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N SCALE – TIMELINE & MILESTONES

The following Article provides a brief timeline of N Scale Companies involved in the manufacturing and development of N Scale products, with some key milestones. Keep in mind that this list may not be exhaustive. (I may add to – or keep it updated, based on feedback requests..)

1912 Gebrüder Bing (German) releases the first models out with 9 mm gauge
 1920  H.B Whall (German) releases the first models in a scale of  1 : 152,3
 1927 A.R. Wackley (UK) released an electrically operated model railway in scale 1: 152.3 , with a track width of 8.5 mm . Adoption was poor, and the product line then later evolved into the size 2 mm Scale ( 1: 152)
 1947  Staiger (German) released a model railway under the name Mignon with a track width of 10 mm ( scale of the models was about 1: 120 to 1: 140 ). These models featured plastic molding. Production was discontinued after 1951 due to a patent issue.
 1948 During the Trade fair in Hannover, Professor Kersting presented a model train in 8 mm gauge . However, the so-called Kersting Bahn train never went into production
 1959 Trix starts to make available models in scale 1 : 180, but without having a matching track system . Due to the small size relative to H0 it is now called Minitrix
 1960 Arnold (under the name Arnold Rapido 200) presents a model train in scale 1:200 and track width of 9mm at the Nuremberg Toy Fair. The set is offered as a finished system with finished landscape , houses and two remote-controlled switches and a V200 with three D-coaches.
 1961 Arnold expands its range of vehicles and track material. The long D-coaches are manufactured in a scale of 1: 256th 
 1962 Arnold changes to a scale of 1 : 160 and offers new , improved models
 1963  The claw coupling is introduced. It later becomes the NEM 356 standard for all European models in N gauge
 1964 The 1: 160 scale is internationally standardized under the symbol “N”. The abbreviation “N” stands for the word Nine, which in many languages begins with an N. In addition, Gauge 9 mm is defined  for use in N Scale. It is also decided that N scale should implement a driving voltage of 12V using a 2-wire dc system. Trix (under the name Electric Minitrix) releases a T3 in scale 1:160. The East German company Piko begins with the production of N scale (mainly East German) models
 1966 Lima begins with the production of N vehicles.
 1967 Arnold manufactures the first correctly scaled D-coaches, with a length of 165 mm.
 1969  Fleischmann enters the N-market and introduces its own track system (featuring molded ballast).  The firm Röwa (that previously produced N scale models for Trix) enters the market with their own models.  Rivarossi begins with the production of N-models.
 1972  Röwa starts production of a new line of N-models
 1973  Ibertren (Spain) releases an incompatible three-wire bus bar system. (called N3, the system is similar to the Märklin center stud track)
 1975 Roco increases its N-scale with the (partially revised) forms of Röwa in the N-market
 1981 HobbyTrain (Austria) enters into joint venture with Japanese company Kato.
 1982 Ibertren starts to manufacture models for the “normal” two-rail system
 1985 Ibertren stops the production of three-conductor rail system (N3)
 1987 Fleischmann develops a new coupler, the FLEISCHMANN PROFI for its N scale models. This change in coupler design offers improved performance as an alternative to the Rapido couplers.  This also marks the start of yet another incompatibility problem.  Lima stops production of N scale models. 
 1988 Hobbytrain acquires Lima N models and starts to market them under the name “MiniBahn”.
1989 PIKO temporarily stops production of N-Scale rolling stock.
 1990 Cooperation between Hobbytrain , Kato and Lima is terminated . The Lima N models are sold under the name Mini Train
 1992 Ibertren stops production after a fire in their factory
1993 PIKO starts manufacturing scale buildings, both HO and N Scale
 1994 Brawa enters the N Scale market, with the announcement of their DR 119 ( DB 219/229 )
 1995 Arnold goes bankrupt
 1996 Trix goes bankrupt
 1997 Rivarossi acquires the company Arnold together with the production facility in Mulhouse. Certain old Rivarossi models were initially included in the new production runs.
 1998 Marklin acquires Trix
 1999 Sachsenmodelle announces the re-issue of Hobbytrain models, but sadly goes bankrupt before any models could be sold
2000 Bemo starts to manufacture N Scale models, however only one model is released the “Regioshuttle”
 2001 Tillig acquires the company Sachsenmodelle, and also takes over the old Arnold production facility (which was subsequently moved to the Italian factory – Como). The deal excludes the rights to the Hobbytrain models. Graham Farish (UK) was purchased by Kader Industries (Hong Kong), and absorbed by its subsidiary Bachmann Industries. Bachmann immediately closed the Poole facility and moved production to China
 2002 The restructuring and relocation of production at Arnold / Rivarossi had not been concluded, however the company produces some models.  Lemke acquires the rights to the former Hobbytrain program and puts it under the name KATO Hobbytrain.
 2004 Hornby (UK) acquires Electrotren (Spain). Lima (including all sub-brands, among others Arnold) is officially liquidized and subsequently acquired by Hornby in December.  L.S.Models and Dingler enter the market. Lemke releases its first new Hobbytrain models
 2005 Roco goes bankrupt in July. A rescue company is founded under the name of Modelleisenbahn GmbH
 2006 Marklin is taken over by British investor Kingsbridge Capital in May and releases new Arnold models. Hornby (UK) appoints the German company Heico (becoming Hornby Germany GmbH) to distribute Hornby’s models instead of Lemke. Two new N Scale manufacturers, MKM Models (Hünerbein) and RailTop enter the market and indicate that they will cooperate closely with L.S.Models.
 2007 Modellbahn Union enters the marker and announces new models that are produced at Dapol (UK).Creanorm Swiss enters the market with the release of a mail coach. Mehano releases two new German models. Piko announced that it will restart its manufacturing of N models. Arnold launches their newly designed V80. Roco (Modelleisenbahn GmbH) is sold mostly to Franz Josef Haslberger. Kibri is taken over by RIRE Maschinenbau GmbH from Wuppertal.
 2008 The model railroad holding company of Franz Josef Haslberger takes over Fleischmann in February, and this also includes the company Roco. Ibertren releases new models after been inactive in the market. Creanorm (Swiss) establishes itself as a volume manufacturer and releases various Swiss Post container wagon models.
 2009 Marklin, including the 100% subsidiary Trix (Minitrix) files for bankruptcy. Rocky-Rail (the former Benelux importer of Mehano) announces its first n scale model.
 2010  Liliput increases its model range by announcing the manufacture of the first FLIRT railcar
 2011 Kuehn-model announces that it will produce new models (the first model is the “DR Doppelstockwagen” that was officially announced in the fall of 2010).  MW model, in co-operation with t L.S. Models produce new models (the Italian “Spitzdach” wagons, Tipo F being the first model produced)
 2013 Simba Dickie acquires Marklin (including the 100% subsidiary Trix /Minitrix). The Austrian manufacturer Jägerdorfer Collection starts production of n scale models and delivers its first N-model, an ÖBB 2043. Rolf Fleischmann (original owner of the family company – Fleischmann) starts producing models under the name NME Nuremberg Model Trains.  MTR Mende produces their first large-scale model (ÖBB Güterwagen Gabs), which was constructed in cooperation of Modellbahn Union for MTR Mende after previously produced small series or offering color variants of existing large-scale models. Mehano (who has abandoned the model railway sector) produces a few models under the label Hobbytrain.  “N-Time!” is a new magazine that exclusively revolves around N Scale
 2014 The accessories manufacturer Vollmer ceased production.
 2015
 2016

last Update: Dec 2015