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railsquid

And so it begins...

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railsquid

So, this is a rough draft of the heart of my new Empire-to-Be:

 

post-1206-0-11434900-1408118732_thumb.jpg

 

Currently plonked on a desk I am basically using to store junk on; I'll be removing the bookshelf visible in the background to create space for a 1800mm x 900mm baseboard, which will feature a Boring Oval Loop (the beginnings of which you can see in the picture) and a station roughly where the platforms are now.

 

Now, the purists amongst you may already be up in arms about the Shinkansen sharing a platform with a common-or-garden 103, but rest assured - it will get worse. The elevated segment visible behind the station will become an elevated, single-track Shinkansen line rising from the left (it will rise out of the curve) heading towards the right of the picture, where it will enter a Shinkansen station largely hidden behind the monitors on the desk I currently use:

 

post-1206-0-62329800-1408119402_thumb.jpg

 

which will be more of a hidden storage yard. The line visible in the photo snaking away under the monitors will be a private or possibly "third-sector" line which runs around the "top" of the oval to another terminus tucked away where the bookshelf is now (there'll be a 20x20cm extension "southwards" to accommodate that).

 

There'll be another station on the "south" side of the oval which will be a through-station for trains coming from the "Shinkansen" line and an optional terminus for trains running anti-clockwise around the oval. There'll be a bunch of sidings in the centre of the oval for purposes I have yet to decide, and maybe some more in the "northwest" corner if space permits. I could potentially add a second, inner loop but not sure how that will work out. Vacant space will be occupied by a whimsical small-town cityscape.

 

From a trains point of view I'm aiming at late JNR/Kokutetsu period, however the subjects of my empire will have to get used to dealing with the odd historical or futuristic anachronism and if they don't like it then tough luck, at least their four-car Kodama set has a buffet car. Passenger trains will be at most four cars due to space constraints, though I suppose it's possible a slightly longer train with blue coaches will pass through without stopping.

 

Bonus picture:

 

post-1206-0-79004100-1408120395_thumb.jpg

Edited by railsquid
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cteno4

Hey railsquid, its your layout, don't worry about the purists, have fun!

 

Jeff

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Bernard

Yes have fun!

Hey I run my Minitrix Orient Express on my layout with my 500 Shinkasen (it's a little slower :) )

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Densha

I made up excuses for you:

- single track elevated Shinkansen line, check: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Fukushima_City_with_a_view_of_Fukushima_Station.jpg (on the bottom right)

- Shinkansen and conventional train at one platform, check: https://www.flickr.com/photos/skylinegtr/6663890107

- 4 car trains, check: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:0_Q4_Kodama_Hakata_19980700.jpg

 

Oh wait now I'm already being a purist! :P ;)

 

It really doesn't matter, as long as you enjoy your stuff. I like those tracks under that monitor stand. Much better than the tracks directly behind the monitor as I have, I made some kind of bridge for my computer cables. :P

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railsquid

I made up excuses for you:

- single track elevated Shinkansen line, check: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Fukushima_City_with_a_view_of_Fukushima_Station.jpg (on the bottom right)

- Shinkansen and conventional train at one platform, check: https://www.flickr.com/photos/skylinegtr/6663890107

- 4 car trains, check: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:0_Q4_Kodama_Hakata_19980700.jpg

 

Oh wait now I'm already being a purist! :P ;)

 

 

Well the thing is, I want to have some kind of general, vaguely plausible setting, and I definitely want to run a 0-kei Shinkansen and other vaguely late JNR stuff, and seeing that 4-car set from Kato I immediately thought "Squid, this is going to be somewhere west of Osaka innit, where the 4-car Kodamas used to ply their trade up and down the Sanyo." I have fond memories of those as on my first railpass trip I started out in Fukuoka on one of the first trains of the day, was running slightly late due to jetlag, dashed up onto the platform seconds before the train was due to depart and found myself at the wrong end of a 16 car platform looking at this diddly four-car set in the far distance. Incredibly they held it up for me while I dashed down the platform.

 

Anyway, so there's this short branch off the Sanyo Shinkansen (inspired by the Gala Yuzawa branch on the Joetsu) to this small-ish but very popular tourist town where multiple lines converge, which is far enough away from the metropolises to have generally short trains but nevertheless has through-running with an incredible variety of other lines.

