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

Couple keep Train Day event on track
The Advocate, February 3rd

The Bechts started the event to give model train, life-sized train, train photography, train travel, and train historical organizations a place to converge once a year, and it has become a networking event for the relatively few, if enthusiastic, young...Read more

The New Face of STEM
Desktop Engineering, February 1st

To ensure students don't get discouraged by the slog through core science and mathematics courses, the department has introduced a final project that tasks students with developing a controller for an N-scale train set using MATLAB technical computing ...Read more

Rail sale an outlet for whimsy, passions
La Crosse Tribune, January 30th

Vince Roberts of Big Lake, Minn., talks with a customer as he runs his HO, O and N scale model trains on Saturday at the annual Great Tri-State Rail Sale at the La Crosse Center. Roberts, who woke up at midnight to drive to the show, likes to have...Read more

Calendar of events
The Exponent Telegram (press release) (registration), January 28th

Clarksburg Model Train: Club will be at the Fairmont Library beginning 9 a.m. throughout January, especially Saturday. Operating layouts featuring Lionel trains as well as HO and N scale model trains. Gene Larosa, (304) 842-3677. Kids' Movie Night: 6 p...Read more

Thousands Expected Again For Enormous Amherst Railroad Hobby Show
Hartford Courant, January 26th

The show, which has taken place for more than 40 years, is one of the nation's largest train shows. It features manufacturers, historical societies, vendors, how-to clinics and more than 50 operating train layouts ranging from tiny N scale to large G...Read more

Model train collector conducts nostalgic display at Union Pacific Railroad Museum
Omaha World-Herald, December 20th

And they're not for beginner model train collectors, Dodge said. N-scale trains are a little more delicate than larger models. They're easier to misplace. N-gauge tracks are so narrow, collectors use a special plastic tool to place the cars and engines...Read more

Train show brings railroad fans all aboard
Alton Telegraph, November 29th

Jacklinn Harris, 6, of Sorento, watches as a N-Scale model train heads down the tracks at the Great Train Show Sunday at Gateway Center in Collinsville. The show included model train layouts by several clubs, as well as dealers in both model trains and ...Read more

Westminster Toy Train Show keeps tradition on track
Carroll County Times, November 22nd

The show featured small N-scale trains and HO trains, which are twice the size of N trains. It also included O gauge trains, which are larger than HO trains and run on three rails, and S gauge trains, which are similar in size to O gauge but run on two...Read more