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As I was looking over this months new releases from Atlas,Athearn and Micro-Trains my thoughts turn to the 80s when I had a N Scale door layout and was using Atlas GP9s,Bachmann GP40s and F7s,AHM RSD15s and a Mini Trix FM switcher and repido couplers.N Scale was still growing as far as new products but nothing like today's rate.
Today I use Atlas engines,cars from Atlas,Athearn,Red Caboose,LBF,InterMountain and the former Roundhouse cars...In the 80s 98% of my cars was Atlas.
Today we have a wider variety of vehicles,structures,scenery,ballast,figures,DCC equipped locomotives and so forth.Quality locomotives have body mounted couplers and closed pilots-a far cry from the old standard truck mounted couplers.MT makes couplers that you can body mount on your fright cars if you choose.

Share your memories and thoughts with us..

What changes to you see in N Scale in the coming years?
I changed to N scale in 1969. If you wanted steam it was Atlas by Rivarossi. There have been many years over the last 35 years that you could not buy a steam engine. Today there are many steam engines available and more coming! It is a great time to be in N scale.

N scale still doesn't have the variety and consistant availablity that HO has, but it is improving.

The choices for building today would have been unbelievable in the early 70's. It is a shame that Walthers has not produced all of the large industry building in N scale that is offered in HO. It has been over 4 years since the Blast Furnace was introduced and N scale is still waiting for the Coke Plant and Melt shop. We haven't even gotten the bottle cars or slag cars to go with the Blast Furnace. As interest in modeling large industries grows, it will help expand N scale as it is the only scale that will allow modelers with limited space to model large industries.



Couldn't agree with you more Brakie! I remember the early years as trying and frustrating. We had to make do with poorly detailed, jerky engines, truck mounted rapidos and limited rolling stock and structures. Over the 20 years, I have seen tremendous progress. The turning point was when Kato entered the US N scale market. They set the standard for other makers to improve and emulate. Today modellers have a better variety to choose from whether it is engines or rolling stock, so with tracks, structures and scenic material.
I hope Athearn and others will continue to improve their products so there will be better choices and most importantly keep the prices reasonable so more will take up the hobby especially the younger set.


New Member
Hi guys,
I have been in N scale since 1979 when my 2 twin sisters came along and I was 4 years old. My dad didnt want to give up his HO scale trains and my mom didnt want to give up my sisters so my dad and I were forced to downsize. In 1979 there was not much available, a good running engine was Atlas or Trix which never ran all that great but it was ok. I sometimes thought to myself why cant we get back into HO there is nothing available in N scale. When Kato entered the market in I want to say 1989 with the GP 38-2 they "raised the bar" as we say in the auto industry that I work in. After Kato many other manufacturers jumped on this band wagon and started producing high quality running locomotives, starting with Atlas, then came Life-Like with their SW-9 which was revolutionary for N scale. Now we finally had a decent running and great looking switcher for our yards and locals. In recent years we have seen Micro Trains and Intermountain enter the locomotive market. Both look great and run just as good and if not better than they look. With all the improvements that we have seen in recent years from a variety of manufacturers one can not even imagine what the near future brings for us.
In recent years I have gotten back into the hobby and enjoy the high quality locomotives and structures and all there is to offer in N-scale. I am now 30 years old and with a 2 month old son, I have visions of getting him into the hobby young just like me. We as model railroaders need to recruit more young kids to spend quality time doing something they can enjoy for many years of their life instead of letting them become video game junkies as so many kids are these days.
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Running the MC & Buffalo
Right on cwwman . The young ones hold the future in Model railroading and who knows where it will be going. Oldgettysk

J Long

New Member
I had a couple stints with N scale once in the 70's and once in the 80's. It was too futzy and problematic for me plus the selection was too limited. So I stayed with HO and later 3 rail O gauge.

Not long ago, I began noticing the growing selection and improved quality of N scale and gave it another try with a Life Like SW swithcer starter set. I had it up and running in only a few minutes and was impressed with the detailing and smoothness in running of the engine. When watching it run, I got the illusion I was sitting on a hill watching a real train. "This isn't yesterday's N scale" I thought to my self. I soon began collecting engines, rolling stock, and building structure kits along with assembling a Unitrack layout on a doorslab with grassmat.

Competition is good for the hobby because companies continue to raise the bar as they follow each others leads if they expect to stay in buisiness.

The limited edition concept is going out the door. Either you supply people with what they want, or your competitor will with equal or better quality for the same price.

I forsee in the near future a surge of affordable plastic articulated steam coming from Athearn and Intermountain.


New Member
Some thoughts;

I am glad to hear that I am not the only person that thinks N-Scale has gotten better over the years.
I read in other forms the complaints of how this and or that is junk and yes I also have lodged complaints but over all we have come a long way since I started back in 1972 or 73.
Yes I still have the first locos that were given to me for Christmas gifts back then.
Do they run? Yes. As good as what one can get today? No. and yes one of the companies are still in business.

I doubt that I will ever stop participating as an N-Scale modeler.


I'am going back to N scale allso,I have an space problem,HO going into storeage,The last N I bulit was in 1974-5, all I had was bachmann,my lay out was something atlas came up with an 4'X 8' where you cut a section out and put it on top for a mountain,I agree IT sure has come a long way.

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