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railsquid

And so it begins...

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katoftw

Each has their own pros and cons.  The best one is the one that works for you.

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westfalen

There is no rule that says you can't mix Kato and Tomix to get that odd turnout Kato don't make, Kato actually make a track piece to join the two brands.  Some of our club members use a mixture of Unitrack and Fine Track.  On my brother's T-TRAK modules in the photos he has used a Tomix double slip and wye to fit in some industrial spurs and on the other a three-way to fit a three road loco shed.  Another member used Tomix track in the yard area of his layout to make use of three-way turnouts and the turntable.

post-182-0-32872000-1408407250_thumb.jpg

post-182-0-14770200-1408407254_thumb.jpg

Edited by westfalen
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katoftw

Alvin brings up a very good point.  I'm using the same S62J Kato piece to merge both Tomix and Kato together in my T-Trak double modules.

 

I'm using the Tomix Wide Track Tram pieces for roads etc, and Kato to join the modules together and in allyway tram/trolley sections of lines.

 

All my modules are 620mm of track length.  So I'm using 3x 140 piece of tomix tram, 1x 70 tram, 1x S70 (trimming down 2mm inserted into the S62J.  Equals 620mm of track.

 

Even though I'm using Kato track, it will have the 37mm spacing of tomix.

 

Allow me you use this stuff on my modules:- http://www.tomytec.co.jp/tomix/products/n/3076.htm

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railsquid

Checks Kato catalogue... Oh I see the piece you mean. Interesting, thanks. Hmm, maybe I could work those in at a couple of strategic places. Damn, so many options... :)

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JR 500系

There is no rule that says you can't mix Kato and Tomix to get that odd turnout Kato don't make, Kato actually make a track piece to join the two brands.  Some of our club members use a mixture of Unitrack and Fine Track.  On my brother's T-TRAK modules in the photos he has used a Tomix double slip and wye to fit in some industrial spurs and on the other a three-way to fit a three road loco shed.  Another member used Tomix track in the yard area of his layout to make use of three-way turnouts and the turntable.

 

Thanks West for the photos! I saw Lego in the background!

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railsquid

OK, this is the basic layout I've come up with (using SCARM):

 

post-1206-0-25109500-1408456114_thumb.png

 

The baseboard will have three sections:

  1. main board (1800x900mm)
  2. hidden storage area (1200mm x 300mm)
  3. a small, 300mm x 200mm extension on the "southwest" side of the board

 

Operationally there will be three areas:

  1. (yellow) The main loop and associated sidings etc, which is "JR/JNR"
  2. (blue) The "Shinkansen" line, which is largely high-level except where it comes into "South Station"
  3. (purple) The private/local line which runs along the "north" of the board

The brown sections are Tomix track (many thanks for the suggestion about the Kato conversion segment); the bit on the "southwest" side of the board is intended to be an extension of the private/local line to a small station at a fishing port or something.

 

The "hidden storage area" will be two-level, with the entrance to the upper level disguised as one end of a Shinkansen station. Actually I hope to make it 3-level, with the lowest level being a metro station accessed from the green-coloured Y-point.

 

The sidings in the centre of the loop are provisional, I'll probably make changes once I start laying this out for real.

 

The layout looks a bit crowded, but I've actually laid the key parts out provisionally and it looks doable. The "Shinkansen" incline is a bit steeper than I'd like but what the hell. I'm more interested in complexity than being able to run stuff at speed over long distances so I like having lots of sidings and points'n'stuff. For the area available I think this gives quite a lot of operational variety.

 

Now, for a general scenario I'm imagining a fictitious location somewhere on the Sanyo Main Line west of Kobe - a small but popular tourist town big enough to justify a fictitious (single track) branch from the Sanyo Shinkansen, 'cos I absolutely totally want to have a 0kei Shinkansen. The town (working title: Takarahime / 宝姫, a conflation of Takarazuka and Himeji) is at the western edge of the Kansai conurbation at the border between high-density urban operations and low-frequency inaka trains. The private line is at the western extreme of a hideously convoluted network of interlinked urban lines so sees through-running of a whole variety of stock, including metro trains; but is in itself a bit provincial and underfunded so has a mixed variety of stock inherited from more successful lines throughout Japan. It also has some kind of industrial operation, probably cement-related.

 

The general era is late JNR/early JR, with variations backwards and forwards in time as I see fit / acquire stock.

 

Damn this is fun :)

Edited by railsquid
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katoftw

Not a chance that will work with DC control.  It'll need to be DDC.

 

I really dont see the point in so many end.  You like the shunter puzzle type of layouts?

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railsquid

Not a chance that will work with DC control.  It'll need to be DDC.

 

 

 

The electrical aspect might be interesting... I don't intend running more than one train at a time anyway.

 

I really dont see the point in so many end.  You like the shunter puzzle type of layouts?

 

 

Yes.

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Kabutoni

Very neat plan! You can hide the close distances of the stations with tall buildings and a short tunnel on the right. Visual illusions can make compact layouts like these still look very 'realistic'.

