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velotrain

UniTram track-bash

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velotrain

At the right rear of my downtown module, the double track will curve left and then run on a PROW along the diagonal backside of the module.  I want a switch on the outer track to connect to a (even more) future module.  This will be half of a line that splits into two single track segments for a ways.

 

The approach to this junction will be UniTram track, and the single track line will likely be UniTram pieces sawn in half, but could be Tomix tram track.  Because of this, I decided to hack a UniTram curve and insert a Kato R150 turnout.  I filled as much of the open space as I felt able to.  It was a lot of sawing, cutting and filing, but I'm reasonably happy with it.

 

post-941-0-55122200-1410759078_thumb.jpg

 

post-941-0-21231400-1410759118_thumb.jpg

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kvp

Can the curved part be connected to a normal unitram double track curve? Imho when someone isn't brave enough to kitbash then using a normal double track unitram turnout and locking one of the turnouts out of use seems to be an easier alternative.

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velotrain

Can the curved part be connected to a normal unitram double track curve?

 

I don't follow this - the curved part IS a "normal unitram double track curve".

 

I could have done this, but didn't want to pay the money for the double turnout, especially when one of them wouldn't connect to anything.

 

An easier solution might have been to just use all Unitrack and build the street over it.

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velotrain

kvp - I just realized what you're asking.  No - I plan to use flextrack beyond this piece.  It could possibly be set up to have the same radius as a "normal unitram double track curve", but the added turnout is not long enough.  To determine positioning, I cut out the original track just before it started curving.

 

In this case I wanted a particular piece of track and didn't mind doing the work to make it.  However, I have never built a turnout from scratch and don't have any intent of ever doing so - even using one of the jigs.

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velotrain

Track-bash Project #2

 

 

===>>>  I've just spent an hour repeatedly loading the photos, and trying to post this message, but I keep getting a "This page can't be displayed" error and losing all my work.  I've decided to break it down into multiple posts so that if it doesn't work again (and it hasn't), at least I'm wasting less time on each attempt.

 

 

post-941-0-12902200-1410852820_thumb.jpg

 

This is something I've been toying with for over a month, and I decided to build it this afternoon.  I've mocked-up various track configurations, and decided I liked the simplicity and symmetry of the wye turnouts.

 

post-941-0-60776800-1410852843_thumb.jpg

 

I initially considered using R103 on the outside curves to save space, but the geometry didn't work.  I've heard that some trams don't work on the R103, but I discovered that all the ones I own so far don't have any problem with it.  I must say I really like how articulated cars look going around it.  I have three, three-section cars, and when I run them all together it looks like a centipede on those curves.  I'm quite impressed with all of the Tomytec power chassis.

 

post-941-0-57242900-1410852866_thumb.jpg

 

The R140 and R177 version looked like it provided smooth flow on all tracks, and with minimal track shortening.  From this mock-up I decided to make the middle section of UniTram track 90 mm long, but if I did it again I'd make it 92 or 93 mm.  You could also try using two pieces of the Kato S45.5 track and building the road surface over it.

 

At the bottom of this report I'll give some process info for anyone who might want to try this, or maybe experiment with track bashing for the first time.

 

Although I used UniTram track for the main, there's no reason you couldn't do this using all Tomix track, although you might still need to do some bashing.

 

Besides providing alternate routes on your layout, I can think of at least two situations where this would be useful.

 

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velotrain

post-941-0-79823100-1410853037_thumb.jpg

 

 

I gather Japanese storage and maintenance facilities are often (sometimes?) located in the middle of the line, especially in dense urban areas.

 

kvp wrote:  "The Japanese prototype is usually just a car barn off the mainline and trams tend to back into the sidings, so a misthrown yard switch couldn't cause one of the revenue trams to end up in the barn." 

 

That explains something I didn't understand when I looked at a satellite view of the Toden-Arakawa car-barn / maintenance facility.  This trackplan clearly violates that policy, if you're proto minded.

 

post-941-0-98781000-1410853063_thumb.jpg

 

post-941-0-88970600-1410853088_thumb.jpg

 

A double crossover would logically be placed in the throat (I don't have one), although it will add to the depth, as would additional storage tracks.  As built, it's about 18" x 24".

 

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velotrain

post-941-0-45907500-1410853261_thumb.jpg

 

 

Another possible use would be for a terminal similar to the Tuen Mun Ferry Pier Stop in Hong Kong.

 

You could also place the ladder on the entry side, and then have a separate station facility across from it, although the H.K. proto station has loading areas for each of the tracks within the ladder.  You would want to have more separation between the tracks if doing this.

 

post-941-0-48777400-1410853277_thumb.jpg

 

post-941-0-84980100-1410853298_thumb.jpg

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velotrain

PROCESS

 

Much of this will be comments applicable to any track bashing project.

