Where to Find N Scale Track Plans

September 30, 2021

Where to Find N Scale Track Plans

Creating an N Scale Track Plan

There are two different options when it comes to creating an N scale track plan: You can search through a database to find a plan you want to follow, or you can create a plan yourself. If you choose to find a track plan from a database it will typically include a photo of the plan, the scale, the finished size, the era, the locale, possibly a list of product suggestions, and sometimes even more! If you choose to create your own track plan, we’ll help you get started with a few tips.

 Databases

Create Your Own


N Scale Track Plan Databases

Trains.com Database

Hundreds of track N scale track plans are available through this database. You can sort by scale, era, size, and more! Here are a few examples of N scale tracks you’ll find on the Trains.com Database:

N Scale track plan for Canadian Canyons
Scale: N (1:160)
Size: 5′-7″ x 8′-0″
Prototypes: Canadian National, Canadian Pacific
Locale: British Columbia, Canada
Era: 2015 to present day
Style: Multilevel, island
Mainline run: 113 feet
Minimum radius: 13″
Minimum turnout: Peco code 55 medium
Maximum grade: 1.9 percent (in helix)
Benchwork: Free-standing sectional
Height: 40″
Roadbed: Midwest cork strips
Track: Peco code 55 flextrack with concrete ties
Scenery: Foam, plaster cloth, and Sculptamold
Backdrop: None
Control: Digitrax Digital Command Control

N scale track plan for the Rio Grande

Name: Rio Grande, Alpine Division

Layout owner: Matt Carpenter

Scale: N scale (1:160)

Size: 14 x 32 feet

Prototype: Denver & Rio Grande Western

Locale: Colorado mountains

Era: 1985

Style: Walk-in with partial upper deck

Mainline run: 250 feet

Minimum radius: 18″

Minimum turnout: No. 6

Maximum grade: 3 percent

Benchwork: Open grid on heavy-duty wood shelf brackets

Height: 42″ to 58″

Roadbed: “Easy Spline” sandwich of tempered hardboard and Styrofoam

Track: Micro Engineering code 70 flextrack

Scenery: Cardboard strips, plaster cloth, aluminum foil plaster castings

Backdrop: Hand-painted

Control: Model Rectifier Corp. Prodigy Digital Command Control

 

 More N Scale Track Plans From Trains.com

 

SCARM Database

These track plans have been created using SCARM (simple computer-aided railway modeler) and include computer-generated depictions of the track plans. You can filter by scale, size, rail line, and more!

A few examples of N scale tracks you’ll find on the SCARM Database:


N scale track layout
Another compact layout in N-scale with an oval route, featuring a small train station, cargo branch with rolling stock storage yard, and a turntable with four tracks. See more.
Scale: N (1/160)
Size: Micro
Dimensions: 122cm x 61cm; 48" x 24"; 4′ x 2′
Area: 0.74m2; 0.89yd2
Type: Close Route
Line: Single, with Branch(es)
Traffic: Passenger, Freight, Shunting/Switching
Epoch/Era: II, III / Steam, Transition
Scene: Country/Village, Plain
Trackage: Arnold N
Author: Milen Peev aka Mixy
Designed With: SCARM

N scale track plan with a castle
Compact layout in N-scale with a lot of scenery details, represented with the figures in SCARM, including various buildings and even a small castle with observation tower. See more.
Scale: N (1/160)
Size: Very Small
Dimensions: 180cm x 80cm; 71" x 31"; 5.9′ x 2.6′
Area: 1.44m2; 1.72yd2
Type: Complex (Closed section with Open parts)
Line: Mixed, with Reverse Loop(s)
Traffic: Passenger, Freight, Shunting/Switching
Epoch/Era: II, III / Steam, Transition
Scene: Country/Village, Hilly, Forest, Riverside
Trackage: Trix N Minitrix
Author: Henk Vos
Designed With: SCARM

 

More N Scale Track Plans from SCARM

 

Model Railroad Hobbyist Database

This is a user-generated database, meaning that hobbyists come and share their track plans on this blog-style database. Because of the nature of this database, there are no filter or search options available, so you may have to spend some time finding N scale-specific track plans. 

