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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I'm new to the hobby and have been reading the forum. I have decided on the size of the set but would prefer to start small. I'm thinking of going for a n scale set due to its size. What I would like to do is a mountain area with a tunnel, forest and a query maybe. I would prefer to have 2 trains running, a passenger train and a coal train. Is this possible? Is it also possible to have the coal train emit smoke and whistle? Is this complicated? Since this is my first I don't want to complicate it a lot either. What size would you recommend? And I have no idea where to start. Any advice would be appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the link. What type of tracks should I buy?
 

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http://www.thortrains.net/index.html

Visit here and pick a track plan. COmpare prices to build it with a ceratin brand of track. ANd go from there. Normally you go local, so it is available to you. Mostly a matter of taste, and the look you want.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Nice layouts. There's one I like but can these layouts be done in N scale or only in O scale?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
OK, the layout I liked is too big for me. I found another layout I like in the Atlas site, Code 80 N-3 layout. It seem to fit the size that's available for me. 2x4 But instead of buying the Atlas tracks at $179 I'm thinking of using Kato unitracks. Is this ok? And can n scale locos run on any track or only Kato locos can run on kato tracks? Also can I make small variations to the layout, like elevation?
 

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Sorry I know of a code 80 and 100. It doesn't mean anything to me. That may be best answered by your store dealer. I am sure one engine will run on both but I don't know which.
OK I got it http://www.atlasrr.com/layoutfaq.htm
N scale is at the bottom.
Code 55 is lower and closer to scale. Modern cars work on both.


The Kato is snap fastrack so that has ballast built in and will take up more room than the unballasted track. http://www.katousa.com/N/unitrack.html
 

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My first layout was in N scale. I found one thing that was super critical on that size is that the track is level side to side. It is so small that a small piece of something can really get the train flipping over. The wider the track the more stable it seems. However, there are some wonderfully stable N gauge layouts its just takes a bit more patience. I went to HO because years ago there was not much like auto and accessories to go with N scale but that is all changed now. I do like the detail that you can get with larger HO or bigger scales. But it is all relevent to how much you want. Try painting a face on an N scale figurine. It can be done but not easily. But its all fun and making the train go is the real joy of it all and modeling the great RR is pure pleasure.
 

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Looking to get into a nice 4foot by 8foot layout in N scale. Heres what I would like to know from the pros. Is there an N scale grain car available that allows the hopper to be closed and opened? I have some really cool ideas of a feed mill setup that will actually load and unload the train. Thanks for any info. I am a DIY guy by the way.
 

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Hi!...OK...let's see...first,I strongly recommend that you try very hard to build slightly larger than a 2X4.In such small space,you can't really build any interesting pattern other than a simple oval,and that is with the tracks running right on the edge of your benchwork with not much room for any sidings on the inside either.If you could stretch to let's say 30 or even 36 in. wide and possibly 5 or 6 feet in length,it would make a world in difference.

Kato Unitracks are very fine indeed and any loco and rolling stock will run on them but I don't believe that they'll be any cheaper than Atlas tracks.For a beginner,Atlas code 80 is a good option in my opinion.Reliable,easy to install and at a reasonable cost,you'd be able to run just anything on them that can run on 9 3/4 in. curves.Obviously,you'll have to stay away from most steamers other than the pretty small ones and be careful with your choice of six axle diesels as most will negociate these curves but will still look strange doing it.

Elevations?...yes...but very mild ones.Reasonable grades don't exceed 2%,meaning that a 2 in. rise will need 100 in. of track length to not exceed that percentage.Considering that it is what you'll have in total mainline length around your layout and that the train has to come down a similar slope on the other side of the hill,you can't go much higher than one inch.However,you could cheat a little since you will not be able to assemble long trains.

Running two trains is indeed possible but you'll need a second mainline outside the first one,and this one will have 11 in. radius curves,wich will bring your trackwork right on the edge of your 24 in. layout (I have doubts that Unitrack carry 9 3/4 and 11 in. radiuses).Then you'll have to have a second DC throttle and design what is called "block control" to drive your trains.For this purpose,I suggest you consider DCC,a basic starter set won't be much more expensive if at all than all the hardware you'd need for block control and would make your layout more enjoyable.

Will any brand of N scale locos and cars run on any brand of N scale track?On code 80 track...yes.On code 55 track...NO.Many will but some older models won't without replacing their wheel sets.

Whistle and smoke?Smoke is nothing new,but in rare models of steamers only.On the other hand,sound does exist in N scale but has still a few leaps to go.Right now,the only drop-in type decoders for N scale diesels is from MRC but they are plagued with unreliabily issues.I'd avoid them.

As for FireAce's question...I've been in N scale for close to ten years now and have never heard of or seen any grain cars that could open in this scale and I doubt we'll ever see this due to the extremely reduced size of the mechanics that would be required.It is possible I think,but what would the prices be for such items and where could one find scale grain to have these somewhat prototypically operating?
 

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Thanks Jake, for the reply. I am working on building an N scale feed mill / elevator system, a replica of one we had on the farm as i was growing up. This unit will, (and already has) a working conveyor that will load whatever pickings into a grain car. I will be posting pics when complete. Video I suppose would do more justice.

Can anyone post links to other working conveyor system or other working methods for loading N scale grain or coal cars? Thanks guys
 

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My first layout was in N scale. I found one thing that was super critical on that size is that the track is level side to side. It is so small that a small piece of something can really get the train flipping over. The wider the track the more stable it seems. However, there are some wonderfully stable N gauge layouts its just takes a bit more patience. I went to HO because years ago there was not much like auto and accessories to go with N scale but that is all changed now. I do like the detail that you can get with larger HO or bigger scales. But it is all relevent to how much you want. Try painting a face on an N scale figurine. It can be done but not easily. But its all fun and making the train go is the real joy of it all and modeling the great RR is pure pleasure.
Well in reference to code of track I use code 80 and Unitrak in particular. FOr easy of laying track and roadbed in one swift move. Also the size of the scale this makes it much easier. Code 80 comes from Atlas Kato and Bachmann. N Scale also offers code 55 also but is more fussy than code 80 ; in that you should use smaller flange wheels when using this code; and it is not user friendly to older pieces of equipment.

The advantage that most of us find with using N Scale verses the other scales is you can fit alot more track/ action in a much smaller space.

The details in the equipment have narrowed greatly in the last few years.
And the details that don't come on the equipment at time of purchase can be found and added. There are many Super Detail companies now ie: BLMA, Gold Medal for just two of the examples.

Quick note on buying a set. I would not because you can find what you will need at a better quality and cheaper by first surfing around to decide what it is you desire and making your purchase separately. That was my experience anyway.

Any further questions please post back here or PM and we'd be glad to address your questions

Njoy; "it's built rite in."
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Could you please recomends a dealer to buy the items separate. I thought it would be better to buy a set for a beginer.
 
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