I am looking for a product that is discontinued. Can you help me find it?
Our company specializes in the latest N-Scale products. Most of the products on our shelves have been released in the last 12-24 months. If you are looking for an older item we suggest you try the secondary market such as train shows, online auctions or the classified section of hobby magazines. Another helpful way to track down an older item is to try smaller hobby shops at the "opposite" end of the country from the road name that you are looking for. Example: If you are looking for a discontinued model which is painted and lettered for the Pennsylvania Railroad you may have better luck trying a hobby shop located in California than in Pennsylvania.
How come so many products need to be reserved in advance?
This is a very hot topic these days and quite subjective as well. We will try and present both sides but basically it all boils down to economics. Many hobbyist are unaware that it can cost a manufacturer well over $100,000.00 to "tool up" for a new locomotive. The faster that money comes back to the manufacturer, the faster they can reinvest it in their next project. It is due in large part to limited production runs that we have all the equipment that we do in N-Scale. Back in the early days you could get anything you wanted any time you wanted but there were only a handful of offerings available and new products were painfully slow to come to market. Limited production runs can be a disadvantage to the hobbyist since they have to be able to make purchase decisions quickly and need to reserve many products in advance. Some manufactures announce what they will be producing 18-24 months or more in advance to allow customers time to budget while others only offer a reservation "window" of just a few weeks. One last note on this subject. For those who are into European trains the limited production run does not effect you as much as those modeling the North American scene. With a few notable exceptions, most European manufacturers give you a one to three year "window" in which to obtain the product before it gets discontinued.
Why are there so many different types of N-Scale couplers?
That's an excellent question and the short answer is that standards are in the process of changing. We have written our own article specifically devoted just to this subject. Just follow this link to learn all about N-Scale couplers. Whether you are a beginner or advanced modeler we think you will find this information useful.
Can I get directions to your store?
Sorry, we do not maintain a retail storefront and we make no effort to hide that fact like some of our competitors do. If we had a store we would have to handle model rockets, die cast, toys, radio control and other "general hobby" items which quite frankly we have no interest in, just to pay the rent. Not maintaining a retail storefront allows us to concentrate exclusively on N-Scale model trains.
I'm interested in Digital Command Control (DCC). Can you educate me?
Absolutely! We have an entire page devoted to the subject and it's geared specifically for beginners. Just follow this link to learn all about DCC. Please feel free to print it out and if you still have further questions after reading it simply contact us and we will be happy to get everything sorted out for you.
Can I run European or Japanese trains with the transformer I already have?
Absolutely! All N-Scale models operate on a 12 volt DC system. All transformers (or "power packs" as the beginners call them) designed to operate N-Scale trains have an output of 12 volts DC. The difference between a transformer that is sold here in the USA or those sold for use in Europe or Japan is the input meaning the plug that goes into the wall. The output is the exact same 12 volts DC and will run all N-Scale models. The same is true for Digital Command Control (DCC) systems. The output of the DCC system is always the same, it's the transformer that runs the input of the system that is different depending on which country it was designed to be used in.
How come European trains cost more than the American or Japanese models?
European models are produced to extremely high standards using lots of separately applied parts. It simply takes more R&D and labor costs to produce them. Also you must understand that these items are imported and it costs more to get them over here. The Europeans still produce the models the old fashioned way with no compromise “old world” quality. As the old saying goes, you get what you pay for.