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Hello,

I built an extensive HO layout when I was in high school 20 years ago. A lot has since changed. In the next few years, I plan on building an N layout with my son. I am still investigating. I understand that HO products are fairly reliable and that the brands are compatible, but this is less so with N products.

How do I choose a brand for my N gauge purchases?

Will I have to worry that the things a buy will not be compatible with future new products?

Thanks,
D
 

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Welcome. Compatibility is no more an issue with N than it is with HO. There are some issues between products; Kato vs Bachmann vs Life-Like uni-track or MTL couplers vs Rapido for instance, but those are easily overcome with time and experience. DCC vs DC is another area but that can be settled by deciding from the start which way you're going to go on that subject. Ask questions, shop around, enjoy the hobby.
 

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That's kind of a Ford/Chevy thing among modelers. Each has its strengths and weaknesses. Kato Uni-Track is rugged, reliable---and expensive. Atlas C85 is a favored old standby that is more affordable, less reliable but can be made to work well enough with a bit of tweeking. Then there's Peco's code 55 (code = rail height, C55 is .055" tall, C85 is .085" and so on) rail products that are less rugged because of size, but reliable and pricey. It is closer to scale size, making it popular among the more fastidious modelers.

I use Atlas because I have to be frugal, I'm not picky about scale appearances and I have enough experience to deal with the minor adjustments it needs from time to time.
 
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