Discussion in 'N Scale' started by EMDBUDD, Aug 20, 2008.
Why don't Kato make more different Unitrack peaces?
Because the razor saw was invented. :tb-wink:
What pieces do you have in mind?
I've always hoped for a longer piece of straight track from them, and decoder equipped turnouts. Although admittedly I haven't attempted it, something tells me a razor saw won't help me much with those two items. :-D
I think at some level creating new pieces creates geometry errors with the other pieces in the line. They probably like keeping things pretty simple, although the line is pretty comprehensive as it stands, I'd say.
I've asked Kato to expand their curves to include some radii between the 15" and 19" curves they presently make... such as a 16.25" and 17.5". Also would like another radius larger than the 19"... such as 20.25". Longer straights would be good too. They haven't commented one way or the other.
There are way to combine the currently produced curves to get 'in-between' effective radii... such as combining 15" with 19" easements to get ~ 17" radius. Unfortunately it doesn't work too well for creating parallel curves with the 15" or 19" radius curves.
Send them a letter and ask for it
Have you written to Kato suggesting pieces that you want to see manufactured? When I was still working in a hobby shop about 20 years ago, I wrote a letter asking them to produce an SD40-2 in N scale; a couple years later, they were on the shelves. I'd like to think that my letter was the inspiration for the model, but I'm more inclined to think that I wasn't the only customer who asked for that model.
If manufacturers see enough requests from their customers, they are more likely to make those products because they are more confident that a market exists for the product. You probably won't get a personal reply from them, but write to Kato and tell them what products you want to see them make so you can purchase them. Kato's address (which is at the bottom of their website) is:
Kato USA, Inc.
100 Remington Road
I was thinking 3-way switch, wye switch and turntable. Maybe I will send them a request. I guess I did it for the E5. Other larger curves would be nice too.
They are having trouble keeping the current line in stock.
Adding to the line will not improve the availability of the existing items.
So there needs to be a trade off.
What Unitrack items should be dropped?
I'd like to see a No.6 turnout that gives the same double track spacing as the No.4. But what I'd really like is U.S. prototype track with smaller rail which I don't seriously think we'll see from Kato as their main market is Japan, and even there Unitrack is outsold by Tomix's. Atlas looked like they were going to do this but I haven't heard much of their new track line lately.
Hmmm ... all of it?
There's like eleventy billion different kinds of track bumpers. Okay,so there's three,but maybe ditch one or two?
If a couple more pieces broadens the market, than I can't see why they would have to drop anything. The two that I've seen come up most frequently is a longer straight (~3') and one or two broader curve radii (maybe two in the 20" range).
There have been numerous requests for Kato to make a 310mm (12 3/16") straight, the length of a standard T-TRAK module. Currently you have to use 248mm (9 3/4") + 62mm (2 7/16") straights.
Those three different track bumpers are all very common prototypes in Japan, so I think they'll stay.
Remember Unitrack is made for the Japanese market where the normal way to run trains is to set up your track on the floor of your one room apartment after you've had dinner and pack it away before you roll out your bed. I don't think we'll see anything that doesn't fit into this scenario, like extra long straights or wide curves, or isn't Japanese prototype. I think our best bet is for Atlas to get serious with their True Track.
While I too would like Kato to come out with "Y" turnouts, larger curves, and 3' straight tracks I agree that it is up to Atlas as long as there is a smooth and easy transition track.
You can make your suggestions here.
a Unitrack turntable sounds nice and I agree about the "y", the 3-way turnout, larger curves. 33mm #6 switch sounds good too.
How about getting rid of the 8.5" radius and giving us a 16.25" OR a 17.5" radius.
I've used that but how do you know that the message is sent, much less received? Many web page based message features at least say that your message has been sent. Kato's doesn't.
Kato has had the suggest-a-model feature for quite a while. If they do actually receive them they must receive thousands.
With some of the innovative products Kato has been popping out, I think we should push for some uni-flex-track!.. Expensive it will be.. but take the same technique they have for their expansion track piece, where the ballast kinda slides over itself and repeat it several times like an accordion. Then also you'd have to have one end where the rail can extend out to meet flush with the other rail.
But on the more realistic side.. Kato's website has been updated recently to include the ground level double track and the new concrete tie double track. If anything is coming next, I'll bet its going to be concrete single track.
That's an excellent point, however if I were setting up and taking down each session, I would find 3' straights a real time saver.
You can see here that for us who set up and take down each session (though I have no idea how they arrange things across the Pacific, I would only be able to take advantage of 1 3 foot piece. And I'm a guy who likes to change it up a lot. Today it looks like that, tomorrow it could be completely different. I have much more flexibility for change with 4 9.5 inch straights than 1 3 foot straight.