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Ken Ford

Researching Kyoto's "Randen" tram (Keifuku Electric Railway)

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katoftw

Seems you are just overthinking it. Why not just build a modern current day Kyoto layout, and run what trams you can get your hands on? Then enjoy.

 

I'll be there riding it in October. I'm sure I'll get to see alot of different units.

Edited by katoftw
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Ken Ford

It's not overthinking - I tend to approach the hobby from a prototype modeling standpoint, doing a lot of research and then deciding what rules I want to break and facts I want to ignore.  As an example, one of my main modeling interests is the Chicago and NorthWestern in 1987.  It's been fun determining what specific locomotives and cabooses were in my modeled area during the late summer of that year, and what paint schemes they wore.

 

I found photos of a green and cream Mobo621 that are dated spring of this year, and I haven't found any photos of this particular tram in purple - this is good enough for me, I'll quit looking now to prevent finding something I don't want to know.  :)

 

Between Nariichi-san, eBay and the usual .JP dealers I've amassed almost enough Randen trams to be able to do a great modular layout.  I've started sketching out T-Trak style modules starting from Kitano-Hakubaicho terminal on the Kitano branch and working my way to Katabiranotsuji station and the junction with the Arashiyama mainline.  Even just a few modules - Kitano-Hakubaicho, Tojiin, Ryoanji and then into staging - would provide a lot of activity and opportunity for detailing.

 

This is fun!

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kvp

A single track line with sidings at every station is certainly an interesting prototype, especially if you try to move multiple trains at the same time. I would have guessed that you would do the stretch between Utano and Narutaki first (around springtime).  :)

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Ken Ford

I'll get there eventually!

 

My thinking right now is to do a plain module between each station, the Sakura tunnel would be one of those plain modules.  Since the module for this segment will be simple through track, I could even build two or three almost identical modules representing different seasons - full Sakura bloom, the green of summer and autumn color.

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Ken Ford

I found this recent non-railfan video of the Kitano branch last week that's a great adjunct to the cab ride videos I found earlier; it's full of great modelable lineside details.  I especially like the tunnel of green through the cherry grove, the sloped cement retaining walls, and the small staggered platform station on the single track S curve at Utano.  Jose (the mascot) is a little creepy, though...  ;)

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyB3haNcTrY

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Densha

Jose (the mascot) is a little creepy, though...  ;)

Second that

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miyakoji

Ken, have you seen this one: http://www.jnsforum.com/community/topic/7305-keifuku-denki-tetsudo-kitano-line-katabiranotsuji-to-kitano-hakubaicho

 

Also, an anecdote about Kinkakuji, I think the only time I ever went to it, it was on the Randen.  Adding the temple to a Randen-based layout is prototypically appropriate, even if you can't model the exact distance from Kitanohakubaicho (although you could try, what's a mile in N scale? :grin )

 

edit: you have seen it, nevermind :)

Edited by miyakoji

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Densha

@miyakoji

I lol'ed so hard at some foreigners being filmed while crossing a road crossing with the traffic lights red: http://youtu.be/egKTm46cBOU?t=19m6s

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Ken Ford

A question about the circular signs / placards I see on the front end of many if not most Randen trams - what are they? My Modemo trams have decals for an assortment of them. Are they advertising? Destination signs?

Edited by Ken Ford

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bill937ca

A question about the circular signs / placards I see on the front end of many if not most Randen trams - what are they? My Modemo trams have decals for an assortment of them. Are they advertising? Destination signs?

 

 

Those are head marks, which are non-destination signs marking some community event, company promotion or a special train.  Here is a Google image search in Japanese for head mark.  The prototype sign is usually made of sheet metal.  The Japanese language Wikipedia page on destination curtain includes a section on head marks for trains and buses.

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Ken Ford

Thanks, Bill!

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Ken Ford

I've been happily researching away and accumulating equipment (11 trams on hand, I think I'm done.)  I'm pretty well set on starting with a small tabletop module based on Kitano-Hakubaicho and building toward Katabiranotsuji.  I've been looking at commercially available structures with an eye to what can be used; I'm planning on narrow module benchwork so not many structures will be needed.  One of the items I'm waffling on is track - part of me would like to use Atlas code 55 for the availability and appearance, but Unitrack would allow me to join modules ala T-Trak. 

 

I have some of the wood on hand and hope to be able to start making sawdust in the next week or so following T-Trak principles if not their exact standards.  Plans are for three modules to start - Kitano-Hakubaicho, a module that represents the open running between there and Tojiin, and a staging module with two tracks that will keep getting pushed further away from Kitano-Hakubaicho as more sceniced modules are built.  The goal is to have something that I can take to shows and start running quickly.  I'd also like to make the modules ambidextrous where they can be shown from either side, no skyboards/backdrops.

 

One of the Mobo621s arrived from a HK seller with a few issues that we are working out.  This one will probably be my test mule for DCC installation - right now the lighting doesn't work due to the damage, and if he can't get me replacement parts (I'm doubtful) I will hardwire in a decoder.

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Ken Ford

I have the first three modules worth of benchwork partially cut, but I've decided to first complete a small, self contained tabletop layout to experiment with Unitrack and Japanese-style scenery - I started a project thread to document the process:

 

http://www.jnsforum.com/community/topic/9073-small-randen-inspired-tram-layout/

 

I'm still very enthused about my original modular Randen idea, but I like the idea of having a roundy-round that I can take to shows relatively quickly.

