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HO and OO scales are the most common scales in the model railway hobby as they offer the largest number of products to the hobbyist. However, the two names, and being interchanged with each other, often causes some confusion as to what the differences are and if they are compatible with one another.
It’s important to note that both HO and OO Scale are compatible with each other as they share the same gauge of the track (16.5mm, which is the distance between the rails). This means you can interchange locomotives, rolling stock, track and accessories of both scales and won’t experience any running concerns.
The difference between the two scales comes down to size. HO Scale models are built to 1:87th scale, meaning 87 packed together will in effect be the same size of the real thing. This is the correct scale for 16.5mm gauge track. OO Scale models are built to 1:76th scale (again, 76 crammed together will recreate the same height), however, this is not true to scale when using 16.5mm gauge track.
The main difference modellers will spot between the two scales is the size (but sometimes it takes a fine eye to pick it). OO Scale will appear slightly larger to HO Scale models and accessories.
So you have Trains and rolling stock that has different couplers? Let's fix that!
So, you are ready to put your new carriage and rolling stock on your layout. The problem, is they don't connect together!
The main couplers we have come across.
Today we have decided to change the Hornby coupler on the right to match the rest of our Bachmann carriages.
With a fine Phillips Head screwdriver, we removed the Hornby Coupler.
There is not much to it. Remember to keep the screw to attach the new coupling.
The new coupler
Inside the Kadee package, there are 4 couplers. We assemble it as per instruction in the pack.
Hold the new coupler together, push the screw through the hole in its centre to hold it together and then attach the new coupler with your old screw.
Things to note
Even though this job was easy, sometimes it is impossible to change the couplings without some creativity, adding, cutting, and trimming parts to make them fit. Enjoy this fantastic hobby!