Scale proportioned S gauge engines and rolling stock are 1:64th the size of the real thing.   027 locomotives and rolling stock are smaller than 0 scale, which is 1:48th the size of the prototype; 027 equipment is no particular scale in most cases, but some of it is close in size to S gauge.

As an example, some of the earlier Marx rolling stock was 3:16th scale, or 1:64th S gauge proportioned. As a matter of fact, K- line used the old Marx tooling to make plastic 027 freight cars. K- line also used the same tooling with S gauge trucks to make S gauge freight cars by putting new trucks and couplers under the 027 bodies.

The initial answer to your question is 027 equipment is often wider and bigger than S gauge equipment, but not always.

In an upcoming article in OGR I will be talking about S gauge Marx freight cars that were marketed as O27 items.

This should be a start for you.

Hope it helps.

Ed Boyle


David two rails" Dewey,

Didn't know about the Marx cattle car


Always thought that the Lionel double door 027 boxcar was a little oversize for S, but I am going to give it another look.

Thanks again.

Ed Boyle



traindavid posted:

The Lionel double door 027 boxcar is also an excellent "instant S " car.

Here's a scale conversion of the Lionel O27 double door boxcar:

Scout Conv 040616 001Scout Conv 040616 002

My conversion was a little more involved than simply plopping the body on an S Scale chassis, but it stands up well to Flyer or Scale cars.

American Flyer:


American Models:


Pacific Rail Shops:


S Helper Service:




Photos (6)

Fellow forum member Rusty Traque has investigated this very topic a few times. It's a topic that interests me from the 027 side, since Lionel has done so little with 027 since the MPC years, save for the recent Lionel Junction sets: A few of those cars are among the nicest decorated 027 cars Lionel has ever done.

I don't think there's any set rule or standard on this. It's a matter of individual basis. Generally, the American Flyer cars are narrower and a little shorter in height that the 027 cars. When K-Line decided to repackage their 5000-series cars (of former MARX origin). there were a good many comments at that time, that the cars were a little too large for S. But a few of them were so nicely decorated, I got them and switched out the S gauge truck sets for O gauge ones. There were a couple of dealers doing this too.

Here's a couple links to other threads Rusty has started, or usefully contributed to, on this:

 And here's a couple more links on the topic, but not from this forum. One is from the highly recommended and useful Thor's Trains site. I like the conclusion Thor draws, that it is not only the size of the train cars, but the size of one's layout ("pike"):

Brianel  O27,

Fascinating! While you were changing K-line, Marx derived S Gauge cars to O27 I was doing just the opposite.  and wound up with some nice looking S gauge cars that didn't look like everyone else's American Flyer rolling stock.


Ray, like your idea about the old open auto carriers too.

Ed Boyle


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