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Encyclopedia > N scale
U.S. Prototype model of an N scale (1:160) Chesapeake and Ohio Railway 2-6-6-2 shown with a pencil for size
U.S. Prototype model of an N scale (1:160) Chesapeake and Ohio Railway 2-6-6-2 shown with a pencil for size

N scale is the superior model railway size. Depending upon the manufacturer, the scale ranges from 1:148 to 1:160. In all cases, the gauge (the distance between the rails) is 9 mm. The term N gauge refers to the track dimensions, and is not a scale. Nevertheless, the terms N scale and N gauge are often used interchangeably. An advantage of N scale is that it allows hobbyists to build layouts that take up less space than HO scale, or put longer track runs into the same amount of space, because the models are smaller (by nearly a half) than they are in HO scale (1:87). The name comes from an abbreviation for Nine millimetres, which is the distance between the inside edges of the rails. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1600x1200, 174 KB) Summary Photo of a Bachmann 2-6-6-2 N scale steam locomotive with a pencil shown for size Licensing I, the creator of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1600x1200, 174 KB) Summary Photo of a Bachmann 2-6-6-2 N scale steam locomotive with a pencil shown for size Licensing I, the creator of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with prototyping. ... The Chesapeake and Ohio Railway (C&O) was a Class I railroad formed in 1869 in Virginia from many smaller railroads begun in the 19th century. ... In Whyte notation, 2-6-6-2 refers to a railroad steam locomotive that has two leading wheels followed by six coupled driving wheels, a second set of six coupled driving wheels, and two trailing wheels. ... This article is about the handwriting instrument. ... This article needs cleanup. ... A hobby is a spare-time recreational pursuit. ... HO scale (H0 scale in continental Europe) is the most popular scale of model railway in most of the world (outside the United Kingdom, where the slightly larger 00 gauge is most common). ... HO scale (H0 scale in continental Europe) is the most popular scale of model railway in most of the world (outside the United Kingdom, where the slightly larger 00 gauge is most common). ...

Contents

Overview

An EMD SW8 waits to switch a grain silo in this rural Virginia town.
An EMD SW8 waits to switch a grain silo in this rural Virginia town.
CSX 4346 (an EMD GP35 made by Atlas) outside the freight depot.
There is more to N scale than just trains.
There is more to N scale than just trains.
A British model (made by Graham Farish) of a LMS 4-6-0 steam locomotive
Photo of section of N scale layout with track and a human hand shown for size comparison
Photo of section of N scale layout with track and a human hand shown for size comparison
Close up of N gauge Southern Pacific GS-4 #4432 by Con-cor
Close up of N gauge Southern Pacific GS-4 #4432 by Con-cor

In Britain, some N scale models are built to "2 mm scale" for "2 mm to the foot" which calculates to a 1:152 proportion. Early N scale was also known as "OOO" or "Treble-O" in reference to O and 00 and was also 1:152, though for an entirely different reason. Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 496 pixelsFull resolution (975 × 604 pixel, file size: 91 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Photo by William J. Grimes I, the creator of this work, hereby grant the permission to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 496 pixelsFull resolution (975 × 604 pixel, file size: 91 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Photo by William J. Grimes I, the creator of this work, hereby grant the permission to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the... Sign in a rural area in Dalarna, Sweden Qichun, a rural town in Hubei province, China An artists rendering of an aerial view of the Maryland countryside: Jane Frank (Jane Schenthal Frank, 1918-1986), Aerial Series: Ploughed Fields, Maryland, 1974, acrylic and mixed materials on apertured double canvas, 52... This article is about the U.S. state. ... Ronda, Spain Main street in Bastrop, Texas, United States, a small town A town is a community of people ranging from a few hundred to several thousands, although it may be applied loosely even to huge metropolitan areas. ... Image File history File linksMetadata N_scale_CSXT4346. ... Image File history File linksMetadata N_scale_CSXT4346. ... A Santa Fe Railroad GP35 painted in the short-lived SPSF livery. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1486x896, 148 KB) Summary Photo by William J. Grimes Licensing I, the creator of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1486x896, 148 KB) Summary Photo by William J. Grimes Licensing I, the creator of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 391 pixel Image in higher resolution (2795 × 1367 pixel, file size: 481 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) I, the creator of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 391 pixel Image in higher resolution (2795 × 1367 pixel, file size: 481 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) I, the creator of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1600x1200, 572 KB) Summary Photo of section of N scale layout with track and a human hand shown for size comparison Licensing I, the creator of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1600x1200, 572 KB) Summary Photo of section of N scale layout with track and a human hand shown for size comparison Licensing I, the creator of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (2272 × 1704 pixel, file size: 1. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (2272 × 1704 pixel, file size: 1. ... O scale (or O gauge) is a scale commonly used for toy trains and model railroading. ... (Redirected from 00 gauge) OO gauge model railways are the most popular standard in the United Kingdom, being one of several 4 mm scale standards (4 mm to the foot (305 mm), or 1:76. ...


