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The Yamakaigan (Analog Layout)


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I will use this thread to record progress on my older 'DC' layout.   First some background:


This layout was started about 12 years ago and now it's size scares me!  The main layout is in a 5 x 5 metre garage 'pop-up' room which has a corner pushed out to fit a spiral/helix. An add-on area accommodates hidden storage and a steam depot is clipped on.


Initially I could not decide what to model:


  • A double track depicting a sample of traffic on the main Tokaido line (Osaka - Tokyo)
  • Point to point commuter line
  • Shinkansen
  • Trams
  • A rural coastal line
  • A single track mountain line
  • Steam
  • Modern day


Rather than  lose sleep over this I decided to try and combine everything ... and so it began.

My original construction plan was sketched out, but then modified greatly whilst being built.  I used Tomix set-track and different brands of flex track.

At sea level I have a port and terminus for a coastal and a mountain line.  The single track mountain line climbs 80cm (32 inches) and travels back down to connect to the suburban line.  It is restricted to short wheelbase traffic. The single track coastal line goes around the room to Ashigawa station.  It is restricted to non-electrified trains and steam - either excursions or steam era running.  Ashigawa, which is the main station, is also the terminus for the double track suburban line and a stop on the double track Tokaido line.


Here is a track plan - good luck trying to understand it!  The only level track is at stations and yards - the rest are gradients with many tunnels to reduce the amount of track on show.




All tracks are run by my PC to provide automated 'background running'.  Yards allow me to make and drive trains on the Coastal and Mountain lines.


This video provides an overview of the layout:



If you are really, really board, then you could take the full 40 minute journey on an all-stops local train, which takes a switch-back diversion along an industrial line.

 - like most rural locals it might put you to sleep.




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Thank you very much for detailing this, I can’t find this much room but it gives a great idea on how long you need to run a realistic train. Great video’s and a superb layout.



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That's a fantastic layout. It looks like endless fun. I'm curious about the location of the depot with the turntable. Is it all by itself in a different room?


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  • Bob_NZ changed the title to The Yamakaigan (Analog Layout)

Thanks for the comments.  That depot is outside of the train room.  I built it in a box to protect it from the cat, dust etc and I punched a hole in the wall so the line ran onto the main layout through a short tunnel.  There are a couple of photos as part of the introduction in the thread on my DCC layout: 

This DCC layout will be stored on its side in the garage (sadly the trains will have trouble staying on the tracks) but I will be able to bring it back into the house during part of the winter months for running and further work.  I have been told 'no more spending money on layouts!' so will turn my attention back to the main one.  But working with DCC was new territory for me and it was good to learn the things that  DCC fans have mastered.

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Its time that I get this line back up and running before the winter sets in.




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As mentioned in my earlier video, I am looking at ways to repower my 30 year old series 115 and 211 trains.
Against my better judgement I looked at the Hobby Search bargain sale and saw a 3-car 115 series in their line up.  Now I didnt want to buy more trains at this time, but thought the motor car could power my existing 115 or 211 trains - the shells of these are interchangable.  




Even though their 'cart' buttons are magnetised to attract the unwary finger, I courageously resisted the temptation and thought I would let fate decide - by only buying if it had not sold by the next day.  


You cannot go against fate, and next day I was forced to press the 'cart' button. I noticed afterwards that it was still showing as available for sale.  I then realised that with yet a newer version being released they were probably selling off as much old stock as they could.


I have no regrets as 'back in the day' the 113 was my first train purchased and the new 3 car set will look good coupled to my 5 car unit.


... now waiting on the package - a wonderful way to pass time!



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Unique product, you can buy it easily then helps prevent buying subsequent products. Must me a name for that!



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The video was based on NHK's live stream of the event, a copy of which I have had for many years - I can not remember where it came from.  There are bound to be copies on the web - youtube no doubt.  Well worth watching if you come across it.  The JR start up was symbolised by the Shinkansen fleet turning on their headlights one by one.  I didnt have the Shinkansen for me to recreate it and buying them is not in my budget 😞 

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I have put together a layout video with the focus more on how the layout was influenced by 'wants' that arose during the planning and initial building of it. 

I used a cellphone rather than my camera and was surprised at how easy it is to film this way - and in 4K.



Please enjoy!

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