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The Introduction Thread...

Darren Jeffries

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Martijn Meerts

Well... I have a bunch of unitrack, but I also have finetrack, as well as some atlas. Then I have some Marklin Z-scale track and Marklin C-track, and soon enough I'll have some Wenz 0-scale track ;)


The Wenz 0-scale is rather interesting actually, since all the sleepers are real wood, and the stuff comes as a kit, so it has to be handlaid from the ground up (that includes turnouts and everything as well ;))

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Greetings from Portland, Oregon.

I lived in Tokyo from 1985 to 1994 and authored TOKYO SUBWAYS in 1992, Hoikusha Color Books #45 (English) and #832 (Japanese).

Although I have quite a few N-scale models, that part of my hobby is inactive since I live in an apartment without enough space to set them up. (I'll consider selling them, though).

My rail interest is mainly Japanese, although U.S. Light Rail is mildly interesting. Japanese streetcars, subways, monorails, Cable Cars, etc. are my real interest - all the odd stuff. For me, the Shinkansen is simply a way to get to see all the other rail systems in Japan.


Here is my first attempt at posting pictures here.




Best regards

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Darren Jeffries

Welcome Dick. This place is for people who are interested in Japanese N Scale but also Japanese Prototype. I know you will find tram enthusiasts here. Nice collection of photos. Please feel free to post some in the gallery as they will be a great source of inspiration for modellers too.

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Dick - Did you take all the photos yourself? Quit a nice array of trollies, would you mind posting some of your photos in the gallery?

I also like the vivitar you chose, oh, and also, Welcome to the forum and I hope you continue to post.

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Dick - Did you take all the photos yourself? Quit a nice array of trollies, would you mind posting some of your photos in the gallery?

I also like the vivitar you chose, oh, and also, Welcome to the forum and I hope you continue to post.


Since I have a dial up connection, uploading photos takes a very long time. Rather than do that, here is a link to my pbase site. There are 22 galleries of Japanese train photos with 400 plus images.  http://www.pbase.com/dickh


Re the Avatar, I made it from one of my photos. It is the Kokura monorail, a separate company,  leaving the JR Kokura station.

Kokura is in Kita Kyushu city, the northernmost city on the southernmost main island, Kyushu.

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Wow! That is an extensive library of photos you have of Japan and nicely divided into subjects. Are you still living in Japan?

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Wow! That is an extensive library of photos you have of Japan and nicely divided into subjects. Are you still living in Japan?


No, but I've been back several times since returning to the States in 1994. Next trip will be in early October. It will be my 18th time to enter Japan.

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Hello All,


My name is Walt. My wife and I have been living in the greater Los Angeles area for 12 years but originally we hail from upstate New York. I've been a railfan / model railroader on and off for many years. We finally made it to Japan last year (Kyoto) and loved it. We are going again in October. While I was interested in the Japanese rail system before my interest level has certainly jumped up several notches now that I've been there. It also also gotten my modeling juices flowing again. I suffer from a lack of space but I see a small N-Scale project (or two) in the near future!

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G'day all, sorry about the delay in replying, I've been away for a couple of days.


My name is Mark Newton, I'm 49, married to Paula, with one child, Harry, who's just had his second birthday. We live in a little town to the south of Sydney, Australia called Waterfall.


I come from a railway family, and started working for what was then the New South Wales Government Railway in 1975 as an apprentice boilermaker. After I came out of my time I worked in a variety of jobs and locations with the railway, eventually winding up at Eveleigh depot, running and maintaining a number of steam locos used on heritage/tourist trains.




(That's me and the missus 3rd and 4th from the right.)




(I'm the one with the black beret and the scruffy beard)


I did this until 2004, when I decided on a career change, and went over to running suburban EMU trains out of Waterfall depot.


