N Scale Model Railroads & Trains

Model railroading has been an extremely enjoyable and fulfilling avocation for hobbyists spanning generations, and its following continues to be as strong as it's ever been. Much of the attraction enthusiasts feel for this hobby relates to the virtually limitless options available in making their own locomotive lines. For hobbyists with smaller living spaces, and for novice railroading, the N Scale model railroads and trains, smaller in size and easier to work with overall, are a very practical setup to go with.

What does N Scale mean when referring to model sets?

In railroad model terminology, the scale is the ratio between a unit of measurement in a model compared with a unit of measurement of a full-size train. In scale classifications, there are a wide variety of scale names and scale ratios. Grand Scale, the largest "model" size, has a scale of 1:4 (1/4 the size of the actual version) and up. The N Scale, the second most common locomotive model worldwide, is much smaller at 1:160. And if you really want a tiny, operational railroad model locomotive, go with the T Scale at a minuscule 1:480.

What is the track gauge?

The track gauge refers to the distance between the track rails. When looking to purchase additional tracks, cars, or other track-related accessories, be sure all components match up appropriately. Different gauge tracks can accommodate different models, so check this data closely when looking to add to your inventory.

Can different model train brands be used together?

Most often, yes, this should be no problem. There are common standards used by most manufacturers that make this possible. The important variable here is the track gauge. As long as the wheelbase is the same, mixing and matching should be fine.

What are some N Scale locomotive and train set manufacturers?

N Scale model train manufacturers include Atlas, Bachmann, Kato, Micro Trains, Minitrix, Model Power, and Walthers. In terms of popularity, there is no general consensus as to any top company. It really all comes down to the hobbyist's preferences in era, style, size, power, brand availability, and brand loyalty, among other factors.

Is there such a thing as a Christmas train?

There are a good number of these special trains available, and these can be a terrific gift for the avid hobbyist. Coming in sets or individually by car, they come in a number of different themes and models. Among the many themed trains people really enjoy, the Kato N Scale Operation North Pole Christmas Train set is a fun option. The set comes with one locomotive and three bi-level passenger cars.