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People’s Republic of China N Scale trains


gavino200

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This thread is now about Chinese N scale models and where to get them. Below is a list of suppliers and sites of interest regarding Chinese models. 

Keeping informed
For those who want to follow upcoming releases or production plans, the best is to subscribe to each manufacturer's official WeChat account or follow Baidu conversations, like here: https://tieba.baidu.com/f?kw=火车模型.

 

Chinese N scale model train manufacturers

· Charming

· Kunter
· Minitown

· CMR Line
· ModuFactor

As well as Bachmann China and Del Prado which produces static models; Del Prado's can be motorized.

The N scale scene is relatively recent in China and only Minitown, Kunter and CMR Line could be considered legacy manufacturers. Minitown has specialized in some diesel locomotives as well as freight cars but has been relatively absent since 2020/2021. Kunter is specialized in recent passenger coaches (25K) and as produced a model of the CRH380AL and the CRH2A. Charming is a recent new comer and has so far focused on releasing locomotives, but has announced it will release new CRH sets. ModuFactor will release its first product (25B double-decker carriages) in January or February 2022.

 

Except for CMR Line, the quality offered by the main Chinese N scale models manufacturers (Charming, Kunter and Minitown) is very high and on par with Japanese N scale models. Some models are more finely detailed than what Kato or Tomix gives us.

Suppliers

There are very few ways to buy Chinese models outside of mainland China at the moment (January 2021). The most reliable way is either through Hong-Kong based vendors or by using a Taobao proxy service.

 

EZ Transcom Model (Hong-Kong; Model train shop; some availabilities): https://cart.eztranscom.com/

National Railway Station (Hong-Kong; Model train shop; well stocked and active): https://www.facebook.com/CNRailModel/

Taobao (Mainland China; online shopping platform): https://world.taobao.com/

Charming (Mainland China; Model train manufacturer): https://rmco.taobao.com/category-1611306087.htm


Using Taobao

Taobao is China's biggest online shopping platform and is particularly user unfriendly for non-Chinese speakers. To use Taobao and search items you will first need to sign up. You will need to use your browser auto-translate function and your cellphone to receive the activation's code. It's recommended to then enable password login for ease of use.

It's useful to have a few typical searches saved (notably by manufacturers) to quickly find items:

· https://s.taobao.com/search?q=迷拟堂 (Minitown)

· https://s.taobao.com/search?q=kunter (Kunter)

· https://s.taobao.com/search?q=25B魔都 (Modu Factor)

 

Keep in mind that each item page might contain several items (depending on how the shop set the page) and that Taobao search page only gives you the price of the cheapest item available.

 

taobao.thumb.png.b214d6211ce9d2d9ef1d2de125fddc05.png

(search made for "Kunter")

Proxy services
If you are not living in a small number of countries, you will need to use a proxy service to buy from Taobao. There are numerous proxy services but most forum members have been using Superbuy (https://www.superbuy.com/). Superbuy also provides a comparative list of proxy services: https://www.superbuy.com/en/page/help/#p2_14_helpId1002

 

So far the most efficient way to use Superbuy (and a few other proxies) is to search your items directly on Taobao and then copy-past the url of the item you want to buy in your proxy "shopping agent" search bar.

 

Sites about Chinese Trains

For making up consists, http://www.trainnets.com/ can be a good reference. They have a database of locomotives, freight and passenger cars. If you click on the [locomotive name] or [car name] tag at the top of the page of each page in the database, the site brings up all the pictures tagged with this name. Like here, for the SS8, http://www.trainnets.com/archives/tag/ss8.

 

Sites and forums about Chinese Models

http://www.chinesemodeltrains.com/

http://www.chinarail.be/forum

https://tieba.baidu.com/f?kw=火车模型

 

Edited by disturbman
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2 hours ago, gavino200 said:

 

Interesting. 

 

BTW, what's the availability of N scale trains in the the PPC? Are there models of Chinese trains available? What brands? What are some of the best places to buy Chinese trains?

It's kind of spotty.... Railroad modelling is still very much a niche hobby here. I have found that the model train shopping in Hong Kong is much better than in Guangzhou. I generally buy my trains there, or in Japan. 

 

I am not so sure about the extent of Chinese outline in N scale as I tend to concentrate mostly on Japanese outline.

 

I do know that Bachmann has a limited range, nothing as large as their HO scale range, but that is set to grow. So far, the only Chinese N-Scale model I actually have seen in the flesh (and that I happen to own) is a static 3-car CRH-3C, which comes enclosed in a clear Perspex tube and very solidly bolted to a heavy metal base!