I've been a railway modeller since my early teens, but my interest in Japanese railways only developed a few years ago. We were laying over on a charter trip with one of the steamers, and were playing a game of cricket in the yard to pass the time, as you do. Unfortunately I lost the last ball we had - by hitting it into the smokestack of the loco. I got sent to the local shops to buy a new ball, but on the way I found a second-hand bookshop. I wandered in a for a quick look, and found a Yamakei bokk on the Kinki Nippon Tetsudo, which I bought for $5. By the time I got back to the train I was absolutely engrossed, and wasn't interested in playing any more cricket...


Since then I've obtained a fair number of Japanese railway books and periodicals, in addition to researching the railways that interest me via the web. Although the majority of Japanese modellers work in N scale, I've decided to be contrary and stick with HO. It's the scale I'm most comfortable with, and I've managed to acquire a reasonable number of HOj models from Kato, Tomix, and Modemo, as well as a few kitbashes and scratchbuilt models. I have two layout projects on the boil at the moment, one is a permanent home layout, and the other a portable layout for exhibitions, which are popular around here.


The portable layout is based on the Komatsu terminus of the Hokuriku Railway Komatsu line, and the permanent layout is inspired by the Toyama District Railway and its subsidiary the Kaetsuno Railway.




Portable layout




Permanent layout - note how portable layout is intended to be integrated


The portable layout is progressing well, whereas the permanent layout must wait until I finish some home renovation projects first.


When I feel like a break from all this, I'm a member at the Sydney Tramway Museum, which is ten minutes down the road from me. Although we have a big collection of trams from Australia and overseas, my favourite car in the fleet is this old girl -




Nagasaki Electric Tramway No. 1054, known to her admirers as Madame Butterfly.


So that's my story, thanks for the welcome, and I look forward to contributing to the success of the group.


All the best,



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Great family photos, and interesting story of how you got involved in trains, oh and welcome again to the forum. Do you have photos of your layout and would you mind posting them in the gallery? It is an interesting track plan and how you incorporated your portable layout into the permanent one. I look forward to your posts.

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Walt - Where in Upstate NY did you come from? I work in NYC but we have a home near Ithaca, NY where I have my layout in the basement. (Because of space, I couldn't build a layout in the NYC area)

    When you and your wife went to Japan, did you go on your own or with a tour package?

Welcome to the forum and have a great trip back to Japan in Oct. Oh, and when you do go back to Japan, buy your N-scale trains there.

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Hi Mark


I'm also from the same village of Sydney and actually live just up the road in Sans Souci.

In fact drove past your place last weekend on the way to Stanwell Tops.

I have only have a small N scale set up with an interest in japanese bullet trains and expresses.

Welcome aboard matey.



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Hi everyone,

My fascination with Japanese trains started as a child living in Hong Kong and seeing all the Sat morning anime shows.  Also, since I rode trains, buses, trams, and ferries often to families, friends, school, shopping, you can say the love of public transport kinda grew on me.


I now live in Toronto, Canada and am now building up my n scale layout with North American Freight trains, Japanese Passenger trains and European highspeed trains and traveling overseas whenever I get a chance to.


The love of Japanese model train was started with Superview Odoriko > Shinkasen 500 >Kamome 885 > 50000VSE >Tsubame (Swallow) with C62.

For European Highspeed, it started with TGV Thalys >ICE-T > TGV Euromed > ICE-3 > TGV POS > TGV Duplex?


I thank those who invited me to join and hope we can build our love for this hobby from this forum!  ;D

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to2leo - Great to have you aboard! How is the layout coming along? Do you mind showing some photos of the layout?

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Hi Bernard sorry about big gap but to let u know i find this very interesting & informative & yes i think i will stick with Kato for track it is really usefull as i have no permanent home as yet for a layout. The 500 goes really well & looks superb, hope to purchase more Shinkansens in the future.

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Hi Folks

I'm Graham. I live in Redditch UK. (The tourist town of Stratford upon Avon is about 20 min drive away). I am aged 55  and I am a lecturer in travel and tourism at a local college. I can be a right lurker on these sites but will try not this time!

