Why Did You Pick N-Scale?

eric220 Mar 19, 2009

  1. Doug A.

    Doug A. TrainBoard Supporter

    Originally I chose N for the ability to run longer trains. Now I think it is more the ability to fit HO-esque trains into a smaller space. I was in HO before and just really thought N was coming into its own when I got back into the hobby and I haven't been disappointed.
  2. Siskiyou

    Siskiyou In Memoriam

    Why did I pick N-scale? So I wouldn't have to detail interiors. Yeah, right - that was real clear thinking...


    First N-scale car, 1970.

  3. eric220

    eric220 TrainBoard Member

    Glad to see that's workin' out for 'ya. :rotfl: I happen to be working on my first N-Scale interior detail myself... As Puddington said, Great Dome's are basically rolling windows, so I can't afford to leave it empty.
  4. friscobob

    friscobob Staff Member

    Two things- lack of available space for a decent HO layout, and a wife that encouraged my involvement in the hobby if I switch to N scale.

    I had an N scale layout in college in the 70s, but the crappy motive power turned me off cold, and I went to HO in 1979. Since then, I've collected quite a bit of HO stuff, but now I have an N scale hollow-core-door layout that I'm currently working on.
  5. WisCentral

    WisCentral New Member

    Okay, so I'm going with N Scale, but which Manufacturer?????

    My son just got into trains. Before that it was all cars (sizzlers, slot cars, etc). The problem is, I've never done anything with trains in my life (aside from working on the real Wisconsin Central line). Now I'm learning on the fly because he asked for one for his birthday. I took him to the store and he said that he liked N scale best. Now the big question. Which manufacturer should I buy? Bachman looks nice, and I like the warranty, but is this the best option available?


  6. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Steam or diesel? Bachmann has made some decent steam engines. Diesels, you have LifeLike, Athearn, Kato, Atlas. Always test run at the hobby shop.

    Have you picked up any "how-to" books? There are some very good ones for beginners. The shop should have a display of these. Above all, ask questions.

    Boxcab E50
  7. J Long

    J Long E-Mail Bounces

    I like N because like others have posted, you can run believable length trains on realistic curves and you don't need to use selective compression cramming scenes like you do with HO. I toyed with it briefly in the 70's and 80's but it was still rather futzy. Today we have a vast selection of durable, reliable, affordable equipment that runs practically flawlessly out of the box.
  8. Bob Horn

    Bob Horn TrainBoard Member

    My first layout was 30" X 60" and was not really very good. Go forward 32 years and I found that the products had greatly improved, there were less kids in the house. The layout now takes up the better part of a 2 car garage, my son said "why didn't you do this when we were younger", too much cost against kid upkeep. N gives you the option of larger expanse in lesser space. Only way to go. Bob.
  9. OleSmokey

    OleSmokey TrainBoard Member

    I thought about doing my layout in z scale but My hands and eyes have a bad enough of a hard time handling N scale! I live in a small rv and have just enough room in one sidebox for a 29"X 361/2" layout. a shortline is all i could handle and some steam and cars and i am scratch building . I could just see me doing that in z scale..Sorry, You would have to see my hands to find the humor in that last part. I was gifted with bear paws and now arthritic hands....I did really think about the z!!! Smokey:ru-embarrassed:
  10. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

    N scale caught my eye when Atlas, came out with the Kato drive mechanism I had a Stewart in HO scale (now running on a friends layout) that ran sweet. Slow smooth starts, rolling stops and none of the jittery, stalling stuff I saw with Athearn's HO locomotives.

    I worked for a hobby shop at the time and decided to test track one of the new Atlas units. Gosh,...tongue tied...shocked...smooth starts, slow speed action...amazed beyond belief...at what I saw. At this point N scale became the focus of my buying and my HO stuff found it's way to my son, daughter and friends. In the mean time I was able to gather together, a fair collection of N scale.

