maxairedale Feb 2, 2010

  1. Stourbridge Lion

    Stourbridge Lion TrainBoard Supporter

    Heck, even the Manufactures uses them interchangeably...



    N Gauge Unitrack and Accessories

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  2. SteamDonkey74

    SteamDonkey74 TrainBoard Supporter

    Hey, Mark. You didn't capitalize the first word in the second sentence.

    Just sayin'...

  3. SteamDonkey74

    SteamDonkey74 TrainBoard Supporter

    For Kato it makes sense for them to call their track "N-Gauge" since it is being used by modelers all over the world operating in scales like 1:148, 1:160, 1:172, and whatever else.
  4. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

    Hold on...HOLD ON!!

    I need to get some more popcorn..BRB


  5. Stourbridge Lion

    Stourbridge Lion TrainBoard Supporter

    Don't forget the HOT BUTTER, it wouldn't be right without it...

    :tb-rolleyes: :tb-rolleyes: :tb-rolleyes: :tb-rolleyes:​
  6. Mark Watson

    Mark Watson TrainBoard Member

  7. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Gauge is always the distance between the two traveled rails.

    The letter "n" in lower case, when combined with a scale size indicates narrow gauge. HOn3, On30, etc.

    N gauge is a term more commonly used such as in Europe, by those modeling in N. It was used more often years ago, but we've evolved away from it.

    N scalers use N gauged track. Otherwise working in what should be 1:160 scale.

    Boxcab E50
  8. u18b

    u18b TrainBoard Supporter

    Joining this thread after 5 pages, I'm not sure where to begin.

    I think one of the root problems is in the quote above.

    How long have some of you guys been in our hobby? How long is your historical perspective?

    Let me ask another question in reference to the quote above, How many of you yourself, or your parents, or your grandparents would have said-- bring the Oleo (do you know what that is? Mmmmmm- It's good.).

    When you go to a certain machine in the office, do you ....
    a) Xerox your papers
    b) photo copy them
    c) mimiograph them

    If you said A, you are probably about 60-30.
    If you said B, you are probably under - 30.
    If you said C, you are probably 60-100.

    THE POINT- Changes in Terminology.......

    When our hobby began in 1960, there were competing names. In Feb 1964, Lynn Wescott wrote an editorial in Model Railroader and addressed a lack of standards and a lack of a name. There was still no consensus (other than 9 mm between the rails). A good number of people were calling it OOO scale or Treble O gauge. It appears Arnold wanted to even call it Rapido gauge or scale (which I find kind of funny). In that issue, one guy even suggested calling it AA scale (for All Americal scale). And all this early equipment was different scales. The very first Arnold loco in 1960 was 1:200 and ran on 9 mm track. The very first OOO scale lone Star loco was bigger than 1:160 but also came out at the same time- 1960 running on 9 mm track.

    But the name that eventually won out- that is the name that vast numbers of people used for years and years and years was...........

    N gauge.

    So you can argue all you want about what is proper. What people should or should not call something. But please don't ignore history.

    Much of it was called N gauge for decades. Whether you like it or not-- that was what it was called.

    And if people call it that today, there is a good chance, that such a person might possibly be of an older generation.

    So my point is--- you don't think that N scale and N gauge mean the same thing. And by the way I would agree. The words are technically different. But to countless thousands of people...... It means the same thing when they use it. And thus it's not worth picking a fight with them.

    Oh, by the way, We will be celebrating the 50th Anniversary of N gauge at the Atlas Forum on Sunday March 7th. We hope you can join us for the party.

    Notice I didn't say the 50th Anniversary of N scale, since 1:160 didn't come until later. But I don't plan on beating up anybody who wants to celebrate 50 years of N scale.

    Hope to see you there. If you can post, post some photos of any old equipment you have-- whatever "old" is to you. Let's enjoy this historic celebration.

    Ron Bearden
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 3, 2010
  9. Lark

    Lark TrainBoard Member

    I'm jumping right up...

    ...on this soapbox. N Gauge is N Scale and I never ever read, seen nor heard "N Gauge" attributed as a definition for narrow gauge (until now). Gauge between rails is a whole other matter. But I would like to see historical evidence that uses the terminology "N Gauge" in reference to the gauge of railroad trackage as being narrow. Further, since I am on this soapbox- I grew up with N Gauge. We (dad and I) had Aurora Postage Stamp Trains- they were Micro-Gauge but we didn't shun them for an "M" gauge claim that they never made.

    You know what's worse than making claims about gauge and scale? A respected model railroading magazine(who shall remain nameless-MR) had an article with RR definitions in it. One was the term Gantlet track (not gauntlet)- as desribed in the article. Yet somewhere down the pike they allowed the term gauntlet track to be used to define a section of Gantlet track. I can tell from recent readings they use "Spell Chick" to edit alot of thier/there copy.

    Oh what a can of worms we open when we first start to try to conceive!(?)

    All tounge in cheek of course- or is that T Gauge in C Scale- no that would be Bach- Fugue in D Minor. Or is it Air in Contatta? Rock-N Gauge-Roll.


  10. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

    You have been purchasing 1:160 N gauge locomotives and cars that are mislabeled as N scale. The scale is 1:160 the gauge is N [nine] mm. In other places the gauge is still N [nine] mm but the scale is different.
  11. Flash Blackman

    Flash Blackman TrainBoard Member


    Since TrainBoard is in a fund raising effort right now, I wonder is anyone would pay to get a link to this thread? Just wondering. :D
  12. u18b

    u18b TrainBoard Supporter

    By the way, with all due respect to the guy who worked really hard on the wikipeadia page, it is full of errors.

