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
Grandparents Day at the Virginia Museum of Transportation on SaturdayAugusta Free Press, September 2nd
The Virginia Museum of Transportation celebrates family togetherness and the cars and trains your grandparents loved with discounts and special activities for Grandparents Day Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm. Bring your grandparents or your grandchildren...Read more
Model train show rolls into Portland with techie new bells and whistles ...OregonLive.com, August 29th
Align end plates and train tracks with other modules and a layout can be endless. One "N-scale" layout at the show is 15 scale-miles long. Vendors like Jason Shron of Rapido Trains are revealing their newest inventions and improved products at the show...Read more
NEWS AND TRIBUNE BRIEFS — For Friday, Aug. 14Evening News and Tribune, August 14th
21, and a model train show and swap meet, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 22, at the Sellersburg Moose Lodge Family Center, 1040 S. Indiana Ave., Sellersburg. There are four layouts scheduled to be on display showing HO scale, N scale, S scale and O ...Read more
Spring Creek Model Trains thrives in rural NebraskaLincoln Journal Star, June 27th
Colorado Great Western from Denver will feature a mountain scenery layout. * And Free-Mo, based in Wichita, Kansas, also is known for its scenery layouts. In addition, the open house will include Kansas City T-Rail (N scale) and Charlie Horner from...Read more
Next model train open house to be held June 20Log Cabin Democrat, June 13th
Club member Dale Dudley will show his N-scale layout with small-size trains in action. Visitors may ask, “How do they get the motors and electrical circuits inside those small trains?” An N-scale diesel locomotive is about the size of a mini Tootsie Roll®...Read more
Model train show rides into Augusta ExpoStaunton News Leader, May 3rd
Seeing them smile ... it makes me happy." There are four different scales for model trains — G scale, which is a 1:22 proportion/scale; O scale, which is 1:48; HO scale, which is half of the O scale at 1:87; and N scale, the smallest size at 1:160...Read more
Model trains a fun hobbyThe Garden City Telegram, March 22nd
Karma was busy setting up both a G-scale train, one of the larger-sized model trains available, and a smaller N-scale set. The thing he likes most is the diversity model trains allow. “I can make it what I want,” he said. “It's my world. I can put what...Read more
Railroad Days to be hosted, appropriately enough, at Allen Train DepotStar Local Media, March 11th
on Lamar in Dallas. This year the DFW Club will be joined by modular layouts in N scale by Roy Durrell of the Allen Senior Center and 3-rail O gauge by the Lionel Modular Group. O scale trains are built to a ratio of 1: 48—a 40-foot boxcar is 12...Read more