Is it possible to run trains in N scale in the context of a non-modeling environment?

caxu Oct 20, 2017

  1. mr magnolia

    mr magnolia TrainBoard Member

    Track and trains were super important when I started my n scale layout 9 years (count them!) ago.
    I made some scenic progress while the kids were interested and I have an idea in my head as to what the rest might look like...
    Largely, that’s good enough!

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    BoxcabE50 likes this.
  2. Rich_S

    Rich_S TrainBoard Member

    Layout End View.jpg

    Long Valley Track Plan.jpg

    My Current N scale Hollow Core Door layout is a loop. Some days I operate it as if it was a point to point type layout running from the interchange track beside the coal tipple to the town of Long Valley on the front side of the layout and returning to the interchange track. A run can be as many loops as I decide. Other days I just enjoy watching the train make loops around the layout, while I unwind from a day at work. I feel it's like the old saying about "Model Railroading Rule #1" :) I can be as realistic or as silly as I want, because it's for my enjoyment and relaxation (y)
    WFOJeff, Bendtracker1 and mtntrainman like this.
  3. John W Zerbe

    John W Zerbe TrainBoard Member

    I'm new to the hobby. My first step is to see what it takes to actually run the trains on a "test" setup on top of a couple folding tables. I'll try to post a picture of what I have so far. I'm using dcc++ on on arduino mega with original motor shield. This is connected to a pi running JMRI. I can run 3 trains at once from my phone. One is a MU of a pair of Atlas sd9s pulling ore cars. One is a gp7 pulling coal cars and the final one is a con cor e8 that I did my first soldered dcc decoder install into.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2017
  4. John W Zerbe

    John W Zerbe TrainBoard Member


    The little Jupiter in the middle is running DC only. The rest is DCC. This is a mix of Atlas code 80 track with Bachmann ez-track from a couple "sets".
    This started out as DC with multiple power districts but converting most of it to dcc++ makes running the trains so much simpler.

    This setup is meant to be a temporary learning experience prior to planning a full blown layout in the same room. I still have to decide on turnout control for the layout. Snap switches vs under table mounted servos. Either way, they will be controlled via dcc and jmri so that they can be automated.

    This setup has a limited life span ahead of it. My railroad accountant wants the tables back for an event at the house right after Christmas.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2017
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  5. John W Zerbe

    John W Zerbe TrainBoard Member

    I has set this up in my basement for the prior year Christmas season. My dad's 1950's vintage Lionel, a 1960's vintage Postage Stamp Santa Fe, and a Bachmann 4-4-0 Jupiter. It was fun, but now I plan to build "The Layout" in N gauge.
    LA Metro likes this.
  6. BurghThing

    BurghThing TrainBoard Member

    Rich_S, JimJ and John W Zerbe like this.
  7. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

    It's model railroading. 'Is it possible...?' Yes!

    And if it isn't--yet--make it possible!
  8. NP/GNBill

    NP/GNBill TrainBoard Supporter

    I believe it's however one chooses to enjoy this hobby. There are many different aspects of it, and one should pursue the ones that they enjoy most. there is no right or wrong way.
    mtntrainman likes this.
  9. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

    That's nerve racking watching the train go over the track that is partially over the edge! :eek:
    BurghThing likes this.
  10. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

    You'd have hated the trolley track I made years ago for my mother's Christmas tree. I usually hung it about halfway up.

    Repeat after me--it's only a bridge...
    BurghThing and mtntrainman like this.
  11. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

    Acourse, running the trains is the main thing.


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  12. LA Metro

    LA Metro TrainBoard Member

    To answer your question, I would say, "Yes!"

    I have a 12' x 13' N-scale layout in the garage (with major extensions planned) with completed benchwork but little else, save for a small Unitram "city center" in the middle. Everything still has to be completely disassembled at some point to finish the wiring.

    But, no matter. I have a running double-track loop over the "plywood-Pacific" to keep me sane while I figure out the rest. Every time I disassembled the loop to work on something, I'd be Jonse-ing the entire time until I got trains running again. I don't know how some manage to work on their layouts for years before running any trains. When I lived in an apartment, I'd run a small, H0-scale Kato Unitrack oval on the carpet from time to time to get my fix.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017

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