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
Casper Calendar for March 5, 2014Casper Star-Tribune Online, March 4th
11 a.m.-2 p.m., 1356 N. Center St. Fun with model trains with N Scale enthusiast Harry Buhler and HO Scale collector Homer Whitlock. Info: 235-4950 or 266-6439. NAMI. * 7:30 p.m., 133 W. Sixth St. Connections/All Diagnosis support group for persons...Read more
Model railway-themed cafe in Gifu appeals to Japan's train buffsThe Japan Daily Press, March 4th
Situated at the center of the café is a large diorama where N scale model trains run across while customers enjoy their food. Spending around 1 million yen (around US$9,800) to build a mini-railroad, Shingu's N scale model trains are around 1:148 to 1...Read more
All aboard for train buffs at Gifu model railway cafeAsahi Shimbun, March 3rd
Since its July opening, Haruka has been steadily growing in popularity, entertaining railway buffs with N scale model trains running across a large diorama in the center of the cafe. Customers can enjoy from their seats watching their favorite model...Read more
Big show for small trainsNew Bern Sun Journal, March 1st
It took Joel McCurry and fellow members of North Raleigh Model Railroad Club almost five hours to set up their 9mm world for the Carolina Coastal Railroaders show in New Bern this weekend. But their 1 to 160 ratio N Scale layout widened the eyes of...Read more
Scale Rails of Southwest Florida Spring Train Show March 15-16Fort Myers Beach Observer, February 25th
Please consider visiting the Christmas O scale layout decorated in winter scenery, a ON30 layout, a Z scale layout, the Scale Rails Tidewater District Layout in N scale, and the complete second N scale railroad layout, built by the craftsmen of Scale...Read more
David's Crazy Train Inc., LLC Launches Website Featuring Quality Model Train ...PR Web (press release), February 20th
Founder of David's Crazy Train Inc., LLC, David Coghlan, is pleased to announce the launch of his new website venture, DavidsFreightTrain.com; the website features a large assortment of model train products, focusing specifically on decoders and N...Read more
Train show attracts all agesPekin Daily Times, February 16th
As the Peoria Train Fair — held twice every year since 1968 — parked its booths at the East Peoria campus of Illinois Central College on Sunday, much of the fascination came from children. “I like to see the N-Scale layout and wait for the...Read more
Rails In The Rockies Model Railroad Show February 15 & 16Estes Park news, February 7th
Some of the layouts this year will include: Interactive Kids Layout (Estes Valley Model Railroad); American Flyer Interactive Layout; Colorado Wyoming LEGO User Group (CoWLUG) layout; Circus Train Exhibit; Multiple layouts in Standard Gauge (N scale, ...Read more