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gerryo

T-Track - "Z"

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cteno4

Gerry,

 

This is just a little general discussion around all these things of modular design, not directed at what you should be doing. Folks will throw out some ideas or the pluses and minuses of bits, that's why we have the forum to discuss stuff.

 

So are you now thinking of doing the Ttrak modules over the small z table layout?then yes the full depth basically a sectional layout as all one big diorama makes sense. Could even have a wilder track layout and just break into sections and have a true sectional layout if you don't plan to play with others. You can still have expansion points if you want to grow it later. Helps break it out of a straight loop.

 

Jeff

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gerryo

My T-Track-Z has to be put on hold until something is resolved about our move to a new place.  I don't and will not have room for everything, so must cut back.  I will concentrate on my Z scale layout.

 

gerryo

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gerryo

post-2768-0-18637400-1479406729_thumb.jpg

 

My Z scale layout has been put on hold because of lack of interest by my supplier.  So back to this one.

 

I have redrawn this layout and changed some dimensions to keep the module sizes down a bit.  With these measures everything works out well and is just over 6 feet  (1885 mm) long and 4 feet (1125 mm) wide at the L.  It could have a small circle (195 mm R) at the junction but there are no small single unit emu's yet so it isn't needed.

 

gerryo

Edited by gerryo

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gerryo

post-2768-0-16766200-1479410505_thumb.jpg

 

And then you can add sidings, and a small yard for short trains anytime you want them.

 

gerryo

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gerryo

I have come up with another quandary about T-Track-Z.  I was going to do a Japan diorama, with Japan trains, buildings, etc. but if I am going to try to attract some fellow modellers, would I be better to try to model some other country?

 

The last Z layout that I had was a 5 ft. by 5 ft. Swiss diorama c/w working catenary, lighting etc.  This was very popular but Rokuhan does not have working catenary yet.  I have tried to see if I can use some American track, but it would be a bad substitute for Rokuhan.  And I don't want to use the German one again.

 

The least expensive for me would be Japan, because I already will be using mine on my home layout.

 

Any suggestions? 

gerryo

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katoftw

http://www.rokuhan.com/english/products/structures/

 

What is not working about the catenary from Rokuhan?

 

But to answer your bigger question.  Since you are making a modular layout, can you not just make different modules different themes?

Edited by katoftw

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gerryo

I'm talking about the Marklin trains actually running on the overhead wire, and using one of the tracks for the other polarity.  There is a little switch on top of the loco that lets the power be picked up from the catenary or the track, depending on what your preference is, or if you have your cat. hooked up.  Also depending on whether you have cleaned your cat. wire.  Ha, Ha.

 

I have not been interested in any layout that had that many different themes.  I know that N-Track and T-Track-N are done that way, but usually they are of one country only.  At least any that I've seen around eastern Canada.

 

I have plans for a 3 legged star or a 4 legged cross, that would work well if each leg was done to a different theme, but you would need 3 or 4 different people with different interests for each one, or have partners.  That would work quite well, I imagine.  But, if you had one Japanese and one American, they could not work because they operate on opposite sides of the road.

 

gerryo

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cteno4

Gerry,

 

Here is the us we have modules of other countries in both ntrak and Ttrak. Popular set of Japanese ntrak modules around here at with northern Virginia ntrak.

 

http://japanrailmodelers.org/pages/modelingjapan/modulesofjapan.html

 

I think it's most to what you like to do the most and then if you can display it to encourage others then great. You have been talking about this being a home layout, I think it's most important to think thru what the primary use will be and make it what world best for that and you. Japanese scenes lend themselves well to these smaller layouts and individual, detail packed modules better than many other places in the world as well and thus will have a great impact at shows. If you do start finding folks that want to build modules and play z with you I think you can solve these issues when you come to them and with the folks that turn up and then plan with that permutation. Do what you enjoy the most and that will show the best and interest the most folks.

 

Z is going to be a very small crowd and I fear live cat in z will be a very hard sell and may limit your pool to tiny. The n cat crowd is pretty small.

 

Cheers

 

Jeff

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kvp

If you look at the live catenary in Z, it's more like and overhead third rail. Looks awful but works. Most modellers in Z select the japanese way and only install the masts, if they even install anything as the main focus of european Z is epoch 3, late steam and early diesel, with a very small percent of electrification.

 

It would be a nice idea to try, but you'll have to scratchbuild the wire system to look even a bit acceptable. (masts can be used from Rokuhan, Maerklin and others, just adjust the bases for the track height)

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gerryo

I never said that I was going to do the live cat. thing.  I was stating what was already done elsewhere.  To do live cat. with Rokuhan you would almost have to copy the Marklin innards, and their metal pantographs, and convert the overhead so that it could be strengthened and isolated, etc., etc.  This is too much for me and most people to take on in Z scale.  But it was of great interest to the people who cared to look at it seriously.

 

Z was unique, and so was live catenary.

