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What are small N scale layouts?

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N scale is one of the many scales of model railroads, and it represents approximately 1:160th scale trains, houses and vehicles. In an N scale layout, the tracks are exactly 0.354 inches apart with rails ranging from 0.055 to 0.080 inches high. N scale is the third-smallest model railroad scale commercially available after Z scale at 1:220 and T scale at 1:450.

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Although the larger O and HO scales are more common than N scale in model railroading, the smaller scales have become popular due to their capacity to support elaborate landscapes in a relatively small space, according to Train Sets Only. Like the larger scales, N scale layouts rely on electrified rails to drive the locomotives by using 12-volt direct-current motors.

Another reason for N scale's growth in popularity is its compatibility with the popular 1:144 scale used in wargaming miniatures. This allows hobbyists access to a ready supply of military vehicles and troops at a compatible scale for dioramas set during the great wars.

One of the largest N scale train layouts in existence is at the San Diego Model Railroad Museum in California. The entire layout takes up more than 1,200 square feet, including multiple computer-controlled lines, hand-laid tracks, and incredibly detailed buildings and structures.

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