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

Miniatures in motion
North Platte Telegraph, April 16th

Gene Tacey has been planning, building, perfecting and adding to his model railroad for 20 years. Millions of other enthusiasts around the world do the same. “A lot of people, including me, are fascinated by trains and what they do,” said Tacey, who is...Read more

Model Train Enthusiasts Show off Displays in Normal
CIproud.com, March 29th

Dave Gentry of the N Scale of Bloomington Normal Train Club said. "Part of it is the modeling. It's the idea of recreating real life, but in a much smaller scale. You get in to all of the aspects of structures and scenery and trees and how to get the...Read more

Model trains a fun hobby
The 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 Falls
Great 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

Legislative coffee, model train show this weekend
The Garden City Telegram, March 18th

Brad Nading/TelegramKJ Burns, 7, takes a close look at a “N” scale model train going along the track on one of the displays at last year's Boot Hill Model Train Show in the Finney County Fairgrounds exhibition building. Politics, poetry, trains and a...Read more

RI train expo offers something for everyone
Quad-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

Old train stations on display during show in Torrington
Torrington Register Citizen, December 14th

The 14th annual train show was presented by local model train club Torrington Area Model Railroaders, who exhibited two modular layouts – one in HO-scale (which measures a railroad set engine at 1.97 inches), the other in G-scale, which is the largest ...Read more

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