 

I strongly suggest buying / using an Atlas razor saw, as the teeth are much finer than those on any other razor saw, and it will saw through rail.

 

You will also need a collection of needle files, and a Xuron rail cutter.  Through (bitter) experience I have learned that it is necessary to use this cutter only for rail, and buy another cutter for other uses.

 

You'll need some code 80 rail joiners.  I've just been thinking of getting some HO joiners, as I find the N-scale ones frustratingly short - greatly decreasing their functionality.

 

This project actually required relatively little track cutting.  The R140 curves needed to be shortened a hair, by cutting between the first and second tie. 

 

==>>  Make sure you do the cutting at the end you'll be connecting to the UniTram track, so you can use the existing Tomix joiners at the other end.

 

I used the saw for the first one, but it was getting quite dull, so on the second employed the Xuron for the rails and then sawed through the roadbed. 

 

I always file the rail-end after a cut, making sure the face is square in all axis.  The top can be slightly longer than the bottom, but the opposite will produce a gap at the railhead.

 

Cut off the Tomix mechanical connection where the track will be joined to UniTram track, and file the face smooth.  Also remove the Unijoiner from the Kato track.  I added styrene shims to the ends of the Tomix curves to bring them level with the Kato rail height.  I didn't do this, but I probably should have sanded the bottoms smooth at the angle they'll be at.

 

post-941-0-01391500-1410853516_thumb.jpg

 

You need to make a new space for the rail joiner under the rail at the cut end.  I use an Xacto knife for this, carving a shallow trench in the tie(s).  However, you also need to create a space beyond the tie on the "hidden" joiner section, which is directly beneath the rail.  If you don't do this, the joiner may slide in, but it will push the rail up at the end, creating a potential derailment situation.

 

post-941-0-79617700-1410853544_thumb.jpg

 

The UniTram surgery was much more involved.  As mentioned above, I'd suggest using a 92-93 mm length.  For work like this I like to make an initial vertical "guide" cut on each side.  You don't want to start on the rail itself, as it is far too easy for the saw to slip.  I used the saw here as I wanted the rails and the plastic to be on the same precise plane, but a sharp Xuron cutter and careful work should produce similar results.

 

After I had cut completely through the track, I was a bit shocked when I looked to see if there was space for the rail joiners.

 

post-941-0-22715900-1410853565_thumb.jpg

 

Fortunately, there was an easy way to resolve this, but I had forgotten about it.  When I first inspected UniTram track some two months ago, I was interested in the miniature Phillips head screws on the bottom of each piece.

 

post-941-0-53634900-1410853586_thumb.jpg

 

I discovered they held in five segments of the "roadway" surface.  I was very impressed with Kato's engineering, and decided that this indicated they planned to offer alternate surfaces in the future, likely including some form of setts (often incorrectly called cobblestones). 

 

I removed the screws, and then gently pushed where round plugs are exposed from the back.  This is necessary since the pieces are often tightly wedged in, and prying them from the front can bend them - particularly the quite thin strip on either side.  A tiny flat screwdriver or similar tool can often help, but I still urge caution with the outer pieces.

 

post-941-0-12532600-1410853606_thumb.jpg

 

I now had better access, but this plastic is much denser than on the Tomix track, and I soon realized that it would be a very slow and difficult job with the X-acto knife.  Instead, I used my (non-rail) cutters to make a cut just outside of each rail, and then bent the cut sections off.  This left a relatively long section of plastic in each "row" exposed, so I glued a brace onto the end to stabilize the assembly.

 

I don't have any photos, but want to talk about rail joiners - I used 10 Atlas code 80 on this project.  These usually come in strips of four, and you separate them with a sharp cutting plier, or a non-rail Xuron-type cutter.  There is extra flat material at the ends and between each joiner.  I usually cut this off, as not doing so usually means you need to clear out a longer trench under the rail. 

 

However, there's an argument for keeping maybe 1/8" at each end.  If you do this, and bend it up very slightly, it can act to give the joiner adhesion on the rail.  As I mentioned, the N-scale joiners are quite short, and I don't really think they do a very good job.  Their primary purpose is to align the rails to each other - in both axis.  Traditionally, they should not be relied upon to pass power, although they seem to work fine on short loops.

 

They should not be expected to physically hold track together to the same degree that the Tomix or Kato mechanical joiners do.  However, I feel strongly that they also should not slip off with no resistance.  When I put the joiner on the first rail, if it slips on too easily I'll take it back off.  One of the reasons I want some resistance is so that, when I try to connect one track section to another, the "new" rail doesn't just push the joiner all the way onto the rail section that it started on.  I have a technique for increasing the traction, but let me warn you that it requires a very delicate touch and can easily ruin a joiner - good thing they're not expensive. 

