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    

N Scale - Atlas - Large Lot Of (26) 40' Assorted Box Car Trains!N Scale - Minitrix - Pennsylvania 4-6-2 Steam Locomotive & Tender Train #5495Lot Of 2 -n Scale Minitrix Trix Prr 4-6-2 Steam Loco/tnder#5495/prr 2-10-0 #4386Union Pacific 3 Unit Gas TurbineN Scale Brass Prr Dd-1 W/lights A Must See!!!Boxed Southern Pacific Morning Daylight Gs4 Steam Engine & 7 Passenger Car SetKato Kobo N Scale 137-2022 Pennsylvania Prr Gg-1 #4872 Rare Nib Dcc ReadyN Scale - Atlas - Large Lot Of (19) 50' Assorted Box Car Trains!Key Imports Pennsylvania Prr H8sa 2-8-0 ConsolidationN Scale Kato 106-057 Cb&q California Zephyr 11-car Passenger Set BurlingtonN Scale - Con-cor - Lot Of (19) Assorted Rolling Stock Trains!N Scale - Atlas - Lot Of (9) Flat Car Trains W/ Trailer LoadsBroadway Limited N Scale #1661 Emd E6a Milwaukee Road New!N Scale - Con-cor - Lot Of (21) Assorted Rolling Stock Trains!Athearn Big Boy 4-8-8-4 Union Pacific #4014 N-scale (black) Tsunami SoundAthearn N Scale #22900 4-8-8-4 Big Boy Up 4005 With Sound New!Huge N Scale Model Train Buildings Lot ! - Scenery - Trucks - Crane - CargoGraham Farish (bachmann) Class 44 Diesel D7 'ingleborough' 371-202Kato N Scale Up Union Pacific 4 Car Passenger Set 106-5013 (set C) Dome RpoN Scale - Minitrix - Pennsylvania 4-6-2 Steam Locomotive & Tender #5495N Scale Kato #106-010 Undecirated Smooth Side Passenger Car 6 Car SetN- Kato 176-9007 - F40ph Diesel Passenger Loco - Amtrak 396 Phase Iii - NibN Scale - Atlas - Acl Set Of (3) Gsc Pulpwood Flat Cars W/ Log LoadsN Scale Ll C Liner A And B Cp Canadian Pacific Nib Sealed A Must See!!!N Scale Lot 8 Con-cor Cn Cnr Passenger Cars Canadian National Sleeper Coach DomeN Scale Ll Fa1 And Fb1 Gn Great Northern Nib Sealed A Must See!!!Broadway Limited N Scale #1660 Emd E6a Milwaukee Road New!N Scale Bachmann E-z Track Box LotSf Hudson 4-6-4 Santa Fe Atsf Con-cor Locomotive N Gauge C119N Scale - Life-like - Pennsylvania Fa1 & Fb1 Diesel Locomotives #9605 & 9605bAtlas N Scale Steam Locomotive. Indiana Harbor Belt Engine # 2112 Very GoodN Scale - Minitrix - 4-6-2 Steam Locomotive & Tender Train #3260Kato N Scale Amtrak Smooth Side Passenger 4 Car Set 106-021 Model TrainN Scale - Large Lot Of Diesel & Steam Locomotives For Parts Or Repair!Kato ~ Gunderson Maxi-i Double Stack Car 5 Unit Set Ttx With Maersk Container ~nN Scale Ll C Liner A And B Cn Canadian National Nib Sealed A Must See!!!N Scale - Kato - Powered Diesel Locomotive Train Lot #2N Scale - Kato - Powered Diesel Locomotive TrainN Scale - Minitrix - Pennsylvania 2-10-0 Steam Locomotive & Tender Train N Scale Minitrix 4-6-2 Flying Scottsman Box Passenger SetLot Remote Switches Turnouts #6 Atlas Good Used N Gauge C139N Scale Ll Sw9/1200 Cn Canadian National Nib A Must See!!!N Scale Trains, Kato Emd Sd40 Complete Working ChassisN Scale - Atlas - Large Lot Of (12) Coal Hopper Trains!N Scale - Minitrix - 2-10-0 Steam Locomotive & Tender #4638N Scale Kato Burlington Northern 6 Car Plus 4 Car Add On Passenger Car SetsN Scale Lot 12 Intermountain Nyc 40' 1937 Aar Boxcar Pacemaker New York CentralKato N Scale Train Up Union Pacific 4 Car Passenger Set 106-5011 (set A) N Scale Steam Loco 4-6-2 And TenderN Scale Ll Fa1 And Fb1 Rdg Reading Nib Sealed A Must See!!!Sf Blue Goose Hudson Con-cor Locomotive Santa Fe Atsf N Gauge C118Kato 176-251 Amtrak #414 Emd E8/9-a N Scale Model Train Engine Locomotive5 Peco Switches #4 #6 New Turnouts N Gauge C141Mtl 99321120 N Scale Santa Fe Atsf Vintage Poster 5 Car Set NibN Scale Ll Rf&p E8/9 A And B Both Powerd A Must See!!!N Scale Ll Nyc Erie Built A Powerd A Must See!!!Double Crossover And #6 Curved Left Switch/turnout New Shinohara N Gauge C140Mrc Tech Ii Dualpower 2800 Ho & N Scale Train Transformer Control 2 Trains N Scale N Gauge Detailed Faller 212113 Bonn Station Era I Fully AssembledKato Stock #106-080 Up City Of Los Angeles 11 Car Set N-scale

Recent News: N Scale Model Trains

Source: Google News

Train Days returns to Los Altos: Museum highlights model railroading
Los Altos Town Crier, August 27th

“This year, we will go back in time as far as the Civil War, with the historic First Battle of Manassas, plus we will again go around the world to Asia and beyond – in HO and N scale.” Admission is $5. Children 4 and under are free. Children under 12...Read more

Children's Museum to host Tractors, Trucks and Trains Day today
Lincoln Journal Star, August 16th

Indoors, children can see train tables where the Lincoln Area Railway Historical Society will display and operate multiple N scale model trains. Guests can sit atop a scooter and meet local scooter enthusiasts from the Scoot to Thrill club. Duncan...Read more

Museum celebrates Tractors, Trucks and Trains Day
Lincoln Journal Star, August 14th

Indoors, kids can play on the museum's own firetruck, police motorcycle, semi truck, airplane and train, as well as operate N-scale model trains brought in by the Lincoln Area Railway Historical Society. The local Scoot to Thrill club will bring in a...Read more

Model railroads bring parents and children together
Orlando Sentinel, August 3rd

Nine-year-old Patrick Wojcik inherited his father's interest in N-scale trains. It's one of the few things they can do together. Jack Wojcik, 45, has progressive multiple sclerosis, a disease that has robbed him of the ability to walk and is now taking...Read more

Shinkansen robot "Project E5" at train festival in Yokohama
AkihabaraNews, August 1st

It was exhibited to the public at the Tokyo Toy Show 2014, which took place in July, and became very popular. In addition to the Project E5, the train festival offers a JR Yokohama Line stamp rally, N scale (popular train scale) simulation experience...Read more