Proto (model railroad)

The Proto current is a model railroad current founded in 1966 aimed at exact compliance with the scale chosen for tracks , switches and rolling stock (wheels, hitches …). This philosophy is close to the finescale practiced in England and the United States .

The Proto tracks and rolling stock, because of the fineness of the standards and the reproduction of real couplers , are incompatible with the industrial standards published by the MOROP and the NMRA 1 .

Quick History

In The Model Railway Study Group (MRGS), an English group of railway model makers, defines Protofour (or P4 , scale 4 2 , or 1:76) as fine- tuned , with a reduced and therefore more rigorous manufacturing tolerance. Indeed, the scale 00 used in England rolls on rails at a false spacing compared to the reduction 1:76: to reproduce a standard spacing track , it would be necessary a track of 18,83 mm of spacing. Manufacturers 3 use the 16.5 mm track, used by practitioners on the HO scale (1:87). To enjoy these fine standards to other railway modellers, the MRGS published in 1978 standards for the 1:87 scale, used in continental Europe and North America 1 .


Practitioners of these norms are grouped under the term Proto , prototypical English , designating the prototype model reproduced, followed by the numerical value of the scale chosen: for the scale HO (1:87), one speaks therefore of Proto87. We also find the shortened designation, or Proto is reduced to its initial: P87

Ango-Saxon standardization places a double point between the term Proto and the following figure: Proto: 87 .

Usual scales

All the usual rail model scales are theoretically usable to Proto standards , but the most common are:

  • The ProtoFour or P4 , historical scale of movement, taking scale scale 4 2 (1:76) strictly.
  • The Proto87 , the most widespread scale, which takes the elements of the HO scale (1:87),
  • The Proto45 4 , Zero scale in Germany (1:45),
  • The Proto43,5 , scale Zero in France (1: 43,5 – gauge of rails of 33mm),
  • The Proto35 5 , scale 1:35, resuming the basics of military model making .

The NMRA has normalized some of these scales from 1: 20.32 to 1 / 87.1 6 .

The FREMO standards: 87 7 are German standards for the realization of modular networks with fine standards (Proto and HOpur).

Notes and references

  1. ↑ a and b Presentation of Proto87 on the French Proto Club website  [ archive ] .
  2. ↑ a and b English scale reproducing 4 mm in miniature for 1 real foot
  3. ↑ Notably Hornby .
  4. ↑ ( en ) Presentation of Proto45  [ archive ]
  5. ↑ Proto35 discovery page  [ archive ]
  6. ↑ ( in ) S-1.1 Standards for Proto Models  [ archive ] [PDF]
  7. ↑ ( in )  [ archive ]

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *