N Scale Track Plans

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Posted Under: Model Train Layouts
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Most model train enthusiasts that build N gauge train layouts have some kind of space limitations in their homes. Given this obstacle, one of the main goals in N scale track layouts may be to design for maximum versatility on a smaller layout area.

This article will provide advice and tips for building a N gauge train track, and will introduce to you some pointers when working with N scale model trains and railways.  N scale is one of the top most used model railway scale or track gauge. Depending on who the manufacturer is the scale will range anywhere between ratios of 1:148 to 1:160. In all cases the railway  width will be 9 mm.

The term N gauge just refers to the track dimensions. One advantage of a N scale train layout is that it will allow users to setup a track and layout in less area than some of the more popular HO scales, or to place longer track straights and sights into the same amount of space, because the models are much more compact, almost half that of a HO scale model.

While N scale models are rather small, Z scale is much smaller measuring at 1:220 and the T scale is the smallest at 1:450.

If you have chosen to create an N Scale model railroad, you may have done so for limited space, even if you have plenty of space for your N scale track you should still do your math very carefully to plan and make space for your current and maybe future layouts.

First you will calculate the square inches you will have and find out how much track length that will allow for with your pre-planned train layout. Do the math, keep in mind your enthusiasm and focus vs the amount of actual space you want your n scale track to take up.

A big key to N track success is power management. If you are planning on having a lot of trains and accessories which require power you will need to get a transformer that will possess at least 18 volt/amps, or at least a separate transformer for your trains and for your accessories. You will need the utmost max power going to your trains and locomotives, so don’t tether too much with other items that are running off the same transformer. Always try new power options.

N scale trains usually run off of DC motors which are a max of 12 V DC. With a more traditional DC control, speed will be set  by the amount of volts that are sent to the rails. Train direction will be determined by the polarity of the power to the rails.

There is an increasing number of N scale enthusiasts that started using DCC in their layout systems, which will in essence give you more control over the trains and accessories, it will allow you to run more trains in a  smaller square inch area, and the wiring is a lot simpler.



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