 

What I do is take a small/miniature square-jawed pliers and ever-so-gently apply a minimum of pressure to the two sides.  If you apply too much pressure, it is quite easy to totally mangle the joiner, at which point you might as well throw it away.  However, if you only slightly over-tighten it, there is a rescue technique.  Use the most tiny jewelers screwdriver (flat blade) that you have, and run it between the two sides, trying to pry them apart. 

 

I like to get enough tightness that the joiner doesn't slide on/off the rail effortlessly.  The current project at this point uses no soldering or adhesives to hold the track sections together, which is part of the reason that I'm so fussy about this.  I think I will try using HO joiners, and I hope the profile is the same.  I'd like to believe that it is, since code 80 means the rail height is 80 thousandths of an inch, and I don't see scale impacting that.

 

OK - I enjoy writing, but am tired of keyboarding, so think I'll end this here.  If you want to try trackbashing and have any questions, feel free to ask.

 

Charles

 

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velotrain

Whew !

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velotrain

Well - I should have gone to bed, but suddenly became quite curious about an all Tomix solution.

 

Much to my surprise, it wasn't nearly as elegant.

 

 

post-941-0-62573300-1410856374_thumb.jpg

 

 

The basic issue is the varying angular systems that Kato and Tomix use - Kato working with 45 degrees as a base, while Tomix uses 30 degrees.  The UniTram turnout, coupled with 15 degrees on each leg of the wye, and a 30 degree curve, creates an exact 90 degree angle.

 

Tomix should work better if you don't use the wye - or cut 15 degree curve segments.

 

I decided to try again, using R103 and R140 curves, and indeed it works much better.

 

 

post-941-0-91140800-1410857312_thumb.jpg

 

 

Four straight tracks require cuts, and there's a slight gap on one of the mains.

 

One issue I have with Tomix is that none of their turnouts are in the same style as their tram track, which basically means that the latter is great for ovals, but isn't really suited to more complex trackplans.  I know there's the kit with overlay parts, but I believe you need to buy one of them for each turnout, although I could be wrong.

 

I'm guessing Kato might come out with a wye UniTram turnout to complete a 3-way junction, but an issue could be just what sequence you connect the pieces in, as it seems less than elegant no matter how you approach it.

 

 

post-941-0-74907000-1410858278_thumb.jpg

 

 

I have one more idea for a track bash that I might try tomorrow - a junction with a really narrow street (think Lisbon), with the track first branching in the wrong direction to get a head start on the very sharp turn.

 

 

post-941-0-31559200-1410858086_thumb.jpg

 

 

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brill27mcb

I must say, I'm enjoying all of this mashing together of Kato and Tomix track, as well as the trackwork concepts!

 

Rich K.

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kvp

 

I have one more idea for a track bash that I might try tomorrow - a junction with a really narrow street (think Lisbon), with the track first branching in the wrong direction to get a head start on the very sharp turn.

I think you might be better off if you just went with Tomix street tracks for this, since it could be done without modifications. Afaik one of the Enoden show layouts i've seen had something like this made out of stock Tomix tram tracks that were only painted yellow.

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velotrain

I think you might be better off if you just went with Tomix street tracks for this, since it could be done without modifications. Afaik one of the Enoden show layouts i've seen had something like this made out of stock Tomix tram tracks that were only painted yellow.

 

Granted, you can make a respectfully tight turn with R103 track.  However, in some situations that is not enough by itself.  Here is one location in Lisbon where the tram track actually invades the sidewalk to allow it to enter into a very narrow street.  You will notice that the majority of the turn has already been accomplished by the time the turning track crosses over the straight track.

 

post-941-0-58143400-1410908257_thumb.jpg

 

I have seen photos of similar situations where the turning track doesn't stray so far from the straight track.

 

I have put this particular project on hold, as I currently only have Tomix 30 degree crossings, which aren't appropriate for this scenario.  I have ordered a 60 degree crossing, which is more suitable.  Ideally, the curve would continue through the crossing, but that isn't realistic using commercial track components.  I was hungrily eyeing the curved crossing on the UniTram turnout, but am not about to sacrifice a double turnout just for the crossing.  Besides, the radius is far too wide for this application anyway.

 

If anyone has a photo of this Enoden layout junction track, I'd be interested in seeing it.

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kvp

You mean instead of the first two, you want something like the 3rd:

post-1969-0-74975700-1410913189_thumb.png

 

That's a rather interesting track combination and if i were you, i would build it from scratch, since one end of the curved part is 30 degrees, the other is 60 and that makes it work. You can solder it up on the back of a fully covered printed circuit board and cut the copper to isolate the two rails afterwards (then cover it with street). The blunt parts could be soldered together since they will always be the same polarity, while the two frogs could be either isolated or take power from the fully power routing outputs of the Tomix turnout on the left. Using a copper PCB also makes it easy to add the jumper cables across the crossing and the street surface would then cover the wires below. Only a small amount of flextrack is needed for the rails and a few joiners. The whole contruction could be slipped over the tomix pegs, so no modification is required to the neighbouring track pieces.

