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]

HOseeker.net

HOseeker.net

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    

1994 Con-cor J3a 4-6-4 Hudson "n" Scale Steam Locomotive #001-003015Estate Vintage Lot Of N Scale Train Cars Parts Trucks Wheels Figures As Found Kato Unitrack Lot Turnout Straight Track Crossover Curved Track Wires N Scale Athearn #11802 N Scale Union Pacific Challenger & Tender 4-6-6-4 Dcc & Sound Mtl/nsc 10-55 N Special Run Nasa 3 Stage Rocket Carrier New Collector QualityNew Kato N Scale 176 8401 Sd70ace Up Union Pacific #8424 Athearn 11825 Union Pacific Big Boy 4-8-8-4 #4024 With Wireless Remote Lot51N Model Power Minitrix Britannia Passenger Set 4-6-2 Pacific & 5 Passenger CarsN Scale Nib Rare Con-cor / Rivarossi Up Big Boy 4-8-8-4 Steam Loco Rd #4006N-scale Con-cor Rivarossi 2-8-8-2 Y6b Mallet Locomotive & Tender Norfolk & WesCon-cor 3082 Shovel Nose 4-6-4 Hudson. Cb&o N ScaleKato N Scale Up # 8065 Sd90/43 Mac Diesel Locomotive Engine Train In C-8 Like NuAthearn Atsf 2-8-0 "roundhouse Old Timer" Loco, N ScaleGraham Farish 'n' Gauge Intercity Swallow 5 Car Hst Tested #698yKato Soo Line F7 A-b-a Locomotive Set (loco Set 106-0403 & F7a 176-2110 )Estate N Scale Atlas Huge Lot Automatic Switches Control Boxes Bumpers & Track Kato 126-0304 N Scale Gs-4 Steam Locomotive Southern Pacific - NewAthearn 11806 Union Pacific Challenger 4-6-6-4 #3977 With Wireless Remote Lot50Kato N Scale Bnsf Ac4400cw Diesel Locomotive Engine Train 5622 In C-8 Like NuN Scale Con-cor 3083 Nyc New York Central 4-6-4 Shovel Nose Steam LocomotiveBachman Spectrum Atsf 2-8-0, Dcc Ready, N ScaleKato S14701 Tgv 6 Cars Basic Set In Paper Box Orange France Scnf N ScaleN Scale Kato Amtrak P42 Locomotive Set + 6 CarsFarish By Bachmann N Gauge Model Railways Deltic Prototype Locomotive Mint BoxedN Scale Locomotive Fueling Terminal (weathered & Detailed)Kato N 126-0301 Sp Gs-4 4-8-4 W/ 106-6302 6303 6304 Daylight Passenger Sets L 78Rare Estate Vintage Collection Lot Of N Scale Trains 9 Engines 21 Cars As Found New Fvm Fox Valley 71158 Sd70ace (ns) Illinois Terminal Rd# 1072 Graham Farish 'n' Gauge 1801 Lms Black 5 Steam Loco No.5041 Boxed #696yAtlas N Scale Loco At & 0-8-0 Engine #2111 No. 102 In BoxKato S14704 Tgv 4 Cars Add-on Set In Paper Orange France Scnf N ScaleLot Of Kato N Scale Unitrack Track Straights Curves Feeder Etc.Life Like Heritage N-scale Usra #2050 Norfolk & Western 2-8-8-2 Steam Loco #7578Bachmann Alco 2-6-0 Steam Loco, Atsf, N Scale, Dcc On BoardLot Of Ten Atlas Cars W/ Metal Wheels N Scale N Scale Kato Cp Rail Ac4400 LocomotiveN Scale 1950's Factory (weathered & Detailed)Tomix 93801 Thomas Set Annie Clarabel Thomas & Friends N ScaleKato N Scale BnsfIntermountain Northern Pacific F7b Loewy NpNew Atlas 40 002 714 N Dash 8-40 Cw Bnsf Rd# 877 Dcc Equipped N Scale Kato 176-3502 Santa Fe #650 C44-9w Diesel Locomotive Sf Dcc On BoardVintage Rowa Mrc Steam Locomotive 2-8-4 Chesapeake & Ohio N Scale 2675 GermanAtlas Rs-1 Soo Line Locomotive Road # 352 Stock # 44037Lot Of 4 N-scale Dpm BuildingsKato N Scale Pa-1 D&rgw California Zephyr Scheme Road # 6001 Locomotive Bachmann Spectrum "on30" 2-6-0 Steam Locomotive Colorado & Southern #25223Bachmann N 62258 Dd40ax Centennial, Union Pacific #6942 (dcc Equipped) NibKato N Scale Pb-1 D&rgw California Zephyr Scheme Locomotive Walthers Cb&q Chicago, Burlington, & Quincy Usra 0-8-0 Rd #549 With Dcc LoksoundBachmann N Scale 63751 F7a Loco W/ Dcc Baltimore & Ohio - NibRare N Scale Fox Valley Model Milwaukee Hiawatha Olympian 3fvm40012N Scale Kato Locomotive Emd Sd70 Norfolk Southern # 2605 No Dcc, But Ready27 Piece N Gauge Lot Of Running Diesels, Plussteam & Diesel PartsN Scale Lot 0-4-0 0-6-0 2-6-2N Scale Kato Rio Grande #3035 Emd Gp 35~model Railroad~powered Diesel LocomotiveN Scale Kato Pennsylvania Broadway Limited 10 Car Set 106-068 N- Kato 106-8001 Siemens Acs-64 Electric Passenger Loco Amtrak 621 New Dcc ReadyIntermountain Sd-40 W, Expo 86,canadian National,cn And A Digitrax Decoder.Micro-trains Mtl N Scale Trump Presidential Series Boxcar #45 07400145 Feb 2017