Most Used N-Scale Modular System?

Discussion in 'Modular Layout Forum' started by HoosierTrainGuyII, Aug 11, 2009.

  1. HoosierTrainGuyII

    HoosierTrainGuyII New Member

    So, what is the most widely used N-Scale modules? Bend Track, T-Trak, etc., & is one getting stronger? I live near Cincinnati, OH so, if you have geographically specific details, a large club for example, please include them. I started a small layout, but I moved & haven't finished it. I have some locos, one is a SW1500 MP with Digitrax decoder, enough rolling stock to start with, a Digitrax Zephyr, and if I had a few more turnouts & a little more track I could build a layout with three modules with some industry. Any input? Thanks
  2. HoosierTrainGuyII

    HoosierTrainGuyII New Member

    Ok.!.? No responses at all.:confused: How about I simplify the Q? to my original thought:

    So, what is the most widely used N-Scale modules? Bend Track, T-Trak, etc.?
  3. tglenchur

    tglenchur Member

    Modular Layouts Allow Flexible Decisions


    I'm mostly a paper modeller but have connected on and off with Cincinnati model railroad hobbyists over the years. Cincinnati is National Model Railroad Division (NMRA) VII. I suggest you contact the NMRA national club for the current Cincinnati / Indianapolis contacts to ask your question.

    The last N-scale show I saw had the N-Gage and N-Trak clubs showing their respective lay-outs. N-Trak is the oldest but still evolving organization that I know about in that scale.

    I have an eight module layout in my home that I will complete sometime by the next century. I'm a model operator not a collector so I am pretty happy just seeing engines pull long 40 car lines around my layout. With my paper modelling skills developing, building scenery just dropped by a factor of 10. I suggest experience with the local groups is a better basis to decide which modular system to persue.

    The basic idea of modular railroading is that you don't need to own a huge layout to run on a large layout. The club holds the meets so that the burden of buying and maintaining a nice big layout is shared. Try each group with one module and see which way you prefer to go.

    Best of Luck,

    Tom Glenchur
  4. Trainiac77

    Trainiac77 Member

    I have not found a modular standard that would work for me and the room I have to devote to a layout. So the one that works best for me is a modified Bend track layout. I have 5 modules and I use Kato Unitrack only. This has so far worked out very well. I also have shortened the height so I can reach to back of the 3' wide modules. There are no bend track or Ntrak clubs near enough for me to join so I'm content to use what I have without worrying hooking up with other club members.
  5. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    Like designing a layout, choosing a modular standard is best arrived at through examining one's priorities and purposes. Each modular standard has a philosophy and culture of its own. Each new standard usually comes into being through unhappiness with aspect(s) of existing modular standards.

    Although I model in HO and HOn3, I did a fair amount of on research HO and HOn3 modular standards due to a very limited space for my home layouts. From what I have read, there are a lot of similarities to the N situation. Start out with answering a few key questions?
    • is the modular standard primarily for a home layout, or do you intend to set up with others?
    • how often do you want to set up with others?
    • how far are you willing to travel to a set up?
    • do you have the means to transport the number of modules you intend to build to the set up?
    • do you prefer to meet frequently with others building modules to the same standard, or just at the set ups?
    • are you willing to establish your own local group, or do you need to join an already established local group?
    Obviously, your answers may limit your choice of standards to what is already being done in your area.

    A second important point to consider is what you are trying to achieve with your layout building (modular or otherwise), and how this meshes with the philosophy of the modular standard you are considering. For instance, are you primarily interested in display running on multiple main lines (N-Trak and its derivatives)? Or do you prefer prototypical ops on single track main lines (Freemo-N)? Note that the latter can only run so many trains simultaneously on a given setup. The best way to research this is to visit the web sites for the various standards, and read their philosophies, and see which appeals to you.

    While you are at the web sites, take a look at the module standards themselves and see if you can live with all of them for a given modular standard. If you are going to set up with others, all of you have to comply with the same set of standards.

    Personally, I prefer the greater freedom of the Freemo standards - and even then some of the standards rub me the wrong way. If I were in your shoes, I'd seriously consider Freemo-N (see But then, I'm not you.

    my thoughts, your choices
  6. mfm37

    mfm37 New Member

    I'd guess that N-Trak has the largest modular N scale following in the US. Many of the other types are being built by members of NTRAK clubs.
    We had a convention layout in Louisville last summer with 711 modules filling 50,000 square feet. Took about 3 hours to make one trip around it.
  7. HoosierTrainGuyII

    HoosierTrainGuyII New Member

    Thanks for the responses. I think I will probably just build a layout that suits me & my space & IF I join a club, I will build a module that I can use for that & just make provisions on my home layout to set it up if I want. Thanks for the help.

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