Saturday, June 5, 2010

Tram tracks

Untill recently, making your own tram track was really your only possiblity if you were modelling in N scale. Now the street track systems appear to pop up everywhere. An overview of the currently available options:

Tomix street car track kit
The easiest way to convert an existing layout (using Tomix mini and super mini track) into a paved tram layout, is to use a couple of these kits. All concrete-coloured parts slot into the underside of the tracks, except for the parts which fit in between the rails, these have to be glued in place. It's also possible to cover 90 degree crossings and points, although quite a lot of the points remains exposed. A set includes parts for 140mm straight track, and 103, 140 and 177R curves. Two sets are needed to make an oval. Apparently, a second set in asphalt colour will be released in 2010.
  • 3076 Street car track kit, concrete
  • 3079 Street car track kit, asphalt.

Kato UNITRAM system
This system, released in 2009, is made out of highly detailed double-track components which match Kato's Diotown scenery system. Big plus of the system is that it comes with catenary masts. As far as I know, only a base and a starter set is available at the moment. The base set includes a Unitram oval, (2x 124mm straight, 4x R180 curve), some UNITRAM road plates and an accessory set. Total dimensions: 682 x 620mm. The starter set also comes with an AC adapter and a red PORTRAM. Undoubtedly, track components will be available seperately in the future. Points and crossings are unavailable at the moment.
  • 40-900 UNITRAM starter set
  • 40-800 UNITRAM basic track set V50

Tomix wide tram track
The third option are the yet to be released wide tram tracks from Tomix. Measurements of the components are the same as the components made with the street car kit, but these have been pre-made.This system should be more flexible than the Kato one, as it also allows to make single or triple tracks. No easy way to attach catenary masts though. As with the Kato set, no points or crossings are available for the time being.
  • 91085 R103 oval set
  • 91086 R140 oval set
  • 1790 2x 70mm straight
  • 1791 2x 140mm straight
  • 1795 2x R103 60 degree curves and 2x R103 30 degree curves
  • 1796 2x R140 60 degree curves and 2x R140 30 degree curves
  • 1797 2x R177 60 degree curves and 2x R177 30 degree curves
  • 0113 connection pieces for normal Tomix track

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