I was thinking whether there is a book out there that details all the standards, rolling stocks, tracks, signals, list and comparison of manufacturers and just about anything related to N-scale. And, YES there is. I found it at Modellbau Süd in Stuttgart last Saturday.
Published by Alba Publication, the Modellbahn Handbuch Spur N (Model Railway Handbook N-scale) describes the history of N-scale which was pioneered by German company Arnold Rapido (now part of Hornby International) and others, the various systems – tracks, turnouts, overhead cantenary, rolling stocks – locos, wagons, passenger cars of both German origin as well as European wide. A 168-page booklet is packed with all useful information. I wanted to know the track spacing, height of cantenary masts etc. and they are all listed here. Wunderbar! (Wonderful). The only catch is you need to read German (what a great way to learn German than to read about a topic that you are truly passionate about).
Another equally good book from the same publisher is the Modellbahn BauPraxis (Model Railway Construction Practice). This Book 1: Ideen – Konzepte – Gleispläne (Ideas – Concepts – Track plans) explains how to build a layout and offers various layout plans from diorama up to a room-size. Each plan has the recommended dimensions from O-scale (1:48) to Z scale (1:220).
Update: Now there are 2 other books from Alba Publication, Book 2: Unterbau – Module – Dioramen (Frames – Modules – Dioramas) and Book 3: Elektrotechnik – Electronik (Electro Techniques – Electronic)