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
Calendar of EventsThe Exponent Telegram (press release) (registration), November 26th
Clarksburg Model Train Club: at Stonewall Resort, Roanoke, featuring large O, HO and N scale layouts with animation. Instruction on digital command and control operating system, and how to get started in model trains. Times: 3-9 p.m. Friday, noon-6 p.m...Read more
Events Listings: Nov. 27 to Dec. 3, 2015Wilkes Barre Times-Leader, November 26th
Whistle Stop Train Show, the 36th annual event with over 115 tables of new and used Lionel, American Flyer, Marx, Ives, H-O, N-Scale and LGB model trains along with railroad antiques, books, Matchbox cars and parts. Buy, sell or trade. Woodward Fire...Read more
Town Crier: Friday's HighlightsCasper Star-Tribune Online, November 26th
Alcoholics Anonymous: 6:30 a.m., 917 N. Beech; 10 a.m., 328 E. A St.; noon, 500 S. Wolcott, Ste. 200; 5:30 p.m., 456 S. Walnut; 7 p.m., 500 S. Wolcott, Ste. 200; 7 p.m., Glenrock, 615 W. Deer (downstairs); 8 p.m., 917 N. Beech, closed; Douglas, 628 S...Read more
Entertainment in Brief: Drawing for stained glass window in PalisadeGrand Junction Daily Sentinel, November 25th
The Grande Railroad Gang will display its N-scale display model Christmas train show beginning Friday, Nov. 27, at Duffy's Outdoor Power Equipment, 2482 Patterson Road. Admission is a suggested donation of $3 for adults, $1 for children or $5 per family...Read more
Santa scheduled to arrive in Arbutus SaturdayBaltimore Sun, November 25th
The 22nd anniversary edition of the Arbutus Volunteer Fire Department's Old Fashioned Christmas Train Garden is now open. This year's display features detailed N-Scale trains, with villages highlighting Norman Rockwell and Hummel buildings and layouts, ...Read more
Model trains on display Nov. 27 through Dec. 13MyCentralJersey.com, November 25th
After the show, visitors can explore N scale and G scale layouts at the Mallery Center, refresh themselves at the snack bar, and stock up on train-themed presents for the holidays at the gift shop. All proceeds from the Holiday Sound and Light Show go...Read more
Good Morning: Christmas Train Exhibit coming to Madison County History CenterThe Herald Bulletin, November 23rd
There will be HO, On30, O Scale Traction, O-27 Lionel, N scale, S Gauge American Flyer layouts, and an HO Ringling Bros and Barnum, and Bailey 1946 HO scale circus train on display. Changes have been made to several of the layouts on display...Read more
Westminster Toy Train Show keeps tradition on trackCarroll 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