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Claude_Dreyfus

Planning our N Gauge Japanese layout

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CaptOblivious

If you don't like soshite (pronounced "soshteh") you could use .......

 

It's not so much how it should be pronounced, more how the average British public will see it spelt and associate words of a derogatory nature!

 

Oh, I know  :o

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Bernard

When I was planned my layout this was a big debt I had with myself in whether to go code 55 or 80. Code 80 is what most people would call the "normal" gauge and it is more to do with the height of the rail head off the ties. Peco's code 55 and 80 are really the same track but what they do is bury the code 80 further into their ties to create the code 55. Peco has thicker ties and that is how they are able to do this. It is more for a prototypical look the code 55 (which it does great) but a lot of older trains won't run on it because the flanges on the wheels are too deep. Except for the look, code 55 is going to be harder to work with in some aspects like ballasting and soldering on feeder wires (less exposed space on the rails) plus code 55 is usually more expensive and not a lot of LHS carry it.

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JohnDMJ

Can't stay out of this one, unfortunately.

 

Peco Code 55 track has a totally different profile to their code 80 track. As I'm sure you realise, the code number is the height of the rail in thousandths of an inch. The photo shows 55 code on left with code 80 on right.

 

True, Peco do make their 55 rail with a Christmas Tree bottom to ease production of the sleepers, but the overall result is much better in 55 than 80.

 

BTW, Bullet E2 sits well on Code 55!

post-146-13569922330139_thumb.jpg

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Bernard

John - Thanks for the photo comparison. Do you have a preference between the two codes? What are the pros & cons of each?

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Claude_Dreyfus

I'm sure John can give his thoughts here, but certainly for UK layouts, code 55 looks a whole lot better than code 80. The primary draw-back with code 55 is that the flexitrack is less flexible than code 80, due to the moulded sleeper (ties) design. In addition, adding fishplates to code 55 is trickier as these fit into the slots at the base of the rail where they fit into the sleepers . This means you need to clear out any sleeper debris from these slots before you can add the fishplate. You also have a smaller range of points (switches) in code 55 than code 80.

 

Code 80 is the easier to use (and cheaper), however as you know from John's post, it does not look as realistic. The sleepers are easier to trim with code 80. Chances are that the fiddle yard will be all code 80, as it is easier to work with. The viewing side will be decided upon very shortly...

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Claude_Dreyfus

Background work is still continuing on our layout planning, I haven't forgotten anyone here; it's just that basic ideas are still being kicked around. As previously mentioned, the main constraint is that the layout has to be a maximum of 4 metres in length, and will use a 'generic' fiddle yard which needs to be suitable for any subsequent layout that is built by the club. This means that any fancy construction work needs to be tempered in favour of maximum flexibility.

 

This leads to my query. I am keen to try to force some gradients if possible and the suggestion was that perhaps a spiral could be constructed lifting the Shinkansen line. Quite simply, I am interested to know from peoples experience on here what the minimum track curvature suitable for a Shinkansen is. Of all the Bullets we have, it would appear the least forgiving is the Kato E4 MAX unit in terms of points, and therefore curves.

 

If we could get a complete double-track spiral in a space of 2' square, with a sufficient grade to clear two other lines which are running inside the Shinkansen curve, that would be ideal...

 

Likewise, is there a maximum gradient suitable for these? Our previous layout had a long gradient of approx 1 in 45, which had a gentle reverse curve. This really did for some of the weaker engines, in particular UK outline steam locomotives. A full 16-car 0 series seemed to struggle the most when attacking this grade at slow to medium speeds, however this is quite a heavy train. Not such a problem at faster speeds, which is okay as the intention is to run our Bullets at high speed.

 

Although manufacturers do provide guidelines as to the most suitable radius curves their products can take, sometimes these do not always reflect the true capability - especially with a fully loaded train. Drag on curves is going to be an important consideration as some pretty hefty stuff will be running - full length Bullets, 18+ wagon freightliners and a soon-to-arrive full length M250 16 car FMU  8).

 

If anyone has some experience on this it would be great to hear from you. We will be conducting experiments ourselves, and any results will be duly posted on here....

