Building the KATO Unitrack Black River Junction Layout

SimRacin14 Jan 17, 2017

  1. SimRacin14

    SimRacin14 TrainBoard Member

    481
    147
    19
    After spending two years in O I decided to switch scales again, moving to HO scale after seeing that there are several models of local railroads in my area in the works. I had two 4x8 tables set up with 94"x30" connections making a giant circle shape, originally for O scale trains. To make things easier I figured I would start smaller and go with a KATO Unitrack track plan, the Black River Junction layout. I ordered the track online and got it yesterday, and have already put it together.
    [​IMG]

    I don't have a locomotive yet, but plan on getting that started soon. I do want to go the DCC route, as opposed to DC in my N scale days. I am also trying to figure out how I am going to wire up all the feeders on this layout, there are 7 on the layout itself plus 4 more in the staging tracks to the right. I can post a trackplan if needbe.
     
  2. dalebaker

    dalebaker TrainBoard Member

    1,515
    1,647
    41
    It might help to post a track plan if you can. It looks like you have a reverse loop in there. You will need to have a reverse module for it.

    Thanks,
    Dale
     
  3. SimRacin14

    SimRacin14 TrainBoard Member

    481
    147
    19
    No reverse loops:
    [​IMG]
     
  4. dalebaker

    dalebaker TrainBoard Member

    1,515
    1,647
    41
    Yup, I couldn't tell what was going on in the staging. It's a nice plan, but you will have to back into the staging tracks. The feeders could be done by drilling small holes at the feeder locations through the roadbed and down through the foam and base. Then just solder the wires to the outsides of the rails. Should be pretty straight forward.

    A simple DCC starter set should get you going in no time.

    Very nice!
    DB
     
  5. SimRacin14

    SimRacin14 TrainBoard Member

    481
    147
    19
    A short update:
    I've been planning on buying a Digitrax set for the layout, just haven't yet because of uncertainty about the whole thing. The set in question that I want to go with is the Digitrax EVO Evolution Advanced 5/8 amp starter set. I've bought a few cars for the layout, have about 30 now. I haven't spent as much time on the layout as I'd like to.
     
  6. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

    7,066
    21,412
    109
  7. SimRacin14

    SimRacin14 TrainBoard Member

    481
    147
    19
    Bought a drill and a spade bit set yesterday and ran the wires under the main table. Doesn't sound like much, but it feels like progress after being inactive for so long.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    dalebaker, BoxcabE50 and Hardcoaler like this.
  8. dalebaker

    dalebaker TrainBoard Member

    1,515
    1,647
    41
    Hey, progress is progress!!!
     
    SimRacin14 likes this.
  9. SimRacin14

    SimRacin14 TrainBoard Member

    481
    147
    19
    Made a trip to two local LHS today. Bought a Digitrax Zephyr system, two locomotives, two freight cars and a sheet of cork roadbed along with one Kato Unitrack switch controller (which is the only one they had). I'm using the cork roadbed to "lift" the buildings up so train cars can go underneath any overhangs.
    [​IMG]

    I hooked up the DCC system and had the engines running with no real issue. My next step though will be to figure out how to program them to their roadnumbers so three of the four are not on the factory "03" address.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Really was surprised how easy the DCC hookup was.
     
  10. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    5,644
    2,654
    96
    See section 16.2 (page 24) of your Zephyr manual on how to set the address. It is very simple with the Zephyr. Just make sure you are on a programming track, and not your main, with the feeds coming from Prog A & B on the back of the Zephyr.

    Nice purchases, enjoy your running.

    As you get further in to setting up your DCC locos, you may want to get a LocoBuffer-USB, and do your programming with Decoder Pro.
     
    SimRacin14 likes this.
  11. Ed Slanina

    Ed Slanina TrainBoard Member

    77
    30
    11
    Very nice, if I can learn DCC I'm sure you'll be an expert in no time. Nice locomotives
     
    SimRacin14 likes this.
  12. Mr. Trainiac

    Mr. Trainiac TrainBoard Member

    1,334
    1,588
    33
    I see you have some Eastern railroad locomotives, so will the layout be based off a particular location?
     
    SimRacin14 likes this.
  13. SimRacin14

    SimRacin14 TrainBoard Member

    481
    147
    19
    Having a slight issue with my Intermountain ET44AHs (I have two). Both will move for a brief bit on the outside loop of the oval before slowing to a stop (light stays on, so does sound). Not sure what the issue is. My MTH GEVO will run around the outside loop with no problems at all. Kinda confused. The only difference between the units besides manufacturer is that the MTH GEVO is programmed, it runs on its own number (3024), while I haven't had the chance yet to program any of the other units I have. (Need feeders and a piece or two of track to make my own programming track.)
     
  14. cocotrain2

    cocotrain2 TrainBoard Member

    44
    20
    2
    Never heard this. Most time a engine will stop and no lights or sound also. weird' Cant really help their.
     
  15. SimRacin14

    SimRacin14 TrainBoard Member

    481
    147
    19
    The lights stay on, usually I can hit the horn button and they start rolling again.
     
  16. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    5,644
    2,654
    96
    Do you, by chance, have multiple throttles (including Decoder Pro) on the layout? Sounds like you have two conflicting throttles, one with speed at 0, for loco address 3. Make sure you dispatch all throttles, then select 3 with only one.
     
  17. SimRacin14

    SimRacin14 TrainBoard Member

    481
    147
    19
    I only have the Zephyr hooked up that's in the photo a few posts up.
     
  18. SimRacin14

    SimRacin14 TrainBoard Member

    481
    147
    19
    I got a half dozen CSX Scale Trains Tier 4s in yesterday, and the two I ran on the layout ran similar to the intermountain units. None of them have been programmed though. I'm having other issues w/ the ScaleTrains units and probably won't be keeping them.
     
  19. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    5,644
    2,654
    96
    Check that your track is clean; the wheels are clean; and you have good voltage all around the layout. What if you take the inner loop (you specifically mention the outer)?
     
  20. ApartmentModelRailroader

    ApartmentModelRailroader TrainBoard Member

    49
    56
    2
    Could it be track radius? Those larger locos might not be made to handle the tight radius curves of your layout.

    I'm a fan of the small layout and it looks like you're off to a great start. Thanks for sharing.
     

Share This Page