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Hobby Dreamer

Unitram Tram Track Wish List

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bill937ca

HS is taking reservations for additional Unitram items due in October.  No photos as of this morning. Prices are MRSP and HS 20% off.

 

Unitram Expansion Set Streetscape 40-820   4400 Y 3520 Y

 

Unitram Feeder 44-847 450 Y   360 Y

 

Unitram Center Pole 43-731 1000 Y 800 Y

 

Unitram Station 43-730 1200 Y 960 Y

 

Unitram Expansion Set Street Corner 40-821 5900 Y  4720 Y

 

Unitram Endless Expansion Set V54 40-804  4400 Y  3520 Y

 

http://www.1999.co.jp/search_e.asp?Typ1_c=104&scope=0&scope2=0&urikire=1&itkey=unitram

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Hobby Dreamer

Just revisiting an old thread...

 

from the original post..

Wish List:

- At least one double turnout as suggested by the street layout, and any accommodations that may be required such as varied length of straight track. DONE, thanks Kato

- a 90 degree double crossing, at minimum, although a 45 degree crossing would be useful for layouts that are not too deep. DONE, thanks Kato

- varied lengths of straight to accommodate layout configurations

- single track with a few radii; and especially a tighter radius for small streets, for tight loops or for tram barns. Looks like it may be coming!?!

- single turn-out from the double track so that a tram could go from North-South to E-W. (A double turnout for this would be great but it would depend a lot on product sales/success) Looks like its coming..

- generally the track that would be required to loop back from a single track to itself of from one track of a double track to the other.

 

The 2012 Kato catalog has a teaser photo that suggest a lot more than we tram guys might have hoped for...  so far, everything is large urban and sold with road plate but 2 years on things still look promising..

 

Cheers

Rick

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Ken Ford

I'm hoping Kato will offer "bare" street track in lengths longer than 62mm - at least 124mm would be nice.  They make the panels for expansion packs, but just don't offer them separately that I can see.

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Nick_Burman

T Kato was quick to make train sheds so they might also recognize that tram barns are a logical destination, and hence may make track to lead to these.

 

Here again I think you will be disappointed. Almost every Japanese carbarn I have seen in Japan is entered by a railway style siding.  Carbarns are generally parallel to the running track.  There are no 90 degree turns into the depot like most North American depots. Most Japanese cities are squeezed into small spaces at the bottom of mountains without generous space.

 

Most Japanese tram depots have transfer tables (Okayama, Toden Arakawa, Hankai Tramway, Hakodate, Tosa come to mind). While transfer tables were usually associated with repair shops and  rarely found in carbarns here and often carbarns that were gone early.

 

The Toden barn at Arakawa Shako-mae is a 90 degree design, with a quirk - only four tracks have direct access to the main line. Because of space constraints, the remaining tracks are accessed via two transfer tables.

 

Cheers NB

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leon

I fear nothing happens ... after the launch of the unitrack system only a few very expensive track extensions are now on the market. It was a nice promise - never fullfilled ...

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cteno4

Unfortunately untrammeled away release when the economy was ipon the way down and the yen on the upswing. Also it's kato which is not a huge company and privately held, so fewer resources right at a time when Chinese production costs started to rise and oil sent plastic costs up fast. Bummer. They did have big long term plans from what I heard from one of our club members who was at a breakfast meeting with mr kato when they released unitram at jam. Let's hope they can keep stuff coming and keep unitram alive. It's tough to do a large new product line like this and establish the new market.

 

Jeff

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Hobby Dreamer
It was a nice promise - never fullfilled ...
    Huh???

 

(I wrote this before Jeff's post, but he has addressed some good points)

 

@Leon

I don't know what you mean by "promise" or "never fulfilled"..

 

Did you know that Kato has released several trams and a track system that typifies trams in Japan. They started with a large urban system. They could have released the track segments without the road parts but it would be difficult for the average hobbyist to build these on their own. And it makes total sense for the Japanese market. They also released some amazing purpose-built structures  that fit the new track system. They even modeled the "dead" space in the center to be parking space.

 

They announced many products and are fulfilling them; even announcing the double turnout (or switch) in Europe - that is now on pre-order.

 

It also looks as though they will be selling the track separate  from the road system, for some pieces. And they are providing longer straight track lengths.

 

Kato has not abandoned Unitram, to my knowledge but is delivering on their product announcements, and as Jeff has pointed out, there are factors that may make the system appear costly or the releases slow.

 

What is it that you expected from Kato?

 

(Did you know that Tomix also makes tram track - individual tracks that can be run as single or double track, and that they have several radii and straight track lengths. Although theirs is not a "system" in the same way as the Kato stuff, you can also get a starter kit in the form of a loop?)

 

Its early days for the tram market in N scale and its easy to be impatient but Kato has delivered and seems to be developing their tram product. The only real benchmark is Tomix and they have done nothing of late; so by that measure Kato is doing amazing!

 

 

In terms of promise Kato has have developed the nicest looking tram track, in any scale, ever released and ditto for their trams. And they are fulfilling their product announcements in reasonable time and it looks as though they are still developing.

 

Flex track and Spackle are always around...

 

Cheers

Rick

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Tyler B

Hi! New here so forgive me if I cover stuff that has already been mentioned... but in terms of a wishlist for track I'd like to see, in addition to the left and right double turnout already announced, I'd love to see a 'Y' double turnout, same geometry as the existing curves and turnouts, but with both lines curving away left and right instead of one going straight.

 

If I'm understanding the geometry of the turnouts correctly, this could be used to create triangle junctions, or, for example, attach two ovals of unitram together to form a figure 8 loop with a central shared section, ideal for a tramstop...

 

In addition, if grass-effect tram track could be made too, even if only in straight sections, that would be very interesting!

