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

Busy night of fun Nov. 20 in Historic District [Mostly Main Street]
Baltimore Sun, November 20th

Another feature is a new O-scale model train layout, a children's push button layout and an N-scale layout. Go to the website at or call 410-461-1945 for special hours of operation during the holidays. Don't...Read more

Train exhibition on display at Morris library
Morris Daily Herald, November 18th

It represents 4.4 actual miles when you take into consideration the size of N scale trains, member Fred Henize said. This year's set up is the biggest scene they group has created at the library, and it includes sections that are modeled after Streator...Read more

Train show inspires young hobbyists
St. Cloud Times, November 15th

The Annandale man was one of several exhibitors at the Granite City Train Show with a custom built display showcasing a miniature train and cityscape. Nabours setup is known as an N scale — a classification of the size of the models. His small town...Read more

Model Train Home Tour opens doors to whimsical, creative worlds
St George News, November 10th

to the “N” scale enthusiasts as the “crazy ones,” but Scardina countered that there is a reason behind the methodical madness. “If there is even a tiny bump in the track,” Scardina said, “you can derail a whole train.” Scardina's introduction into...Read more

Model train expo to benefit historic Hyde Park station
Poughkeepsie Journal, November 4th

There are more than 100 gauges in train modeling, but the most popular for the average enthusiast is the three-rail or the O gauge. The O-gauge scale is 1:48, meaning 1 inch on the model equals 48 in real life. A more serious hobbyist will choose the N...Read more

Nevada model railroad enthusiasts open their homes
Reno Gazette Journal, October 31st

5600 Gentry Lane, Carson City: (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) Paul Martinovich N-scale model depicts Eastern California railroading in the 1950s. • 3104 Pine Lane, Carson City: (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) Patrick Mobley's N-scale railroad and is titled "Great Basin and...Read more

Tiny trains part of Old 97 Rail Days, September 28th

Tom Kaeser, of Ashland, watches his sections of N-scale model trains at the Pepsi Building during Old 97 Rail Days over the weekend. Previous Next. Rail Days 2. Denice Thibodeau/Register & Bee ...Read more

Stephen J.Vallee: Eagle Scout, N-Scale Train Collector, 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