    You can see many of the reasons why I made the switch. Feel free to visit My Albums. See invite in signature below.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 22, 2009
  11. Zandoz

    Zandoz TrainBoard Member

    A combination of size limitations and falling in love with the Kato Super Chief set up the first time I saw them. I was limited to a layout footprint the size of a dining room table and wanted to run the long passenger cars.
  12. CSXDixieLine

    CSXDixieLine Passed Away January 27, 2013 In Memoriam

    I had the typical 8'x4' HO-scale layout growing up in the 1970s. Around 1980, I gave up model railroading because other things took priority (school, girls, and school girls :)). However, I saw a book in our high school library on model railroading and the very last chapter was on a basement size N-scale layout with exactly one picture. That picture showed the layout taking up the ENTIRE BASEMENT! I had never heard of N-scale before, but when I saw that picture, I was hooked and knew one day I would have a mega layout in N. It took me until last year to finally start building said layout, but it all started the day I saw that picture in the last chapter of that book in the library. So I guess you could say N-sacle chose me! Jamie
  13. maxairedale

    maxairedale TrainBoard Member


    In 1984 my brother in-law had gave my son
    (7 at that time) an old used N-Scale set from Atlas. It was my introduction to the Normal Scale. My son lost interest in it very quickly, I fell in love with it.

  14. hnipper

    hnipper TrainBoard Member

    Two attributes: N-trak, and (I thought) I could avoid the 'collector' mentality that I saw take over three-rail O. To me, the ability to assemble prototype length consists is fantastic! Plus you can haul your stuff to trainshows in small(er) boxes.

    just hope my eyes hold out!
  15. Mad Yank

    Mad Yank TrainBoard Member

    A Painful Process

    Dad had Lionel O Tinplate from prewar in the attic when I was a little monster (as opposed to now, when I'm a BIG monster) and I managed to get into it and ruin some of it. It's okay, standing to eat supper for a couple of days cured me of train wrecks for a l-o-n-g time! He later got into HO guage, but only for Christmas setups, and even that didn't last for long; work got in the way, and then I got older and he got tireder. So no trains for a long time.
    My 1st wife and I briefly had some N-scale when I was in the AF, stationed in the Azores during the early 70's; just stuff available from the Base Exchange. Not much stuff, didn't last long in the humidity at sea level, and got sold to one of the locals when we left in 1974.
    My 2nd wife didn't think much of my hobby when I built the Scenic & Relaxed from the Atlas Nine N-Scale Railroads book in the mid-80's, but she preferred that to my roadying with an oldies band - I was home nights and weekends!
    Now I'm on wife #3 and she's an HO Christmas setup fan, so I can play with my N-scale layout the rest of the year - and that's fine with her! She even buys me goodies.
    And I buy HO stuff for her, too.
    Works for me, and I get to run long freights and pax drags.
  16. TraditionalCatholic

    TraditionalCatholic TrainBoard Member

    I picked N scale as kind of a "second scale" because I had been a G scaler for years. The problem was, my 15 year old budget didn't really like G scale, with cars at $50 each, and engines well over $300 for a decent steamer. I've liked the Union Pacific Big Boys for years, and I thought in N scale, I might just even be able to finally have a Big Boy. Not to mention, I can afford a train to go behind it to, and still have money left over for my seminary fund!!!

    So, I guess to sum it up, I chose N scale because of the price of equipment for it.
  17. SleeperN06

    SleeperN06 TrainBoard Member

    For me it was pretty much exactly everything Marty said.
    And to Jim, every time I see that photo of yours, I just about die from envy. I might have to make it my screen saver as sort of inspiration.
  18. brakie

    brakie TrainBoard Member

    Actually I think N Scale choose me.After getting a Atlas train set in 1968 I was hooked but,it wouldn't be till '78 with the Clinchfield project layout I returned to N Scale..Went back into HO in '88 and still dabbled in N Scale.I came full circle after joining a N Scale club as a N Scale dabbler and then realized that I am a N Scaler at heart-why else would I never actually leave N Scale??? After all even when modelin' HO full time I could not walk by a N Scale display.

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