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
Open House and Train ShowOmaha World-Herald, July 1st
Kansas City T-Rail, Kansas City MO, is bringing an N Scale portable layout that is based on the alternate standard of T-Trak. Charlie Horner, Lincoln NE, will be setting up his G gauge layout for us. The G stands for garden scale and lots of folks do...Read more
Railroad Days: Lego exhibit, train rides a 'big draw'Galesburg Register-Mail, June 28th
GALESBURG — Those celebrating Galesburg's Railroad Days not only got the chance to see the large trains in the rail yard, but also the small model and toy trains offered by the Model Train & Railroadiana Show at Carl Sandburg College. The college...Read more
Spring Creek Model Trains thrives in rural NebraskaLincoln Journal Star, June 27th
Colorado Great Western from Denver will feature a mountain scenery layout. * And Free-Mo, based in Wichita, Kansas, also is known for its scenery layouts. In addition, the open house will include Kansas City T-Rail (N scale) and Charlie Horner from...Read more
Model train store on track for a 'wow factor'Hastings Tribune, June 26th
Invited guests — including model train clubs from Corpus Christi, Texas, Denver, Colo., and Free-mo, a nationwide club with chapters across the country — will exhibit some of the latest product coming down the track today. Included in the show will...Read more
Datelines: Elvis for Angels of GraceContra Costa Times, June 16th
Members of the Black Diamond Lines Model Railroad Club of Antioch will be operating their HO-scale model train layouts. Also available, HO- and N-scale models for sale and a small HO layout with trains that kids can run. Free (children under 6) to $3...Read more
Bradford RR Museum conducts festivalThe Daily Advocate, June 13th
“It was one of the last ones built before being replaced by the hy-rail vehicles,” said Edmondson. The museum conducted a 50-50 drawing, a raffle for “N-scale” model railroad box cars, and a silent auction. The Bradford Railroad Museum is located at...Read more
Next model train open house to be held June 20Log Cabin Democrat, June 13th
Club member Dale Dudley will show his N-scale layout with small-size trains in action. Visitors may ask, “How do they get the motors and electrical circuits inside those small trains?” An N-scale diesel locomotive is about the size of a mini Tootsie Roll®...Read more
Community briefs: Toys and trains will be on display at Omaha showOmaha World-Herald, June 5th
An N scale version of Union Pacific's 844 steam locomotive at the Union Pacific Railroad Museum. Posted: Saturday, June 6, 2015 1:00 am. Community briefs: Toys and trains will be on display at Omaha show By Andrea Kszystyniak / World-Herald staff...Read more