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

Times Staff Report
Gadsden Times, April 18th

Kids of all ages who enjoy watching model trains run will have plenty of opportunities Saturday when the Coosa Valley Model Railroad Association hosts its 28th annual Train Show at Convention Hall. Association President Jim Bertch said five ... The...Read more

Annual train show to be held Saturday at Convention Hall
Gadsden Times, April 15th

The association's 12-foot by 22-foot N Scale traveling layout will be one of those operating at the show, along with 30-foot by 40-foot and 24-foot by 30-foot HO Scale layouts, a 12-foot by 12-foot N Scale layout and a G Scale layout. Bertch said 75...Read more

Casper Calendar for April 16, 2014
Casper Star-Tribune Online, April 15th

11 a.m.-2 p.m., 1356 N. Center St. Fun with model trains with N Scale enthusiast Harry Buhler and HO Scale collector Homer Whitlock. Info: 235-4950 or 266-6439. NAMI. * 7:30 p.m., 133 W. Sixth St. Connections/All Diagnosis support group for persons...Read more

Enrico part of model train home tour
Tribune-Review, April 10th

This year along with the O scale and N scale model train layouts, the tour will have something new in the Pittsburgh Lego Users Group operating Lego train display at Huber Hall in Latrobe. “Any parent that has ever stepped barefoot on a Lego block in...Read more

Allen Heritage Guild presents Railroad Days exhibit
Star Local Media, April 3rd

A traveling exhibit of the Dallas-Fort Worth O scale model railroad club, this 34-feet-long modular display is part of their permanent exhibit located at South Side on Lamar in Dallas. This year the DFW Club will be joined by modular layouts in N Scale...Read more

Train show chugs into Heartland
Bloomington Pantagraph, March 28th

While young Dyrek's layout was about the size of a large card table, the N-scale club and the Twin City O-Scalers had layouts that filled large classrooms. In addition to trains, the layouts include cars, trucks, people, buildings and landscape. Brian...Read more

Back on track: Man to reopen hobby shop
Shelby Star, March 26th

-Model trains in O scale, N scale and HO scale. -Plastic car and truck kits, metal car kits. -Paints, metals, balsa wood, die cast, magazines and model scenery. -Authorized dealers of Lionel. For more information on the hobby shop, which will be...Read more

Model Train Show rolling in March 29-30
Mineral Wells Index, March 20th

North Texas T-Track Modular Railroad Club is based out of Plano and has a purpose to foster the enjoyment of N-scale model railroading while promoting the T-Track modular system. Lee Monaco-FitzGerald is credited with designing and building the first ...Read more