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railsquid

Thankyou! Bear in mind until about 10 days ago I had absolutely no conrete ambitions to have any kind of layout. But this is several decade's worth of frustrated railway modeller working its way out combined with the space, time and above all finances to finally do something :)

 

No tall buildings planned, or at least only a couple, due to planning regulations I've just thought up. Seriously, I work mainly from home and this will be next to my desk so I'll mainly be looking at it sitting down. I plan to add lots of scurrilous detail once the basics are in place.

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Kabutoni

Thankyou! Bear in mind until about 10 days ago I had absolutely no conrete ambitions to have any kind of layout. But this is several decade's worth of frustrated railway modeller working its way out combined with the space, time and above all finances to finally do something :)

 

No tall buildings planned, or at least only a couple, due to planning regulations I've just thought up. Seriously, I work mainly from home and this will be next to my desk so I'll mainly be looking at it sitting down. I plan to add lots of scurrilous detail once the basics are in place.

 

Oh I completely understand where you're coming from. I also work from home as a self-employed illustrator and comic artist. Time, space and finances are things hard to come by... I also have a little kid to worry about and a wife who thinks my trains should serve as toys for our kid to gnaw on, so no chance to make a layout any time soon at home. xD

 

There are always possibilities of stretching your train's legs on rental layouts, such as the one at Popondetta in Shinjuku. Mind you, there are much nicer ones than that: http://mm05.fc2web.com/art/begin/rental.html

Edited by Toni Babelony

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railsquid

I must confess, kiddo is on the way (gender as yet unknown), it's the quiet period so I have a few months to go ever so slightly crazy before things get really crazy. I count myself as very bloody lucky in that it's our own property (so I can drill all the holes in the wall I want to, hah, except I'm not really sure how much they'll bear) and my wife is entrance by tiny detailed objects especially if they move and/or light up. And it's not like I have any pre-existing conditions aka expensive hobbies. Though I'll have to phase in the current rash of purchases gradually and as long as I hide the delivery boxes most of them will be "second hand bargains".

Edited by railsquid

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cteno4

Squid,

 

Hey Congratulations!!!

 

You are just protesting all the kids eventual toys, right?!

 

Have you shown your wife the tomytec buildings and vehicles and scenery bits yet? Guessing she will love these along with other miniature details like the kobaru kits. You can have a lot of fun lighting up structures in really interesting ways very easily. Some smd LEDs, magnet wire and small variable resistors to tune the light just right you can have some real magic! Just a bit of tweaking and detail additions can make the tomytec kits look spectacular w/o having to jump right into scratch building.

 

Cheers,

 

Jeff

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railsquid
Squid,

 

Hey Congratulations!!!

 

You are just protesting all the kids eventual toys, right?!

 

 

Gotta establish myself as the alpha toy possessor or something, I guess ;)

 

Have you shown your wife the tomytec buildings and vehicles and scenery bits yet? Guessing she will love these along with other miniature details like the kobaru kits. You can have a lot of fun lighting up structures in really interesting ways very easily. Some smd LEDs, magnet wire and small variable resistors to tune the light just right you can have some real magic! Just a bit of tweaking and detail additions can make the tomytec kits look spectacular w/o having to jump right into scratch building.

 

Yes, I picked up a couple of Tomytec kits to see how they turn out, she was more interested in those than the new rolling stock (not necessarily a bad thing ;) ).

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cteno4

Ha! Daddy first! My wife always says she has a husband and a 10 year old but only lives with one person...

 

From what you said I thought she would like the tomytec kits. They are so easy to put together and lots of fin to keep adding to. Who knows she might get into scratch building stuff for you!

 

Jeff

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railsquid

She is very keen for me to start building the "town" ;)

 

Meanwhile I happened go to along to the JAM exhibition and not quite sure how it happened but there has been a slight increase in the rolling stock roster + some other bits and bobs.

post-1206-0-01341300-1408846662_thumb.jpg

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railsquid

In the meantime I've acquired the third 600x900mm board, bring the base layout up to its final size and giving me a better feel for the available space. As I haven't got round to removing the bookshelf it's encroaching onto my desk and I need the space for my laptop so still don't have quite the whole area to play with.

 

On to Version 2 of the plan, which will involve a raised two-track line wrapping around the left and top of the layout with a station on the left hand side; I'll add a small extension to the board to accomodate this (but not 100% sure if it will be quite enough). The layout visible in the picture is work-in-progress towards that design but in no way final. (Please ignore the terribly hackish connection between Kato and Tomix track sections).

 

post-1206-0-77206600-1410043485_thumb.jpg

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Sean

I must confess, kiddo is on the way (gender as yet unknown), it's the quiet period so I have a few months to go ever so slightly crazy before things get really crazy. I count myself as very bloody lucky in that it's our own property (so I can drill all the holes in the wall I want to, hah, except I'm not really sure how much they'll bear) and my wife is entrance by tiny detailed objects especially if they move and/or light up. And it's not like I have any pre-existing conditions aka expensive hobbies. Though I'll have to phase in the current rash of purchases gradually and as long as I hide the delivery boxes most of them will be "second hand bargains".

