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New and exciting UniTram switch news for 2012

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bill937ca

First look at the Kato tram switch. This apparently was at a dealer preview in April. I see a gap line in the second photo so that assembly probably is not one piece.

 

http://shinosaka.ldblog.jp/archives/5417944.html

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Ben

Looks amazing, can't wait!

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Kabutoni

Oooh! This is exciting news! Too bad about the manual switch in the road, but what the heck.

 

Starting up T-Trak in the Netherlands this year comes along with some exciting developments at Kato as well. This is some good stuff right here!

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Ben

Indeed! This is big news for n-scale model tramways. Previously the only way to get a proper double turnout junction was to laboriously scratch-build your own... The tomix tram track allowed a kind-of double turnout, but the crossover was still straight (and the double track spacing too big anyway).

 

Kato, please take all my money! :-)

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Martijn Meerts

Might have to actually get some unitram after all =) The manual switch in the road can easily be closed off with some putty, so not too worried about that ;)

 

 

Those H0 EF510s look pretty amazing too btw ;)

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Nick_Burman

Very impressive indeed, but not of much use for people modelling single-track lines (me...). Tomix will still get my nod in the tram track department.

 

Cheers NB

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Hobby Dreamer

Thanks for posting, Bill...

 

At first glance I thought this was Tomix track.. Some observations:

 

- the surface is not like other Unitram track; the intersection not at all.. It won't mate well with the other Unitram stuff

 

- the turnouts are new: they don't have the Unitram double radii so I'm guessing these will connect to train track because it looks to share that spacing..

 

- somehow the track looks too high.. maybe its the photo or the lighting..

 

- gone is the space for cars; i.e. the 4-lanes

 

The turning switch could have been done better but, as stated, this would take a lot of work to do this configuration from scratch. Not the high standard expected but still will be fun to have turnouts and more interesting intersections!

 

Cheers

Rick

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Kabutoni
- the surface is not like other Unitram track; the intersection not at all.. It won't mate well with the other Unitram stuff

 

Seeing this as a prototype in a very developed stage, without paint, I think things will be fine.

 

- the turnouts are new: they don't have the Unitram double radii so I'm guessing these will connect to train track because it looks to share that spacing..

 

I think they merged a Unitram double-track straight and 45˚ curve, so the straight ends will end up having 25mm spacing and the end of the curved piece a 33mm spacing. Just like the already existing Unitram rails.

 

Without the paint it already looks like some quality stuff. Unitram is a very well thought out concept that merges perfectly with Unitrack. The only thing that largely fails from the Unitrack range are more switch types (3-way, double slip, small radius, etc.).

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Martijn Meerts

Hobby, fairly certain this is just a prototype of how they embedded the turnouts into the road surface. The final versions will likely fit well with the rest of the unitram system. Although, the track spacing is going to be a bit weird, since you'd need a transition piece from 25 to 33 just to use the turnouts.

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Hobby Dreamer

Thanks guys...

 

I did not realize that this was a prototype (I read this at 3:00am). That explains the lack of road pieces, hopefully. It will be great to see the unique layouts this new track will allow.

 

Rick

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to2leo

I was wondering about the single track offerings too especially on loop back but this is great news.  I hope it will be ready in October when I am there.

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bill937ca

With curves completely outside the diamonds this will need a very large piece of real estate.

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westfalen

With curves completely outside the diamonds this will need a vary large piece of real estate.

Exactly what I was thinking. A tighter radius would have been better.

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Kabutoni

Well, at least it fits in the already existing range of street tiles, so there is no investment involved with that :P The radius is still 180mm, so tight enough if you ask me...

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bill937ca

More photos and if the translation is what I think it is this may disappoint.  As shown before the unit was three pieces. A right double switch, a left double switch, and the existing four track crossover.  It appears you will have both curves set for the direction or straight ahead. You will not have the ability to set one curve. There`s only one control and two points.  Manual operation only. These are double point switches which may not satisfy North American traditionalists that want single point switches. No formal announcement has been made.

 

http://hobbyshopcassiopeia.blog41.fc2.com/blog-entry-358.html

 

Photos on Popondetta.

 

http://popondetta.com/blog/cat3/kato_77.html

 

I think the sheen in the Popondetta photos is from a flash.

 

We`ll see what comes out of the Shizouka Hobby Show from May 17-20.  We probably won`t see much until the public days on the 19th and 20th.

 

The black frogs are interesting.  There are prototypes for that type of special work.   But that could just be a shadow!