    I would not cite it as authoritative at all. (though it does have some helpful stuff- just know it has errors).

    And the term "N gauge" has never been used to refer to narrow gauge. But it is easy to see how people could be confused, since people do model narrow gauge.

    And as to that ad-- the way it was worded.... I just bought an N gauge layout and I'm going to do such and so with it....

    Clearly, that person bought an "N scale" layout (to use the modern term). However, while it is probably that the person wants to work in "N scale", I agree with the original poster, it is possible that such a person could be an HO fan and might buy such a layout and plan to run HOn3 trains on it (thus changing the scale of the layout).

    I guess that's possible. But you can't tell just from the wording of the ad. But more than likely, people who model in HOn3 tend to be very precise and not run-of-the-mill modelers. So if such a person bought that kind of a layout, I'd expect he would have said--- Oh great! I finally bought an N gauge layout so I can do some HOn3.

    But that's not what he said.

    So if I had seen that ad without this thread, I would not have given it a second thought. The guy is an N scaler would have been my assumption.
  13. Mark Watson

    Mark Watson TrainBoard Member

    I figured I'd let that one slide, so I'm glad someone else mentioned it.

    Here at the Academy, instructors will not grade a paper with Wikipedia cited as a source. Wiki is collective opinion, which more often than not is far from actual fact.
  14. kmcsjr

    kmcsjr TrainBoard Member

    Yeesh, you'ld think someone used the n word or something. I will now go back and read the rest of this.
  15. u18b

    u18b TrainBoard Supporter

    For those of you with about an hour to kill.........

    There has been an active discussion (old now) on the Atlas board that started just after Thanksgiving with a simple question-- When is the 50th Anniversary of N scale?

    That thread went on for 10 pages.

    There is some good information. Some mis-information and opinion. Some stuff that get's corrected. Even some discussion on N gauge versus N scale.

    A couple of the photos that were posted are gone... but the information may be fascinating.

    Here is the original thread--- PLEASE no one post to it and revive it. It is now on page 28 and you will bring it to the front if you post to it. It is a dead thread- but still worth reading.
    Atlas Model Railroad Co. - When does N Scale officially turn 50?

    This all led me to do MORE research. I discovered more information about the founding of our hobby-- in particular about Arnold.

    I then recently posted this thread- which is still fairly active-
    Atlas Model Railroad Co. - 50th Anniversary Revisited

    The history summary of the start of our hobby may be of interest.

    Best wishes
  16. kmcsjr

    kmcsjr TrainBoard Member

    Yes, but you'ld have to throw in trainboard logo commuter sets in 1/148th, 1/150 and 1/160 scale to run on my 3/8 inch plywood based thing that I put N gauge Unitrack on, to enjoy my trains (they are technically trains, aren't they?)
  17. John G. Adney

    John G. Adney Passed away May 19, 2010 In Memoriam

    Here's another thought for this scale/gauge thread to bounce around the brain. Most dealers advertise "HO and N Scale." Does that mean the two scales have merged into one? The proper way to make the scales different is simple: HO and N ScaleS (the last S would not be capitalized; I do so to stress a point). Who really gives a rat's butt?
  18. Stourbridge Lion

    Stourbridge Lion TrainBoard Supporter


    Worse, someone used the G word out of place... :tb-shocked:

    Gary, I do appreciate from a purest point of view what you are saying but some of us do use "S" and "G" interchangeably and right or wrong will likely continue to do so. We are all part of one BIG happy family here and with family comes some oddities that we all have to live with and at the end of the day laugh about. All's good & point taken...

    :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:
  19. sandro schaer

    sandro schaer TrainBoard Member

    n-scale , n-gauge...

    as far as i remember n-scale (1:160) started in germany. where the word for scale is 'Massstab'. now if you look up any translation page you'll come out with either 'scale' or 'gauge'. american english differs from uk english ! north american guys translate 'Massstab' with scale while other english countries translate it with gauge. in the end it is all the same.

    there are different scales which run on 9mm track :
    - 1:160 (n-scale)
    - 1:150 (japan n-scale)
    - 1:148 (uk n-scale)
    - 1:87 (h0-scale narrow, different tie size and spacing !)

    as you can see, 1:87 runs on 9mm track but not on N-scale track ! tie sizes and spacing differs. that means, taking all your explanation an answers into account, there would be 9mm track which is n-gauge-n-scale and n-gauge-h0-scale. confusing, isn't it ?

    there are different scales which run on 6.5mm track :
    - 1:220 (z-scale)
    - 1:160 (n-scale narrow, wrong tie size and spacing)

    then there are h0n2, h0n3, h0e, h0m .... all are 1:87 scale/gauge but run on different tracks.

    after all we come down to the following :

    scale/gauge refers to the reduction of the dimensions of a model.
    track width is usually specified in mm (45mm, 16.5mm, 9mm, 6.5mm) and is NOT specified using scale or gauge. as stated above, 9mm track can be used for different scales and thus must feature different sizes of ties.

    after some browsing around i found out that model railroading in general started in germany. 100 years ago language differences between uk and north america were bigger than nowadays. that's when the scale/gauge thing was born.

    at noon you guys go for lunch, while uk people go for dinner. at night you go for dinner while uk guys go for supper.
    same with lift and elevator.

    it's all a question of translation.
  20. jagged ben

    jagged ben TrainBoard Member

    It's time for a quiz:

    If someone uses N gauge trains and track to model a 1:8 live steamer ride in 1:20 scale, which country should they buy the N gauge trains in?

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