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Kato - New Releases


Darren Jeffries

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lurk ebay, i got my brass centerline roller cleaner for $30. i almost picked up a gondola style one a few weeks back as it went for $24.

 

jeff

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You mean a centerline roller cleaner? ive loved mine. works really well. one of our members has a huge unitrak layout in his basement that is totally unattached (ie all loose untrak) and it works great on even this rats nest of track. what issues did you have with it?

 

jeff

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The roller snags easily and derails. Got tired of retrieving it from tunnels and hard to reach places. Granted mine was the top heavy brass version.

 

Just like a skateboard, when the body rocks the trucks want to turn towards the lean.

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hugh, never had it snag. do you make sure to roll the wipe in the direction of the roller turn? if not the edge will catch things. bob runs it over his huge mess of free floating unitrack (ie lots and lots and lots of joints at all angles!) and this is not an issue either. we both use the big brass model. i wonder if one of your trucks leaned one way to make it bind more?

 

jeff

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kato are doing the video train again

 

http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10167763

 

Shame they didn't choose a better model to use. The front of the car looks horrible. and to think I was waiting for a rereelase of a camera car from Kato.

 

I've always thought the Yufuin-no-mori train would be a good candidate for the video camera.  It has plenty of front window and heaps of space under the elevated seating for the electronics.

 

Cheers

 

The_Ghan

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i don't think it's a big seller i can see why though. would be nice now with a renewed one they must be able to make a much better component or hdmi one by now with a better sensor and rf.

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Reading this via the KATO Japanese website in regards to the Limited Edition E2 Hayate:

 

株式会社関水金属は、被災された皆さまへの支援および被災地の復興にお役立ていただくため、売り上げの一部から日本赤十字社を通じて義援金を寄付させていただいております。

 

This March we will see the re-release of the E2.

 

Next March we look forward to the E6 Shinkansen debut.

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kato are doing the video train again

 

http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10167763

 

Shame they didn't choose a better model to use. The front of the car looks horrible. and to think I was waiting for a rereelase of a camera car from Kato.

My guess is they chose the kiha 30 because it would appeal to more modellers because it would fit into a wider range of eras and geographical eras. Some modellers who don't model modern day Kyushu mightn't want a Yufuin no Mori running around their layout. You could run a kiha 30 with the excuse that it's a preserved unit on a railfan trip.

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Reading this via the KATO Japanese website in regards to the Limited Edition E2 Hayate:

 

株式会社関水金属は、被災された皆さまへの支援および被災地の復興にお役立ていただくため、売り上げの一部から日本赤十字社を通じて義援金を寄付させていただいております。

 

This March we will see the re-release of the E2.

 

Next March we look forward to the E6 Shinkansen debut.

You better believe it cause I will be waiting for this unit to be out so I can get one! which would mean I will have an E2 (Hayate) E3 (Komachi), E4 Max, E5 (Hayabusa) and the awaiting E6 :D

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Reading this via the KATO Japanese website in regards to the Limited Edition E2 Hayate:

 

株式会社関水金属は、被災された皆さまへの支援および被災地の復興にお役立ていただくため、売り上げの一部から日本赤十字社を通じて義援金を寄付させていただいております。

 

This March we will see the re-release of the E2.

 

Next March we look forward to the E6 Shinkansen debut.

You better believe it cause I will be waiting for this unit to be out so I can get one! which would mean I will have an E2 (Hayate) E3 (Komachi), E4 Max, E5 (Hayabusa) and the awaiting E6 :D

 

E6 ? How old-fashioned!   :grin

 

I can't wait to see the first pictures of the E7 which should start testing later this year. I will be used on the extension of the Nagano(Hokuriku) Shinkansen. For me it's  interesting to see how JR East and JR West will co-operate the services. Not just the livery of train make me wonder......

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hokuriku_Shinkansen

 

http://denshadejapan.wordpress.com/tag/hokuriku-shinkansen/

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Reading this via the KATO Japanese website in regards to the Limited Edition E2 Hayate:

 

株式会社関水金属は、被災された皆さまへの支援および被災地の復興にお役立ていただくため、売り上げの一部から日本赤十字社を通じて義援金を寄付させていただいております。

 

This March we will see the re-release of the E2.

