TLRS 00 Gauge Standards

SCALE/GAUGE NAME 00 Gauge Prototype
Standard track gauge16.5mm4ft 8 1/2in
Rail profileCode 75Grooved girder
Groove width, straight track1.25mm1 1/4in
Groove width, curved track1.5mm1 1/2in
Minimum radius curve, older trams140mm (5 1/2in)45ft
Minimum radius curve, modern trams and large bogie cars180mm (7 1/4in)66ft (20 metres)
Double track distance apart (track centre lines)45mm (1 3/4in)8ft 6in
Recommended to "OO" gauge BRMSB standards (ie Jackson, Romford or Tenshodo).BRMSB------
Back to back14.5mm------
Axle diameter2mm------
Minimum height above road80mm20ft
Wire type and diameterNickel silver 0.3mmCopper 0.32in
Length of traction pole above ground110mm (4 1/4in)25ft
Distance apart of traction poles on straight track150mm (6in) average120ft(maximum)
Distance apart of traction poles on curved trackAs requiredAs required
Position of overhead wire relative to track, trolley poles. Straight trackOver centreOver centre
Position of overhead wire relative to track, trolley poles and pantographs centrally mounted on long bogie cars (like Blackpool). Curved track.Over inner railTo a complex formula
Position of overhead wire relative to track, bows and pantographs over bogie pivots. All track.Over centreOver centre
Ear, frogs and crossings, commercially available from Mark Hughes.Use Commercial items.Various
Trolley pole commercially available from KW Trams.Use Commercial items.Various
Trolley wheel (actually fitted as non rotating, operating as a skid) commercially available KW Trams.Use Commercial items.Various
Trolley skidUse Commercial items.Various



The recommended track is Code 75 solid nickel silver, flat bottomed. Flexible track of this type is produced by Peco and is recommended. SMP produce tramway points using code 75 rail as either ready made items or in kit form. The standard 'OO' gauge roller gauge has the check rail gauge set to give a 1.25mm gap with the running rail. This can be handy when constructing track. Details on track construction, overhead and tramway modelling in general is given in "How to Go Tram and Tramway Modelling" by David Voice.


The width of tramcar wheels are much less than railway wheels, with a smaller flange and flange depth. In "OO" gauge to use exact scale wheels would require very precise track construction and wheel setting. To get reliable running, most modellers use commercially available wheels and track, that is to fine scale railway standards. Although the wheels and groove are much wider, visually it is acceptable. Similarly the diameter of tram wheels is generally smaller than railway wheels. In "OO" gauge there are three main wheel diameters; 10.5mm, 9mm and 7mm. The 10.5mm represents 31 inch diameter wheels and these are found on most four wheel trams and older bogie trams. The 9mm diameter are found on modern low height four wheel trams, equal wheel bogies and the driving wheel for maximum traction bogies. 7mm are found as the pony wheel for maximum traction bogies and on some very modern low floor trams. All three diameters are commercially available under the Romford name. Modellers often use 9mm wheels to give more clearance and to allow for the over scale flanges.


Traction poles can be scratch built from 3.5mm steel rod. It is recommended that you keep the overhead as close as possible to the 80mm above rail top height. So take care when placing poles on the pavement. This can lift the overhead by as much as 10mm and cars with short bows may not reach it. Suitable overhead ears and frogs are made by Mark Hughes. These can be fixed to span wires bracket arm poles. Hard drawn nickel silver wire 0.3mm diameter (or 33swg) is available from Eileen's Emporium. This is soldered to ears. In "Distance apart of traction poles on straight track" we recommend that the poles are closer than prototype, as this increases the apparent length of small layouts and makes them look more realistic and interesting.

Workng trolley poles in kit form for open top or enclosed top trams are available from KW Trams.

Pantographs used by tramway modellers are always commercially available items from the model railway field. It is not worthwhile trying to scratch build this item. The types from Sommerfeldt are recommended.


The standard power supply is 12 volts DC, using model railway controllers. The recommended controller is the electronic feedback type and the handheld (HH) from Gaugemaster has been used with great success. It requires a separate 16 volt AC supply from a transformer (also available from Gaugemaster). The controller is very small and can be carried around the layout with ease.

There are two main styles of operating trams in "OO" scale. Using two rail supply, just like the model railways, or, more properly, using a live overhead system. Here the power is fed through the overhead and returns via the rails, just like the prototype. However, there is one major difference between model and the real thing. In the model the overhead is one continuous electrical supply. All sectioning is done through the track. This makes modelling much easier and prevents stalling on overhead dead spots.


List of TLRS standards for other scales.

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