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Japanese Modelling & Japan Rail Enthusiasts Forum


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About westfalen

  • Birthday 07/26/1960

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    Ipswich, QLD, Australia
  1. Same here, I did it in 1996 and took plenty of video but also wish I had a digital camera. It was still a while off closing so I was the only railfan around, the Japanese seem to wait until the last day and then line up 16 deep to get photos.
  2. I could be just one day going by the computer translation of their website but it's a bit hard to tell. It seems like they have one day a month with only five places available and reservations open two months in advance with the first five applications accepted, April's spots are already filled by the look of it. They don't mention understanding Japanese as a requisite but I imagine a bit more than a passing knowledge would be required.
  3. Digitrax problems - "Slot Max"

    You can do everything except change the sound files. I am thinking of getting a Lok Programmer though because ESU's new drop-in style Atlas decoder means a lot of my U.S. diesels will be getting sound.
  4. I looked at the Yokokawa EF63 before a trip a couple of years ago, my friend and I are both engineers here in Australia, but after looking at the application process (all in Japanese) and the training regime (all in Japanese) I decided it wasn't worth the effort. Maybe if you lived in Japan it would be different.
  5. Digitrax problems - "Slot Max"

    I use JMRI at home, it's just as invaluable there as at a club and only costs about the price of two or three decoders for a computer interface. I mainly use a Sprog3 lately because it will read and program just about anything but I also have a RR Cirkits Locobuffer that cost about $60. JMRI itself is free and must be one of the most comprehensive free programs ever. As inobu says, CVs, what are they? I wouldn't even consider programming an ESU sound decoder without JMRI.
  6. I could probably drive it but I don't think I could fit in it.
  7. Kato T-Trak Module Kits

    My first impression from Kato's photos is that they look very rough for the price. Very un-Kato and un-Japan considering Japan's tradition of fine woodworking.
  8. Italian Maglev project

    It's probably not a coincidence that all the successful high speed trains so far with the possible exception of the Chuo Shinkansen, but it's still a long way from regular service, are stock standard flanged steel wheels on steel rails that has been tried and proven technology since the 19th century.
  9. I went for a ride on the Nagareyama Line last year and I can vouch for the fact that it would far from Japan's most convenient apartment building, especially if you commute into downtown Tokyo, if you want somewhere quiet and out of the way to live but still be close to Tokyo maybe.
  10. Kawasaki Freight Station

    The freight timetable is a yearly publication that comes out in March, can't say I've seen the online version though.
  11. Kato - New Releases

    My containers have all gotten mixed up to the extent that I'm not sure who made some of them or if the kokis they are on are Kato, Tomix or Micro Ace.
  12. Shosen Book Tower in Akihabara is one place I know that stocks the freight timetable, there is also a book store in the department store above Nagoya station. Either one is usually one of my first ports of call when I arrive in Japan to pick up the latest timetables. The timetables themselves can be worked out easily as there is a map with timetable numbers in the front the same as the passenger timetable. Not all stations are shown in the tables so if you are somewhere in between you need to make an educated guess as to when trains pass your location. I use my smart phone to translate things like what type of train it is or text telling what days of the week a train runs. The things like loco depot allocations, loco working diagrams and freight yard plans are pretty self explanatory.
  13. Both turntables were procured from JR West. I have a photo I took of a poster with details of where various things came from but uploading it fails at the moment. The loco remains coupled to the brake van at all times and is turned at each end of the run. I noticed on my last trip that the Oigawa now also turn the tank locos at Senzu (can't have Thomas running backwards I suppose).
  14. JR East video about crew training

    Yes, I've also seen tutor drivers and guards with their trainees many times while I've been in Japan and it's all very familiar. Except for the trainees saluting and bowing to the tutors. 75 degrees? I wish it were that cool, in my part of Australia it's been mostly hovering between 90 and 100 for a couple of weeks.
  15. I'm having the similar trouble finding WW2 German army personnel for a T-TRAK module I'm thinking of building to display my 'Leopold' K5 rail gun outside its bunker being inspected by the top brass. If anyone knows of any? Major N scale figure makers Prieser and Merton being German seem to shy away from that type of thing.