I started to collect Japanese n about 5 years ago, mainly because of MG Sharpe adverts in the UK Railway modelling press. I have always been interested in model railways but have never had a layout. Anyway in the end I paid a visit to Tokyo and Shimoda in 2005-I needed a seaside resort to balance a city. It was one of the best holidays I have ever been on.

The trains and the Japanese pride in them was very memorable.


I have a collection that has been bought mainly from Rainbowten and some other Japanese shops.


I even wrote a short article  on "my experiences with starting to collect Japanese model trains",  for the UK based Train Collectors inhouse magazine.  This doesn't mean I am an expert- far from it, more a case of being willing to write it for the editor. My last purchase of n gauge was last Christmas and then my interest in all trains wained. However I have recently  been buying Plarail for my granddaughter (and me). This has enabled me to buy sets very cheaply and in turn has re-awakened my interest in Tomix etc-and what I still haven't bought.

Hope this is interesting


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Welcome GrahamH!


With a new daughter of my own, I'm curious to know how your grand-daughter likes the Plarail sets? Indeed, how do you like them? They look like fun!

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GrahamH - A very nice story, spending time with a grandchild. When my nephew was about 3 I bought him his first Brio train set, it was his favorite toy for many years and for Christmas & his birthday I would buy things to add to it.

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Hi all, I'm Matt, 25 and from Wales hence the callsign. Have been buying a few bits and pieces of Tomix and Kato N of late and really joined to fill in a few gaps in what I know.

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No problem - I have a Kato 700-Series starter set and a Tomix 92082 500-series pack which both need expanding from four and three cars respectively, and a couple of Kato coaches (5037 and 5038). Apart from that it's a case of a small pile of Unitrack and a Kato one-sided platform set with overhead station. No fixed layout as yet!


I also have a Tomix "Asakaze" set on the way from Plaza Japan, hopefully this time I'll manage to get hold of the add on packs when they hit the market!

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Hi, traindork here. I live in Houston, Texas and have been in N scale for about 20 years now. I mostly model the Southern Pacific, but the past few years I have found myself buying Japanese bullet trains. It really helps that Kato has made it a lot easier to get them here in the US lately. I think it all stems from watching Godzilla movies when I was young.  ;)  I'm to the point now where I am considering adding a line on my layout just for the bullet trains. 

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Concept Model Trains

Hi Everyone,


As requested by Darren, I’m providing a brief introduction as to why I’ve joined this forum.  My name is Bryan and I live in Sydney, Australia.  I'm 45 years old.  My work involves website and multimedia development.  


In January 2008 my father and I visited a hobby shop in Sydney and saw N-scale trains for the first time.  We were both fascinated by these little machines.  My father had built a few HO layouts when I was younger but he had not pursed this again.  We both set to work examining the various options for N-scale and started to build our train collections.  


During the last six months I have built five layouts.  It has been a great experience.  About half my collection is made up of Japanese trains.  It’s a mixture of commuter, suburban and bullet trains.  The other half of the collection is broken into two parts.  The first is European and US railcars.  The second is US passenger and freight cars.


My father who lives in Canberra has a great layout that mainly features US freight and passenger trains.  I’ve got him interested in Japanese trains and he bought his first set last month.  


You can see the layouts we have created at the following site:




My father and I are keen photographers and we regularly send each other photos of our layouts by email. We have also created a couple of model train calendars which are featured on our website.  Over the next six months we are going to build an Australian T-Trak layout to expand our skills.  T-trak is a great option as we can work on the layout in sections and meet up to combine our modules.


I’m sure the members of this site will be a great source of knowledge for Japanese model trains.

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Bryan--What is the 3rd photo of the OBB? It's an interesting looking train. Also is the last photo of the 500 Shinkansen a negative image? I really like the photo!

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