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.

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Airfix Model Railways

Airfix Model Railways

Dave McCarthy's Airfix Model Railway treasure trove is an in-depth archive of the company's plastic railway kits fr… [read review or visit site]

Gateway NMRA

Gateway NMRA

This great reference site for model railroaders, from the Gateway (St. Louis) division of the NMRA (National Model … [read review or visit site]

This site is a treasure trove of HO scale model railroad manufacturer catalogs and other reference information, inv… [read review or visit site]

Postwar Lionel Trains Library

Postwar Lionel Trains Library

Bernie Schulz’s Lionel Trains Library focuses exclusively on postwar Lionel trains and accessories. The site cont… [read review or visit site]

Eric's Trains

Eric's Trains

Eric Siegel's site displays his collection of O-gauge/O-scale trains, tracks, turntables, and other accessories. A … [read review or visit site]

Tech Model Railroad Club of MIT

Tech Model Railroad Club of MIT

MIT's model railroad club, as one might expect, has one of the best websites for learning about how people play wit… [read review or visit site]

Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Overland Models Western Maryland 3-truck Shay #6N Athearn 11806 Up #3977 4-6-6-4 Challenger Steam W/ Dcc & Sound Union PacificN Scale Kato Kato 2-8-2 Heavy Mikado Steam Locomotive & Tender Cn #3803 Gb ArN Athearn 11823 Up #4006 4-8-8-4 Big Boy Steam W/ Dcc & Sound Union PacificN Scale Lot 2 Kato Amtrak P42 Phase Iv Diesel Locomotives #161 #188N Scale Atlas 41631 Two Truck Shay W/ Dcc #112 Frost-johnson Lumber CoN Gauge Walthers Heritage Pennsylvania 2-8-8-2 (dcc W/ Sound)N Gauge Athern Union Pacific Big Boy 4-8-8-4 (dcc W/ Sound)N Scale Kato 106-075 At&sf El Capitan 10 Car Passenger Set + 2 F-unit DieselsN Scale Lot 2 Gg1 Electric Locomotives Amtrak #918 Pc #4885 Penn CentralN Scale Kato 106-057 Cal Zephyr 10 Car Passenger Set + 2 Wp F-unit DieselsN Scale - Chesapeake And Ohio C&o - Berkshire 2-8-4 Steam Locomotive - Life LikeN Scale Con-cor 001-8731 Cb&q Burlington Zephyr Streamline Motor TrainN Gauge Kato P42 Amfleet & Viewliner Phase Iv Locomotive & 5 Car SetN Scale Con-cor Milw Olympian Hiawatha Train Set Locomotives & 6 Passenger CarsLot Of 17 "n" Scale Trains, Brown, Conrail, Pennsylvania, Etc., Estate FindN Scale Kato Up #2716 2-8-2 Steam Locomotive W/ Dcc Union PacificKato N Scale 176-3401 C44-9w Csx #9009 Diesel Locomotive W/decoder Excellent KrN Scale, Rivarossi Con-cor, 2 Mallet Steam Locomotives, Repurposed As Rio GrandeN Scale Kato Up #1281 Diesel Locomotive W/ Dcc Union PacificN Scale Atlas Ns #6603 Diesel Locomotive W/ Dcc Norfolk SouthernN Scale Lot Wysiwyg 10 Assorted Flat Cars W/ Containers Trailers Sealand AcmeN Gauge Kato Amtrak Smooth Side Passenger Car Set Of 4Custom Painted Kato 6 Car Passenger Set Northern Pacific LoewyN Gauge Life-like New York Central C-liner A+b UnitsMix Lot 59 N Scale Kato Mtl Other Southern Railway Legacy Locomotive Train CarsN Scale Kato Up #2708 2-8-2 Steam Locomotive W/ Dcc Union PacificToy Stamp & 1969 Revell N Scale The Iron Horse Train Set Mint Unused In The BoxN Scale Athearn 4-8-8-4 Big Boy Kato Sd70m Csx "dark Future" 176-7602 Rd# 4694Kato N Scale Sd70ace Kansas Kcs Model Train Locomotive Engine Diesel 106-8431N- Fox Valley Fvm 70453 - Ge Es-h Diesel Gevo - Nkp Ns Norfolk Southern HeritageAtlas Rivarossi 2-8-8-2 Mallet N ScaleSet Of Three Bachmann N Scale Emd F7 Diesel Locomotive Santa Fe 215, Estate FindCon-cor Trailer Train 48' Intermodal Well Car W/ 48' & 53' Sp Containers N ScaleKato N Scale Gs-4 Locomotive With Dcc Custom Painted Kato 4 Car Passenger Set Northern Pacific LoewyLot Of N Gauge Scale Engines And Cars Lima Atlas Italy Parts Repair N Scale Atlas Sou #215 Diesel Locomotive W/ Dcc SouthernMinitrix Model Train Locomotive (engine) Plus Passenger Car. Set Of Two Life-like N Scale Cab #3500 Santa Fe Diesel Locomotive, Estate FindN Gauge Kato Pennsylvania Broadway Limited 10 Car SetN Scale Kato 106-057 Cal Zephyr 10 Car Passenger Set + 2 Wp F-unit DieselsBachmann N Scale Locomotive Engine & Tender 4473 Baltimore & Ohio B&o, EstateN Scale Kato 126-0211 Cb&q #5510 Usra 2-8-2 Heavy Mikado Steam W/ Dcc & SoundN Scale Rare Con-cor Np Northern Pacific "north Coast Limited" Passenger SetKato N-scale Sd40-2 - Burlington Northern N Scale Walthers 5-unit Articulated Double-stack Car Ttx 48' ContainerN Scale - C&o / Chessie System - Emd Sd40 Diesel Locomotive # 7551 - KatoN Scale Atlas Up #6001 Diesel Locomotive W/ Dcc Union PacificN, Athearn, Union Pacific, 4-8-8-4 Big Boy, #4001 W Dcc/soundFreight Australia, Victorian Railways Vr X Class Locomotive By Powerline N GaugeKato N-scale Sd40-2 "snoot" - British Columbia RailwayN Gauge Kato Pennsylvania E8/9a Rd# 5893Vintage Bachmann N Scale Union Pacific Old Time Passenger Train Car SetN Scale Bachmann 4-8-4 Steam Engine Overland Grey Union Pacific Up , Estate FindN Scale Lot - Left & Right Switches Turnout Track Electric Remote Control AtlasKato Undecorated Smooth Side Passenger 6 Car Set N Scale 106-010N Scale - Chesapeake And Ohio C&o - Emd E8 Diesel Locomotive # 4021 - Life Like Kato N Scale 176-7601 Emd Sd70m Csx #4681 Diesel Locomotive Dcc Ready New Kr

Recent News: N Scale Model Trains

Source: Google News

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

Trains and kids reconnect in Va. Beach
The Virginian-Pilot, February 28th

Wright is a member of the Tidewater O Gauge Association, one of the societies running model trains at the convention center. Some of the smallest trains on display were N-scale, the second smallest scale in production, which runs on track that is 9...Read more

18th annual Rails in the Rockies this weekend
Estes 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 Museum
FOX6 WBRC -, 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

Model train exhibit rolls through train museum
KETV 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 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

Tiny trains part of Old 97 Rail Days, September 28th

Tom Kaeser, of Ashland, watches his sections of N-scale model trains at the Pepsi Building during Old 97 Rail Days over the weekend. Previous Next. Rail Days 2. Denice Thibodeau/Register & Bee ...Read more

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