The N scale is the second most popular train scale, accounting for 20% of the total model trains sold worldwide. You might have some extra locomotives that you want to sell on various platforms. This post will discuss the factors that affect the prices of N scale model trains, their value, and examples of N scale trains sold for a lot of money.
Generally speaking, N scale trains can be worth about $50 to $1000 depending on their condition, rarity, and age. While their market is active, unlike other scale models, their price couldn’t reach as high as HO scale trains simply because there are fewer collectors on the N scale market.
Here, I will explain the factors that can affect N scale model trains and what the future looks like for the value of N scale models.
Are N gauge trains worth anything?
N scale trains aren’t worth a lot as of now. However, the future for the N scale looks bright as more people are getting into smaller-scale trains. This means the value of these trains has a high chance of getting better in the future. However, as of now, they aren’t worth it.
Unlike other train scales, I believe that the N gauge trains have a promising future.
While the whole model railroading industry is declining, the number of people getting into N scale models is increasing.
Let me explain.
In the past, the most popular model train scale is the O scale. That’s why there are many vintage O scale train models that can be seen being sold for thousands of dollars at auctions.
However, people eventually changed their lifestyle in the 1960s when they started to live in smaller spaces.
As the population grew, more people were living in smaller spaces. Unfortunately, this means people have less room for their hobbies, such as model railroading.
That’s why the popularity of smaller scale trains has been booming over the past decades, and as we can see, the once most popular O scale train is now the third most popular scale.
Right now, the most popular scale is the HO scale, which accounts for 60 to 70% of total model trains sold worldwide.
The HO scale is half the size of the O scale, and this means the scale is more viable for people living in smaller spaces.
The trend tends to shift again to even smaller models with the rising population.
That’s why currently, the 2nd most popular scale is the N scale.
While they aren’t as valuable as the O and HO scales, the future is bright for the N scale as more people live in small spaces.
That’s why the N scale’s worth is good for the near future as more people get into N scale modeling.
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Today, selling N scale models isn’t a good idea as their popularity is still increasing and hasn’t reached its peak.
As of now, only about 20% of modelers use the N scale. This means there are fewer collectors for these models than the HO scale.
Many vintage train collectors prefer the O scale since they’ve been around since the early 20th century.
That means the N scale market is still in its infancy, and its value is expected to rise in the future as long as people prefer living in smaller spaces.
The N scale was only commercially produced in 1962 by the Arnold company in Nuremberg. Since it is a relatively new scale, there are few vintage N scale collectors.
This means their demand isn’t that high compared to other scales.
As you can see, the vintage market goes to the O scale, and most collectors are in the HO. This means, as of now, the N scale market isn’t popular.
That’s why it is a good idea to keep N scale models until they reach their peak when more people are looking for these models.
However, if you’ve decided to sell your vintage or properly built N scale layouts, then don’t worry, as there are factors that can make them sell for a lot of money.
One of the factors that can affect the value of your N scale model train is the condition.
For example, an N scale model in excellent condition can be sold to people looking to design their rooms.
In fact, a well-built 2021 Kato N scale train layout with a 1965 scenery was sold in an auction for $995.
The layout is well built with accessories that depict scenes from 1965, such as lumber stores, residences, water towers, and vehicles.
Even if the N scale layout is not vintage nor rare, the fact that they are built beautifully made them sell this train layout for $995.
N scale trains are perfect for decorations, and people are willing to pay a lot just to have them.
Another example is a well-built, tabletop N scale layout that is ready to display. The layout is only 24″ by 48″, but it is well built with beautiful designs such as a mountain range, trees, and tracks.
This N scale layout was sold for $1,200.
But what if you aren’t willing to build a layout and only want to sell your N scale train?
Well, the first thing you need to ask is if it is in mint condition since old N scale trains in mint condition tend to have a big value.
An example is the Mint In Condition Walthers N scale train set, including locomotives and cars such as caboose and hopper.
This rare N scale model was sold in mint condition, which means that it wasn’t opened.
Because of its excellent condition, collectors are willing to buy it at a premium price, and it was sold for $595.
But what if you have a rare N scale model train that isn’t in mint condition? Well, it can also be sold for a lot of money.
An example is the N scale Union Pacific GTEL “Big Blow” train, a rare N scale train that isn’t sold in mint condition.
However, the model is still in excellent condition, and its rarity caused collectors to flood just to buy the product.
This model was sold for $543.
But it doesn’t end there.
A vintage Sunset Model Co. N scale model train is a very old model that was made with brass instead of the modern diecast metal.
While the product isn’t sold in mint condition and doesn’t look well maintained, it was still sold in its original box, and the fact that it is a vintage N scale model, people are willing to pay money for it.
Ultimately, the train model was sold for $499 in an auction.
My last example is another vintage N scale model, a 1960 Atlas N scale Model train that is sold in excellent condition. Despite losing its original box, the model train was still sold for $472.
As you can see, the N scale train market is still in its infancy since its vintage models aren’t still worth thousands of dollars.
However, the future looks bright for these models as more collectors try to get into N scale modeling.
That’s why the value of N scale models has a high chance of going up in the future.
What’s next? Do you know all the common scales used in train modeling? I posted about all the scales in model railroading, including the N, HO, OO, O, G, F scales, and more. Here is the link: What are the different scale model trains?