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When rail fans discuss narrow gauge railroads, conversation most often turns to Colorado's famous 3-foot systems or Maine's unique "2-Footers". Most do not realize that the largest narrow gauge operation ever undertaken occurred from 1914-1918 on World War 1's Western Front.

For the first time in history, million-man armies faced each other across a front encompassing multiple countries. This huge endeavor had an insatiable appetite for ammunition, food, and material. A heavy duty road network was years in the future, and cargo trucks were just beginning to be developed. Military planners of the late 19th century turned to lightly laid narrow gauge railroads similar to those used so successfully on plantations in colonial areas of the world. This technology was quickly adapted to the requirements of the Western Front.

More than 10,000 diminutive locomotives and uncounted cars moved millions of tons of material forward to the trenches and returned with tens of thousands of wounded soldiers. All the major combatants - The United States, Great Britain, France, and Germany - used very similar equipment and shared the same 60cm (23-5/8") gauge. Many U.S. companies such as Baldwin, Alco, Davenport, Vulcan, Magor, Kilbourne&Jacobs, etc. produced 60cm equipment for all the allied countries in addition to a significant amount of 75cm for Russia. At the end of the conflict, most of this equipment quickly disappeared. Much was scrapped, sold as surplus, or shipped to remote locations.

The originals may be gone, but you can recreate a bit of this history. RMI produces a select range of this very unique railroad equipment. Since it is all produced in authentic 3-3/4" scale, the units are large and robust. They are accurately reproduced, utilizing original designs and photographs of existing specimens, and assembled with thousands of solid steel rivets.


  • All steel construction
  • Highly detailed riveted construction
  • 3 3/4" Scale
  • 7.5" or 7.25" Gauge available
  • Electric or Gas Hydraulic