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
Model trains a fun hobbyThe Garden City Telegram, March 22nd
Karma was busy setting up both a G-scale train, one of the larger-sized model trains available, and a smaller N-scale set. The thing he likes most is the diversity model trains allow. “I can make it what I want,” he said. “It's my world. I can put what...Read more
Remarkable replica of Milwaukee Depot in Great FallsGreat Falls Tribune, March 22nd
He has already built N-scale versions of train stations in Harlowton and Lewistown; those will be featured this spring in an issue of the Milwaukee Railroader magazine, published by the Milwaukee Road Historical Association, along with the Great Falls...Read more
Annual train show draws families, enthusiastsColumbia Daily Tribune, March 21st
Dozens of attendees, including families and model train enthusiasts, turned out Saturday for Columbia's annual model train show. The Hobo Joe Train Show was presented by the Columbia Parks and Recreation Department and Mid-Missouri Railfans Club ...Read more
Legislative coffee, model train show this weekendThe Garden City Telegram, March 18th
Politics, poetry, trains and a religious concert are on tap in Garden City this weekend. The Garden City Area Chamber of Commerce is hosting its third legislative coffee of the year, scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday in Classroom B at St. Catherine Hospital...Read more
Annual Railfest at Lakeland Community College attracts model train enthusiastsNews-Herald.com, March 15th
Sponsored by the National Model Railroad Association Mid Central Region Division 5, the two-day event featured more than 100 vendors and 400 tables in six rooms including a few gymnasiums. Ten operating layouts, running the gamut from N scale, HO ...Read more
Railroad Days to be hosted, appropriately enough, at Allen Train DepotStar Local Media, March 11th
on Lamar in Dallas. This year the DFW Club will be joined by modular layouts in N scale by Roy Durrell of the Allen Senior Center and 3-rail O gauge by the Lionel Modular Group. O scale trains are built to a ratio of 1: 48—a 40-foot boxcar is 12...Read more
Model railroaders make tracks to Ogden's Union StationStandard-Examiner, March 7th
Trains ranging from the tiny N-scale to the massive G-scale are on display at the festival. G is for “garden scale,” and it features tracks and trains large enough to be placed outside in gardens. The Utah Garden Railway Society has about 40 members...Read more
RI train expo offers something for everyoneQuad-Cities Online, March 1st
He's now a relatively new member of the Tri-County N Scale Model Train Club, which manned a huge display of the small-scale trains (1 inch to every 160 inches in real size) at the show, moving around tracks and scenery. "I like seeing the people...Read more