IMG_0574.JPG

IMG_0575.JPG

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Harmony? That's a nice static model. Thanks for the info. I did a google search for Chinese model trains. It's a difficult search, as most results involve Chinese train manufacturing. I did get a link to an old thread on this site, but most of the links are dead.

 

 

Can you recommend any online sites where Chinese trains can be bought? BTW what's your impression of riding Chinese high speed trains? Regular trains? How do they compare with Japanese trains?

 

谢谢

Edited by gavino200
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On 1/14/2018 at 3:58 PM, gavino200 said:

Harmony? That's a nice static model. Thanks for the info. I did a google search for Chinese model trains. It's a difficult search, as most results involve Chinese train manufacturing. I did get a link to an old thread on this site, but most of the links are dead.

 

 

Can you recommend any online sites where Chinese trains can be bought? BTW what's your impression of riding Chinese high speed trains? Regular trains? How do they compare with Japanese trains?

 

谢谢

Yes, "Harmony" is the overall brand name for the Chinese high speed rail network. I am not surprised that it is a difficult topic to research, as the industry in China seems to be mostly focused on manufacturing for other markets (e.g.: Europe, North America, Japan).

 

In regards to riding the high speed networks, Chinese CRH network is quite extensive, but for the very long runs, there are not so many services that carry on all the way through. For example, the Beijing-Guangzhou High Speed Line only has 4 trains a day that run all the way from Guangzhou South to Beijing West, which often means that you need to break the journey several times.

 

For the trains themselves, they are pretty comfortable, and have similar ride-quality to Shinkansen, especially when running on dedicated lines. However, the atmosphere and environment onboard is very different. Chinese people are very noisy, both at home and in public spaces, it's not uncommon to be onboard a train (or a bus, or in the metro) and feel like you are in the middle of a crowded street. People will yell at each other both in person and over the phone, meaning that everyone hears what they are doing. They even make video calls or watch TV or movies on their phones or tablets with the volume turned ALL the way up and no headphones....

 

A lot of people in China also have very little concept of what is appropriate behaviour in public or shared spaces, so they will sit in their seats and take their shoes and socks off and put their feet up on the adjacent seat, or place all their luggage in any empty space, even if it's the aisle or other seats. There is also very little concept of keeping spaces clean, so people will drop their trash literally anywhere as soon as they're done with it.... Which means you can find all sorts of junk in ridiculous places.... Even empty food packages or leftovers like banana skins shoved between the cushions of the seats.....

 

As a country, China is also bad at queuing and waiting their turn for things. People will try to push themselves into a crowded train before the doors are even open, and will complain loudly if the passengers getting off get in their way....

 

Overall, I find it is much more pleasant to travel by rail in Japan, even the local commuter or subway trains in rush-hour are far more pleasant places to be than the equivalents in China.... Because Japan is a cleaner, more polite society, and has far better behavioural standards.

 

Sorry for the long(-ish) rant! I'm kind of dreading going back to China on the 15th!

 

Ewan

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34 minutes ago, Ewan.in.gz said:

 

Sorry for the long(-ish) rant! I'm kind of dreading going back to China on the 15th!

 

Ewan

 

Not at all. I'm actually very interested in China. It's such a truly bizarre place. What you say fits exactly with what I've read and heard about Harmony Guo. I'm thinking about visiting next year to experience a bit of the madness myself. Probably Nanjing as I have some friends there. 

 

I'm curious what you're doing in China. It seems like most Laowai are either technical consultants or people teaching English. From what I gather, most expats go through a honeymoon phase where everything Chinese is exotic and exciting, followed by an intense culture shock bordering on deep depression, followed eventually by a sort of equilibrium. 

 

What brought you to Guangzhou? I hear the food there is good but it's a bit of a messy city. Also, it's mostly Yuehua spoken there, no? Are you learning Canto or do you learn Mando and forget about local dialect? I've dabbled with the Poo-tong-huah a bit myself. It's interesting but it took me forever to get an internal sense of tonality. How are you coping with it?

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Hi Gavin,

 

I've been in China for nearly 15 years, living and working in Guangzhou. I am an English Teacher, the senior foreign teacher in a small locally owned training centre there.

 

Yeah, China is truly a bizarre place, and the events of the 20th Century in China have just made it even weirder. I never really got culture shock, as such. But right from when I first moved to China, I made efforts to not insulate myself from the country or people. Most of my friends are Chinese, the only waiguoren in China I socialise with are the staff in my company, or ex-staff who are still in the country. However, the poor public behaviour, lack of cleanliness and illogical thought processes really do drive me crazy, probably because it is something that is hard to miss when I live in a city with 16 million people!