A few examples of N scale tracks you’ll find on the Model Railroad Hobbyist Database:

 

N scale track plan for the san Francisco to san jose commuter
Scale: N scale
Track: ME flex and Fastracks code 55 (some spurs in code 40)
Era : 1950
Room Size: 3.50 mt x 4.50 mt ( approx 11.5' x 14.8' )

N scale track plan with switching
Size: 140 cm x 25 cm deep ( 4.5' x 10" ) !
Track: Atlas code 55 flex, Atlas code 55 5 turnouts
Scene: Some local industries, a warehouse, a little loco shop, and an interchange track.



Free Track Plans Database

This database is broken down by design style: continuous runs, modular designs, end-to-end designs, and a section for user submissions.

A few examples of N scale tracks you’ll find on the Free Track Plans Database:

 

 n scale dockside track plan

Basic Dockside

Size: 4.5'x3.5'

This dockside track plan is based on the dockside railways often seen around the UK. Add a harbor scene to the left side of the board, include warehousing or other industrial buildings, and really bring this track plan to life.

 

A scottish parlor N scale track plan

Scottish Harbour

Size: 3'x1.5'

This is a micro-layout showing a dockside train track that includes the cluttered nature of ports with a range of industrial junk scattered across the ground. See more details about this layout and find more layouts on the free track plan database.

 

More N Scale Track Plans From the Free Track Plan Database 

 

Kato USA Database

These N scale track plans are specifically designed for those using unitrack products.

 N scale tabletop shortline track plan

The Tabletop Shortline

Size: 20” x 36”

This build could work on a small living room coffee table - you may just need to adjust the length/width to fit the table you’re using. Get a list of materials and more details about this N scale track plan on the Kato USA database.

 

Granny K & Bonneville track plan

Granny Kay & Bonneville

This is a fictional shortline created on the plains of Nebraska. You can find a full list of equipment needed and in more in-depth summary at KatoUSA


Create Your Own N Scale Track Plan

When creating your own plan, you’ll want to consider the following:

  • Theme
  • Locale
  • Era
  • Season
  • Operation
  • Configuration

Theme

What are you portraying in your model train build? This will help you think a little more about the possible configuration, locale, and types of model trains/locomotives you may need for the build.
Possible themes may include:
  • Refrigerator cars transporting produce from location to location.
  • Passenger trains taking passengers to specific locations of interest (the train tracks themselves could be going through cities or through mountains/landscapes).
  • Freight trains going from yard to yard with transports.
  • Coal trains moving coal from the mountains to the towns.
 

Locale

Whether you choose an exact location or simply a general concept of a location, it will help you decide what train lines to run and how your landscape might look.
 
Specific rail lines are only run in certain areas of the country, so it is important to ensure the model trains match the locale. 
 

Era

Choose an era to ensure proper usage of train types and running rail lines.
  • In the 1920s, most trains were running on steam, while in the 40s a few diesel engines began running. 
  • If your model is based in the early days you may not include things like billboards. 
  • Consider how train stops have a completely different look to them today than they did 100 years ago. 
 
These are just a few things that nailing down an era will help you define during the creation of your track plan.
 

Season

Your theme may dictate the season, but either way, you’ll want to consider this piece of the puzzle when putting together a track plan. Different seasons bring a whole new aesthetic across the landscape. From spring with bright colors, greenery, and leaf-filled trees; to summer with browns, yellows, and low-water areas; to fall with colorful trees and browning earth; to winter with potential snow or rain, creating puddles or filling up lakes.
 

Operation

In conjunction with choosing a theme, you’ll be able to better decide what kind of operations are necessary on your model train plan. When considering operations, you’ll want to decide what types of model trains you’ll be running, if there are control panels and/or train power necessities, and where to place these. 
 

Configuration

Lastly, the configuration portion helps pull all of these items together. There are a number of different configuration options and opportunities, but to get your brain started we’ll include a few below. Remember, you may start with one of these more basic configurations and adjust it appropriately to your operation, locale, and theme needs.


oval model train plan



double oval track plan


dog bone model train track


folded dog bone style track plan


point to point model track plan


point to loop model train track plan


loop to loop model train track plan


figure 8 model train track plan


folded figure 8 model train track plan


Putting It All Together

Using the information you’ve compiled in the theme, locale, era, season, operation, and configuration, you can now put together your entire model train track plan and get to work on the perfect model train!


Whether you find your N scale track plan from a database or create your own, you are sure to create a magnificent N scale model train! As you get ready to put your plans to work, you’ll find all the supplies you need here at TrainLife.





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