Congrats!

 

Actually I had a laugh reading this, I am in the exact same position. My wife and I are expecting our first next month (a boy).  So I am currently racing to complete as much of my layout as possible while I still can! 

 

Great layout BTW.  I have a shinkansen that I have felt guilty about putting on my layout in the absence of a shinkansen-dedicated line, but you have inspired me to take a risk!

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railsquid

Luckily we rule over miniature worlds where the Zairaisen/Shinkansen gauge difference is blurred, which allows more flexible Shinkansen train operations - more akin to e.g. the German ICE.

 

 

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railsquid

Meanwhile it looks like some sort of natural disaster struck home on my nascent layout:

post-1206-0-49075000-1410404713_thumb.jpg

 

but it was just me playing around with different track variations, coming up with something more to my liking:

post-1206-0-64860000-1410404723_thumb.jpg

 

Part of the objective was to see if I could squeeze a 60cm platform in at the front (long enough for my 4-car Shinkansen), and it just about works. However I'll need to take a hacksaw to a #4 Kato point to fit in the desired crossover on the left of the station. Damn I wish there were curved points... that's the main reason for the new inner curve, as I'd have preferred to branch the inner platform track directly off the curve, but now have to effectively push the branching point over to the other straight side of the loop. I haven't decided quite how to link it up over there yet (the "gap" is due to the geometry appearing to produce an irregular spacing somewhere), but the way things are going I might just as well add an entire inner loop.

 

Anyway I need to get down to some serious woodworking and get a proper frame together to support the layout so I can move it into its final position.

 

Meanwhile a not entirely untypical Japanese street scene, with a fire engine's route being blocked by a passing train:

post-1206-0-02300900-1410405433_thumb.jpg

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E6系

Once I was on Azusa from Kofu to Shinjuku.  Towards the east end of Yamanashi the train slowed to a crawl.  A house beside the track was well alight.  Totally engulfed, to be correct.  The train crawled past and over the crossing, which was blocking about 5 fire trucks.  Most of these were basically Toyota Landcruiser size.  I felt so sorry for those involved.

 

Also, you should know:

 

1. in small suburban streets, a firefighter will likely be running ahead of the fire truck.  This is to pick the best direction and to ask locals for instructions.

 

2. locals will be fighting the fire with the neighbourhood equipment well before the fire department arrives.

 

3. When the fire department arrives, the firefighters will line up, receive their instructions, and then be dismissed to fight the fire.  A similar debriefing session is held at the end before leaving.

 

Perhaps you might like to implement some of these finer points in your model.

Edited by E6系
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Kabutoni

Luckily we rule over miniature worlds where the Zairaisen/Shinkansen gauge difference is blurred, which allows more flexible Shinkansen train operations - more akin to e.g. the German ICE.

Just run standard gauge commuter trains like me and you'll be fine. Freight will be a problem though. xD

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railsquid

Just run standard gauge commuter trains like me and you'll be fine. Freight will be a problem though. xD

 

You and your Kei-Kei obsession ;)

 

Now, if you went Seibu, you could run freight ;)

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railsquid

Once I was on Azusa from Kofu to Shinjuku.  Towards the east end of Yamanashi the train slowed to a crawl.  A house beside the track was well alight.  Totally engulfed, to be correct.  The train crawled past and over the crossing, which was blocking about 5 fire trucks.  Most of these were basically Toyota Landcruiser size.  I felt so sorry for those involved.

 

Also, you should know:

 

1. in small suburban streets, a firefighter will likely be running ahead of the fire truck.  This is to pick the best direction and to ask locals for instructions.

 

2. locals will be fighting the fire with the neighbourhood equipment well before the fire department arrives.

 

3. When the fire department arrives, the firefighters will line up, receive their instructions, and then be dismissed to fight the fire.  A similar debriefing session is held at the end before leaving.

 

Perhaps you might like to implement some of these finer points in your model.

 

I once spent 6 months in an apartment within spitting distance of a level crossing, on the opposite side of which was located the local firestation. From which I learnt: never have a fire during the morning rush hour.

 

From another former apartment I had the pleasure of witnessing an actual firefighting event once , 'twas an impressively coordinated exercise which involving half-a-dozen fire engines, but which I fear would not scale in the event of a more major fire of the sort predicted by leading seismologists.

 

Meanwhile, I now own my own hosepipe which is overkill for my postage-stamp sized garden, but which will hopefully never come in handy for firefighting purposes, and by "firefighting" I mean damping down my own property to prevent errant sparks doing their worst.

Edited by railsquid

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Kabutoni

You and your Kei-Kei obsession ;)

 

Now, if you went Seibu, you could run freight ;)

 

Well, no freight but goods are fine. At least in compartments and old rolling stock.

 

If I'd gone for combined passenger/freight operations, I'd have gone for Chichibu, Sangi or some heavy freight operation like Gakunan (heck I have an MA Gakunan 5000 red frog right next to me). And probably gone for 6.5mm tracks as well...

 

Anyway, keep us up to date! :D

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