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katoftw

Tomix also have the paved look that alot of those euro pics have in it.  I'd tend to agree with sticking with one manufacturer to make this layout.  And Tomix have the best mini curves and assessories to do this.

 

I found this the other day to while looking for something else:-

http://www.jnsforum.com/community/topic/5957-modemo-nagoya-railroad-mo-750-scarlett/

Edited by katoftw

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katoftw

If anyone has a photo of this Enoden layout junction track, I'd be interested in seeing it.

http://japanese-trains.com/2sides/

 

about half way down.  just tomix wide tram track painted yellow.

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velotrain

You mean instead of the first two, you want something like the 3rd:

attachicon.giftram20140917-1.png

 

Yes - I had actually built the middle one last night (well . . . around 6 AM), and then realized that it was silly, as the extra track and crossing only achieve the same thing as a R140 turnout in place of the crossing would.

 

As I said before, I have no interest in scratchbuilding trackwork, and derive a fair amount of pleasure seeing how I can re-purpose commercial products.  It's not that I have any interest in an exact replica of that prototype, but more that I enjoy the challenge of seeing how close I can get with off-the-shelf components.   I don't even have any planned use of such a junction in my planned modules, but it seems an intriguing project.  A large part of what I find appealing about tram modeling is the interesting - and frequently complex - trackwork, although I have absolutely no desire for a grand union  ;-)

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velotrain

 I'd tend to agree with sticking with one manufacturer to make this layout.  And Tomix have the best mini curves and assessories to do this.

 

 

I plan to use Kato, Tomix, and Atlas track where I think each works best - for street track or PROW.

 

You're certainly free to use Tomix products exclusively if you wish.

 

Thanks for the Enoden link, but I think kvp initially misunderstood what I was referring to, as the Enoden scene clearly isn't a junction.

Edited by velotrain

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velotrain

Track bash du jour:

 

post-941-0-61758600-1410920592_thumb.jpg

 

This will go at the entrance to the terminal module.  The single R280 turnout is for any trains on the bottom siding that can't handle R140.

 

I tried a new technique to clear space for rail joiners.  I used a razor saw - not the Atlas, as I wanted a thicker and wider blade - to cut a slice under the rail at the end.  This produces a better result more quickly and easily, but at the expense of the tops of the ties.  I figure I can restore them via plastic surgery later.

 

I haven't tried using a Dremel tool for cutting the track.  It would certainly be faster, but at the same time can do serious damage a lot more quickly.  I guess it's a question of how good your control is.

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velotrain

Propaganda?

 

> "And Tomix have the best mini curves and assessories to do this."

 

Well, you've made similar statements several times, and it just feels like it's getting old.

 

Why isn't your ID tomixftw?

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katoftw

I prefer Kato.

Edited by katoftw

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katoftw

> "And Tomix have the best mini curves and assessories to do this."

 

Well, you've made similar statements several times, and it just feels like it's getting old.

 

Why isn't your ID tomixftw?

If you don't agree, you really don't need to be rude about it.

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Martijn Meerts

> "And Tomix have the best mini curves and assessories to do this."

 

Well, you've made similar statements several times, and it just feels like it's getting old.

 

Why isn't your ID tomixftw?

 

Those statements are made (by many people), because they're true :)

 

Tomix has more options in their track than Kato has, and Tomix has had the mini and super mini curves for a long time already. Kato's UniTram looks (much) better than Tomix's tram track though.

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velotrain

If you don't agree, you really don't need to be rude about it.

 

I am very sorry that you interpreted it that way, as I certainly didn't intend it to be.  I apologize for using the term propaganda, but it may have been a reaction to having heard this multiple times.

 

I'll quite happily accept that many/most people prefer Tomix track for tram layouts, but I've been quite clear from the start that I plan to use multiple manufacturer's products, and it sometimes feels that I'm being preached to.  I am in fact largely using Tomix track, but I don't care to be restricted by the "official" designs that can be created, so will sometimes need to do some bashing.   Other than the turnouts, I will often use flextrack instead for reasons of economy; since these will be permanent rather than temporary layouts, I won't have any need to change the trackplan once I lay the track down.  I will use the Tomix sections to help me design the final arrangement.

 

I'm quite certain that I've never suggested how you or anyone else should build their layouts.  I have no problem with folks not liking what I'm doing, but need to follow what interests me.

 

Martijn - it may be true, but I'm just tired of hearing it.  I'll use Kato or Tomix for street track based on which is more appropriate for each location, and Tomix/flex for PROW.

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