So, after being a LEGO fan for 40+ years, I'd like to try my luck at building some scale models of train sets (for example, an ICE 2). In planning my build, I ran into some difficulties or doubts determining the proper scale, specifically I was wondering what scale "L-gauge" models typically use.
If you directly relate the LEGO track geometry to a real-life standard gauge track you end up with a scale of 1435mm/37.5mm ~ 1:38.27 - which is somewhat in line with the "1:40" answer to a related question.
Now, per this link, an ICE 2 is 3.07m wide, which would translate to just under 10 studs wide (9.59, to be exact). Alarmingly, this would also mean that each train car model would be over 2 feet long, which is most likely problematic even with third-party R108 or R120 tracks.
On the other hand, when using a smaller scale (e.g., 8 studs wide, roughly 1:48 scale), it becomes basically impossible to create a to-scale interior (e.g., you could only place two seats/minifigs next to each other).
Is there a "standard" scale for LEGO train models or some other best practice to solve this conundrum?