N Trak: Pros and Cons

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As a member of an N track club, I can say that there are good aspects and bad aspects of the standard and that the negative aspects can definitely be improved upon including the rigidity of the standard and that it almost exclusively is set up as a square or rectangle because of the nature of the standard.

 

The pros of the N Trak are that there are multiple tracks so you can have multiple trains running at the same time. The three or four mainlines allows for more more people to run without having to worry about crashing into each other. Also, if you have built a module to the exact standard and join a club with people you have never met before in your life, your module should still join with theirs.

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The cons are that the module standards are very restrictive because of the many mainlines and specific size. The size requirements are strict because N-Trak set ups have to be a loop (in certain cases like Northern New Jersey N-Trak it is not a square). The three or four lines are hardly prototypical unless everyone models the Pennsylvania Railroad, and create a “racetrack” appearance. Also, set-up and tear-down can take lots of time because of the way that the modules have to be joined together. Older modules and warped wood will make fitting modules together tough.

Overall, I enjoy operating as part of my club Central Jersey N-Trak, but I do not think I will build N-Trak modules myself, as I am not fond of the standard. I would prefer the Free-MoN standard if there were a club on the East coast.

 

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