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N Scale Layouts
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N Scale Layouts

When you first enter the exciting world of model trains, you here all kinds of sayings and words like scales, gauge and code running through model train industry. Don’t let it be intimidating once you are in the world of model trains for a while it will become part of your language also. Just listing to model train enthusiast might make you think that building model trains and scenery is way too much for you to learn. But, as your love for the hobby grows so will your understanding and knowledge of the terms and language used in the model train world.

When you first start out and vision your perfect model train layout and landscape with the perfect train running through it, you will need to consider the scale of the train or size. There are many different companies that make many different trains scales and track gauge, depending on what you want your model train layout to look like. To make sure that the different brand of trains run on all the different brand of tracks. The manufactures make their trains and tracks according to a scale and gauge.

This is where the model railroad language comes in. Enthusiast talk about scale and gauge all the time. When they are talking about scale they are talking about the size of the train, compared to the real thing. A scaled down size of the train they are modeling. When talking about gauge they are talking about the distance between the rails that are on the track.

Two of the most popular scales are HO scale which is 1/87th of the real train, and N scale which is 1/160th of the real train, and is half the size of HO scale trains. HO trains have been the most popular for model train enthusiast over the years but N scale layouts are becoming more popular than HO. N scale layouts take up less space and have a lot of detail for a small scale train. With the smaller N scale train layouts you have more room for scenery you can build around the tracks.

Unlike Ho scale and other larger scales like O scale some of which have been around for a hundred years or more, N scale trains have only been around for a short time compared to them. The N stands for nine millimeter which is the measurement between the rails of the track or the gauge. When model train enthusiast talk about track there is the gauge which we talked about and then there is code, code refers to the hight of the rails.

N Scale variations exists between countries but the distance between the track is always 9mm. The majority of N scale model railroad manufactures build their trains to run on the standard gauge track but the scale of the train differs a little. In the United Kingdom they manufactures theirs on 1/148th scale. Where as in the United States they manufactures is 1/160th, the difference is very small and doesn't affect the operating condition. In Japan their N scale is 1/150th but like all of the others their track is still 9mm.

N scale layouts are just one of the many sizes of layouts you might consider when just starting out. Beginning a model railroad layout is easer to start small and add to it. It is up to the individual preference and the space you have for your layout. No matter what the scale or size of layout you choose the excitement is the same.


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