 

I've only had my starter tram set about two weeks but I've already got a second tram, some buildings and some big ideas!

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Densha
In addition, if grass-effect tram track could be made too, even if only in straight sections, that would be very interesting!

I recently has a conversation with someone from Japan on the internet and he was surprised about the fact that there was grass around the tram tracks in the Netherlands and that it didn't exist in Japan.

I assume he is right, and I've never seen any Japanese tram with grass except for the little part at the above mentioned line in Kagoshima, so for Japanese modelling I think grass is a no-go. Kato could produce it specifically for the European market, but I doubt that will happen.

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Hobby Dreamer
I've only had my starter tram set about two weeks but I've already got a second tram, some buildings and some big ideas!

 

Hi Tyler !

 

I don't think anything on this forum has caused as much buzz as the announcement of trams and track. Its all very cool.

 

I like your idea of a "Y" but there may be some geometry considerations. Kato has employed 2 different track spacing in their tram track to accommodate trams passing on double track, but also to have trams in close proximity on the straights. So far, there is no announcement of straights with wider track spacing to mate with the turnouts.

 

That seems a bit limiting but Kato has been steady in their Unitram releases so there may be lots of new stuff in the future.

 

I doubt they will ever release a different track surface but you can always use rail track or Tomix tram track painted green (I would not use flocking or a grass mat as there are too many loose fibers).

 

As you probably know, the Unitram track mates well with Unitrack so there are many possibilities although it won't look as good as the Unitram track.

 

Good luck

Rick

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angusmclean
In addition, if grass-effect tram track could be made too, even if only in straight sections, that would be very interesting!

I recently has a conversation with someone from Japan on the internet and he was surprised about the fact that there was grass around the tram tracks in the Netherlands and that it didn't exist in Japan.

I assume he is right, and I've never seen any Japanese tram with grass except for the little part at the above mentioned line in Kagoshima, so for Japanese modelling I think grass is a no-go. Kato could produce it specifically for the European market, but I doubt that will happen.

 

Plenty of grass around the tram tracks near Kumamoto Station.

 

http:

post-35-13569931052271_thumb.jpg

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bill937ca

 

I've never seen any Japanese tram with grass except for the little part at the above mentioned line in Kagoshima, so for Japanese modelling I think grass is a no-go.

 

The grass median in Kagoshima is fairly extensive. It seems to be most of the route in these videos.

 

 

 

 

More footage:

 

 

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Densha

Interesting, but I doubt that the Kumamoto station area and a large part of the Kagoshima area are enough for Kato to produce grass track. I often noticed that they seem to pay attention mainly to prototypes on Honshu, rather than on the other islands.

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Tyler B

On the subject of grass track, I did notice that all the roadway inserts around the rails on the unitram track are removable by undoing the screws underneath (as anyone who's worked out how to correctly install the tram stop will have found out!)

Maybe Kato could produce grass-effect inserts which could be used on existing track sections in this way, by removing the road surface and replacing? Would be a nice accessory

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Hobby Dreamer

Regarding Grassed Tram Track:

You can just paint the track green; or use flocking or mat grass  but the latter two invites problems because of their fibers.

 

Of all the possible future releases of tram track grass track is probably the least interesting. If there is a track surface that would pique interest it would be a cobblestone one. One could model layouts of older times and that would appeal to a lot of Euro and North American hobbyists. In HO, there is a company that makes grass based tram track and I have never once seen a layout with it. The company does not even have a photo of their grass track but I'd bet its just painted track!!

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westfalen

Cobblestones, or track just set straight into the asphalt.

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Tyler B

Does anyone know when the turnouts are being released? The main dealer in the UK which acts as a distributor for most of the UK retailers is reportedly getting it's next big shipment of stock apparently in mid-October (a whole cargo container full of Kato apparently...) and I was wondering if it is likely they will be released by then, if not they probably won't be getting another shipment for a few months after that...

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Tyler B

Hobby Search in Japan is showing "September":

http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10189001

 

Unfortunately that has now changed to "After October" :(

Sounds like they are having a few difficulties with this product, hope they sort it soon...

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bill937ca

Unfortunately that has now changed to "After October" :(

Sounds like they are having a few difficulties with this product, hope they sort it soon...

 

Relations between Japan and China are not too good these days.  It will be interesting to see the effect on the product flow.

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bill937ca

Unfortunately that has now changed to "After October" :(

Sounds like they are having a few difficulties with this product, hope they sort it soon...

 

Relations between Japan and China are not too good these days. A couple of Japanese factories have been burned. It will be interesting to see the effect on the product flow.

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cteno4

something tells me though the money needed for both economies may keep production going. ive not heard any loud shouts for trade wars...

 

jeff

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bill937ca

something tells me though the money needed for both economies may keep production going. ive not heard any loud shouts for trade wars...

 

jeff

 

Its not a trade war. There is talk of Japan and  China gong to war over disputed island territory.

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cteno4

i meant going to a trade war over the islands. usually the first line of defense these days, but with the slowdown in the chinese economy i could see them backing off on the islands some to not loose a big trade partner if things got really physical. chinese gov seems in a little tail spin right now trying to deal with its internal messes rather than run the country and i think the islands were something that got out of hand a bit with inattention along with probably wanting something to misdirect attention from internal gov struggles and the trials.

 

jeff

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Hobby Dreamer

I've heard that production is in full swing but that the Chinese are so impressed with Kato track that they are selling the amounts produced domestically..

 

Apparently it stems from the Chinese leadership who were always unhappy with the spacing of Tomix tram track.

 

Rumour is that the Chinese dream to build a tram layout so large that it can be seen from space..

 

 

or, wait a minute.....

 

Maybe that's my dream......

 

 

 

 

Never mind...

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