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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Postwar Lionel Trains Library
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Clubs & Associations
- Train Collectors Association
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- Lionel Collectors Club of America
- Toy Train Operating Society
- National Association of S Gaugers, Inc.
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Recent News: N Scale Model Trains
Source: Google News
18th annual Rails in the Rockies this weekendEstes Park Trail-Gazette, February 11th
Group (CoWLUG) layout (this year with a surprise theme) a circus train exhibit; and, Slim Rails Layout from Colorado Springs. There will be multiple layouts in Standard Gauge (N scale, G scale, O scale, HO scale Z scale) and Narrow Gauge (ON30, Hon3)...Read more
Walt's Look Around: Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry MuseumFOX6 WBRC - MyFoxAL.com, February 6th
"The Avery Loop, which is the rail that goes through downtown Jackson and around through Flowood, that's what the n-scale represents. And then one of the o gauges, that what the kids like because it's got the bigger trains, it's kind of a replica of...Read more
Local model railroad group shares passion for trains and tracksLas Cruces Sun-News, January 30th
Hansmann's passion for model trains was sparked at the age of 10, and he has been collecting and building model railroads for 44 years. While each member is drawn to model railroading for his or her own reasons, Hansmann said that he appreciates it ...Read more
Around the Region (1/31/15)Modesto Bee, January 30th
Info: San Joaquin Valley Toy Train Operators Inc. holds its monthly meeting. There will be trains for sale – G gauge, O gauge and N scale – a 50/50 raffle drawing and group sharing of information regarding shows. The group meets the first Sunday of...Read more
Model train exhibit rolls through train museumKETV Omaha, December 27th
COUNCIL BLUFFS, IA —Honoring the tradition of a model train circling a Christmas tree, the Union Pacific Railroad Museum has a special exhibit running through January 3rd. Museum volunteer Bill Dodge set up his own N scale train and is on hand to ...Read more
Old train stations on display during show in TorringtonTorrington 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
All aboard for holiday fun at Fairfield Museum's train showFairfield Citizen, December 8th
Though an evening downpour drenched crowds that came to Town Hall Green for the town tree-lighting ceremony Friday, train buffs of all ages later made tracks to the nearby Fairfield Museum and History Center for the opening of the annual Holiday...Read more
Stephen J.Vallee: Eagle Scout, N-Scale Train CollectorPatch.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