I am contemplating getting into G scale. I was wondering if the different
brand name (i.e.; LBG, Bachman) trains, track and accessories are
compatible. Also would I be better off to choose one brand and stick with
it? Any opinions on which would be preferred?
The whole large scale thing is rather chaotic. Several different scales
are used on gauge 1 track, which is 45mm or 1.75" gauge. As long as the
rail height ("code" of the rail is its height in thousandths of an inch)
is the same, the track should fit together, and trains should run on it.
G scale is 1:22.5 and it runs on gauge #1 track to simulate meter gauge
trains. A few people will probably jump in here to say that's wrong.
This is LGB's scale and gauge, mostly.
Bachmann's stuff is mostly 1:20.3 scale, to simulate 3' gauge trains.
USA trains and Aristocraft use a scale of 1:29 which is pretty much wrong
I think Heartland Loco Works stuff is built to 1:24 scale.
What do you mean by compatible? They're all compatible in that they'll
run on the same track.
Coupler heights vary widely, which means different manufacturers equipment
won't run together unless couplers are changed or you use the universal
coupler adapter - a wire tie. Some use knuckle couplers and some use hook
and loop, which is another problem.
Some people are aghast at the idea of running trains with mixed scales in
them. That doesn't bother other people at all. If you plan to be
outdoors you'll have all sorts of other non scale things around, too.
To start, pick something you like that won't require a second mortgage,
and see where that takes you.