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CaptOblivious

I happen to have the Kato E4 MAX, and I can offer some comments on its capabilities.

 

It can run on 243mm radius FineTrack, but not with 100% reliability. I have had absolutely zero problems on 280mm radius FineTrack, which means the Kato 283mm stuff will work just great.

 

A 4% grade is as steep as you want to take it, and that may be too much for the little E4. I've had a few occasional problems with it climbing a 4% grade. Since the motorized car is pretty light, and since only one truck (!!) is powered, adhesion and traction suffer. I wouldn't go more than 3% for reliability.

 

3% should be enough to clear 2 inches in a complete 283mm radius circle.

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Bernard

I don't have the E4 but my test train was the 700 series, my longest train, when I was configuring my radii. I'm attaching a photo of 5 different radius. Starting with the outer track it's 22", then 20.5", 19", 17.5" and the inner track is 16".

The 700 does have problems with the 16" radius, it's fine on all the other curves. As for the grade, I only went with 2%, but I agree that I think a 3% might be fine. 

post-22-13569922448632_thumb.jpg

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CaptOblivious

I don't have the E4 but my test train was the 700 series, my longest train, when I was configuring my radii. I'm attaching a photo of 5 different radius. Starting with the outer track it's 22", then 20.5", 19", 17.5" and the inner track is 16".

The 700 does have problems with the 16" radius, it's fine on all the other curves. As for the grade, I only went with 2%, but I agree that I think a 3% might be fine. 

 

Interesting that you had problems with 16" radius—that's about 406mm, pretty wide by Japanese N-gauge standards! Is that a Kato or a Tomix?

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Bernard

It's a Kato 700, the cars are slightly longer than any of the other Shinkansen I have on my roster. It's the only train I have that has problems with the 16" radius (406.4mm)

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Claude_Dreyfus

Ah, so this suggests to me that perhaps the 700 series should be the Guinea Pig for testing curvature then, as opposed to the E4.... Although it sounds like all our trains will need to be tested to ensure they can take the trackwork!

 

Bernard, your picture is extremely informative, as it not only shows radius, but also a rising gradient. On our layout, a base requirement is to get a 45 degree curve for 6 tracks in a space of about 2ft square. If a spiral can be added for the Shinkansen to force up the elevation, then that would add to the interest but that is not an essential requirement - just something that came about when kicking ideas around...

 

In terms of radius, the Shinkensen line will be the outer circuit, so will be gentler than the rest. Tighter curves for this would only be needed if the spiral is added.

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CaptOblivious

I confirmed last night that in fact my E4 cannot reliably climb a 4% grade, which is a shame, because that's what Tomix uses for it's incline sets. If the grade is short, and you can get a good head of steam going, it can just make it up. But for a helix, which means a long incline, it's gonna start slipping and come to a terrible-sounding stop before it finishes the climb. Absolutely no traction; the motor just spins out like crazy.

 

There just isn't enough weight in the motorized car! I'm considering adding some, I think this will help a lot.

 

Bad news for Kato :( Their rather ingenuous design to allow for a full and fully-modeled interior in this car has real drawbacks!

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Guest ___

I confirmed last night that in fact my E4 cannot reliably climb a 4% grade, which is a shame, because that's what Tomix uses for it's incline sets. If the grade is short, and you can get a good head of steam going, it can just make it up. But for a helix, which means a long incline, it's gonna start slipping and come to a terrible-sounding stop before it finishes the climb. Absolutely no traction; the motor just spins out like crazy.

 

There just isn't enough weight in the motorized car! I'm considering adding some, I think this will help a lot.

 

Bad news for Kato :( Their rather ingenuous design to allow for a full and fully-modeled interior in this car has real drawbacks!

 

Nothing a pair of SD40 helpers can't fix  :P

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CaptOblivious

Nothing a pair of SD40 helpers can't fix  :P

 

Now that would be a sight to see.

 

Claude, I would take a prototypically accurate version of Shashinka's advice, and station a pair of EF63s at the bottom of that helix for sherpa duty. :P

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Claude_Dreyfus

Nothing a pair of SD40 helpers can't fix  :P

 

Now that would be a sight to see.

