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Bigger is better, right?Well, youll get quite an argument on that statement if you make it in amongst a group of HO Train buffs. In fact, you might even wind up with more than just a verbal chastising over the affronted statement. You might even get hold of a violent type that will take real issue with the statement.What really makes this style of train a huge success is the smallness of size. You can literally get more for your money in a smaller space so with people who live in an apartment but long for that train from days gone by, you can set up the entire thing with scenery and trestles and bridges and fake cows in less room than you could set up an old O gauge set. Not only that, but the attention to detail is there and they are just cool.Ok, so aside from the size, what else makes them a neat thing to own? An HO Train also allows you to buy into the hobby for a LOT less than the investment needed for a larger gauge set. You can buy your parts and pieces a little at a time as finances allow which in todays economy is a blessing of its self.The main difference is going to be in the size requirements and the amount of detail you can see, an HO Train is a scale of 1:87 whereas an O gauge train is s fractional scale of 1:48, nearly TWICE the size so exponentially, twice the room needed to setup and operate and the price of the components will go up as well. Next you have to make the distinction between toy trains and model trains.Whats that you say? They are smaller versions of the real thing and thus they have to be classified as toys, right? Wrong my steam engine friend. That is another one of those statements that will get you into a nice bout of fisticuffs if you say it in the wrong set of folks.By definition, a toy train is a manufactured representation of the real thing without much attention to actual scale dynamics while a model train is something that has tons of attention to make sure that it is brought down in scale so that everything is truly proportional to the larger real object. In a toy train, they get it close enough to fool the everyday person that wants a train. In a model train, the get it right so if you get a micrometer on it and then dig out the abacus and figure it out, the whole thing works when its done.Is all that REALLY important you ask? Well, if you are wanting to get into the HO Train arena and are researching it, thus finding this article, I think that should be answer enough for you. Yes, the toy train will be good and a representation and considerably cheaper than getting into a model train. But then again, are you looking for just something to play with or are you looking to start a life long hobby? The answer lies within your head and only you can answer that one.