# Another ??

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by tonphil1960, Dec 30, 2005.

1. ### tonphil1960Member

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Ok Another question, I know HO is alot bigger than N but how much?? What are the size comparisons of HO to N. I have an old HOlayout book with some pretty cool layouts. I want to know how to compare sizes? Can I reduce a HO in overall size by half and go with N on the same layout?? Fit a N layout twice the size in the given space?

Thanks Tony
2. ### eightyeightfan1Now I'm AMP'd

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HO is 1/87th the size of a real object.
N is 1/160th
Theoreticaly, You can take one of those HO plans(say a 4' x 8' layout) and half it and put a N scale layout using the same plan in 2' x4' space...theoretically.
N scale is uppose to be half HO, but in actuallity, its a might bit bigger than half.
Since N is smaller than HO, think of the N scale layout you could fit in a 4x8 foot space.
N is also good for protypical train lengths such as unit coal trains and intermodal frieghts. Where as HO, you might have shorter trains, because of the scale.
OK...I'm confusing myself.............

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HO is 1 inch per 87 inches on the prototype.
N is 1 inch per 160 inches on the prototype. So not quite twice as small.
4. ### 60103Pooh Bah

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It's actually 55%, so 48"x96" becomes 26"x52". If you have an HO plan with 18" radius curves, you might force it down to 9", but the N gauge locos may not be too happy with it. I would really like to see it at 12" radius, reducing the layout to 32"x64".

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When I started scaling down our original HO plan to N, I did about 70-80% version, this allowed some nice wide turns, and also uncluttered the layout quite a bit. It also allows for much longer trains because of more room (and wider curves) plus the lower amperage of the N scale means I can have more motive power to haul those suckers around.

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For straight conversions, figuring 60% will give you a somewhat roomier N scale iteration of an HO plan. How much you might want to inflate it beyond that is dependent on the track to scenery ratio you like, the space you have available, etc.
7. ### CattGuest

One thing you will always hear from me is,"If your using a HO track plan for N scale and you have the space for the HO plan build your N scale layout to the HO size."

This will give you more train room,more scenery room ,and more room for your industries so they at least look big enough to get rail service.
8. ### tonphil1960Member

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I would love to have that kind of room, I might be able to do something like that in the future I hope.

Tony
9. ### TriplexActive Member

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Let me guess... the book is Linn Westcott's 101 Track Plans for Model Railroaders? It says you can reduce to half-size, but it's wrong. David's right; it's 55%. My advice is, don't use a factor based on the scales of the original plan and your actual layout. Use a factor based on curve radius. There are uses for curve standards other than the ones given in the book. Consider what equipment you have and plan to get; then you can figure out what radius you need. Of course, this method will probably require adjusting track centers on parallel tracks...

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