You will find the technical terms, scales and guages, in the model train hobby, these are used to understand and standardize the dimensions of model trains by manufacturers due to the many sizes that they produce. Depending on what layout a person wants means that some of these scales and guages are more practical than others.
N gauge trains, also known as N scale trains, are a popular standard for model trains, used in countries around the world. One of the places that they are especially popular is in Japan.
The name of these trains is taken from their track guage.When referencing guage this is the measurement between the rails on the track. The guage measurement of N guage trains is 9 millimeters. This measurement of gauge track started the name Nine millimeters gauge trains which became Nine gauge trains and was finally reduced to N gauge trains.
N gauge trains, like any other train, use a scale to in order to represent the exact dimension of real trains. This scale can be different from country to country and even from manufacturer to manufacturer within countries. Following is a description of how scales are handled for different countries:
- United States of America. N gauge trains use a scale of 1:160.
- United Kingdom. N gauge trains use a scale of 1:480.
- Continental Europe. N gauge trains use a scale of 1:160.
- Japan. N gauge trains use a scale of 1:150, although models of the famous Japanese bullet train use a scale of 1:160, so they dont go well together.
One of the reasons that N guage trains are popular is due to their small size. Only HO trains are more popular than them, but that also depends on the region. Another reason for popularity is, due to their size, you need less room for layouts and track. Some owners prefer to get them instead of bigger scale trains, even if they dont lack the space, because their small size lets them buy bigger, more complex and attractive layouts. Due to the ability to have longer track runs it can make the experience of operating the trains last longer.
Japan is an interesting case. Because of their late industrial revolution, a lot of Japanese people have a love for trains. However, lack of space is a big issue, specially when it comes to home space. Because of this, lovers or model trains prefer N gauge trains, which are considered medium or normal sized trains in Japan. HO model trains, which are the most popular scale of trains in the rest of the world, are considered big trains in Japan.
If you like model trains, but you are a bit short on space, you might want to consider these trains. They may not have the level of detail than HO models, but they will certainly give you a better space management.