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Station Platform Dimensions for an 00/H0 Layout




I want to set up the platform at the passenger halt to be "to scale" for both 00 and H0 trains. This is possible for a straight track, as long as the 00 models are to scale width (or narrower), and any H0 models, where outside cylinders usually protrude too far, are less than 35 mm wide. These are the allowable dimensions:

  • Height of platform surface above rails: 12.7 to 13.0 mm (I'll call this half an inch)
  • Offset of platform edge from track centre line: 19.0 mm (I'll set this up with my broadest vehicle)
  • Width 33 mm or greater

Here are the calculations to show how I have come to these figures.


Source Data

The maximum allowed stepping distances for British railways are defined in Railway Group Standard GM/RT2149, these are 275 mm horizontally and 250 mm vertically. These are the biggest gaps the railway expects its passengers to negotiate. The smallest gap between the underside of a step and the top of a platform is typically 50 mm, and for my model platform, I'll aim for 1 mm.


I shall use my Hornby 00 Mk3 coach for the basic dimensions.


The maximum width of a British outline train below platform height is 8 ft 8 in, which equates to 34.8 mm for a scale model in 00. For H0, outside cylinders are usually over the scale width, but modern models are usually narrower than similar 00 ones.


The space available for a station platform in Britain is defined in Railway Group Standard GIRT7073. Figure A.1 of Issue 2 (June 2018) shows a space up to 915 mm above rail level, plus an extra 10 mm for maintenance and installation tolerances. In the past, station platforms were often lower, and for this blog post the model platform height is a derived dimension not a constraint. The objective is to make the model look right so I will ignore the scale equivalents of the platform height.


Vertical Dimension

The foot board on the Hornby 00 Mk3 coach is 16 mm above rail level, representing 4 feet. The 00 scale equivalent of 250 mm is 3.3 mm, and so the lowest representative height of a model platform is 16 - 3.3 = 12.7 mm.


The foot board on an equivalent H0 scale coach would be 14 mm above rail level. The highest platform I will accept here, with my nominal 1 mm minimum clearance is 14 - 1 = 13 mm.


The acceptable vertical dimensions for 00 and H0 are indistinguishable to a viewer.


Horizontal Dimension

The width across the foot boards on the Hornby coach is 36 mm. These foot boards taper (like the real thing), so this measurement is at their narrowest point. This 36 mm represents an offset of 18 mm from the outer edge to the centre line of the track for 00 gauge. The smallest distance I will accept for 00 is 18 + 1 = 19 mm.


The width across the foot boards on an equivalent H0 scale coach would be 31.5 mm, giving an offset of 15.8 mm from the centre line of the same track. The H0 scale equivalent of 275 mm is 3.2 mm, and so the largest representative distance of the platform edge from the track centre line is 15.8 + 3.2 = 19 mm.


The acceptable horizontal dimensions for 00 and H0 are identical.


Platform Width

Railway Group Standard GI/RT7016 gives the minimum unobstructed width of a platform as 2,500 mm. This distance is 33 mm for 00 gauge. The width of the model platform can be set to 33 mm, or the space available, whichever is the greater.



If the platform has relatively scale-free finishes, such as concrete, timber, stone blocks or gravel (but not brick or paving slabs), then one structure can suit both H0 and 00 trains, with the scale of the model set by the train in use.


Thank you to Clive Mortimore for posting the stepping distances of the full-size railway on the RMWeb.


- Richard.


Revised 9 Nov 2019

  • Like 1
  • Informative/Useful 1
  • Craftsmanship/clever 2


Recommended Comments

  • RMweb Gold
1 hour ago, Hardwick said:

That’s all very well till you have a GWR king with a width of 40mm, so half that is 20mm and the platform will foul it if the distance midtrack to platform is less than 21mm


Well ... the width of a GWR King is around 8' 8" across the cylinders - so a model 40 mm wide is about 1:66 scale. The dimensions for station platforms I've suggested here are for British outline models in 00 and H0 scales, and in 00 (the larger of the two) a King will be just under 35 mm wide.

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  • RMweb Gold
5 hours ago, DavidCBroad said:

Many people use 1/2" wooden framing with 1mm ply on top and it looks absolutely horrible with modern RTR models.  It was fine with overly high Triang and the like coaches which I used to use but now I cringe every time I see it but can't be assed to change it.  A rule of thumb is the platform should be lower than the buffer centre line and the solebars of coaches should be clearly visible above the platform.  Max height of platforms above rail is 3ft / 12mm in 00 buffer centre line 3ft 5" or 13.6mm in 00.  For H0 this is 10.5mm platform and 12.25mm.   Many platforms are much lower especially steam era platforms but many still survive in network rail use some require box like steps on the patforms and ramps for wheelchairs.  Not a real problem now guards are being phased out and Disabled prevented from using trains ( Political point supporting RMT union)

12mm from track to the platform top is good and makes stock look more impressive

See Pics at Buckfastleigh SDR and at Pickering and Goathland  NYMR






David I take your points regarding minimum dimensions and I will try to incorporate these. I do think, it is easier to work downwards from stepping details than upwards from the rail head for this application.


This is a model train blog and I have no idea why you feel the need to promote your political affiliations here. Will you kindly not post any more opinions related to trade unions or politics on my blog, I will report them to the mods.

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  • RMweb Gold
20 hours ago, ikcdab said:

Standard platform height is 3ft above rail level. 12mm. Of course, that's the standard and there are loads of variations....


I suspect, the dimension of 3 feet is a commonly seen rather than being written into a standard.


It would be peculiar for the railway to want to define the height of a platform above rail level as well as the stepping distances, and needing adjustment if the track has superelevation. Also a platform becomes relatively 'higher' as the ballast settles.


For the purposes of a model platform able to look good with both 00 and H0 trains, I think the stepping distances contribute the most to the overall effect. The height of the platform is the result of the calculations, not the driver behind the design.


I posted this nearly four years ago ... it's strange how it has received nearly 4,000 views before anyone passed comment :-)

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  • RMweb Gold
16 hours ago, DavidCBroad said:

Width depends on your stock. Triang Halls are around 38/39 mm wide and the old tender drive  Hornby Kings may be wider .  They are certainly high and have large overhangs on curves which is why I use one for checking clearances...


Yes. I have updated the post to make it clear, my proposed dimensions are for use with scale models.

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  • RMweb Gold
10 hours ago, ikcdab said:

It's a rssb standard, though I can't find the exact reference. But you well find the diagrams here useful 



Thanks for this. The relevant Railway Group Standard is GIRT7073 and I've added a note about this into the blog post. I think this takes the blog post as far as it can usefully go. Anyone building a model platform can see that stepping distances are a useful starting point, and compromises to height and offset from the track are possible.

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The GWR King I mentioned is an old Hornby.  My point is that the measurements shown by the Elgin guide is 19mm, and Cyril Freezer has 18mm in his guide, and they don’t always work. I believe my son also had a 2-10-0 of some description have the same issue. So I’ve had to rebuild the platform because it was a scratch built 2 track bay built to the Freezer guideline. Bit of a nuisance to put it politely, since it was entirely scratch built , right down to hand cut and painted paving.  One lives and learns.......

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  • RMweb Gold

I've just realised how much the the vertical gap of prototype platforms can change. I arrived at London Liverpool Street the other day at Platform 10, and the vertical drop from the train doors to the platform reduced from about a foot from the second coach to nearer 6 inches from the first coach. As though the platform is level, but the track rises towards the buffers stops.

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