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
Torrington Armory is site of model train show this weekend, Dec. 14-15Torrington Register Citizen, December 11th
Valley N-Trak, a group whose members come throughout the region, will have its N scale layout on display. The layouts that will be on display are modular, meaning they break into small sections that are easily transported. Linked together, the layouts...Read more
Spotlight is on little trains at B&O museum [Mostly Main Street]Baltimore Sun, December 11th
In addition, the museum has a miniature Thomas the Tank Engine setup, sure to please the younger set, another children's push-button layout, and an N-scale layout. The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday, as well as Monday, Dec. 30, and ...Read more
Scarborough Model Railroaders Club open house 'a lot of fun'The Toronto Observer, December 11th
“Days like today are a lot of fun,” the 30-plus-year member said at the club's Dec. 1 fall open house. “You're looking out at people, and it's the kids that will come and stand on one of the platforms and their eyes will peek up and get bigger and...Read more
Ambridge model railroad museum, display open weekends through Jan. 5Tribune-Review, December 11th
In addition to the main HO-scale railroad on the first floor, visitors will be able to view a new N-scale model railway and a Lionel model train in the club's basement. Admission is $5 for adults and $1 for children. Club members will give away three...Read more
Casper Calendar for December 11, 2013Casper Star-Tribune Online, December 10th
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
Fire companies open train gardens to visitorsCarroll County Times, December 7th
Jonathan Rivera's 1-year-old son especially loves trains, so he took his three children to view the train garden at the Pleasant Valley fire company. Rivera ..... The train garden has five trains running on an HO scale layout and two trains on an N...Read more
Train fest entertains, educatesFort Wayne Journal Gazette, December 1st
Dan Metzger of the Northeast Indiana N-Scale train group said there's camaraderie among train collectors who attend festivals, and at each festival, the group gets a little bit bigger. “You think it's mostly geared to kids, but when people bring their...Read more
Ambridge model railroad club ready to debut new lookTribune-Review, November 27th
A downtown Pittsburgh section was added to the main HO-scale railroad on the first floor, and a new N-scale model railway is being constructed in the basement. Kocher said although it'll be open to the public, the N-scale railway's scenery will not be...Read more