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NYNE

What a great topic! I have been away from the forums and from the hobby for awhile because of work and life -- an old story. I started following this line after I got a Yuko from a friend of mine who was closing up his hobby shop. My 6-year-old loved "the cookie train." It didn't hurt that it was pink, which is one of her favorite colors. I then bought the ``Police Car'' painted 101 and that's when I was off to the races. I have a few more greens and purples of various builds to round out the fleet. Not to mention a few Kyoto buses to put out on the streets.

 

My own thought was to build a (very compressed) route from Shijo Omiya to Katabira no Tsuji with a hidden staging loop after that point. The plan wasn't to build every stop on the line, but include a little street running and the small yard after Sai. In one of my more grander schemes, I was also going to build a second level to go from Katabira to Kitano Hakubaicho. I have since discovered that I am not that ambitious. I have since scaled back my ambition to just build a simple line based on the Kitano Hakubaicho terminal, toss in some cherry trees and then loop things around and send them back. If I can pull that off, then I can get more ambitious later on. As I haven't had a chance to do anything yet, I may revisit all the plans.

 

I love the idea of building a relatively self-contained layout, with a lot of traffic and the ability to have a pretty good prototypical roster. I was originally trying to work something out based on the Portram system, but like I said, I got the opportunity to pick up the Yuku car and it was just a great runner and very attractive even if it is boxy at the same time.

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Ken Ford

Glad to find another Randen fan!  I haven't done more with the modular layout, I've been focusing on the loop layout for now.  I'll come back to the modules before too long, I hope.

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katoftw

I will be riding these trams in 3 weeks.  Nothing like hands on research. :love10:

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Ken Ford

Very envious...

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Nornicle

Hi Ken - subscribed! I am also interested in the Kyoto area, do you know for passenger/ commuter/ express/ freight/ shinkansen how it works in the Kyoto area? I would by 'simulating' the area more than anything else (small tram stops/ temple garden scenery on hills right next to  light/ medium residential/ commercial). This would represent the north west side of kyoto, but would be interested to know more about how this area links up to larger areas, like the Sanin main line (what type of trains go on this?)

 

Would be interested to see your tram collection, do you know what this tram is?

 

 %E4%BA%AC%E7%A6%8F%E6%A1%9C%E3%83%88%E3%

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Ken Ford

Hi! I can't help much with your questions about the other railways in Kyoto, but I'm sure others here can help. My pile of trams is pretty simple - mostly purple 611/621/631 series plus one green and cream 611 and the Enoden liveried car 631. A pair of purple 101s and an unbuilt kit for work motor 1000 round things out. I'm still watching for more green and cream cars.

 

Your photo is of cars 26 and 27 running through the cherry tunnel on the Kitanosen branch - here's some info on them: https://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?depth=1&hl=en&rurl=translate.google.com&sl=ja&tl=en&u=http://ja.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/%25E4%25BA%25AC%25E7%25A6%258F%25E9%259B%25BB%25E6%25B0%2597%25E9%2589%2584%25E9%2581%2593%25E3%2583%25A2%25E3%2583%259C21%25E5%25BD%25A2%25E9%259B%25BB%25E8%25BB%258A&usg=ALkJrhjfOvexMJyGooRfL_f_EaNSliazMw

Edited by Ken Ford

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Nornicle

Hi! I can't help much with your questions about the other railways in Kyoto, but I'm sure others here can help. My pile of trams is pretty simple - mostly purple 611/621/631 series plus one green and cream 611 and the Enoden liveried car 631. A pair of purple 101s and an unbuilt kit for work motor 1000 round things out. I'm still watching for more green and cream cars.

 

Your photo is of cars 26 and 27 running through the cherry tunnel on the Kitanosen branch - here's some info on them: https://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?depth=1&hl=en&rurl=translate.google.com&sl=ja&tl=en&u=http://ja.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/%25E4%25BA%25AC%25E7%25A6%258F%25E9%259B%25BB%25E6%25B0%2597%25E9%2589%2584%25E9%2581%2593%25E3%2583%25A2%25E3%2583%259C21%25E5%25BD%25A2%25E9%259B%25BB%25E8%25BB%258A&usg=ALkJrhjfOvexMJyGooRfL_f_EaNSliazMw

 

Thanks - do you know if there  is an n scale model available of cars 26/27?

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katoftw

223 series train mainly operate on the sanin line for local and rapid services. Around Arashiyama it is ground level tracks. But as the Sanin Line goes though the dense part of west Kyoto, it is a viaduct system. But returns to ground level passing the steam museum before entering Kyoto station.

 

Heading West away from Arashiyama, right is the current Sanin Line, left is the old line now used by the Sagano Torokko.

post-1782-0-38304800-1422506063_thumb.jpg

 

Crossing the river, photo taken from Sagano Torokko Line.

post-1782-0-91302700-1422506109_thumb.jpg

 

Kyoto Station - next to a 287 limited express Hashidate/Maizuru/Kinosake.

post-1782-0-39441400-1422506014_thumb.jpg

 

Umahori Station

post-1782-0-86686500-1422506151_thumb.jpg

 

223 Series

post-1782-0-40279300-1422506198_thumb.jpg

Edited by katoftw
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Ken Ford

Thanks - do you know if there  is an n scale model available of cars 26/27?

Not that I'm aware of. I check Shapeways for Randen stuff every few months, maybe someone will create them there.

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