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
Postwar Lionel Trains Library
Tech Model Railroad Club of MIT
Clubs & Associations
- Train Collectors Association
- National Model Railroad Association
- Lionel Collectors Club of America
- Toy Train Operating Society
- National Association of S Gaugers, Inc.
- Train Collectors Society (U.K.)
- Lionel Operating Train Society
Other Great Reference Sites
Most watched eBay auctions
Recent News: N Scale Model Trains
Source: Google News
Mangano: Free Model Train Exhibit To Benefit Games For The Physically ...LongIsland.com, January 23rd
Hicksville, NY - January 23, 2015 - Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano announced today that Trainville Hobby Depot will host a free Model Train Exhibit on Saturday, February 21st from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, February 22nd from ...Read more
41 years of model trainsThe Seattle Times, January 17th
Big kids, like David Hancock, 37, of Seattle, were captivated at Pacific Science Center's 41st Annual Model Railroad Show, Saturday. The show runs through Jan. 19. Hancock looks at an N scale train set displayed by Pacific Northwest Region, Fourth...Read more
Saturday essay: Run of the 510sTribune-Review, January 16th
Well, if train platforms are up all the time, something special runs the risk of becoming just another piece of furniture. That said, there is a bonus when the last engines and rolling stock of a respective year's “run” are safely back in their...Read more
Pastime for families to enjoyHerald Times Reporter, January 10th
•New HO and N Scale engines, DC and DCC locomotives, rolling stock, building kits, track, full line of Woodland Scenics figures, trees, bushes, grasses, ballast, gravel, new quality train sets and more: everything you need for your small or large layouts...Read more
What is it like to live in Malden?Boston Globe, January 3rd
Number of model train-related items in stock--from N scale to G scale and scenery and accessories--at Charles Ro Supply Co., America's largest Lionel train dealer. In business for 42 years, Charles Ro was voted one of the “coolest toy stores in the...Read more
Collector's model locomotives on display in Council BluffsScottsbluff Star Herald, December 30th
Bill Dodge with his N scale trains on Friday, December 26, 2014, at the Union Pacific Railroad Museum, 200 Pearl St., in Council Bluffs, Iowa, where a temporary model train exhibit is on display and available for viewing from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m...Read more
Collector's tiny model trains on display at Union Pacific Railroad Museum in ...Omaha World-Herald, December 28th
Bill Dodge with his model trains, which are on display at the Union Pacific Railroad Museum in Council Bluffs. The 77-year-old retired Air Force major from Bellevue is the engineer and owner of the tiny trains in the exhibit. He grew up in the 1940s...Read more
Onslow Model Railroaders blend patience, imagination, artistryJacksonville Daily News, December 28th
The furthest show the N Scale has travelled to was a regional show in Virginia Beach, Virginia. “I'd like to do a local open house or show where we can assemble this and show off the train,” said Robinson. They use some odd materials to complete a...Read more