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Beginner UniTrack Questions


AbaZ33a

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AbaZ33a

Greetings,

 

I am new to N Gauge and the Kato Unitrack system. I have some rather simple questions that I would be grateful if some people could answer for me before I start to plan and order track. My first question is regarding the "elevated viaduct" sections of track, and if when placed down without the piers underneath, if they sit stable and are level with the ordinary ground level track pieces or if they require an incline section section to connect to ordinary ground level track. My goal is to have them sit like an ordinary ground level piece of track and connect them to other ground level pieces but in some images the track appears to sit higher, but I could be mistaken. My second question pertains to the "easement" curved sections and if they are required when going from a straight section of track to a superleveated curve section. 

 

I know these are novice questions but I just want to make sure I fully understand everything before I start making a track plan, Thanks 

Edited by AbaZ33a
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Welcome to the forum Aba!  

In regards to the viaduct track sections, when placed on the ground they do sit higher than the standard unitrack.  A long straight track section should bridge the gap, but I haven't tried it myself.

The easement curves are required when going from normal track to superelevated curves, and vise versa.  This track piece has a smooth transition from the flat track to the learning track of the superelevated curves.  While it is possible to force together a flat track and a superelevated track without this transition piece, the sudden jump from flat to leaning can cause some trains do derail and isn't recommended. 

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Welcome Alba, glad you found us.

 

there is a Kato double track incline section specifically to do this. Unfortunately it’s a bit out of production right now, but expect could be found on yahoo.co.jo auctions.

 

https://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10014939

 

you can use 248 sections as kiha notes and you can even bend them a little vertically so that the angle transition doesn’t always happen right at the track junctio to the ground level piece. This can cause some trains to decouple at times. If you want easier flexing you can do slices every 5-10mm across the angled part of single track.

 

cheers,

 

jeff

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quarxilon

Welcome to the forum!

The elevated Unitrack viaducts are actually quite thick. I've measured the tracks on pier-less viaducts to be exactly one centimetre (0.394") higher than ordinary ground level track. Perhaps you can use the leftover packing materials from your online shopping spree to create a makeshift 50cm (19.53") long ramp?

Also, under no circumstances should you attempt to connect straight tracks to superelevated curves directly without a 22.5° "easement" section in between. Not only would it cause frequent derailments but it might also result in permanent damage to both your rails and rolling stock. Unfortunately the use of superelevated curves severely restricts your level of freedom in layout design but that's a given when resorting to sectional track.

More facts you might want to consider: Unitrack is not designed to be realistic and flexible, but to be as durable as Toyotas and much easier to organize when you (dis-)assemble temporary layouts. There are only six types of points available but their motors last forever. Single tracks and points almost always simulate 20th century wooden sleepers, whereas double tracks use either modern concrete sleepers or heavy-duty slab tracks (the former have shorter sleeper spacing than wooden sleeper tracks; the latter come in two different colours for either ground level or viaduct use).

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Thank you everyone for the warm welcome and answering my questions. I’ve sorted out my track plan and the last thing I’d like to ask is in order to get the layout operational as a DC setup, is there anything besides the Controller (22-018-1) and power pack (22-082/3) that’s required? I made sure to integrate the feeder track piece and I think the only last two items I need are the Controller and Power Supply, but there are also 2 on offer and was wondering how to determine which one would be more suitable for me. Also the layout arrangement is a double track line, so I assume I’ll need another controller to operate the second line? 
 

Thank you very much in advance. 

Edited by AbaZ33a
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nice thing with Unitrak and tomix points is they are power routing so you can run each of your major loops with individual power packs with little other wiring. yep each loop on their own powerpack will let you run two trains at once. for each loop usually best to add a feeder every 4'-6'. you can get away with further apart, all depends on how good your track joiners are at keeping voltage up. if you are not nailing it all down right now you can start with a couple of feeders per loop and see how things run and add as needed. if you are going to nail down and do scenery its usually good to just be proactive and put feeders like every 4' or so as when you do scenery you can get stuff into the rail joints and with time get some voltage drops. once track is nailed down and sceniced in its a pain to rip up to add feeders. you can drill in and solder extra feeders on the outside of the rail later if needed. if you can engineer your feeders near sidings so that when you are switched to the siding the siding track receives is power from close to the point. dont put feeders in the middle of any passing track, you need to keep the feeders on the outside of points for a passing track so the points can route power to either main or passing track as switched with point. again best to put the feeders just outside the points on the passing/main track so the track in between the points is fed from both ends. 

 

if you put up a rough track plan folks can advise you better on electrical things needed and best spots for feeders.

 

cheers

 

jeff

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One thing to consider if you are just starting out is if Kato track systems are best for you.

 

Tomix offer a much better track system when it comes to versatility. Concrete ties/sleepers options are much better.

 

Some UK/USA residents have complained about availablity of Tomix track.  As no many brick and mortar shop stock it.  But realisticly, it is only a DHL/EMS package away for availablity.

 

You have the ability to choose from the start, so weigh up your options.

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SCARM is free to use track design software that includes databases of Kato Unitrack and Tomix Finetrack among others. It’s a very cost effective way to get a picture of how the systems compare. It’s free to use but it’s limited to a number of track pieces per layout—possibly 100, I forget exactly but it’s not a crippling limitation. 
 

Regarding power packs, I do recommend the Kato SX controller and not the older S model. I had problems with the older model (and it eventually melted down, launching my train tangentially off the track at maximum speed). I believe the SX is a better controller at low speed and for trains with internal lighting. 

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