Greetings - and a question



Hi everyone,
This is my first post on the forum so I brought along some beer and chips if anyone wants some.

I had a model train set when I was a kid but sadly, didn't appreciate how lucky I was. I've always hankered after another but Santa Clause gipped me year after year (something to do with this 'naughty or nice' thing apparently). I was becoming resigned to shelling out my own money when a friend contacted me to say he'd been given an N Scale layout but didn't really want it so I could take it off his hands cheap.

It included a teeny looking steam locomotive, 4 cars, 2 power supplies (two?) and a few landscaping bits and pieces. Oh, and a 4' x 8' wooden base which barely fits in my house so is currently hanging on chains from a ceiling beam. When I'm done playing with it I rack it back up and affix it with caribiners, about 3 inches from the living room ceiling.

The original owner had begun an elaborate layout with Atlas flexitrack but hadn't done a great job with the joints. Even worse, the styrofoam base smelt strongly of cigarette smoke and as that was a problem for my asthmatic wife, I decided to cut my losses and start over by ditching base and track and buying new.

So, at the grand old age of (clears throat), I finally have a train set.

I'm rather feckless when it comes to handicrafts but inspired by some of the work I've seen here and elsewhere, I'd really like to try my hand at a diorama. Because, I'm a rank beginner I decided to stick with Kato Unitrack because of its simplicity. So far so good, my layout is put together and the train seems to like it. Next step is gluing down the insulating foam base, carving a river and beginning work on the hillsides with (maybe) a tunnel or two.

Anyhoo, to my question:
I'm a Brit, exiled in the US and am wondering if anyone makes British steam locomotives, which would work with a US track and power supply. I'm assuming trains sold in Britain won't automatically work here, correct? This would of course, need to be N scale.

If not, it's no biggie, I'm not even sure if that's what I want. However, I figured if I am going to go with a British train, it would be best to make the decision before I go too far along the landscaping road.

Thanks in advance.
Last edited by a moderator:
Welcome to the forums, Zeroe! I model the other end of the range - G scale, outdoors - but we have some wonderful N scale modelers here who should be along to greet you and offer some advice shortly.

By the way, great chips --- thanks! (I like your style. :))
Welcome to the forum Zeroe, I too am into a different gauge and as Lady railfan says there are plenty N scale members here that will have advice for you. There are also a few from across the pond that may be able to advise you on models of British built locomotives for N scale. Enjoy the forums, that's what they're for.
Cheers Willis
Welcome to the forums! I don't know much (read 'anything') about British models, but I would guess that as you expected, they would be designed for different track and/or power supplies. I don't know of any manufacturers offhand that produce across-the-pond-based models for state-based track, and I would guess that if any do exist, it will still be difficult to build a significant fleet or a decent variety of equipment. However, I could be very wrong (which wouldn't surprise me in the least). I've never really researched the subject, since I don't model anything 'foreign' :rolleyes: . Actually, I don't really model anything at the moment...don't really have the room or the time for a layout, so I satisfy my modeling cravings through my business.

But hey, I'm just a kid, so what'do I know :p

Oh yes...thanks for the chips. I think I'll substitute a Coke for the beverage though...
Last edited by a moderator:
I have a good frien who models British Railroading and has for the past 25 years. His is a portable layout he takes to model RR shows all over central Indiana. A good majority of his locos are British and quite welll on his N-scale layout. If I remember correctly his locos are mainly Graham-Farrish (sp?) but he has taken some American locos and UK'ed them. Some photos of Trevors Jones' Midland and Great Western can be seen at about 1/3 of the way down the page.


I too would like to welcome you to the forums!
Congratulations on finally getting a model railroad. :D
Years ago I modeled in N Scale but have since moved up to HO.
In addition to the other suggestions that have been given, let me add this.....

Head on down to your local hobby shop and purchase a Walthers N & Z Scale
Reference Catalog.
It is full of the latest products from N and Z Scale suppliers.
You can also order one on-line at

Good luck and welcome aboard! :)
Thanks for the welcome guys. I think Sushob made a good point about the challenges of building a fleet although due to budgetary restrictions (my wife knows how much I earn) that may not be too big a deal, at least 'till I win the lottery. (I really should buy a ticket some time).

I'll check out the link leghome gave and will keep you posted as things progress.

FYI, I spent a rather frustrating afternoon trying to figure out why one turnout on my track is causing the train to de-rail when it looks exactly the same as all the others. I tried swapping it around various locations and the problem was always the same. Rolling a car over it manually feels beautifully smooth but once they're part of the train running at medium speed, you can see them give a little wobble and off they come. It makes no difference which direction the train is going.

It's brand new so do you suppose it could be a dodgy turnout, or is that just too easy?
Do you have a track guage. If you get an NMRA track gauge you can check your track and the wheel sets on your locos and cars. I imagine there are other track gauges out there but the NMRA one is the only one I am familar with. I have had a few turnouts that had to be adjusted and the gauge really does work.
Thanks guys. I'll look into the track guage doohickey but as the turnout is brand new, and I still have the receipt, I think I might just go for the easy option and exchange it for a new one.

Sadly, my beloved has a list of "to do's" this weekend so it might need to wait a bit. :(
Welcome to the forum and to Nscale Zeroe. Return the turnout while you can. Keep on the wife's good side, as often as you can. Run trains whenever you can.
There are 1 or 2 online dealers that import european and British equipment to the US.
I don't have the links in this comp though. Try a search for a named train or loco and see what you get.

Ken K