 

And kvp, part of the reason for the interest in late steam and early diesel is that they have not had steam for over a hundred years and most people have never seen a steam loco.  Most of the diesel was outlawed when they found that it was just as polluting as steam and even more deadly inside tunnels.  In Switzerland there are more tunnels than there are kilometers of track. 

 

gerryo

Edited by gerryo

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kvp

Actually, during the reunification of Germany, steam was still in use in the eastern part. Also diesel trains are more common in Europe today than you would think, just not on mainlines. Switzerland is an exception, but getting swiss catenary masts in Z that could be made live is an epic quest in itself.

 

Maerklin Z models focused mostly on epoch 3 and epoch 4 west german prototype as it was the ep3/ep4 boundary when Z started. Most Z modelers kept this period as their main, thanks to having good model availability and needing less space than a high speed track with ice-s. (also steam locos!!!) Switzerland is an exception here too, thanks to the wartime emergency electrification that eliminated coal and oil dependency along with most steam locos.

 

ps: A Z scale full model of the Gotthard route was built using japanese style masts only construction. It looks better from usual viewing distance, even in N.

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velotrain

 In Switzerland there are more tunnels than there are kilometers of track. 

 

 

This statistic just didn't seem right to me, so I decided to research it as best I could.  If it were true, it would seem that the cost of building any one kilometer of railway would be prohibitive.

 

 

Length of railway network: 3175 km in standard gauge and 98 km metre gauge

 

Source:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swiss_Federal_Railways

 

 

I count 27 railway tunnels, based on this list.

 

Source:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Railway_tunnels_in_Switzerland

 

 

However, this list shows 36, and they're qualified as "notable".

 

Source:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_tunnels_in_Switzerland

 

 

I'd be happy to admit that these only list the major, named tunnels, and have no idea on how to get an accurate count of the minor tunnels, but doubt there's an additional 3100 or 3200 of them.

 

 

Do you have a source that supports your statement?

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gerryo

No, no printed source, just comments from Swiss Patrons who viewed my layout.

 

gerryo

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gerryo

post-2768-0-94241400-1480435769_thumb.jpg

 

I have the Styrofoam cut "roughly" to the dimensions for modules to put together my "Inside Corner Layout", and I have a couple of table tops to set the layout on.  These tops need plywood so that there is a consistently flat surface, so this is the next step.  Then legs of some sort, probably sawhorse type for simplicity.

 

So off to the lumber yard - again.

 

gerryo

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gerryo

post-2768-0-09075900-1486145014_thumb.jpg

 

I will have to wait 1 more month for the last piece of the Cortina layout, plus I have to wait again for pieces of Styrofoam for the bus and tram layout, so have decided to do some more on this one.

 

I have to apply some stiffening to the Styrofoam modules, which are 1 inch (25 mm) thick.  This will also be used as the base for the adjustment legs so needs to be fairly sturdy.  I'm thinking that 1" x 2" pine should be enough, around the bottom perimeter.

 

The above is the layout that I will build to start.  This displays how I have designed the inside corner to fit with other modules, along with a small 3 track yard at one end.

 

Gerry 

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gerryo

post-2768-0-08837300-1486593991_thumb.jpgpost-2768-0-69602900-1486594017_thumb.jpgpost-2768-0-58637700-1486594050_thumb.jpgpost-2768-0-15190300-1486594082_thumb.jpg

 

These pics show the progress of the T-Track-Z layout.  All modules styro cut but not finished, base stiffener on some, and table tops made but no legs yet.  I will use the steel folding leg type so will have to sit down to operate.

 

The 3 track yard will be in the end module by the control panel. 

 

Gerry

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gerryo

The t-track-z guidelines call for the modules to be the same thickness as for t-track-n.  I have cut my mods using 1 inch thick styro and then used 1 x 2 inch pine around the perimeter, underneath, standing on edge.

 

This doesn't quite add up to the 2 3/4 to 4 inch spec. set by t-track.  It is only 2 1/2 inch total.  How important do you think the thickness is?  Remember that this is Z scale so the thickness would not need to be the same as for N, if you just think of the strength needed.

 

My problem here is that 2 inch thick styro with square edges does not exist so would have to use 2 layers of styro to make up the difference. doubling the cost and the work involved.

 

Gerry

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cteno4

Gerry,

 

The Ttrak module height is not a required for Ttrak standards, you just have to be able to raise the modules up to the correct rail head height that the layout is running at. You can make a thin base and just use longer bolt legs/supports to get to the regular track for table top height.

 

I talked a lot with all this with lee from the very early days of Ttrak that the module thickness to its size really was not the right proportions design wise. It creates a large face that competes a lot with visuals of the stuff on top of the module which is what it's all about. Painting the faces black or brown does not solve this. She had he reasons for setting that height and did not care about this. The one thing it does allow is to have deeper scenes below the rail heights so valleys below the track, etc. but visually it really gets imposing. She took the extreme that if it was not the 2.75" height it could not be called a Ttrak module!

 

Many in Japan have done and still do standard track Ttrak modules that are like 1" tall and just use longer legs to rise up to the 4" or so usual track heights for layouts.

