Originally devised by the Model Railway Study Group in the early 1960's, these standards
were designed to follow prototype practice as closely, as practically and as economically
as possible at the time.
Born from a desire to create better models, it was realised that by ensuring that the
foundation of the wheels and rail were correctly proportioned, the need to make
compromises would be greatly reduced, even disappear. The result of this is that models
are proportioned much more as the prototype. This point is made very clear by the many
cruelly enlarged photographs one regularly sees published in various journals.
Although adherence to the wheel and track standards is the fundament of the Proto
approach, most Proto modellers these days will tell you that their goal is more about
achieving realistic proportions in every aspect of the model, and not building to "exact
Exact Scale implies just that, but we have to accept that we cannot scale the
manufacturing tolerances as used in the prototype. Proto standards distinguish
themselves by recognizing this and incorporating realistically achievable tolerances into
the fully integrated standard. Adherence to one proven standard ensures success and
ensures successful interchange between different layouts.
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Proto:87 Dimensions as devised by the Model Railway Study Group