What is NTRAK ? . . . . . . .

NTrak developed in 1973 in California, USA, as the international N Scale Modular Layout System. Modules can be 4, 6, or 8 feet, and as narrow as 2 feet wide. There are three common track arrangements
- two main lines and a branch line on each module with an optional fourth track - the mountain line higher at the rear.

NTrak modules allow one to build a 'complete' railroad in as little as 4' x 2', to display it publicly, and with other modules to run realistic 100+ car trains. Modules encourage model railroading by allowing the beginner to start small yet allow expansion in the future when space/finances/experience permit.

The NTrak Manual contains the full specification for NTrak modules while the NTrak Module 'How-To' Book contains the NTrak Manual plus plans, photos, and 'how-to' details for building NTrak modules. The NTrak Manual as well as other items, including the NTrak Newsletter can be ordered from NTrak Publishing.

West-N-Trak and NTrak AUSTRALIA are based on NTrak module standards adapted to suit Australian conditions. The NTrak standards ensure that modules, built by clubs or individuals, can be transported to shows/conventions and assembled into large layouts for reliable operation.
What is N Scale Model Railroading ?
Scale is the proportion of model to its prototype (N = 1:160). A scale mile in N scale is 10 meters(33 feet). HO, for many years the most popular scale (1:87), is about twice the size of N. A 50 foot boxcar (15.25 meters) in HO is 178 mm (7 inches) long while in N it is 95 mm (3-3/4 inches). N scale thus allows you to model a railroad with a greater scenery-to-track ratio, more realistic curves, yards and longer train lengths, etc.

Publications to help the modeller include the N Resource Booklets (NTrak Publishing), N Scale Primer (Kalmbach Books) and the N-Scale Magazine. The range of N scale products available from companies like Atlas, LifeLike, Walthers, and Peco is expanding rapidly as N continues to enhance its popularity.


The following alterations to the NTrak Specifications are to ensure that modules can be constructed by any person from standard size hardware and material available from any hardware store.

The common base board material, particle board and/or ply, is now available in the metric size in multiples of 300 mm, eg. sheets or frames of 1200 mm x 600 mm.
Fixings as shown on several pages of the NTrak manual are readily available in hardware stores.
connecting trak:
ATLAS sizes vary. Preference is for Peco Flextrak be cut to exact length as noted or to that required at shows/conventions. Alternatively, modified Minitrix Expanding Track can be used.


Electrical connections
In Australia for track power connections the RCA type Phono Plugs and sockets are used as per BINS (British Isles NTrak Specifications). These are available at in Australia from electronics stores (i.e. Dick Smiths and Tandy) and most Hi-Fi suppliers.

Low voltage connections to be RCA type Phono Plugs and sockets.

Centre pin No.1, Skirt tag No. 2 pin.

Use 240 volt to replace 110 volt supply.

This high voltage supply is NOT generally required and may be omitted. Any installation of the 240 volt supply is to be by a qualified electrician and tested by a relevant authority. Approval Certificate is to be attached to the underside of the board/module.



Use 100 and 80mm instead of 4 ins 3 1/8 ins.

Corner Modules:

Use 848mm for corner diagonal (i.e. diagonal of a 600mm square)
Full details of construction are contained in The NTrak Module 'How-To' Book.


Use values, 100 mm, 200 mm and 300 mm (instead of 4, 8, 12 ins respectively.
Skyboard Colour:
The following colours are similar and are to be used representing sky colour on skyboards.
Dulux Azure.
Berger - Polar Sky.
Taubmans - Summer Sky.
Front Skirting Board Colour:
British Paints - GumLeaf or an equivalent.
All in matt or flat finish.


Lengths L1 (rear) and L2 (front) should be equal. Lengths E1 (left-hand, or 'west' end) and E2 (right-hand, or 'east' end) should be equal. Diagonal dimensions D1 and D2 should be equal. Ensure all corners of the module are square:

Modules are joined in a layout by clamping with two 'C' clamps and inserting 125mm sections of Atlas 'Snap Track'.

Remove the tie from one end so that the rail joiners will slide fully on. Place joiners on other end, put in place, and then (with tweezers or similar implement) slide joiners into position.

For clamp clearance, top of rail to opening for 'C' clamp is 120mm.



Here are some of the most important measurements for the West-N-Trak Standard in both millimeters and inches.
Module sizes.

Length. 1200, 1800 or 2400 Depth 600 - Approx (4', 6', or 8') X (2').

Allowable extension 100 (4 in.) - to front and/or rear.

Extra Width Modules:
Make extra width 150 mm, (NOT 152 mm)
Track Height
Railhead height (main lines) - to the Floor 1015 (40 in.) Tolerance (required adjustability) 25 (1 in.)

Track Dist. from back Track radius Gradient Colour code

. .

mm (in) mm (in) mm (in)

. .

Main line 1
500 (20 in.)
600 (24 in.)
Main line 2
470 (18.5 in.)
600 (24 in.)
Branchline 1
440 (17 in.)
600 (24 in.)
Branchline 2
250 (10 in.)
450 (18 in.)
Set-up track
-32 (-1.25 in.)


Extra track
550 (22 in.)


Common return 12v

20amp bus


NTRAK Australia N scale conventions have been held in Melbourne 1991, Sydney 1992, Brisbane 1993, Adelaide 1995, Canberra 1997, Sydney 1999, Perth 2001, and Melbourne April 2003

Check details on
N_Scale Convention Brisbane 2005 Website.

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