 

As far as languages go, many locals in Guangzhou are Yuehua speakers, but that doesn't really matter, because almost all Mainland Chinese also speak Mandarin. As is the case in most major Chinese cities, a significant part of the population are not locals, or from local families. In my experience, the only place where Cantonese is really useful is Hong Kong. Outside the big tourist places there, no-one ever speaks English, just Yuehua. I speak Mandarin and read and write both simplified and traditional Chinese. I have enough Cantonese to do what I need when I am in Hong Kong, too. Living there has made my Japanese reading skills better (more recognition of Kanji), but my spoken Japanese has suffered.

 

I think that living in an environment where Mandarin is the primary form of communication for a large population (such as in China or Taiwan), is the best way to get a handle on how to use  the language effectively. It's probably also useful that the person I share my home with (an old friend I've known since 2005) speaks no English!

 

Ewan

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44 minutes ago, Ewan.in.gz said:

Hi Gavin,

 

I've been in China for nearly 15 years, living and working in Guangzhou. I am an English Teacher, the senior foreign teacher in a small locally owned training centre there.

 

Yeah, China is truly a bizarre place, and the events of the 20th Century in China have just made it even weirder. I never really got culture shock, as such. But right from when I first moved to China, I made efforts to not insulate myself from the country or people. Most of my friends are Chinese, the only waiguoren in China I socialise with are the staff in my company, or ex-staff who are still in the country. However, the poor public behaviour, lack of cleanliness and illogical thought processes really do drive me crazy, probably because it is something that is hard to miss when I live in a city with 16 million people!

 

As far as languages go, many locals in Guangzhou are Yuehua speakers, but that doesn't really matter, because almost all Mainland Chinese also speak Mandarin. As is the case in most major Chinese cities, a significant part of the population are not locals, or from local families. In my experience, the only place where Cantonese is really useful is Hong Kong. Outside the big tourist places there, no-one ever speaks English, just Yuehua. I speak Mandarin and read and write both simplified and traditional Chinese. I have enough Cantonese to do what I need when I am in Hong Kong, too. Living there has made my Japanese reading skills better (more recognition of Kanji), but my spoken Japanese has suffered.

 

I think that living in an environment where Mandarin is the primary form of communication for a large population (such as in China or Taiwan), is the best way to get a handle on how to use  the language effectively. It's probably also useful that the person I share my home with (an old friend I've known since 2005) speaks no English!

 

Ewan

 

It sounds like you've lived quite the adventure. My job isn't one that I can easily travel with, so I love hearing about other peoples wanderings. Thanks for sharing.

 

Gavin

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Time to activate this plan soon. I hear China calling 🙂

 

I'm planning on collecting trains from in and around the Nanjing area, as well as high speed rail if I can find any.

Edited by gavino200
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serotta1972

Here's a thread about Hong Kong retailers.  Can't wait to see your new Chinese trains, maybe I'll just live vicariously through you and save some money. 🙂

 

 

Edited by serotta1972
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7 hours ago, gavino200 said:

Time to activate this plan soon. I hear China calling 🙂

 

I'm planning on collecting trains from in and around the Nanjing area, as well as high speed rail if I can find any.

 

I do know of a few suppliers, but they are not cheap and usually HO scale.. For the n scales, they usually are not powered but display static models...

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35 minutes ago, JR 500系 said:

 

I do know of a few suppliers, but they are not cheap and usually HO scale.. For the n scales, they usually are not powered but display static models...

 

Yes, I'd love to check out any supplier you could tell me about. Maybe even for static models. Who knows, some might be motorizable.

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1 hour ago, gavino200 said:

 

Yes, I'd love to check out any supplier you could tell me about. Maybe even for static models. Who knows, some might be motorizable.

 

Sure! Do allow me to contribute one of my friends :

 

https://saomeidehuoche.taobao.com/shop/view_shop.htm?shop_id=36114794

 

But it's only in Chinese and not sure how it may go about purchasing them but I can ask him 

 

 

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22 hours ago, JR 500系 said:

 

Sure! Do allow me to contribute one of my friends :

 

https://saomeidehuoche.taobao.com/shop/view_shop.htm?shop_id=36114794

 

But it's only in Chinese and not sure how it may go about purchasing them but I can ask him 

 

 

 

Thanks JR. That's a great resource. I'm just starting to navigate the site. Seems like there's a decent amount of N scale stuff. Prices seem ok too. They have a lot of Japanese trains for decent prices too.

 

Buying shouldn't be difficult as Taobao is set up to be international. If you choose your country in the top menu the'll even list the prices in both rambos and your home currency.

