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EM is an abreviation of eighteen millimetres (actually it's 18.2mm), and is a track gauge commonly used on 4mm/ft scale model railways, instead of the inherently underscale 00 gauge track. In many cases the wheelsets on some models can be spread out on their existing axles, although some proprietry flanges may be a bit coarse for running through pointwork. Replacement wheels will enhance the look and reliability of the model without breaking the bank, and a few suggested conversions using quality affordable wheels are featured here.

Flexible track is readily available from different manufacturers, and can be laid in prototypical style to suit the space available, whilst pointwork can be built to standard or custom formations using a variety of materials depending on the time and budget available.


00 gauge is has been with us for many decades, and the convenience and progression from our first train set makes it an easy option to continue with. Limitations with the 'standard geometry' of pointwork and track, combined with the underscale appearance and spacing of sleepering can be very restrictive, resulting in a less realistic arrangement. Many views have been expressed regarding the more accurate gauges (EM, P4, etc), especially when the conversion of stock is taken into account, but certainally for anyone modelling the diesel loco era, there are many varied and cost effective options to acheiving the end result without the need to purchase expensive replacement wheelsets.

The above image shows the difference between the two gauges - 00 to the left and EM to the right, with the scale of the rolling stock remaining the same. Converting locomotives, coaches and wagons, is usually a straightforward process, and the EM Gauge Society are on hand with a comprehensive membership package and range of components. Further information can also be found here.

To view some of the simple wheel conversions, please click here.