Standard Gauge derives its name from Lionel and refers to trains which run on three-rail track that is 2 1/8" wide. First cataloged in 1906, Lionel developed the scale to compete with European imports. After World War One, Standard became so popular that other toy train manufacturers such as Ives, American Flyer, Dorfan and Boucher quickly plunged into production. However, because Lionel had trademarked "Standard Gauge," competitors were forced to use the term "Wide Gauge."


This scale is typified by large, brightly colored, tinplate engines and rolling stock that were well-built, rugged and reliable. Thousands of examples still exist that attest to their sturdiness.

Standard/Wide gauge remained an extremely popular gauge throughout the 1920's, but nosedived dramatically with the onset of the Great Depression. Production costs and a drastically reduced market drove most of Lionel's competitors out of business. Lionel significantly curtailed manufacturing Standard and, by 1938, had ceased production. It was last cataloged by Lionel in 1939 to sell its remaining carry-over inventory. Boucher, the last of the Wide gauge manufacturers, closed its doors in 1943.


The Standard gauge division of The Villages Model Railroad Club is devoted to the history, operation and running of electric trains built nearly a century ago. At our four yearly shows, we run both original vintage equipment as well as modern day reproductions. We welcome and encourage new members to join and participate.......and we are always pleased to answer any questions.

Links: The Villages: Zitnik Trains: