklin, Inc., in New Berlin, Wisconsin, and their site has a Z page.  The renowned N-Scale manufacturer, Micro-Trains Line Co., in Talent, Oregon [itself a brotherly spinoff from equally-renowned Kadee Quality Products Co., the coupler manufacturer in Medford, Oregon], now has a large line of Z-scale locomotives, cars, and accessories.   rev (30 Jan 2011)

BUT - there are smaller sizes and scales!  Wherefore this page.

The leading U.S. manufacturer of Z is still Micro-Trains; they had a trio of Z-scale SP 2-6-0 Moguls that were truly scrumptious!  They were, however, based on Nn3 models.

Here's a teaser:

MT Z SP Mogul 16000
Micro-Trains® photo used by permission.

A lot of Z equipment comes from Germany and a good Eisenbahn- und Modellbahn-Wörterbuch - Deutsch-Englisch (Railroad and Model Railroading Dictionary - German-English) is available courtesy of Chris Ozdoba.

Z scale is about 2½ times smaller than HO!  In Z scale, a scale ¼-mile is exactly (and only) 6 feet; in other words, a mile is only 24 feet!

HO is a mix of metric and English measurements in a scale of 3.5mm to the foot or 0.138" = 1', which is about 1:87.1.  HO-gauge rails are 16.5mm or 0.650" (<3/4") apart.

T-SCALE (1:450!)   new (30 Jan 2011)

Although Bandai in Japan made ZZ scale (1:300) with a standard gauge of only 4.8 mm (0.189"), they were more toys than scale models.  Z was the smallest production scale available, but - - -, along came Eishindo of Japan with T-Scale at a microscopic 1:450 scale (slightly under half of Z scale and they have motors and gears, working turnouts/switches, catenary, and a big line of accessories)!  T stands for the track guage - 3mm!  There are two standard radii track sections, 120mmR and 132mmR (~4¾" and 53/16") and two new ones, 145mm and 152.5mm (~5¾" and 6"); straight sections are 30mm (~13/16"), 60mm ("~2½"), and 120mm (~4¾") long, and there's flex track at 1m (39").  Also new in 2011 are 30° and 90° crossings.  Rather than import them from Japan, you might contact Tom Flippin at TF Train & Hobby of Denville, New Jersey (973-784-4220), who does.


The powered units have wheels made of super-magnets and the rails are steel, so the power units (ONLY) will run hanging upside-down from inverted track (great fun!).  Here's my old buddy Dave McC's set, one of the very first imported into the U. S. [he HADDA have it!] ca. mid Mar 2009, showing just that:   rev (01 Jun 2013)

DMcCT-Scale1 DMcCT-Scale2

That's some of Dave's N and HO equipment just beyond for comparison.

Eishindo finally came out in 2010 with working turnouts/switches and now has a wide range of microscopic new equipment, including a road switcher and airport equipment (with a Boeing 777-300 with blinking navigation lights AND jet sound and two types of landing gear), and accessories.  They even offer T-scale set up as a garden railway for 1/32!   rev (01 Jun 2013)

The Fabulous Fabergé Egg

        (moved from Sub-Z-Scale Page to this page on 24 Mar 05)

There is a famous 1900 Fabergé Egg that represents the Trans-Siberian Railway!  While the scale is not really known (to me, at any rate), it is small!  The whole thing measures 10¾" (273mm) high, so the diameter must be about 4" (102mm) in diameter, leaving perhaps 1¾" (45mm) inside for a maximum track radius.  I can't find a picture of the inside but this is the whole egg:

Faberge Egg
(photo from 1Earth - all rights reserved)

The egg is engraved in silver with a map of the route of the Trans-Siberian railway from St. Petersburg to Vladivostock, with the stations marked by precious gems.  Inside is a replica of the Trans-Siberian Express train in three sections, an engine and tender in platinum and gold and five coaches in gold. They can be coupled together to run, powered by a tiny clockwork mechanism in the locomotive.  For laughs, let us assume that the train takes up 1/3 of the track, which we postulated at 1¾" (45mm) radius or 11" (279mm) centerline circumference.  1/3 of that leaves 93mm for a tiny turn-of-the-(last)-century loco, tender, and five coaches.  Extrapolating from Märklin's catalog for similar equipment, that should run some 400mm in Z and so might be about 1:950, close enough to 1:900 as to not really matter, EXCEPT that this loco was powered (even if it's a wind-up)!

