With a scale ratio of 1:450, Japanese firm Eishindo‘s T gauge model trains are the smallest in the world. Many model train scales are relatively small but Eishindo takes miniature to an whole new level. The T Gauge trains are so small in fact that they can sit on the tip of your finger! The track gauge (distance between the two rails of a track) is a miniscule 3 millimeters.
Even with their small size, the T gauge model trains are still well detailed and feature working lights, railway company logos as well as miniature pantographs. The first T gauge trains were released in 2007 and were of the 103 series commuter Electrical Multiple Unit (EMU) variety. And since the trains are so small, so are the scenery and structures. Eishindo manages to produce everything from micro-sized buses to bicycles, as well as homes, lamp posts and trees.
The small size of the T gauge trains allows for the building of a layout with very little space. In fact, a T gauge city railway layout can fit inside a suitcase.This allows for a railway layout to be built in a very small amount of space when compared to other popular railroad modeling scales such as H0 (scale ratio of 1:87) or N (scale ratio of 1:160).
T gauge’s scale ratio of 1:450 also makes it perfect for a model airport. Model airport buildings (such as the one above from Herpa) and model planes can have a scale ratio of either 1:400 or 1:500, making it easy to fit a T gauge train into a model airport layout or a model airport into a T gauge layout.
Of course T gauge has not always been the worlds smallest model train scale. Very breify, that title was held by Bandai with its 1:300 ZZ Scale. Prior to that, Marklin’s Z scale (layout pictured above), which was released in 1972, was the worlds smallest model railway gauge at 1:220.