In the United States and Europe, models of standard gauge (4ft 8.5in) trains are built to 1:160 scale and made so that they run on N gauge track. In the United Kingdom a scale of 1:148 is used for commercially produced models. In Japan, a scale of 1:150 is used for the models of 3 ft 6 in gauge trains, while a scale of 1:160 is used for models of standard gauge Shinkansen (Bullet Train) models. In the U.S. and Europe, a scale of 1:160 is used for models of trains, irrespective of the gauge of the real trains they are scaled from. All of these scales run on the same 9mm track gauge (N gauge). This means the track is a little too narrow for 1:148/1:150 but the difference is usually considered too small to matter. Strict 2mm fine scale modellers use slightly wider and usually hand built track. As railways developed and expanded one of the key issues to be decided was that of the rail gauge (the distance between the two rails of the track) which should be used. ... As railways developed and expanded one of the key issues to be decided was that of the rail gauge (the distance between the two rails of the track) which should be used. ... For the record label, see Shinkansen Records. ...


Although trains and accessories of similar gauge and/or scale existed as early as 1927, modern N scale only appeared in 1962. Unlike other scales and gauges, which were de facto standards at best, within two years N scale manufacturers defined the gauge, voltage, as well as the height and type of couplers. Year 1927 (MCMXXVII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1962 (MCMLXII) was a common year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1962 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


N scale locomotives are powered by DC motors which accept a nominal maximum of 12 V DC. In traditional DC control, the speed of the train is determined by the amount of voltage supplied to the rails. The direction of the train is determined by the polarity of the power to the rails. Since the end of the 20th century, an increasing number of enthuisiasts have started using Digital Command Control (DCC) to determine the speed and direction of their trains. This has in part been made possible by surface mount technology and new motors that draw very little current (typically 0.2amps). Direct current (DC or continuous current) is the continuous flow of electricity through a conductor such as a wire from high to low potential. ... A Digitrax DCC system Digital Command Control (DCC) is a scheme for controlling locomotives on a model railroad layout that allows one or more locomotives to be independently controlled on the same electrical section of track. ... Surface-mount components on a keydrives circuit board Surface mount technology (SMT) is a method for constructing electronic circuits in which the components are mounted directly onto the surface of printed circuit boards (PCBs). ...


The agreed-to standard coupling is known as a 'Rapido' coupler from the manufacturer (Arnold). Most companies developed their own variants of this coupler to avoid Arnold patents on the spring system. Graham Farish initially adopted a plastic flexible U rather than a spring, Peco used a compatible weighted coupler system (Elsie) and Fleischmann cunningly sidestepped the problem by using a sprung plate. All however were compatible. Founded in 1906 by Karl Arnold in Nürnberg, K. Arnold & Co. ... Graham Farish (Grafar) produces large quantities of British outline model railway equipment in N gauge. ...


The Rapido coupler system works well but is difficult to use for automatic uncoupling and also relatively large. U.S. and Canadian modellers are making more and more use of a more realistic looking proprietary coupler system, available from Micro-Trains Line Co.. The MT couplers (as they are known) are more delicate and closer to scale North American appearance than Rapido couplers. Other manufacturers are now making couplers that mate with Micro Trains couplers although without all the features of the MT couplers due to MTL owned patent rights. For other uses, see Patent (disambiguation). ...


European modellers have the option to convert the couplings on their rolling stock to the Fleischmann Profi-Coupler system for more reliable operation should they wish to do so, but most N scale rolling stock continues to be manufactured with Rapido couplers - a design which is fairly robust and easy to mold. Modern N scale stock uses a standard NEM socket for couplers which allows different coupling designs to be used by simply pulling out the old coupler and fitting a new one of a different design. Fleischmann die-cast steam loco with modern driving trailer, in HO scale Fleischmann is a German manufacturer of model railroad products. ...