This turns out to be all wrong for the train, itself - there IS no track at all; the set is merely folded up inside the egg for storage.  Keith Wills, writing on pp. 110-111 in the Apr 2005 Railroad Model Craftsman "Collector consist...", "Easter eggstravaganza", says that the set is a replica of the Czar's Imperial train on a gauge of about ¼" or very nearly Z scale and the whole train measures 1511/16" long.

IDL ~1:1000 Teeny Trains

IDL Motors in San Diego, California, has developed what is almost without question the smallest operating "model" (read "miniature") railroad system in the world to date, at an unheard of ~1:1000 scale!  Teeny Trains really do run and are so fascinating (to me - SB,III) that I have created a new page, Sub-Z-Scale Continuation Page 2 just to do justice to this fabulous new concept and product line.   new (03 Jan 2015)

See the SCALE and GAUGE and the SCALE CONVERSION TABLE: on the main Z-scale page.

You might also like to look at José Lopez, Jr.'s The Scale Card, for a most extensive discussion of scales.  I have a write-up and photo of his Z-scale Scale Card and Scale Rule on my Z-Scale page 2.

BW Script

The BERLINERWERKE SAGA, the story of the HO Berlinerwerke pike,
is now on its own page with the Horseshoe Curve story.


The full BERLINERWERKE-Z SAGA, the Z-scale pike story
now appears on its own page (and continues onto two more).

Visit these courtesy and official home pages:

Long Island Sunrise - Trail Chapter
(National Railway Historical Society)

Sunrise Trail Division
(Northeastern Region)
(National Model Railroad Association)

Ztrack Magazine
The Newsletter for Z Scale Model Railroading

Long Island Live Steamers

Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal Railroad

Degnon Terminal Railroad

Marion River Carry Railroad

You may also wish to jump to SB,III's RAILROAD Page,

A sampling of some of the finer (and tinier) Z accessories can be found at Microscopic Z Accessories on Z Scale Continuation Page 2; Miller Engineering material formerly here has been moved there.


        (on Z-Scale page 3 as of 01 Jan 2000 - click on heading above to go there directly)

Z-Scale continues on the Z-SCALE CONTINUATION Page 1.

For Z-scale construction articles, see my Z Scale Articles page.

For the story of the Berlinerwerke-Z (my layout), see the Berlinerwerke-Z Saga page, et. seq.

For tall tales of the BW and its equipment and such, visit the Berlinerwerke Apocrypha page.

Should you run across a Z-Auction (I found it on the HotBot search engine), it has nothing to do with Z-Scale; it is an electronics, computer, and Beanie Baby (really!) auction!

Oh, Hell!  Wouldn't you know!  Amazon.com now has some feature called zShops, whatever they might be (I can't find any explanation on their site).

Best regardZ,  S.B.,III

Someone else signs off, "Be Z'ing you!"


  What happens to all this when I DIE or (heaven forfend!) lose interest?  See LEGACY.


See Copyright Notice on primary home page.

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prevpage.gif = frstpage.gif subjndex.gif nextpage.gif
To tour the Z-scale pages in sequence, the arrows take you from the first Z-scale page to the Z-Scale index, then to this page, continuation pages 1 and up, the Z articles page, the 6 BW-Z saga pages, and, and finally to the current Ztrack page.

© Copyright S. Berliner, III - 2005, 2011, 2013, 2015  - all rights reserved.

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