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It's all here; N Scale (Gauge) Model Trains. N Scale Railroad information, products and more! Have your own Train and Track layout or enjoy our Model Train Store and get all of your Narrow Gauge Model ...Plastic Kit Reviews
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Chugging Down the Model Railroad Track with N Scale Model Railroading
While not everyone knows what N Scale Model Railroads or Model Trains are, most people can't help but admire the tiny railroad set ups they see at hobby shows, but even still, railroading isn't for everyone. But, true model railroad enthusiasts are devoted hobbyists, and none more so than the devotees of the popular N scale.
N scale ranges from 1:148 to 1:160 depending on manufacturer or country. The constant standard is the gauge (the distance between the rails), which is consistently 9 mm. The name itself comes from an abbreviation for nine millimeters. The term N gauge refers to the track dimensions, but in the United Kingdom N gauge refers specifically to 1:148 scale, 9 mm-track gauge modeling. The terms N scale and N gauge are often used interchangeably.
N scale’s big advantage is that it allows hobbyists to build layouts that take up less space than HO scale, because N scale models are smaller by nearly half than they are in HO scale (1:87). Another N scale advantage is that it has the most uniform standards of all model railroading, with manufacturers agreeing on common definitions for gauge, voltage and height and type of couplers. Modern commercially produced N scale models appeared in 1962, although similar gauge trains were found as early as 1927.
In part because of its consistency, N scale has a large worldwide following, with models available on every continent. In Japan, where space in homes is more limited, N scale is the most popular scale, and HO scale is considered large. N scale has become more popular in Australia over the years. Australian modellers have most used U.S, British and European trains because until recently the Australian market had no N scale models of local models. This led to the creation of a flourishing “cottage” industry creating Australia train models, thus making N scale modeling more popular each year Down Under.
Some use N scale in order to build more complex or more visually interesting models. One of the largest N scale layouts in the world is located at the San Diego Model Railroad Museum. Pacific Desert Lines is a 1,200 sq. ft. layout featuring hand-laid rail. Each piece of rail is 0.040 (40/1000) inches high and has been attached manually by solder to copper clad ties placed every 5th tie. The model contains some 33 scale miles, or 1,089 actual feet, of mainline track as well as over 500 handmade turnouts.
Many local San Diego structures can be identified in the layout’s models, including intricate scale models of San Diego's Santa Fe Depot, the Western Metal Supply Building, the Carriso Gorge's Goat Canyon Trestle, Palomar Observatory, the American Agar building, and the Carlsbad, California, flower fields and power plant. Look closely and you'll even spot some surfers in the water off the coast.
Trains on the San Diego layout can run completely unattended or a single operator can control the layout with the click of a mouse. Yes, in these days of ubiquitous microchips, computers have even come to the time-honored hobby of model railroading.