 

But that's about as far as it goes for location detail. I actually found myself looking at that Shinkansen pack and thinking "Hmm, that's a Tokaido Shinkansen which is supposed to be part of a 16-car set and one of the cars is a buffet car which the Sanyo Kodamas didn't have", then I thought "what the hell, it's only 7500 yen".

 

It really doesn't matter, as long as you enjoy your stuff. I like those tracks under that monitor stand. Much better than the tracks directly behind the monitor as I have, I made some kind of bridge for my computer cables. :P

 

 

The stand is actually a shelf intended for wall-mounting I found in Nitori (a kind of cheap Japanese IKEA) which I was intending to use to store the keyboard under, but as I've never actually done that I can use the space for other things :).

 

Now there's a thought - it would be an excellent spot to model some kind of subterranean station :headbang:

 

Thanks for all the comments, most encouraging :)

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katoftw

for the raise viaduct sections, just be careful with R315-45V pieces of track.  i cannot remember if they were having issues with sppeds on the R315s or whether in inside wall was making contacts with the middle of the longer shinkansen cars.

 

i'm sure you'd be able just to trial a regular R315 curve and see if the overhang it big enough to cause issues.

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railsquid

for the raise viaduct sections, just be careful with R315-45V pieces of track.  i cannot remember if they were having issues with sppeds on the R315s or whether in inside wall was making contacts with the middle of the longer shinkansen cars.

 

i'm sure you'd be able just to trial a regular R315 curve and see if the overhang it big enough to cause issues.

 

R315-45V will definitely not work - I got some R348-45V and the Shinkansen cars barely squeeze through (if I hook a fingernail over the viaduct wall I can feel the car brush by). They might just be OK but I don't feel happy about them; the catalogue shows a R381-30V so I'll go with those if I can find some.

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JR 500系

Hey railsquid, its your layout, don't worry about the purists, have fun!

 

Jeff

 

Ditto that Jeff! It's your layout so have fun! Mine is a mess too with various region trains... But I just try to not run them together...

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westfalen

"Texas you say. How do we get back to Doncaster from here?"

 

"Don't ask us we're trying to get to Sapporo."

 

post-182-0-19333100-1408170051_thumb.jpg

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katoftw

"Texas you say. How do we get back to Doncaster from here?"

 

"Don't ask us we're trying to get to Sapporo."

:laughing3:

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NJHA

Mixing trains, areas, regional settings and even countries? Running shinkansens on ground tracks or with "regular" trains?  Why not? It just depends on your choices and what makes you feel happy. It's a hobby, so you do as you want. 

 

On my layout my only concerns are:

- no curves below 315mm

- no grades above 3,5%

- no trains longer than 8 cars

- no shinkansens bigger than 7 cars. 

 

And that's it.

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railsquid

Quite. Except 4 or 5 cars will be the max for now. And not sure about the gradients due to the available space.

 

And I certainly hope one day to be able to run one of these German fellows which I have fond memories of.

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NJHA

Quite. Except 4 or 5 cars will be the max for now. And not sure about the gradients due to the available space.

 

And I certainly hope one day to be able to run one of these German fellows which I have fond memories of.

 

Sure... although for their price in second hand you can buy 2 new from kato or tomix :)

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railsquid

That's why I never even considered getting back into trains when I was in Germany... Real nice trains which cost real nice money.

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cteno4

Even by more inexpensive American n scale Japanese trains are still a bargain!

 

Jeff

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railsquid

Meanwhile the Empire's noble leader made a valiant raiding expedition to Akihabara, capturing some much needed land in the form of two 900x600mm base plates (from Tomix, which seem basically the same as the Kato ones except they were wrapped in plastic and it was raining). The first subjects have arrived but are remaining in their cyrogenic suspension pods for the moment until accomodation can be constructed. Rails have been laid experimentially according to the principle of fitting together whatever is available, although base plate tectonics mean the below-monitor branch line has been cut off for now.

 

post-1206-0-65548100-1408236949_thumb.jpg

 

The raised section is intended go behind the station along the rear wall but I didn't have sufficient parts to extend the curve in the right direction. (Must get some of this track planning software...) Ultimately there'll be a third baseplate where the bookshelf is and the curved incline will be pushed much further back in that direction.

 

A supply train has also been acquired to fulfill the material needs of the Empire's subjects, tragically a motive power shortage means a 0kei Shinkansen buffet car has been pressed into service as a stopgap measure.