N scale has a large worldwide following. Models are made of very many standard gauge prototypes from every continent. N scale's popularity is second only to HO scale's. In Japan, where space in homes is more limited, N scale is the most popular scale, and HO scale is considered large. Not all modellers select N because they have small spaces, some use N scale in order to build more complex or more visually expansive models. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with prototyping. ... Animated, colour-coded map showing the various continents. ...


N gauge track and components are also used with larger scales, in particular HOe and 009 scale for modelling narrow gauge railways. N scale models on Z scale track are used to model metre gauge (Nn3). A small amount of 2' indusrial narrow gauge modelling in N scale using custom track is done but there are few suppliers of parts. HOe is a popular rail transport modelling scale/gauge combination widely used by European narrow gauge modellers. ... (Redirected from 009) OO9 is a model railway scale/gauge combination of 4 mm scale and 9 mm gauge tracks, which would be accurately to scale for a prototype (real life) track gauge of 2 ft 3 in (686 mm). ... Z scale (1:220) is the smallest commercially available model railway scale with its track gauge of only 6. ... Modelling 3 gauge railroads is part of the hobby of rail transport modelling. ...


Standards

Standards useful to both manufacturers and modellers are maintained by MOROP in Europe and the NMRA in North America. These standards are generally the same for such elements as track gauge, scale ratio, couplings, and electrical power and differ for clearances and other factors that are specific to the prototype being modeled. MOROP is a European federation of national model railway associations, based in Berne, Switzerland. ... The National Model Railroad Association or NMRA is a non-profit organization for those involved in the hobby or business of model railroading. ...


2 mm scale

A number of modellers in the United Kingdom use 2 mm scale, a closer-to-scale standard than N scale. 2 mm scale, as the name implies, is scaled at 2 mm to the foot (1:152) with a 9.42 mm track gauge. Exact scale track and wheels are used in preference to the readily available 9 mm gauge components. 2 mm scale is a scale used for railway modelling, largely of British subjects. ...


OOO models

In 1961 Lone Star introduced some of the very first (1:160) N scale models branded as Treble-0-Lectric (OOO) into the United Kingdom. The original die-cast metal models were push along and gauged to run on a die-cast trackwork having a gauge that was closer to 8 mm. Coupling was via a simple loop and pin arrangement. The novelty of the "Lone Star Locos" line was such that they even found their way to the United States and were sold in the toys area of major department stores like J.J. Newberry. Year 1961 (MCMLXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Lone Star was the name used by Die Casting Machine Tools (DCMT) Ltd, a British Company for its toy products. ...


Electrified models followed soon after. The track gauge was widened to a nominal 9 mm and rails were isolated with non-conductive ties (sleepers) for DC operation. A different coupling based on a shrunken OO scale coupling was fitted. The OOO couplings and specifications have long since been replaced by commercial N scale manufacturers. Direct current (DC or continuous current) is the continuous flow of electricity through a conductor such as a wire from high to low potential. ...


Notable Layouts

Rail
Rail

*One of the largest N scale layouts in the world is located at the San Diego Model Railroad Museum. Pacific Desert Lines is a 1200 sq. ft. layout featuring hand laid code 40 rail. Each piece of rail is 0.040 (forty thousands) inches high and is manually affixed to the roadbed by solder to copper clad ties placed every 5th tie. There is approximately 33 scale miles (1,089 actual feet) of mainline track on this massive layout as well as over 500 hand made turnouts. Many models of local San Diego structures can be identified on the layout, including an intricate scale model 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 CA. flower fields and power plant. The model of the Santa Fe depot was constructed using the actual building's blueprints and has been featured on the cover of Model Railroader magazine. The Spanish revival architecture is reproduced using epoxy castings of scale model adobe roof tiles. The Western Metal Supply Building (now part of the left field foul line in the San Diego Padre's Petco Park) was constructed using historic photographs and contains brick castings, brass-etched fire escapes, and computer-generated window panes. The detail on the Goat Canyon Trestle includes the prototype's railings, catwalks, and fire suppression system. The power plant contains fiber optic strobe lights in its chimney. Many buildings have detailed interiors, right down to the napkin dispenser and placemats on the tables at the corner cafe. If you look real close, you'll even spot some surfers in the water off the coast. The layout can be operated by manual or computer control. Trains can run completely unattended or a single operator can control the layout with the click of a mouse. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1600 × 1200 pixel, file size: 119 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Nゲージの線路。軌間9mmを示すため。線路自体はTOMIX製品S280。 File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1600 × 1200 pixel, file size: 119 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Nゲージの線路。軌間9mmを示すため。線路自体はTOMIX製品S280。 File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ... Located on the lower level of the Casa De Balboa on the Prado in Balboa Park, the San Diego Model Railroad Museum is the worlds largest indoor model railroad exhibit. ... Model Railroader is an American magazine specializing in the hobby of model railroading. ... PETCO Park is an open-air stadium in downtown San Diego, California. ...