 

BTW in order to see the stock you have to join Taobao. This is fairly easy to do using google translate. They ask for a username in Chinese Simplified Characters. I used my "Chinese name" 张志明 and some numbers. But I think you can get around this by just using a string of numbers.

 

You can then use google translate to navigate the site. There's a drop down menu selection for N scale.

 

Thanks again.
 

Some N-scale highlights.

Locos:

https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a312a.7700824.w4002-1447254570.22.c5bec20aIMWzgv&id=574595753395

 

Diesel CMR Line for $68

https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a312a.7700824.w4002-1447254570.34.2a914ad0mou2hc&id=557599983208

 

Diesel CMR Line green loco for $76

https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a312a.7700824.w4002-1447254570.25.2a914ad0mou2hc&id=571081274866

 

Static electric loco for $25, but can be motorized apparantly

https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a312a.7700824.w4002-1447254570.52.39631810q98QH6&id=567297191389

 

Passenger cars

4 car Kunter set for $25

https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a312a.7700824.w4002-1447254570.52.39631810q98QH6&id=567297191389

 

Set of two hard seat (second class) sleeper coaches for $27

https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a312a.7700824.w4002-1447254570.22.39631810q98QH6&id=574358560477

 

6 car set for $150, with 4 car add on for $105

https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a312a.7700824.w4002-1447254570.29.39631810q98QH6&id=570496427757

 

https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a312a.7700824.w4002-1447254570.31.39631810q98QH6&id=570183144494

 

Two four car sets of same livery for $100 each

https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a312a.7700824.w4002-1447254570.34.39631810q98QH6&id=570182704549

 

https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a312a.7700824.w4002-1447254570.37.39631810q98QH6&id=570409406066

 

There are also some double decker cars for $30 and a few other sets. 

Edited by gavino200
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Ni Hao, Gavin - and others interested in Chinese N scale.

I'm getting the information together and will photograph the N scale Chinese models I have, and post them here with comments, make a hobby shop list and also post the remaining Chinese HO models I have from an estate on the JNS Forum. I've already posted that list on the Chinese Model Forum <http://www.chinarail.be/forum>, but, if you're interested in that list separately, email me directly at <pei@sonic.net> and I'll send it to you. 

Just give me a couple of days to get this information thoroughly organized and posted.

 

- Paul Ingraham [railtunes], Coordinator, AsiaNRail N scale modular group, San Francisco Bay Area

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2 hours ago, Railtunes said:

Ni Hao, Gavin - and others interested in Chinese N scale.

 

I'm getting the information together and will photograph the N scale Chinese models I have, and post them here with comments, make a hobby shop list and also post the remaining Chinese HO models I have from an estate on the JNS Forum. I've already posted that list on the Chinese Model Forum <http://www.chinarail.be/forum>, but, if you're interested in that list separately, email me directly at <pei@sonic.net> and I'll send it to you. 

Just give me a couple of days to get this information thoroughly organized and posted.

 

- Paul Ingraham [railtunes], Coordinator, AsiaNRail N scale modular group, San Francisco Bay Area

 

 

谢谢。我很喜欢认识你!Yes, I would love to see photos of your Chinese N scale models. Thanks for posting about chinarail.be. It looks like a good site. I signed up - same username. 

Regarding the hobby shop list, perhaps you could email it to me and I can add the information to the list at the top of this thread. That way we could keep all the information in one place and make it more user friendly. I sent you an email.

 

Situations like this almost make me wish I was more into HO. But I really, love N scale. 

 

BTW do you know if CMR Line is still in business? Do you know of a website for the company?

 

Gavin

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A nice little starter set from Taobao

 

Boxed set of Kunter electric loco and four cars from the NE region of the country Beijing - Shenyang for $180

 

https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z10.5-c.w4002-1447254570.25.716375973NTpJM&amp;id=574595753395

 

2 car add on sets for $27

 

https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z10.5-c.w4002-1447254570.25.716375973NTpJM&amp;id=574595753395

  • Like 1
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1 minute ago, Kiha66 said:

 

Wow, that is really nice!  And it seems to have DCC already?  If you find out how to order from here let me know, cause I want one!

 

It's not hard to order from. The site works well with google translate. Like, ebay it now has 'branches' in many countries including the US. If you like like I can post instructions. 

 

But wait before you buy. I'd like to see if I can find an even better source.

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1 minute ago, Kiha66 said:

 

It seems those prices are HK dollars, so converted to US currency they actually seem pretty fair.

 

Converted to USD, this loco is $547.59

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1 minute ago, gavino200 said:

Converted to USD, this loco is $547.59

 

Interesting, when I converted for the coaches they seemed to be about $20.  Weird how they have such different markups.

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