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Nick_Burman

More photos and if the translation is what I think it is this may disappoint.  As shown before the unit was three pieces. A right double switch, a left double switch, and the existing four track crossover.  It appears you will have both curves set for the direction or straight ahead. You will not have the ability to set one curve. There`s only one control and two points.  Manual operation only. These are double point switches which may not satisfy North American traditionalists that want single point switches. No formal announcement has been made.

 

http://hobbyshopcassiopeia.blog41.fc2.com/blog-entry-358.html

 

Photos on Popondetta.

 

http://popondetta.com/blog/cat3/kato_77.html

 

I think the sheen in the Popondetta photos is from a flash.

 

We`ll see what comes out of the Shizouka Hobby Show from May 17-20.  We probably won`t see much until the public days on the 19th and 20th.

 

The black frogs are interesting.  There are prototypes for that type of special work.   But that could just be a shadow!

 

Ach, worry not... I can see people disconnecting the two sides and turning the trailing one into a spring switch. And using double blades improves reliability - and Kato is known to sacrifice prototype correctness for that at times.

 

Cheers NB

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Hobby Dreamer

Thanks again Bill for posting...

 

Nothing is perfect but this new track seems more than one would hope for when the trams/track were first announced. Maybe Kato will explore other options based on feedback.

 

My only concern is that these pieces do not show the road lanes at the sides. I suspect that the "+" intersection will be huge!!! And there was that one lane turnout track they mentioned some months ago. It looked to make the crossing into a 6/8 Grand Union.

 

All in all, these tracks remove a ton of headaches for wiring or stucco.

 

Rick

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chrismears

Since the pictures and listings of the turnouts first started to appear online I thought I'd start looking around to see if any stores were listing them yet with any preview of pricing. This morning I see that Gaugemaster are listing the turnouts on their website:

http://www.gaugemaster.com/item_details.asp?code=K40-210

 

The price seems high but then not terrifying.

 

Cheers

/chris

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Kabutoni

It's high indeed, but if you consider two bog standard Unitrack points (apart from them having electronic switches) to be roughly at the same price, it'a actually pretty okay to me.

 

All we need now is Unitram tracks without those (IMO, impractcal) street and side parts. Especially the 25mm to 33mm part would come in extremely handy...

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westfalen

It's high indeed, but if you consider two bog standard Unitrack points (apart from them having electronic switches) to be roughly at the same price, it'a actually pretty okay to me.

 

All we need now is Unitram tracks without those (IMO, impractcal) street and side parts. Especially the 25mm to 33mm part would come in extremely handy...

What you're saying is something like Tomix's tram track but with Kato detail? I'd go for that too, with a range of curves like Tomix. Japanese streets are not always the wide, multi lane boulevards Kato have given us so far.

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Nick_Burman

With curves completely outside the diamonds this will need a very large piece of real estate.

 

Looking through Google Earth I found the "prototype" for Kato's switch - Hiroden. Although the Hiroshima system doesn't have "1/4" Grand Unions (only wyes at intersections), some "eyeball engineering" over the satellite image found out that even if they had any the curves would still remain outside the diamonds.

 

Cheers NB

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bill937ca

With curves completely outside the diamonds this will need a very large piece of real estate.

 

Looking through Google Earth I found the "prototype" for Kato's switch - Hiroden. Although the Hiroshima system doesn't have "1/4" Grand Unions (only wyes at intersections), some "eyeball engineering" over the satellite image found out that even if they had any the curves would still remain outside the diamonds.

 

Cheers NB

 

There are lots of modern prototypes for that type of switch.  Toronto has many and I'm sure Melbourne has more, still it will take a lot of space to create an intersection with several curves, street space, sidewalks and buildings so the whole thing looks realistic.

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Kabutoni
Looking through Google Earth I found the "prototype" for Kato's switch - Hiroden.

 

Not only Hiroden, but Fukui RR as well: Shiyakushomae Sta., Chuuou Str. and Phoenix Str. junction. Fukui city. ;)

post-224-13569930730283_thumb.png

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to2leo

I am looking forward to see what type of track plan will Kato be coming up with the new tracks.

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Hobby Dreamer
I am looking forward to see what type of track plan will Kato be coming up with the new tracks.

 

Me too!!!

 

Kato has released some new rail track in the past year or so, which seemed a bit of a surprise to many. I hope they keep this up for their tram stuff! 

 

There is still one piece they announced that we have not really seen and it looks like a double turnout with one track branching the other way. Can't wait!

 

Rick

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