The Beginning of NTRAK
In 1973 a group of enthusiastic model railroaders got together at an N scale meet in Signal Hill, California, and talked about what they could do to help interest people in N scale, and to share information about N scale. The NTRAK project resulted from this meeting and the idea has spread throughout the model railroad hobby. NTRAK is
a nonprofit organization run by volunteers, its purpose and objective is to encourage model railroading in N scale. There are now NTRAK clubs in most areas of the United States and Canada, there are also NTRAK clubs in Australia, England, Holland, Switzerland, Sweden, New Zealand, Japan, and many other countries.
NTRAK modules are used to build large display layouts as well as home and club layouts. Modelers from all over the world can build modules, bring them to a show, connect their module with modules brought by other modelers and by doing so a giant N scale layout is soon constructed. NTRAK modules have been used for NMRA National Convention layouts since 1974.
NTRAK layouts combine beautifully detailed modules, with long trains running on the two main lines. A third track, the branch line is used for picking up and setting out cars at the many industries along the way.
Check our History to learn more about the
origins of NTRAK.
What are NTRAK Modules?
NTRAK modules were designed to bring model railroading to the public at conventions, exhibits, and shopping malls. In the past a person wanting to see model trains in operation had to seek out a club or home layout that was open to the public. These layouts were often designed for the convenience of the owners and operators, and not for public viewing. The modular layouts have the flexibility to be fitted into many different size and shape areas. They offer close up viewing and maximum train action. Long trains passing each other are always attention getters and are a feature of the NTRAK layouts. While designed for large public display layouts, the NTRAK modules are being used for home layouts and for club layouts as well. For the modeler, the NTRAK modules offer a number of advantages over a fixed layout. We are such a mobile society and the modules make it very easy to move a layout from one home to the next without destroying all the work that went into it. Our smaller homes, apartments, and mobile homes all lend themselves to N scale layouts. Persons who want to run longer trains have the opportunity to take a module to one of the many NTRAK meets during the year and to be part of a large layout. There they can run their longer trains and meet other N scale modelers.
Ease of Building Modules
The building of a module isn't difficult and it has the distinct advantage of "forcing" the builder to do all the phases of layout building, without having to do so much of one phase that they get "fed up" with it, as can happen when building a large home layout. So often the scenery doesn't get built or the track work is never made to work right, or some other building phase is neglected. Getting a module ready for a scheduled meet will do wonders for a builders speed and concentration! Another advantage is that the module can be turned on its side or upside down, making working on it much easier, the light better, and with no hot solder dropping on the worker. The module can be brought to another part of the house where the rest of the family is, or taken outside when a smelly job needs doing.
For detailed "How-to" information about NTRAK modules as well as other publications of interest to N scaler, take a look at what
our Company Store has to offer.