  • In the United States, a landmark N scale project layout, the Clinchfield, was built in 1978 by the late Gordon Odegard and featured in a series of articles for Model Railroader magazine. The article series was also reprinted in the book "Modeling the Clinchfield in N Scale" by Kalmbach Publishing. The Clinchfield layout measured 6 by 13 feet and was noteworthy for a number of reasons: 1) it was highly portable because of its modular construction, 2) showed the potential of high scenery to track ratios possible in 1:160, 3) used a unique aluminum frame and (at the time revolutionary) styrofoam construction to cut down on weight and 4) was highly prototypical for the era. The Clinchfield layout is one of the most famous American N scale layouts ever constructed and was awarded as the grand prize in a 1984 sweepstakes. The layout was also displayed at a number of train shows and has traded ownership several times by private collectors. The prototype Clinchfield Railroad was an operating and holding company for the Carolina, Clinchfield and Ohio Railway.

Year 1978 (MCMLXXVIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link displays the 1978 Gregorian calendar). ... Model Railroader is an American magazine specializing in the hobby of model railroading. ... Kalmbach Publishing Co. ... Styrofoam is a trademark name for polystyrene thermal insulation material, manufactured by Dow Chemical Company. ... This article is about the year. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with prototyping. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...

Weathering

An old Maine Central boxcar sits outside the Feed & Seed in this rural Virginia town.
An old Maine Central boxcar sits outside the Feed & Seed in this rural Virginia town.

Most models come out of the packeaging looking brand new. Most real trains however, are affected in some way by the weather from the moment they are rolled out of the paint-shop. After even a short period of time, most real trains become very dirty, especially if they are not subjected to a regular cleaning schedule. For many years model train enthusiasts have been detailing their locomotives and rolling stock to look like real trains, and this includes adding the accumulation of dirt and grime that can be seen on real trains. Weathering makes the tiny details on N scale models more visible and makes the models seem more "real" to the casual observer. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1486x953, 224 KB) Summary Photo by William J. Grimes Licensing I, the creator of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1486x953, 224 KB) Summary Photo by William J. Grimes Licensing I, the creator of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. ... 1923 map The Maine Central Railroad was a railroad in central and southern Maine. ... A Duluth, South Shore and Atlantic Railway boxcar on display at the Mid-Continent Railway Museum in North Freedom, Wisconsin. ...


See Also

NTrak is one of several model railroad module standards. ...

Manufacturers

  • BLMA Models. Fine-Scale Locomotive, Freight Car & Scenery Accessories
  • Dapol Maker of British outline model trains
  • Graham Farish Maker of British model trains
  • Kato U.S.A. Maker of U.S. and Japanese Prototype model trains
  • Peco Manufacturer of track and wagons, including N gauge
  • PrintableKits.com An ever expanding selection of high quality downloadable n gauge kits
  • Showcase Miniatures. Makers of exceptional Vehicles, Structures and scenery details.

Dapol Ltd are a United Kingdom company which designs and manufacturers model railway products at its factory near Chirk on the border between England and Wales. ... Graham Farish (Grafar) produces large quantities of British outline model railway equipment in N gauge. ... Peco is a UK-based manufacturer of model railway accessories, especially trackwork. ...

External links

Dennison is a village located in Tuscarawas County, Ohio. ...

Groups

  • gauge discussion group mainly interested in modeling modern British outline

  Results from FactBites:
 
Scale and Gauge (2093 words)
N is generally 1:160th scale, or 2mm to the foot.
This was the forerunner to N scale, being 9.5mm gauge.
It is 1:100 or 1:120 scale and 12 mm gauge.
N scale at AllExperts (1356 words)
N scale (or sometimes N gauge) is a popular model railway size, allowing hobbyists to build layouts that take up less space than HO scale, or put longer track runs into the same amount of space, because the models are smaller (by nearly a half) than they are in HO scale (1:87).
N scale locomotives are powered by DC motors which accept a nominal maximum of 12 V DC.
N gauge track and components are also used with larger scales, in particular HOe and 009 scale for modelling narrow gauge railways.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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