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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Postwar Lionel Trains Library
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Recent News: N Scale Model Trains
Source: Google News
Arbutus train garden provides entertainment for the young and old alikeBaltimore Sun, December 16th
This year's display of 11 trains range in size from N scale at the smallest to O scale, at the largest, Connie Atkinson said. Model trains use a standardized scale system for measurement, which is a ratio between life-size trains and their model...Read more
RailFair is tradition for Albany familyAthens Messenger, December 15th
Jason DePeel gets his N Scale cars on the right track at RailFair 2014 held this past weekend at The Market on State. He has .... The two-day fair also included raffles of a Lionel train set, an electric train layout and a non-electric train layout for...Read more
Old train stations on display during show in TorringtonTorrington 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
Model train show set for this weekend at Torrington ArmoryTorrington Register Citizen, December 10th
The Torrington Area Model Railroaders is a group of railroad enthusiasts who travel throughout the region to watch real trains and who maintain three layouts in a building in Torrington's South End. One of the group's primary missions is to share this...Read more
Ride the rails in December and January at model railroad open houseFlipSidePA, December 6th
Below the N-scale is the newly completed TT scale layout and also a Marklin 3 rail HO European layout that is under construction, so be sure to check them out. Of interest to young children is Thomas the Tank Engine and friends, a cartoon train and a...Read more
A guide to Lehigh Valley holiday model trainsAllentown Morning Call, December 5th
"You think trains, you think Christmas," says Raymond Viohl, a member of Bethlehem's Black Diamond Society of Model Engineers, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2015. The Black Diamond Society has two floors of trains totaling more than 1...Read more
All aboard! OKC Train Show coming this weekendMcalester News Capital, December 4th
The show will also feature the Southern Plains Division “N” Scale Regional Convention. The convention will display a collection of “N” Scale operating model train layouts from across the southwest that will fill one end of the building. Nearly 100...Read more
All aboard! 'Polar Express' model train to ride rails soonOrlando Sentinel, December 3rd
Highlights include an overhead dual tracks of Lionel trains, background panels featuring the four seasons painted by resident artist Dan Cruise, modular N-scale layout, three-eighths-inch-high Z-scale to 8-inch-high G-scale trains and more. All of the...Read more