N gauge trains


Tips to Maintain and Repair
N Gauge Locomotives

Locomotives are one of the most important aspects of your model train layout. There are many structures that you can add in your model layout to make it look real, but nothing is better than a running train. Electric trains and their locomotives require maintenance with the passage of time and the amount of usage.

Following are some easy steps that you can follow in order to maintain or repair your N gauge locomotives:

Step 1

Use a lint free, white towel to place your locomotives. This will make it easier for you to locate and find a screw or part if they fall.

Step 2

Be very careful while removing the body of the locomotive. Slowly remove the body with the help of a screwdriver and keep it aside.

Step 3

The next thing to do is to check all the parts of the N gauge locomotives for oil clumping, rust, dirt, and loose parts with the help of goggles or magnifying glass.

Step 4

Fibers or oil clumps can bind or lock the wheel of your train in place. If fibers are stuck to your train wheels or in the moving parts of N scale locomotives then use tweezers to untangle them. This will help your train move freely without any hindrance.

Step 5

You can use solvent to remove oil clumps from the parts of locomotives. Place a little solvent on a cotton swab and carefully dab it on the area that you want to clean. Make sure that you do not spill or over use the solvent.

Step 6

Grit and grime might also get accumulated in the small pieces of N gauge locomotives that you can clean with the help of a cotton swab. You can pat dry the cleaned pieces with a towel to dry.

Step 7

Applying oil to the parts of the locomotives that requires it is very important. However, these parts are really small and difficult to reach, so sometimes the best way to apply oil is to use a tooth pick. Just dip the end of the tooth pick in oil and apply oil around all the surfaces that come into contact inside the N scale locomotive.

Step 8

Unless you have the knowledge of machining, do not try to repair any broken parts as you might damage them further. You can look for ads in railroading magazines to buy the parts that you need to replace in your N gauge locomotive kit.

Step 9

In order to repair bent parts, use pliers to bend them back to their original shape. This might break the part, as these parts are really small and fragile, so be prepared to replace and purchase the bent parts.

Step 10

Once you are done cleaning, reassemble the parts and body and screw it all back firmly to avoid breakage. Your model train will stop running after a while if you ignore maintaining the locomotives. Trains and locomotives require regular maintenance to ensure that they run smoothly. Having a model train layout, in which the train does not work, is very frustrating. It will kill all your hard work and the main purpose of building all the model structures around your model train will no longer be valid. Therefore make sure that you repair and maintain your N gauge locomotives from time to time.

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Collecting N Gauge Locomotives

Article supplied by James KG Mason

Model trains and the collection of them has been around since the early 1800’s, but the real glory years in building home model train layouts was the 1950’s and 1960’s. Model trains come in a variety of gauges or scales – really sizes. The gauge is the distance between the two rails on each piece of track. The scale relates to the size proportion in relation to the real object.

The most popular scales are the HO (OO in the United Kingdom), N and in America in the 1960’s O. The O was popular and is still familiar to American model railroad enthusiasts because the Lionel trains were O gauge and had three rails instead of two on the tracks. The N gauge is popular because it is smaller than both the O and HO. An N gauge model railway layout can fit in most houses or garages as it is smaller than both the O and HO. The scale for N gauge is 1:148-1:160 meaning the N gauge locomotives were 148 to 160 times smaller than the real engines.

Which Engines to Collect

More and more people are getting into the hobby of collecting N Gauge model trains. Many think this is because of their size and others think it is because of their availability and reasonable costs.

If you are only interested in the locomotives – the engines both steam and diesel the first thing to do is a little research about what engines were manufactured, when, where and where you might find them. There are always the catalogs out there but it might be more fun to do the research yourself online. Try contacting The N Scale Enthusiast – a magazine for N gauge model railways collectors.

You will also want to decide if you care where the engine was manufactured as the N gauge locomotives were made in several countries including Germany, Spain, Italy, Australia, Great Britain, the United States and Japan. Given the large amount of engines available which ones should you collect? Here is just a sampling of what is available today.

• Brass engines are limited as they were special editions and incredibly accurate and detailed trains. Really good ones can sell for up to $1000. The N scale in brass sells for less than HO brass engines.

At the time of researching this - an N Scale BRASS Santa Fe 4-8-4 Steam Locomotive by Hallmark runs for about $270 in good condition and running with automatic knuckle coupler.

I also saw these other advertisements (which are published as a guide only):

• Undecorated N Scale 48 Class Mark 3 Locomotive runs $225 to $270

• Arnold Rapido Amtrak 902 GG1 GG-1 Electric Locomotive Engine, N Scale $50 - $100. Arnold was one of the very earlier brands and after many transitions and buyouts are now made by another company that kept the name Arnold.

• Steam Train Locomotive 4-6-4 Engine Hudson Con-Cor N gauge J3A 3009 Southern Rwy $235

• KATO A-B-A F7A F7B F7A, PRR 9661 9646, Diesel Locomotive Engine, N Scale $200

• MicroAce N Scale : A6309 JNR Steam Locomotive Type C56-92 Miyazaki Engine Depot The Imperial Locomotive   $186

• New Life-Like Proto N 7550 PA/PB AB Set, D&RGW, Diesel Locomotive Engine,N Scale $180

• Alco C-628 Locos by Atlas A total of 185 units were built by ALCO for railroads in the US, Mexico and Australia between 1963 and 1968 $100

• EMD GP-40 Diesel This is the latest run of the GP-40's from Bachmann $35

There are hundreds of N gauge model engines/locomotives available for sale online.

Where to Find Them

There are many places to find the N scale locomotives that you wish to purchase. The ones listed above can be found in train magazines, on eBay or Craigslist. You can also find them at other online sites as well as train shows and train auctions.

Before you buy, get a guide book so that you have a good idea of the price you should be paying for any given N gauge locomotives. Stop in any hobby shop and find out when and where flea markets that usually have trains for sale are.

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