NTRAK Modular Railroading Society, Inc.

The N Scale Steam Locomotive Information Books

NTRAK has published books and articles dealing with N scale models of steam locomotives since the 1980s. At first it was mostly ideas for improving running, since some engines stalled easily and pulled only a few cars, Then altering or combining parts of the plastic shells to create a specific engine for a certain railroad became the goal. Up until 2006 each printing of the "N Scale Steam Locomotive Information Book" was revised and pages added. Since then we have just reprinted the book  with very few changes and printed periodic additions with all new articles. 

2006 N Scale Steam Locomotive Info Book

 N scale steam locomotives:  from making them run better, to detailing, to complex construction projects.  A number of repowering projects are included.  The 144-page soft cover book has over 100 photos plus many drawings. Contents:

  • What's Available

  • Improving How They Look        

  • Improving How They Run

  • Repowering What is Available

  • Why N Modelers "Kitbash"

  • Mixing Shells and Chassis – Other Bashing    

  • Using Non North American Chassis

  • Tenders

  • Steam Loco Facilities – The Loco Depot

  • Steam Loco Design


2007 Addendum to the N Scale Steam Locomotive Info Book

The 44 page book contents:

  • The New Kato Mikado – Review

  • Athearn Challenger 4-6-6-4 With Sound and DCC – Review

  • Steam Engines on my Sugar Land NTRAK Modules

  • Kitbashing a 3-truck Shay

  • Reworking a USRA 0-6-0 Switcher

  • A Pennsy H10sa 2-8-0

  • Big Emma: Kitbashing Modern Steam for the L & N

  • Building a “Big Six” B&O S-1/S-1a in N Scale

  • A Kato JNR Pacific C-55 4-6-2 mechanism for the Minitrix Pennsylvania K-4

  • On Converting the Micro-Ace 0-6-6-0 to a 2-6-6-2

  • Steam Kits

  • Other Articles

  • DCC Readiness

2008 Addendum to the N Scale Steam Locomotive Info Book

40 pages of contents:                          

  • The Walther 0-8-0 USRA Switcher – Review                                                    

  • Walthers Y3  2-8-8-2 - Review  

  • The New Spectrum 4-8-2 Heavy Mountain– Review                

  • The Kato SP GS-4 Northern - Review       

  • The Athearn 4-8-8-4 Big Boy - Review      

  • Building a Climax Class B        

  • Improvements to a DC Walthers 0-8-0       

  • A Mogul with a Micro Ace Drive and Model Power 4-4-0 Shell  

  • Athearn 2-8-0 Camelback Conversion      

  • Other Articles and Reviews in Model Railroader, DCC Readiness Update   

  • Making a C&O 2-10-4 Texas     

  • A Santa Fe 2-10-4 From the Past      

  • Repowering Brass and Plastic Steam Engines with Coreless Motors          

  • Bachmann Spectrum Tenders

2009 Addendum to the N Scale Steam Locomotive Info Book

Continuing the comprehensive series of books on repowering, detailing and performance tips for improving N Scale Steam engines: which early N Steam models are worth repowering, improving electrical pickup with low friction tender trucks, detailing specific models to match prototypes. Contents:

  • To Re-power or Not to Re-power

  • Re-powering Kit and Motor for the Minitrix K4

  • Delta Trailing Trucks

  • Improving the Bachmann standard line 0-6-0 / 2-6-2.

  • Archer Fine Details-Rivet Decals, Baldwin 2-6-2 for the Sierra Railroad

  • Bachmann Spectrum 2-8-0 Modified to a WM H-7b

  • A Simple Decapod, Helpful Products for Steam Modelers

  • The Ultimate Decapod

  • Improving the Con-Cor 2-10-2

  • Building the Western Maryland K-2 Pacific

  • Modeling a Southern Pacific Streamlined 4-6-2

  • Del Prado Royal Hudson Conversion

  • Chicago & Northwestern E-4 Streamlined Hudson Project

  • Traction Force Measurements of N Steam Locomotives

  • Bullfrog Snot's Effectiveness in N Scale Steam Pulling Ability

2010 Addendum to the N Scale Steam Locomotive Info Book

 60 pages of new information. Contents:

  • Bachmann C&O H4 (2-6-6-2) Review 

  • The Intermountain AC-12 Cab Forward

  • Parts and Tenders

  • Building a Credible B&M Fleet or the Fine Art of Compromise 

  • Making Union Pacific 4924, an 0-6-0 Switcher 

  • A Boston and Maine Mogul 

  • Kitbashing a PRR E6s from a Minitrix K4s 

  • Using 3D Computer Aided Design (CAD) For Kitbash Projects 

  • Casting a Weight for an N Scale Steam Locomotive 

  • Another Way to Build a Pennsylvania E6 

  • The Briefly Available Black River Atlantic  

  • A Free-lanced Pacific from a Micro-Ace C52-6 

  • Simple Fixes to Shorten the Walthers 2-8-8-2 Drawbar 

  • Building Santa Fe Mountain #3713

  • Bachmann Spectrum N Scale 2-6-6-2 USRA Steam Locomotive 

  • and more...

2011 Addendum to the N Scale Steam Locomotive Info Book

80 pages of new information.  Contents:

  • 1935 Hiawatha, Bachmann Ten Wheeler

  •  PRR 0-6-0T, PRR USRA 060

  • UP #4703 0-6-0Improving the Bachmann prairie

  • San Diego and Arizona Eastern C8 2-8-0

  • UP Consolidations

  • draw bars and spectrum tenders

  • power tender for the Kato heavy Mikado

  • B&M T-1 Berkshire

  • P&LE heavy Mikado

  • Southern Pacific T-31 4-6-0

  • UP Ten Wheeler

  • UP Pacific from a Model Power 4-6-2

  • Ten Wheeler Comparison

  • MP USRA Light Pacific

  • Boston and Albany 4-6-6T

  • fix for the Bachmann Spectrum J 4-8-4

  • Adding Variety to the Fleet

2012 Addendum to the N Scale Steam Locomotive Info Book


88 pages of all new Information on current N scale Steam Locomotives. Reviews, construction articles and N history.

Steam book contents


2015 NTRAK Steam Annual

63 pages - content:


  • Atlas 4-4-0 Review

  • Kato 4-8-4 UP FEF

  • Bachmann Spectrum B&O 2-8-8-4

  • Tsunami equipped Athearn 4-8-8-4

  • Milwaukee Road L-3A Mikado from an Atlas Rivarossi

  • Kitbashing a Santa Fe 1600 Class 2-10-2

  • Building Santa Fe 3800 Class 2-10-2

  • SP 5-27 4-6-0

  • Minitrix Pacific boxpok

  • Fix Kato cracked driver axles

  • Improving Key Santa Fe 4-8-4

  • Bashing an EM-1 into an SP AC-9

  • Removing and Reinstalling Siderod Crankpins

  • Steam domes

  • Jason Smith's engines

  • Steam Book Article Index





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