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Let`s enjoy model railroad ! (Kato Unitrack plan book)


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My copy of Kato’s introductory model railroad book aimed at the Japanese market arrived today. The book is written in Japanese includes numerous Unitrack track plans, diagrams and photos. In its 114 pages there is virtually no English content, but much can be learned from the numerous diagrams.




The book opens with an with around the wall hobby room layout with a work table/desk combination with bookcases full of trains and hobby magazines under the layout.  This is followed by a huge layout, possibly in a restaurant or other public place.  Sketch layout diagrams are included for both layouts.


There are simple layout diagrams, more detailed diagrams with track piece numbers for seven simple oval layout variations, geometry diagrams for changing track centers from 33mm to 49.5mm or 66mm at switches, on curves and leading into stations. One interesting item shown in book, that I have never seen offered by any internet dealers is a clearance tool that establishes minimum clearances for station platforms and viaduct tracks passing over ground level tracks.


There are 18 detailed track plans with shopping lists, ranging from the simple to the complicated with yards and multi-track stations.  Illustrations make it clear these plans are intended for setting up layouts on the floor which is common in Japan. The shopping lists give part numbers and quantities in Arabic numerals. Detailed plans give track part designations (i.e. S248 or R315-45V) on the diagram for each piece. Power pack and switch controls are also shown on the diagrams.


Its basically a beginners guide to model railroading (and includes photos showing how to couple cars together).


I picked up my copy at Hobby Search.  I'm not aware of a reliable supply from another source.




Let’s enjoy model railroad sells for 1200 Yen. As is usual with Japanese books and magazines the shipping is often more than the cover price.

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bill thats a nice looking publication from Kato, Im curious are there a lot of pictures to reference.


There are photos of floor layouts, various Kato products and a couple of pages of blue trains at Ueno Station. If you are looking for photos of layouts other than than the floor layouts there aren't many other than one eight page article on building a small freestanding layout with scenery and the two layouts at the front of the book that I already mentioned.  Too me the books real value is the track plans and geometry drawings.

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The review was interesting, so I ordered this book also, which arrived at the last week. Although it is in Japanese, pictures and drawings are clear, so I think this is not a big problem. I like the book, but I expected a little bit more interesting plans. It is great for really beginners, but for someone who has already seen some model railroad track plan on the internet or in other book it could be a little disappointing. I think this book aimed the beginners so this is not a real problem. I would recommend it for everyone, my friends (who are modelling Hungarian, German themes) also liked it.

And a question: what does the big green number mean at each trackplan?

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