 

Claude, I would take a prototypically accurate version of Shashinka's advice, and station a pair of EF63s at the bottom of that helix for sherpa duty. :P

 

Either that, or a pair of EF67s...although they are based a little further south than I was thinking for the layout  ;D

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Claude_Dreyfus

It's been a little time since I commented on this thread; mainly because not a lot has been going on...

 

We needed to wait until our club room had come work completed on it, and now we are waiting on material costs for our fiddle yard section. Plans are still being fine-tuned, and hopefully a definitive version will be ready for publication soon  ;D

 

In the meantime, I have been concerning myself with frivolities, such as a name (again).

 

My latest suggestion is 'Torii Ito', a district of a large city - possibly Tokyo (depending on what stock we choose to run  :P). The name will come from a large Torii that I intend to construct and place in the Plaza outside the front of the main station building. The gate would be all that remains of an old temple/shrine (the Ito temple/shrine) destroyed by an earthquake or during the war etc. and has been retained as a monument.

 

Any thoughts?

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CaptOblivious

My latest suggestion is 'Torii Ito', a district of a large city - possibly Tokyo (depending on what stock we choose to run  :P). The name will come from a large Torii that I intend to construct and place in the Plaza outside the front of the main station building. The gate would be all that remains of an old temple/shrine (the Ito temple/shrine) destroyed by an earthquake or during the war etc. and has been retained as a monument.

 

Any thoughts?

 

Ha, that's clever. I like it. What does "Ito" mean?

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Tenorikuma

My latest suggestion is 'Torii Ito', a district of a large city - possibly Tokyo (depending on what stock we choose to run  :P). The name will come from a large Torii that I intend to construct and place in the Plaza outside the front of the main station building. The gate would be all that remains of an old temple/shrine (the Ito temple/shrine) destroyed by an earthquake or during the war etc. and has been retained as a monument.

 

Any thoughts?

 

Ha, that's clever. I like it. What does "Ito" mean?

 

Ito (糸) means "string". It sometimes occurs in names.

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Claude_Dreyfus

My latest suggestion is 'Torii Ito', a district of a large city - possibly Tokyo (depending on what stock we choose to run  :P). The name will come from a large Torii that I intend to construct and place in the Plaza outside the front of the main station building. The gate would be all that remains of an old temple/shrine (the Ito temple/shrine) destroyed by an earthquake or during the war etc. and has been retained as a monument.

 

Any thoughts?

 

Ha, that's clever. I like it. What does "Ito" mean?

 

Ito (糸) means "string". It sometimes occurs in names.

 

I took Ito to be a name...I have heard it used a few times; I seem to recall the judge in the original OJ Simpson trial was a Lance Ito. There was also a very large N Gauge layout under construction here in the UK called 'The Ito Line' by a group who indirectly got me initially interested in Japanese N Gauge about ten years ago. The layout was sadly never finished, and as far as I know never made it to exhibition, although was 'on show' at JR models (since closed) whilst it was under construction.

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Tenorikuma

Ha, that's clever. I like it. What does "Ito" mean?

 

Ito (糸) means "string". It sometimes occurs in names.

 

I took Ito to be a name...I have heard it used a few times; I seem to recall the judge in the original OJ Simpson trial was a Lance Ito. There was also a very large N Gauge layout under construction here in the UK called 'The Ito Line' by a group who indirectly got me initially interested in Japanese N Gauge about ten years ago. The layout was sadly never finished, and as far as I know never made it to exhibition, although was 'on show' at JR models (since closed) whilst it was under construction.

 

Ok, that would be Itou with the long vowel — English spelling is ambiguous. :)

 

When written 伊藤, it's a common Japanese surname. Written 伊東, it's a city in Shizuoka Prefecture.

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Hezekiah Strawbody

Oh my. Expensive! But such a sweet, sweet model.

http://www.mr-endo.com/lineup/prus/kidousha/kiha110.html

 

If you ever happen to come across Kato's N-scale KIHA110 non-motorized, or the KIHA111-112 two-car set, I'd be interested to know, too, BTW :D

These are being re-release by Kato next February

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