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Kato Unitram City Layout
Tonytramman posted a topic in Layout Buildingthought I would start a layout thread, it's an ongoing and sometimes slow project. I must be honest I love trams, didn't know a lot about Japan's until i discovered Unitram..! ..and so begins a journey ..
Euro Tomytec / Unitram Layout
bill937ca posted a topic in Trams, LRV's & BusesFor some time now I have been working on a Unitram layout inspired by the layout in the Interesting German HO Tram Layout thread and inspired by the Tomytec release of Adtranz GT6N. I wanted a layout with narrower streets than Unitram's six lane monsters, features typical of European tram lines including parking bays (to display cars), tram only sections and intersection sidewalk bulbs. I also wanted a layout that offered more than just round and round the loop. Some form of block control without adding any pricey decoders in the trams. The layout is on a 60 x 30 hobby table. The gold sections are my stop blocks. Ideally I wanted a stop block on all four routes into the focal point at the front of the layout. I got three out of four. The limitations of Unitram prevented the fourth stop block in the precise location I wanted, but all is good. Using off the shelf plug and play Kato components I have created a simple block control for my Unitram layout. On the selected track piece, I replaced the normal Unitram Unijoiners with the black 24-816 Insulated Unjoiners and added a 44-847 Unitram Tram Feeder Power Cable under the selected piece of track. The feeder is plugged into a 24-850 Kato Power Feed Control Switch which gets plugged into the power pack. When the switch is turned OFF the car always stops at the selected location. When the switch is turned ON the car continues on through the block or if already stopped resumes running. Facing switches are set to power routing and trailing switches are spring switches in typical tram fashion. Limitations It is occasionally necessary to flip over the track to access feeders, turnout power routing screws, turnout cables or adjust insulated Unijoiners. I created removable building plaes with 1/4 inch balsa and .040 styrene sheets (as moisture would warp the balsa). The undertrack feeders on straights can face either direction which helps in maintaining the polarity. But the feeders on curves are more restrictive in their placement. Because of the changing track center (from 25mm to 33mm, then from 33mm to 25mm) the curve pieces themselves cannot be flipped. The Unitrack Terminal Unijoiner is a possible solution but it has a reputation of having a fragile solder connection. The photos below show construction as of March 14th. It started out as a Euro Layout, but I wasn't happy with the structures at the focal point. In the last week i have changed Centralplatz to a Japanese commercial district to tall, narrow medium buildings reminiscent of Shimbashi SL Square or Otsuka station on the Yamanote line. The price was right, the buildings and kts are readily available. I plan to cover the front of these buildings with signs and add rooftop signs. The outer blocks will retain their European building focus. Several of the European buildings were acquired second hand late last year. For operations I prefer articulated trams with axle centers of 12mm and at least eight wheel pickup. Mostly these are Tomytec trams but also a few Modemo. I don't have any of the more exotic failure prone trams, the Kato Portram, Modemo Hiroden 5000 or Hobbytrain Duwag 6 or 8. Under track stop block configuration. This layout should keep me happy and contended for the foreseeable future running my trams. i still have a small traditional Japanese tram or light train layout as well.
Interesting Kato Tram Layout
bill937ca posted a topic in Trams, LRV's & BusesAn interesting Kato tram layout with an inner Unitram loop and dual outer stock track lines and a four track tram depot. Video by Jeremy de Korte.
Another Tram Layout Design using Mac app
AllenZ posted a topic in Trams, LRV's & BusesHi I found this Rail Modeller Express app for Mac. The pro version comes about $35 or so but the express version is free. the free version does have Unitram templates. Anyway, I'm trying to design a Unitram layout trying to keep in interesting but small This 2nd design (First one not published yet) is 78.04 x 42.33mm. There's no reversing loops or conflicts in this one and I like that as opposed to my first choice. I do have 2 power packs. I wonder how exact the design app is though, Look at the photo and see the orange arrows showing gaps in the track. What are your thoughts. Thanks Allen
Has Anyone Cut Kato Unitram Plates In Half To Make Grade Crossings?
Philphil posted a topic in Track SystemsHello all, As with any railroad there comes a time that a railroad track has to cross a roadway, which requires a grade crossing or grade separation. Since space is an issue, even in N-Scale, I am forced to opt to use grade crossings instead of separations. I can't say I'm particularly thrilled with any of the N-Scale Japanese-style crossings currently in production, but I really do like those Kato Unitram plates. Has anyone cut the plates, parallel to the track in order to space them further apart for use on standard Kato Unitrack? ~Phil
-Gerry's Mixed Layout
gerryo posted a topic in Layout PlanningThis plan will include all modes of track and vehicles used in Japanese model railroading. Well, the ones I am interested in anyway. Unitram. This is where I got interested in Japan models. I ordered a V50 set from them 4 years ago, they put it on back order, and I never heard from them again. That was when I found out that I could order from Japan, and even though the shipping is expensive, I at least get what I order. Unitrack. I later got interested in Japan trains when I saw my first Shinkansen. Found out how easy it is to use Unitrack, and all the variety there is to use. I tried then to combine both on the same layout with some disastrous results. Thanks to the people on this forum for straightening me out. Mind you they also have some expensive ideas. Moving Buses. Then along came Tomytec with their moving bus system, which opened up other possibilities, and other problems. These were designed so that you could combine them with their Wide Track Tram system and ideas took off. So this will be my real serious layout to try to combine all these systems into the same layout. I have some of it laid out on a plan that I have been playing with. I got 3 aluminum frame tables from Noch in Germany and will try to cram as much as possible into this plan. Now I have to try to remember how to copy a plan into here. Let me give it a try and I will be back with further details. Gerry
New modular Unitram project
Ken Ford posted a topic in Trams, LRV's & BusesI want a small new project for the new year. I have quite a few Japanese (and other) projects in progress from early last year but put them all down when some serious real life things happened. This is my attempt to get moving again without any baggage from before. I'm planning this to be a simple Unitram based double loop with points to allow it to be extended off each end. My idea is to make the center loop a detailed city center with street trackage with the extensions being double track private rights of way ending in stub terminals with crossovers. I'm home sick today, so I started playing around with the pieces from a V50 and V53 to get a feel for what will work, how big it will be and what parts I still need to find. This central loop will be mounted to portable benchwork. I'm not sure if I want structures in the center of the loop, I'm thinking a park might be nice, but I don't know if it would be plausible. I'll probably run my little fleet of Modemo Toden Arakawa cars on this. I'm hoping this will be a fun project that I can take to shows.
Kato tram layout + moving bus
Vato posted a topic in Trams, LRV's & BusesAny advice?
Kato Unitrack and Unitram Track Plans
Concept Model Trains posted a topic in Track SystemsI have discovered a section of the Kato Japanese website that is featuring some great track plans for Unitrack and Unitram in both N scale and H0. You can find it here: http://www.katomodels.com/unitrackplan/ It is currently being updated every week and at the moment is showing some Unitram plans. Some of the compact N scale layouts are also quite good. There is also a great layout design based on the Toyama tram route in the Unitram section: http://www.katomodels.com/unitram/layout.shtml