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Manny,

Here's another way to look at it:

Looking at it from the prototype (real trains) -- 1/48 means 48 times smaller than the real thing.  It's in feet.  1 foot on your layout equals 48 feet in the real world.

Looking at it from the model (O scale trains) -- 1/4 means that one foot in the real world occupies 1/4" on your layout.  It's in inches.

The arithmetic (tying both together) -- 1/48   x  12 inches per foot = 1/4"

Mike

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