At about the same time, Model Railroader published an article about bookshelf railroads which further fueled interest in modular model railroading. The idea has since grown considerably, with modular layouts being built in many different scales.
Ultimately, modular model railroads fall into two major groups. One type of modular model railroad is designed to work interchangeably with any other module built to similar standards N-Trak typifies this approach, made possible by strict construction standards mean to insure interoperative reliability with all other modules.
However, the strict standards of N-Trak meant that a second approach to modular model railroading would also develop. The other major group of modular model railroads are meant to operate by themselves as a final model railroad. While not as flexible as the interoperable segments exemplified by N-Trak, this looser approach to modular model railroading works for those who wish to build their own complete railroad in individual steps. By doing so, an individual modeler can complete their railroad in “installments”€¯, finally joining everything together into a complete model railroad.
Regardless of your approach, modular model railroading in Z-Scale is quite possible. Perhaps the most popular standard is the Z-Bend Track standard. This approach has become quite popular, and even Mother Märklin has entered the act, showing several module designs in their 0296 Track Layout Book: