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.. With a Hobby!

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Z- Scale Trains




Z scale was introduced by the German model train manufacturer Märklin in 1972.  Letter Z was chosen to designate the new scale as it was thought at the time that there would not be a commercial model railway scale even smaller than Z, in the future. Z scale at its inception was predominantly a European scale, but it has an increasing number of loyal followers in other parts of the world.  Z scale has embraced advanced electronics and Esther's can help modelers convert their locomotives to use third party digital train control systems.

The most popular digital system in Z scale is the NEM standard, Selectrix, which offers the smallest decoders in the market with thicknesses of less than 2 mm. The universally popular Digital Command Control (DCC) has also its followers in Z scale. There are drop-in decoders available from various companies today, and some of them replace the lighting printed circuit boards of recent diesel or electric locomotives. The diminutive size of Z scale makes it possible to fit more scale space into the same physical layout that would be used by a larger-scale model. Z scale can also be beneficial when there is a need to build very compact train layouts. Several transportation museums, for instance, have used Z scale to present some real world railway sceneries in smaller scale. Z scale allows longer trains and smoother, broader curves than is practical in larger scales.

While still considered to be a curiosity by some, Z scale is now a legitimate, mature modeling scale. Esther's Hobby Shop offers Z scale rolling stock, buildings and figures in Z scale, N scale and HO scale.




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Store Hours:

Tuesday - Friday 11 AM to 5:30 PM,

Saturday 9 AM to 3:30 PM

Evening Hours:

7 PM to 9 PM on Wednesday and Friday

Closed Sunday and Monday





219 North Avenue

Pittsburgh, PA 15209

(412) 821-2415



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Our prices are very competitive with a 20% discount from list on everything we sell.