Collectible N Scale Model Railroad Trains

For would-be Gullivers, N scale model trains from Athearn, Atlas, Bachmann, Kato, and others are a terrific way to go. Just as HO scale model trains are half the size of O scale trains, N scale model trains are half the size of HO, measuring between 1/148 and 1/160 the size of their real-life counterparts (the exact proportion depends on the country you live in or the manufacturer who made the model train). One thing is standard, though, and that is the gauge of the track, which is always 9mm wide.

N scale trains are most popular in Japan, no doubt owing to the premium put on real estate in that island nation. Most Japanese N scale trains are 1/150 the size of the real trains running on the real 3-foot, 6-inch narrow-gauge train tracks there. Models of Shinkansen (bullet trains), however, are 1/160 scale.

In England, a ratio of 1:148 is typical, although some N scale trains are 1:152. These latter models are understandably confused with the vintage Lone Star OOO scale trains that had the same scale.

Space alone is not the reason to choose N scale over HO scale. Many collectors have plenty of room to house their passions, so collecting at N scale simply allows those lucky folks to amass twice as many examples in N scale as they could in HO.

Unlike O scale, standard scale, and HO scale, some of which have been around for a full century, N scale only came into prominence in the 1960s. While the relative youth of the collectible limits the vintage value of N scale trains, it does mean that N scale collectors can generally mix and match components—standards were agreed upon early by manufacturers, making the interchangeability of many parts viable. Just having standard gauge tracks is an enormous help.

The downside of this rush to standardization was that one manufacturer, Arnold, was given the right to produce the N scale’s standard coupling, the Rapido. Not surprisingly, competitors were loathe to steer their customers to Arnold’s coupler, so they developed couplers of their own, even though Arnold owned the patent.

As it turned out, the Rapido did not work very well for automatic uncoupling and it was a bit bulky relative to the N scale’s diminutive size. Today, most serious N scale collectors prefer the magnetic knuckle couplers produced by Micro Trains.


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Recent News: N Scale Model Trains

Source: Google News

Model train show rides into Augusta Expo
Staunton News Leader, May 3rd

Seeing them smile ... it makes me happy." There are four different scales for model trains — G scale, which is a 1:22 proportion/scale; O scale, which is 1:48; HO scale, which is half of the O scale at 1:87; and N scale, the smallest size at 1:160...Read more

Small trains at the station
NW Evening Mail, May 1st

Among the expected exhibitors is the N-scale layout called Clifton and Lowther from Millom Model Railway Club. Manchester Model Railway Society is hosting a Christmas model railway show at the Barnes Wallis Building, near Piccadilly Station, Manchester...Read more

Railroad and model trains are part of Olmsted Falls history - Olmsted Dates ...
cleveland.com, April 27th

You and your family will enjoy the HO, O and N scale models that run throughout the colorful model villages and hillsides inside the depot. Tour the caboose, which is now a part of train history. The club also will have raffle prizes. Admission is $3...Read more

All aboard! Rutland RR Museum celebrates trains, past and present
The Eagle, April 27th

A visit to the museum should include a peek at the miniature HO scale train layout erected by the Rutland Railroad Museum Model Railroad Club. #“Children of all ages will delight in our room-sized HO scale operating display and N-scale model railroad...Read more

Indulge your love for Shrinky Dinks, spanakopita
The Idaho Statesman, April 25th

National Train Day Open House: 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, May 9, Caldwell Model Railroad Club and Historical Society, 809 Dearborn St. N-scale and HO-scale running layouts, historical railroad items, snacks and drinks available. Free. 870-3632 ...Read more

Miniatures in motion
North Platte Telegraph, April 16th

Gene Tacey has been planning, building, perfecting and adding to his model railroad for 20 years. Millions of other enthusiasts around the world do the same. “A lot of people, including me, are fascinated by trains and what they do,” said Tacey, who is...Read more

Model trains a fun hobby
The Garden City Telegram, March 22nd

Brad Nading/TelegramDavid Demers, 4, Hugoton, tries his hand at running a Thomas the Tank Engine “O”-scale train with a remote control Saturday at one of the displays during the Garden City Train Show in the Finney County Fairgrounds exhibition ...Read more

Stephen J.Vallee: Eagle Scout, N-Scale Train Collector
Patch.com, October 1st

Vallee became an Eagle Scout in 1971 for Troop 14 and was an avid N-Scale Train collector and fanatic. He had worked for Gorham Manufacturing Company in the Quality Control department. For his full obituary, visit the funeral home's website. Visitation...Read more