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Ken Ford

Starting a few T-Trak modules in Chicago

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Ken Ford

We have a new T-Trak non-club here in the Chicago area, it was formed by a bunch of guys that have T-Trak experience from different local clubs that wanted to do more.  I’ve been corresponding with them for a few weeks, and met the group yesterday for the first time.  I’ve been hesitant to build T-Trak modules without having others to run with, so this solves my problem.

 

I just ordered a pair of end cap modules designed for use with the 447/480mm superelevated curves and easements.  The club is currently using normal radius ends, but I plan on doing mostly passenger train modeling so I want the larger radius for use at home - watching US passenger cars squeeze through the standard 282/315mm curves makes me cringe.  I’ll offer them up for club use, too - we’ll see if the group is interested.  I’m planning a pair of triples for club use after these are together and running, both with simple midwestern scenery - one will have a grain elevator, and the other possibly a low profile river crossing with staggered single track deck girder bridges.  I want to do the end caps first so I can test the straight modules at home.

 

I haven’t been part of a club-type group for awhile, so this should be fun!  I’d still like to do some Japanese influenced T-Trak modules, ideally in Nj - but one step at a time.

Edited by Ken Ford
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cteno4

Ken that’s great! Sounds like fun. Nice thing about Ttrak is you can be a non club group like that much easier.

 

only issue with the big endcaps is it requires a lot more tables to run on.

 

have fun and keep us posted, great to see groups nucleate!

 

cheers

 

jeff

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Ken Ford

The way I see it they were running normal 90 degree corners with two singles between them, so a large radius endcap should be an easy sell - especially once they see the superelevation.

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cteno4

Ahh then no problem! Most try to fit everything on the 30” banquet tables and do up and back on it. Using only only line of modules on antable can also let you have 6” of table at the edge to keep fingers off module w.o stanchions.

 

jeff

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Ken Ford

I’ve only seen back to back banquet tables used around here, but I haven’t seen many T-Trak layouts set up, either.

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cteno4

Big setups use them to maximize table space due to table rental and number available. Thats the handy thing of the 14” corners, they will fit on 30” tables. But it puts the modules right near the edge of the tables.

 

cheers

 

jeff

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brill27mcb
12 hours ago, Ken Ford said:

I’ve only seen back to back banquet tables used around here, but I haven’t seen many T-Trak layouts set up, either.

 

Well, Chicago is the "City of the big shoulders" so why not doubled tables? 🙂

 

Rich K.

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Ken Ford

I’m hard at work on my first two modules - the nonstandard pair of 180 degree turn backs on Masterpiece modules using the superelevated large radius curves I mentioned in my first post.  Watching passenger cars on normal T-Trak curves makes my teeth hurt.  I’m currently painting the concrete ties to wood.

 

I’m also thinking a version of T-Trak might be a good use for my pile of Unitram track and Modemo trams, not to run with the other T-Trak stuff but as a stand-alone set of tram modules.  I’m tempted to order a few module frames to try this - maybe do a double with street track, a double with private RoW and two end terminal modules with crossovers.  It would make a smallish self-contained layout that I could show and that might pull in others.  I’ve never managed to get traction (no pun intended) on tram modules before due to life events and gravity, ready made benchwork could be what it takes for me to actually do something.

Edited by Ken Ford

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katoftw

Good to see you back at the hobby. Keen to see the outcome of your modules.

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cteno4

Ken,

 

back to ttrak roots with the trams! The unitram is well suited to do Ttrak street car. It really is well suited to streetcars. Only pain is the curves to fill in streets around tracks but the unitram solves that and gives you the standard 25mm track spacing to boot. My corners are preunitram so I ended up hiding the city end corners with a viaduct train station above the curve as I didn’t have the time to make nice street filled curves. Now I can cheat with unitram.

 

You don’t need to have a large tram Ttrak layout to do a lot and get a lot of attention. We usually only do 8-10 feet of 25mm track loops at the smaller events and it’s really well received. Kids love it and at one event we have a lot of small kids and they just get infatuated with the trams and the streets full of cars. We actually run with no set back stanchions on 24” tables so the kids noses are right at the edge of the layout. There are some fingers now and then but just keeping a good watch and a very gentle “please dont touch” does fine. Most of our cars are not glued down and they are not taken.

 

we just did a show with the 25mm streetcar and put out double viaduct from the station to do a shinkansen loop as well for fun.

 

cheers

 

jeff

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Edited by cteno4
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