By far the most popular of the model trains scales is HO scale. This scale have a great balance between size and their attention to detail that is why they are one of the most sort after model train scales.
In most countries, except for Japan, the HO scale trains are considered medium sized. But in Japan they are considered large model trains. When it comes down to HO scale trains, Japan is a curious case.
The reason for this curiosity is that because of the country's nature there is not as much room in Japan's houses as there is in their western counterparts. Due to this, their smaller size, the most popular of the model train scales in Japan is the N scale. N scale trains are also considered the norm, so they are taken as the standard for normal or medium size of trains. It is natural that HO scale trains are considered large trains due to the fact that they are larger than N scale trains. In fact, Japan is the only country in the world where HO scale trains aren't the most popular model trains.
The larger HO scale trains are considered the best in the rest of the world. The reason that they are considered the best of the model train scales is that they have a number of advantages over the other scales.
One of the advantages is that due to their size they can be very detailed. The small details on the trains can be seen without a magnifying glass. Also, working on those details is much easier than doing so in smaller scale trains.
Also, due to their larger size they are safer for children to play with and easier for their small hands to handle. HO scale trains have larger parts, whereas the smaller scales have parts that can be swallowed by children.
Another reason is that HO scale trains are preferred over larger scale trains as you can fit a more elaborate track layout in a smaller space than with larger scale trains.
Due to their popularity, HO scale trains can tend to be cheaper than other model train scales. When producing these scale of trains the process is not as demanding as with the smaller scales, therefore they are cheaper than the smaller scales. They are also cheaper than the larger scales of trains due to the fact that they need less materials to produce them.
In addition, because they have a bigger demand than other types of train, HO scale trains benefit from economies of scale that result from a bigger production. This also tends to lower prices.
The scale of HO trains are 1: 87, or 1/87th the size of the real thing. The HO scale is almost half of the O scale and the name HO is derrived from "HALF O".