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Model Train Resource: N-Scale Track Plans to Inspire Your Own Layout Designs
N-scale track plans pack twice as much model railroading into the same space as their HO big brothers. It doesn't matter if the pike is a switching lay only eight inches wide or forms a complete oval on 2 x 4-foot shelves.
Enjoy this collection of dozens of N-scale track plans, and you're sure to find one with ideas you can use.
© 2011 by Aurelio Locsin
Kato N-Scale Track Plans
Kato, a well-known Japanese manufacturer of model railroading equipment, created Unitrack as an easy way of creating N-scale track plans. This modular track snaps together to form simple or complex configurations. To show what is possible with their product, Kato presents over two dozen track plans ranging from a tiny 2 x 3-foot space with an eight-inch radius and one station to 36 x 180-inch behemoth representing coal hauler. Each plan appears in a convenient-to-print PDF file displaying a track plan and list of required pieces.
You’ve probably heard of Ntrak a national set of standards that allows N-scale modules to be joined together into larger layouts at shows and exhibitions. But have you heard of T-Trak, which uses even smaller modules measuring 12-1/8” long by 8-1/4” wide and 2-3/4” high, designed to sit on folding tables (which represents the “T” in T-Trak.). The official website shows a few modular N-scale track plans, describes the module standards, lists clubs, shows pictures and sells inexpensive kits for the three modules.
N-Scale Items on Amazon
Proving that n-scale track plans are not the exclusive domain of companies, Mad Trackplanner Mike Fischer offers over 60 multi-colored examples, with three-dozen alone for a 2 x 4-foot layout. His design program of choice is Right Track Software, and clicking on the track plan graphic lets you download that plan for the program. My favorite is one double-tracked oval boasting six grade crossings and seven industries, allowing hours of operations for two locomotives.
Carl Arendt has many N-scale track plans as part of the over 1,500 examples on his Micro/Small Layouts Website. Unfortunately, the layouts are not arranged according to scale, and so the link takes you to a Google page listing the relevant pikes. Most consist of pictures with easy-to-glean trackplans, though a few have actual diagrams. For example, check out Marc Miller’s Brewhouse Yard, which shows an off-scene fiddle yard so locomotives can move between two rails. Sadly, the layout no longer exists, but he promises a bigger and better effort.
- Model Train Resource: Great Model Railroads to View Online
Be inspired or just take a quick break from dreary reality by marveling at this collection of videos showcasing wonderful layouts in Z, N, HO, O and G scales.
- Model Train Resource: Online Videos of Great N Scale Track Plans
Enjoy this online collection of n scale railroad videos.
- Model Train Resource: Online Model Railroad Sites You'll Love to Visit
Take a break and peruse one of these wonderful online model train sites.
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Very small model railroads including what is perhaps the smallest model railroad ever built.
Brandt Hickman's website only shows four layouts but each is highly detailed, which is typical of British pikes, and showcased with n-scale track plans and photographs. Three even have videos. Their small sizes allow convenient transport to exhibitions, where thousands have enjoyed them. Rorgyle, which has appeared on the pages of Continental Modeller, even shows construction techniques.
His website forms a fine end to this collection of N-scale track plans.
Alocsin's Model Railroad Hubs
- Model Train Resource: N-Scale Track Plans for Shelf Layouts
At a proportion of 1/160, which is almost half the size of the more popular HO scale, N-scale track plans are ideally suited for space-saving shelf layouts. Perhaps some of these designs will inspire you to finally build your own pike.
- Model Train Resource: Online Videos of Great HO-Scale Track Plans
HO-scale track plans are easily the most popular type in the model railroading world because they balance detail with space considerations. Grab something to eat and drink, so you can relax and enjoy the work of some of this scale’s finest craftsmen.
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- Model Train Resource: HO-Scale Track Plans for Shelf Layouts
If you’re willing to forego space-hogging loops for more operations, you can realize your dreams of HO-scale track plans through a shelf layout. View some examples here.
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Check out this review of "The Model Railroader's Guide to Industries Along the Tracks" to see if it's a worthy addition to your library.
- Alocsin's Model Railroading Index for HO, N, O, G (Garden), Z and S Scales
The following is an index to Alocain's hubs about model railroading, model trains and the model railroad hobby arranged in alphabetical order by subject/scale and then by title. The last subject, What's New, is a list of the five latest additions for