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

Summer Model Train Show to be held Aug. 8 and 9
Tehachapi News, July 29th

N-scale layouts will be provided by Chris Howard, a Z-scale train layout in a suitcase will be displayed by Marlan Woodside and a wooden train play set will be provided by Rex Welker (children of all ages will be free to play with it). Train rides will...Read more

Trains in the Village- Interlaken Historical Society Presentation
ithaca.com, July 29th

The Upstate Model Railroad club will be present with their “N” scale model railroad, offering over 60 feet of track, moving and switching equipment and scenic backgrounds. The attached picture shows the train built especially for this event. The train...Read more

Railway society rolls out model trains in Brevard
Florida Today, July 21st

Brevard's most impressive and fascinating train layout happens at the Central Brevard Library every year, when the FECNTrak Group of the Florida East Coast Railway Society delivers an elaborate, computer-driven N-scale model train set up that ...Read more

CASPER Calendar
Casper Star-Tribune Online, July 21st

7 a.m.-10 p.m., Saturday, pancake breakfast ($3), civilian and soldier life activities, re-enactments of the Battles of Platte Bridge and Red Buttes at nearby Morad Park, free lectures and “wagon train” dance. 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Sunday...Read more

Calendar of Events
Chinook Observer, July 14th

Guests will include the Mount Rainier N -scale club, the Portland Cascade -Z scale club and Dean and Donna Mead's fantastic Lego train among others! Kids will love the Kids Craft Caboose. Local railroad historian Harry Bell will give a lecture on the...Read more

Celebrate, remember the Clamshell Railroad
Coast Weekend, July 13th

On Saturday, museum doors open at 10 a.m. with model train layouts hosted by the Peninsula Model Railroad Club. Guests will include the Mt. Rainer N-scale club, the Portland Cascade-Z scale club, and Dean and Donna Mead's fantastic Lego train among ...Read more

Open House and Train Show
Omaha 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

Next model train open house to be held June 20
Log 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