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Hello! As you can probably see I'm pretty new to the forum. I've been wanting to get back into model trains lately and I was planning on starting by accomplishing one of my childhood dreams. I always wanted a layout with scenery and the works, so now that I'm a little older and a little wiser I've been thinking about tackling the project. I was considering HO scale at first but I have to be honest, I forgot how much some of this stuff costs. So now I'm thinking N-scale might be my choice. The only problem is I remember when I was younger, probably about eleven years ago, I got an N-scale set for my birthday. I was so excited I ran up to my room and set it up. Only problem was the damn thing de-railed so often I couldn't use it. My dad attached the track to a board thinking that would help but it didn't at all. And that was pretty much the end of my N-scale experience. So, long story short, have N-scale trains gotten better over the years? Are there tricks to keeping them on the track that I didn't know about? I realize this is a long winded first post, but I plan on putting a lot into this project and would like to actually be able to use it. Thanks!
 

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N scale has indeed largely improved over the years.I do own a few older locos and the difference is evident as the newer ones have much smoother motors and are better pullers too.However,no matter how good your equipment is,quality of assembly remains a must.Trackwork has to be as perfect as possible,curves also need to be wide enough to accomodate whatever trains you want to run,wheels need to be correctly gauged and cars properly weighted to keep derailments to a minimum.

If you are considering N scale for cost reason,well...as much as I like N scale I don't think it is cheaper than HO,or if so,not so much....
 

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Pros and cons to each of HO and N.

I'd have to say, though, that I think HO is cheaper item-for-item on the average than N (especially when considering large HO availability of used items). Also, if scenery is important, there's a larger range of buildings and such available in HO ... though N is ever expanding.

TJ
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the quick replies. Maybe I'll start looking back into HO scale. I have noticed in some of my researching that HO is around the same price.
 

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Just a thought when looking back at HO. The minimum radii are considerably wider. If space is an issue, N might be better. N has very reliable stuff now, but it is just as expensive, unless you plan to get into high end Steam engines, in which case you can spend a ton, if you want.
 

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I just got back into N scale almost a year ago, I am building a door sized layout,
http://www.cke1st.com/m_train2.htm
it's the 9th layout down from door sized layout's, it has plenty of grades.
I'm using Atlas diesels and must say that they all run great, smooth and no derailments. I love N scale for the amount you can get into the space.
 

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NO matter what you have, everything is contingent on your trackwork. You need to take it one piece at a time, and solder the joints when you have them lined up perfect, any gaps, or pieces that need help lining up need to be taken care of right off before you go on to the next piece of track. Run a car over the track each time you add a piece to make sure it's ok. If a rail needs it, file it with a ******* file so they're both level on top, and straight on the sides. You can't enjoy a layout with crappy trackwork.
 

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The key to keeping cars on the track? Like Fly said Trackwork is the key no matter it HO or N.
Good wheels and smooth track work with no bumps or kinks.
Once I lay track and get any kinks out and track is smooth , I use Micro- Trains wheels. Trains will run for hours and hours.
 

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Only problem was the damn thing de-railed so often I couldn't use it. My dad attached the track to a board thinking that would help but it didn't at all.
I have a trial layout with a double crossover, #6 turnouts, and 15 deg crossing and I haven't had a single derail. The N scale Kato engines I have can also pull as many cars as you would ever want to. Go with it.
 

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Like said the reason the original posters trains jumped was because of the poor track assembly.

I got this small 30" x 48" N from my sister, all she did was lay the track on cork no soldering done.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dr8G4l8I6T0

(buildings thrown on in 5 mins for the video, nothings set.)


The trains go around pretty good. Though it doesn't have switching to run through. It just goes around a circle.

Though I guess to do it right solder would be the way to go.:thumbsup:
 

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You can't enjoy a layout with crappy trackwork.
You mean you won't be modeling the prototype?? :D

HO for realism, N for operating.
Do you just want to model, or do you want to operate? A 4x8 in HO gets boring real quick! Actually, in N scale it will get boring, just not quite as fast. ;)
 

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They have greatly improved! Knuckle couplers no more pizza cutter wheels, code 55 friendly and code 55 track is out. Heck, theres even code 40 now! I say choose Atlas,Kato, and Athearn for diesels and Bachmann-Spectrum for steam. Heres a website for N scale loco reviews:
http://www.visi.com/~spookshow/locos.html

I minger in N scale. I still like 'em!
 

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I like the N Scale because the train can travel more scale distance in a small area.

Most of my locos and rolling stock have come from ebay, new and used, some from online dealers and a little bit from local hobby shops.

If I wanted to devote the space to it I would prefer HO because the locos and rolling stock are big enough to look like railroad stuff. When we had cats, the cats thought the N Scale locos were mice. Hardly surprising. Sometimes I would let the cats catch one.
 
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