 

Next March we look forward to the E6 Shinkansen debut.

You better believe it cause I will be waiting for this unit to be out so I can get one! which would mean I will have an E2 (Hayate) E3 (Komachi), E4 Max, E5 (Hayabusa) and the awaiting E6 :D

 

E6 ? How old-fashioned!   :grin

 

I can't wait to see the first pictures of the E7 which should start testing later this year. I will be used on the extension of the Nagano(Hokuriku) Shinkansen. For me it's  interesting to see how JR East and JR West will co-operate the services. Not just the livery of train make me wonder......

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hokuriku_Shinkansen

 

http://denshadejapan.wordpress.com/tag/hokuriku-shinkansen/

 

I will wait to se the test run of the E7 before thinking about should I add it to the wishlist of shinkansens to buy. :P

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You better believe it cause I will be waiting for this unit to be out so I can get one! which would mean I will have an E2 (Hayate) E3 (Komachi), E4 Max, E5 (Hayabusa) and the awaiting E6 :D

 

Geez Linkey, that's a straight flush!!!  :grin

 

Cheers

 

The_Ghan

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Mudkip Orange

My 2012 Kato catalog arrived today ... 150mm radius turnouts

 

This pretty much completely justifies my decision to slack on buying Tomix mini-rail a couple years ago, when I was seriously considering a bookshelf layout.

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lots of folks out there waiting for this to bring their trains onto streets for a while, so i expect this to be popular!

 

jeff

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Martijn Meerts

Tomix man as well (or at least, I prefer the looks of Tomix to Unitrack, but nothing beats peco + ballasting for looks :)), but the Unitram track plates do look stunning :)

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My 2012 Kato catalog arrived today ... 150mm radius turnouts

 

This pretty much completely justifies my decision to slack on buying Tomix mini-rail a couple years ago, when I was seriously considering a bookshelf layout.

 

 

I use both Tomix and Kato track, and I fail to share the excitement about the new forthcoming Kato pieces.

 

One can simply construct a crossover with two "#4" Kato turnouts and have the standard 33 spacing between the tracks, without having to buy a specialized complete crossover piece. Will they make both left-hand and right-hand crossover pieces? This is getting more like Bachmann EZ-Track! Unless they really mean a "#6" crossover that maintains their 33mm track spacing, which would be a real step forward for them! Or, perhaps, it's a fully ballasted crossover, to match their ballasted double track in appearance. That would be good, too.

 

The forthcoming Kato 150mm turnouts, from the drawings in the catalog page posted above, appear to be 124mm long (on the straight) and have an angle of 45 degrees on the curve. With that radius and angle, the parallel track spacing produced would be about 90mm! Don't count on swinging from a single track out to double track, or on building a compact storage yard with these. The Tomix 140mm radius, 30-degree turnouts yield the standard Tomix 37mm track spacing, which is at least workable. The Kato ones seem more like the Tomix P280-30 turnouts -- good for "train sets" for the kids. I too like the look of Unitram, but in the case of this turnout (which appears to be unpaved and not Unitram) Kato is still chasing after Tomix and their P140-30 turnouts, with what looks to be an inferior product.

 

The Unitram double turnout will be a really nice piece, but has a larger radius that is pretty darn large for a tramway. That's why it takes a boulevard with two traffic lanes on each side of the Unitram double track to create a plausible street corner.

 

The turntable also seems to be a case of catching up with Tomix. We'll have to wait and see what kind of control system it has, given that Kato has revamped its grade crossing to update its electronic control compatibility. Maybe this turntable will likewise improve of the Tomix one, which is fully-indexing.

 

Rich K.

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Mudkip Orange

also seems to be a case of catching up with Tomix.

 

Well certainly, that's what this is. Kato's tight radius corners and the forthcoming 150mm turnout are basically just Kato's version of what Tomix already did with Mini-rail.