 

post-1206-0-77677900-1408237490_thumb.jpg

post-1206-0-60158400-1408237497_thumb.jpg

 

For reference, the curved incline is a mixture of R381 and R345 viaduct units, the Shinkansen cars pass through with just enough clearance.

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railsquid

I've started to imagine that the working lives of the people who built all those transcontinental lines in the middle of the 19th century were dominated by conversations like this: "Gadzoogles Mr. Moneycakes, if only we'd picked up an extra half-length of viaduct track at that store in Moose Knuckle we'd have bridged the Falling Buffalo Ravine by now, shucks". I exhausted the first couple of batches of track (OK, I was purchasing conservatively) in yesterday's "rough draft" and though I had a good idea of what I needed, I really wasn't in the mood for another trip to Shinjuku or somewhere for more supplies. Fortuitously, inspiration struck and I established that the Yodobashi Camera in Kichijoji carries model railway supplies and it's a relatively short bicycle trip away. Unfortunately it has a pretty basic selection, and while I found what I needed, they didn't have any points at all so I'm stuck with the four I have. To compensate for that I made my first foray into the world of Tomytec kits (they will keep the wife happy).

 

Anyway I was finally able to complete a loop (yay! I can leave a train running unattended!) and established that my layout plan will basically work:

 

post-1206-0-29352600-1408315030_thumb.jpg

 

I'll be inserting a 900mm x 600mm plate in the middle at some point, which will extend the straight sections by a useful length and transform the whole layout from "cramped" to merely "small". It also looks like I have more "depth" to play with than I feared, and there's space for an extra line between the rear station and the viaduct which will make things more interesting. The elevated curve is now all R381-V.

 

Meanwhile I accidentally recreated what could be a plausible situation on the Chuo line in Tokyo (if you ignore the Shinkansen in the background):

post-1206-0-27179500-1408316305_thumb.jpg

 

And finally I continue to be impressed by the stability of the Unitrack even when not fixed and the running characteristics of the trains (only 2 or 3 derailments so far, all due to operator error).

Edited by railsquid

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Densha

A supply train has also been acquired to fulfill the material needs of the Empire's subjects, tragically a motive power shortage means a 0kei Shinkansen buffet car has been pressed into service as a stopgap measure.

Oh my god. :grin Now I'm thinking of putting a motor in a freight car to move freight trains independently from their locos to create these things: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classification_yard

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katoftw

Since the Micro Ace Kiha 47s use rapido couplers between cars, they have pulled along some freight cars before on my railway.

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railsquid

And finally I continue to be impressed by the stability of the Unitrack even when not fixed and the running characteristics of the trains (only 2 or 3 derailments so far, all due to operator error).

 

One complaint however: no curved points available :(

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cteno4

Tomix finetrack has those and living in japan its very easy to get! you can find the threads here that talk a lot about the differences with unitrak and finetrack. basically both are great and have the great running stability you have found. finetrack has a wider variety of track and point options than unitrak and a smaller roadbed (some hate some love). Untrak has a closer track separation of 33mm and finetrack is 37mm. Unitrak has removable rail joiners so if one get iffy easy to replace quickly where as finetrack has the roadbed connector joined to the roadbed so if it gets broken its gone. unitrak is distributed in a lot of the world, but finetrack is only in japan so requires shipping cost and some time (not horrible). walthers is starting to carry finetrack in the us but still at a much higher price than buying it from japan, shipping included!

 

cheers,

 

jeff

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Densha

But he just started with Unitrack....

 

I mainly prefer Finetrack for the wide range of switches, but I started with Unitrack so changing now is not something you'd do quickly at that point. Not that I have a lot of Unitrack though, just a loop with two switches for a siding.

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kvp

Unitrack is great if you want to run on the floor or on a desk and have to disassemble your layout often. It's also good if you want to build modules that could tolerate rough handling during exhibitions. But for non trivial track setups and smaller layouts, the more viable choice is Tomix finetrack. Besides curved points, it's impossible to build a simple 2 track Y junction with unitrack, because there are no pieces for it (in this case the single track width crossing is missing). But also missing are the double slip switches, 3 way compact turnouts and all the classic space saving pieces.

 

Many times, the first track piece someone buys will determine the complexity of their layouts many years in the future. Since kato is more widespread, more people build layouts with it.

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railsquid

Well, stuck with Unitrack now. I've worked out a layout design which largely satisifies me, just would have been nice to have the option in one or two places. I prefer the look of Unitrack anyway.

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