N gauge trains


Learning About Small N Gauge Train Layouts

If you have been thinking of ways to pass your free hours happily, how about taking up an interesting hobby? People all over the world, have taken up the engaging activity of model railroading and find it to be one of the most engaging things to do. What you do is design your own railroad scene. It could either be store bought, a do-it-yourself kit or something you built entirely from scratch. Depending on your preference, you can start with either.

If you are the type of person who loves to make everything on your own, leaving a personal impression on your projects, you can make a model railroad completely by yourself. The first thing that you would have to know about though, would be the scales. In the world of model railroads, there are many scales that you can construct your model on. For example, would you like to make a big model where you can see all the tiny details? Or do you prefer a model that can sit in a small display corner of your sitting room?

Once you have made up your mind about such things, you can then pick scales like G, O, OO, Z, HO, S or an N gauge train layout. HO scale is the most common and Z scale is one of the smallest. This article will tell you some of what you need to know about N gauge railroads. Here is the information:

The Basics of N Gauge Model Railroads

N gauge (or scale) is a very popular size for railroad models among enthusiasts. For this reason the accessories are generally readily available (especially through internet stores). The range of scale is from 1:148 to 1:160. Distance between the rails (gauge) is 9 mm. The first N gauge model was first created by a company of Nuremberg in 1962.

The basic reason why so many modelers opt for N gauge layouts is that it allows them to create more details in less space. You can easily design long, winding tracks with a multitude of trains trekking across. They can pass under bridges and through winding tunnels, across rivers and over mountains. Keen enthusiasts also get to add a lot of handmade scenery on their models.

Another reason for the popularity of N gauge train layouts is that it requires more perfection and detailed work. The crafter needs to be more skilled at what he does because the designs are smaller and trickier to manufacture. If you are among those who love to work with tiny details, then this is definitely your scale! If not, maybe you should try reading about HO or O scale.

N Gauge Layout Ideas - Some Tips and Tricks for Scratch Building

If you have started making your own scenery, here are some things you can easily do on your own:

  • If you want to create some graffiti scenes on your model, all you would need is a correction fluid pen with a fine tip. All you would then need to do is draw or write whatever you want on the walls, cars or even trains. If you want to create colored graffiti, just paint what you wrote or drew. 
  • Want to make a scrap yard having lots of old, used tires? Simply pull out all the tires of old dinky cars or some old plastic cars and mix them up with automatic vacuum hose that has the same diameter as the tires. Just buy one from the store and cut it up.
    Have fun!

Deciding on an N gauge layout has numerous attractions, but possibly the biggest draw is the small size when compared to larger scales like HO, OO, and O. Although N gauge (1:160) is not the smallest (1:220 Z scale and the tiny 1:450 T scale are much smaller), a small N gauge layout does allow for a considerable amount of track, scenery, and train operation in a relatively small space. This is a big advantage for anyone who has limited room available. Prototypical (real) length trains of around 100 cars can operate in N scale.

Small N gauge layouts allow for setups where the scenic landscape can dominate the railroad as it does in real life. As a comparison; a common-sized 4ft x 8ft layout in HO scale would probably fit into a 2 ½ ft x 4 ½ ft space if it was modeled in N gauge.

Starting off with a smaller space often allows room for later expansion. Constructing a large layout (of any scale) as the first project can be overwhelming. Many modelers start out with great enthusiasm only to realize the enormity of the task they’ve undertaken. This is why an N gauge train layout can be a better option, rather than underestimating the amount of time and effort needed to build a larger scale model railroad. After all, there’s no fun in having a partially completed railroad that gets abandoned and left to gather dust. It is often best to start out small and think big.

The N gauge books shown cover a number of important topics to help you avoid common problems and assist with creating a good model railroad layout. Model railroading is a vast subject, so it is therefore impossible for one book to cover absolutely every aspect and intricacy of the hobby.

These books therefore focus on many of the key areas and solving many of the problems for getting started. Further reading and using other specialized resources is always recommended. Put simply – keep an open mind and never stop learning!

Ngauge book

N Scale Book Info


ngauge track plans book

N Scale Track Plans Book Info

These N gauge books (with track plans) are an excellent start.

Model Train Resources

N scale book

Getting Started In
N Scale Model Railroading

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N scale Track Plans

Space Saving
From Plan To Performance

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Layout Ideas For Laying N Gauge Track

In order to model the rails accurately, the track needs to be set on some kind of roadbed. On a real railroad, the roadbed is used to provide a level grade, support the weight of the rolling stock, and keep the ties from shifting, thus preserving the rail gauge separation. In model railroading, the concern is “how do we make it look realistic?”

laying n gauge track

A material called homasote, which is also used for soundproofing rooms, has been used as a roadbed base. It takes small nails or brads which are used to attach the track sections. Unfortunately, homasote doesn’t come precut into suitable widths for roadbed use, so the modeler needs to cut it into roadbed sized strips before using it.

Pre-cut cork roadbed is much easier to work with. It comes in various widths which correspond to different model scales. It also has beveled edges, which make creating realistic drainage shoulders easier.

The cork maybe glued to the benchwork with construction adhesive, and track may be attached to the cord by track nails or the same construction adhesive. Adhesive is probably the best method for attaching N gauge track, as the small distance between the rails can make driving tiny nails a challenge even with the use of a special track laying pliers. The cork also is made in two halves, so it’s easy to line up a track centerline on the model train layout.

It is pretty rare to find a railroad that is built on completely level and flat ground. Hills and valleys are the norm in the real world. For a model to appear realistic, hills, valleys, rivers, and mountains are all interesting and desirable features to create drama.

Unlike real railroads, which follow the contours of the earth, modelers lay the track first and build contours around them. That means that the benchwork and base have to elevate and depress the track according to the desired terrain features of the layout.

Finally, when the contours are created and in place, scale sized track ballast is added to the line to complete the track installation.

There are many colors and manufacturers to choose from, and the ballast is usually applied by pouring it out of a paper cup while using a soft brush to position the ballast between the rails evenly between the ties and over the shoulders created by the beveled cork roadbed. When the ballast is in place, it is typically held by a mixture of white glue and water.

N Gauge Buildings

N Gauge Model Railway Layouts   Small N Scale Layout

N Scale Scenery   N Gauge Track Plans

Model Train Layouts