 

I like about 1" thick on modules and have done all my standard spaced modules that height. I then have 4' long girders that are just two pieces of 1"x3/4" stock 4' long separated about 6" by dowels. The modules rest on top of these girders and I can use any height bolts necessary to raise the whole thing up to whatever height. These girders solve a number of things.

 

- They boost the modules up to the needed height

 

- they provide a nice set back sort of toe kick area under the module face to make the modules look like they are floating nicely, but there is some aesthetic support visible but very unobtrusive. This allows the 1" face to be just enough a face to be a nice frame but not overbearing. I also finish the front face as a nice wood finish with a red/brown wood die to allow the grain to come through some but also give it a neutral color and not have to worry about any variations in white wood stock color/looks over time. Wood dyes are great for this as it's a more uniform than stains and gives the neutrality of paint but keeps the finished wood grain there.

 

- I can level 4 modules with just 4 bolts on a girder section. This is great help for some of our Ttrak setups on grass where there is quite a slope and leveling all the modules would be hell!

 

- the girder provides a nice sort of wire chase under the modules to hide them and route them nicely.

 

For z scale I think you can do what ever height of module face that works for you. There are so few out there doing a scale Ttrak that it won't matter. You can always adjust track height with bolts.

 

Module sizes are based some on track size but I think also need to be looked at for over all scene look depending on scale. As things get smaller this whole proportion changes as we have discussed before. When I experimented with Ttrak for t scale this really became really clear as with the much smaller scale the whole balance/weight of the module scene change dramatically. Turned out a scaled down standard module (about 1/3rd sized) worked well as well as longer skinny modules and larger square modules. I played with a bunch of sizes and proportions with construction paper, track, buildings and clumps of lichen to get a good idea of how a sceniced module would look. This all probably won't matter so much with z not being dramatically smaller than n scale but may have an effect on the scen look as well as the module face height.

 

Again I say be practical and experiment some!

 

You can get rolls of stick on wood veneer to paste onto the sides of foamed topped modules to make a very pretty front face. Again that face can have a huge effect on the scene above. Our intuitive side likes finished wood, it accepts that easily and quickly takes it out of the picture of the scene on the module. Painting it can really distract with color or odd negative space it can create. The scene needs a frame but do what a good frame does of drawing the eye into the picture then backing off and letting the picture take the whole stage.

 

Cheers

 

Jeff

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gerryo

post-2768-0-70044000-1488645682_thumb.jpg

 

During the cutting of the styro, I have made quite a few errors.  This is what comes of not having an accurate table saw and trying to cut by hand.  So, I done a search of the net and found a supplier in  Austin, Texas, USA, who does precut modules for both T-Track-N and T-Track-Z.  These are done in a similar way as the T-Track-Rus as described by Tossedman in another thread.

 

I have already ordered some, and will replace my poorly cut modules with these.  He makes two types.  One with flat wooden tops, and others with depressed tops, down one inch, to be filled with one inch thick styro, which allows for different scapeing.  Any discrepancies in the styro cutting can then be easily corrected. 

 

I have compared his measurements (in inches) to mine (in mm) and the overall size of the two layouts differ by about 5 mm.  So I'm happy.

 

More waiting.

 

Gerry

Edited by gerryo
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gerryo

post-2768-0-86339100-1489510177_thumb.jpgpost-2768-0-78247000-1489510201_thumb.jpg

 

I got the first bunch of modules from Masterpiece a few minutes ago.  Four days from date of my order.  Just can't beat that unless I picked them up myself, then it would take at least 5 days to get back home.

 

Now I can build my T-Track-Z.

 

Gerry

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cteno4

Oooh pretty! Love cnc routers! My cousin has made a small fortune (and blown quite a bit with a racing car team) with his in his high end cabinetry shop.

 

Jeff

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gerryo

They do a very nice job in the hands of an artist.  These mods are just right, and easy to assemble.  I have already completed 7 of the 10 that I recieved today.

 

Gerry

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gerryo

post-2768-0-71761200-1489616875_thumb.jpg

 

All 10 modules assembled, all leg brackets installed and ready for bolts.  Plastic leg adjusters were provided but I am going to use steel bolts.  They will work better over time.

 

Gerry

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gerryo

Since I plan to use my T-Track-Z layout as a demonstration, I have ordered 6 more various modules to complete my plan.  They are already on the way here by courier.

 

All along I have planned to use Rokuhan track because they have more variety of tracks.  The T-Track specs call for Micro Trains track, and this would be necessary if I was to try to connect my mods with other club mods at some show.  However, since there are so few z scale modellers this is not likely to happen. 

 

The other factor is that my layout will be "Japan" oriented with Japanese model trains etc., everything will be from Japan.

 

Gerry

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velotrain

All along I have planned to use Rokuhan track because they have more variety of tracks.  The T-Track specs call for Micro Trains track, and this would be necessary if I was to try to connect my mods with other club mods at some show. 

Gerry

Also, since MT track doesn't have embedded roadbed, I'm guessing they must use some other method of connecting the modules.

Edited by velotrain

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