 

But I'm okay with this. I think Kato looks better, I like their doubletrack pieces, and I have a wide range of US distributors to choose from. Now, I know BT Trains is going to respond to this with "THAT'S NOT TRUE! YOU CAN GET ALL TOMIX FROM MEEE"

 

Which is true. But BT currently has the Tomix R354-45 for $5.50 for a 2-pack. MBK is selling Kato's R348-45 in a 4-pack for $7.49. BT has the Tomix 541-15 turnout for $31.51, but MBK has the Kato "#6" for $17.99. So, just to build a crappy oval with one siding, I've saved at least $33 by going with Unitrack. This price difference exists because Kato has an established US distribution network, where Tomix doesn't sell here at all.

 

So, a Kato mini-rail system that is maybe 85% as functional as Tomix's on its own, but also mates up to my existing Unitrack, is more than good enough for me.

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Hobby Dreamer
The Unitram double turnout will be a really nice piece, but has a larger radius that is pretty darn large for a tramway. That's why it takes a boulevard with two traffic lanes on each side of the Unitram double track to create a plausible street corner.

 

Hi Rich..

 

I don't think Kato set out with a design for large radii tram track and then made the streets wide to accommodate their track. I think its the opposite.

 

The Unitram plates don't fit with their diotown plates - they couldn't because they designed their Unitram stuff to be compatible with their existing train track, which is really high for a street plate (their train track has ballast); and probably the extra height meant they had extra space for wiring (of turnouts etc) for the new tram track...

 

The Unitram system abandons their diotown stuff so they released large urban plates, initially. At the same time they came out with some of the nicest low-rise structures that specifically fit their new urban setting. This was great planning on their part. Their plates are large but they added amazing details such as the sidewalks and made the city blocks into parking lots so one did not have to pay a fortune for structures to fill in some greyed-out sections..

 

There is a photo of the Tokyo tram system on this forum somewhere that:

(1) looks exactly like the Unitram track;

(2) has the diverging radii  just like their track, and also seems equally large in radii; and

(3) was an intersection of 2 broad boulevards..

 

That is, Kato gave us Tokyo, initially..

 

They designed their new trams to be able to handle smaller radii turnouts and featured this in their promotion. Why do this for the track we have so far? They also released low-floor trams so the trams fit their new track system and their new track system fit these trams. In one of their tram promotions they had a tram on a single (not double) piece of their tram track. I'll bet this is coming.

 

Kato came out with large urban - which is gutsy because the track is not cheap and no other company has ever done this. This is probably what Japanese collectors want.

 

The current and near-future track releases seem to accommodate their (large) system but I suspect there will be smaller streets, tighter radii (remember they demonstrated their trams could do this) and other surprises.

 

Kato has a reputation (here anyway) of not releasing new product and being very conservative. So even though they are making us wait and often tease us with photos they seem to be banging out tram stuff at an astronomical rate, for them anyway..

 

Some time ago people here complained about Kato and their finite vision for their tram system so that a Kato system would be "loopy loopy all day long", or something like that.

 

I'm impressed with Kato's product and their release schedule. On the other hand, Tomix fails to impress.. almost everywhere!

 

But I am not Tomix bashing: I appreciate their product especially their tight radius.

 

Wide or not, I am tempted to get the 2012 Unitram intersection that is hinted at in the 2012 Kato catalog. I can think of no other model train track system that looks anywhere as good or clean as the Unitram stuff. And a near-grand union is just mana..

 

Cheers!

Rick

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Ngi blog has photos of the ED76-0 as well as the other awaited Kato releases. Looking forward to receiving these from HS as they will add to the MA version and at least you can choose your numbers with Kato.

The ED76 became the workhorse on Kyushu and has outlasted the other AC electrics.

 

Tomix offer the later ED76-1000 version but this is due for an update as my version still has the spring drive.

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... MBK is selling Kato's R348-45 in a 4-pack for $7.49...

 

Some might argue that's all Kato track is worth !!!  If I lived in the States I might subscribe to your logic, Mudkip.  But Down-Under Tomix and Kato track are pretty much equally difficult to obtain locally.  The few shops nation-wide that do stock Kato usually only have a handful of pieces.  The decision then boils down to quality and detail.  In that regard I have to agree with Rich.

 

Cheers

 

The_Ghan

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