1. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

    2,902
    2,217
    67
  2. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

    3,051
    2,335
    75
    Thanks for the link. Most of what I have now is HO. Where I was hoping to go. But have change plans.
     
  3. chris parry

    chris parry TrainBoard Member

    16
    28
    2
    I really enjoy just watching my trains run. realistic radius ( large } so our passenger trains look good. Even if I need to add to my doors a little. Could someone please suggest what would be a proper radius that aven passenger trains corner nicely ?
     
    Mo-Pac and BNSF FAN like this.
  4. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

    1,588
    1,626
    39
    "Proper" is in the eye of the beholder. It depends a lot on scenery and viewing angles, as well as just how long your passenger cars are, how closely they are coupled, whether you have diaphragms between the cars, etc., not to mention how picky your eyeballs are...

    Lots of times, if you can make a more parabolic-like curve, and apply some strategic scenery to block the sharpest part (apex) of the curve from offending viewing angles, you can get by in much less space.

    For example, I just tried a 180 degree symmetrical Unitrack curve in XTrackCAD, using 28R15, 19R15, 15R30, 13R30, 13R30, 15R30, 19R15 and 28R15 would span 32" including roadbed. The sharpest, 13R section spans only 60 degrees, making it easier to hide offending views with scenery.

    You can also make the curve asymmetrical, and push the sharpest part of the curve toward the rear corner of the layout to emphasize the broader parts up front.
     
    Mo-Pac, muktown128 and Shortround like this.
  5. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

    3,051
    2,335
    75
    What I liked the most was the 20 footers (20x12=240inches).

    Of course that was on an O gauge outdoor layout. :) Long time ago. :barefoot:
     
  6. chris parry

    chris parry TrainBoard Member

    16
    28
    2
    It never occurred to me to mix and match different curved pieces of track.Talk about an eye opener, I've got so much to learn.
     
    Mo-Pac, BigJake and mtntrainman like this.
  7. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

    1,588
    1,626
    39
    Learning is half (if not more) of the fun!

    Of course if you use flex track, you can infinitely adjust the curvature along the path.

    Among N scale sectional track choices, Kato Unitrack has the best selection of different radii and degrees of span, and is widely available in the US. It includes the roadbed, and it is practically bullet-proof.

    T-TRAK, one of the popular N scale modular layout standards, uses Kato Unitrack's standards for straight section lengths, double track spacing and curve radii. Of course you can build T-TRAK modules with other types of track, but it's easier with Unitrack.

    I strongly recommend a good track planning software package. I use XtrackCAD, which is free, and works well for me, but there are others (some cost $) that are excellent too. A good track planning package, even if not free, is cheaper (and easier) than buying Unitrack pieces you may not need, just to try them out. Don't ask me how I know this... Most packages also work well with other brands of sectional track, flex or even hand-laid track too.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2022
    Shortround likes this.
  8. Kenneth L. Anthony

    Kenneth L. Anthony TrainBoard Member

    2,745
    472
    50
    "Crazy" idea about appearance of long cars on various radius curves. If your layout will be mostly viewed from one side, the long cars on the curves "near' you will have gaps that appear unrealistic on sharper curves. (The visible side of the cars "spread" apart.) However on the other side of the layout, the "far" side, the curve wil make the gap between cars "bunch up" and look more like prototype spacing. You might take advantage of this and have wider radius curves on near side of layout and sharper curves on far side.
    DISCLAIMER: This is only an untested idea. I haven't tried it myself yet.
     
    CSX Robert, Mo-Pac and BoxcabE50 like this.
  9. Mo-Pac

    Mo-Pac TrainBoard Member

    702
    816
    18
    If you are looking for the best radius and largest selection of snap tracks. I suggest you look into Tomix fine track. They have multiple curve sizes,turnouts with different radius and a lot more sought out tracks that are not available by Kato. Especially whenever you want to make a tight curve or turnouts for your business spur tracks or sidings. This comes in handy on the hollow core door layout. Plus Kato is less popular by the Japanese and other people who are using the snap style tracks with ballast in the world Kato cannot compete with them, although Kato have the market here in the USA. Only down side is ordering Tomix from the Japanese websites like Japan1999 and Banzai hobby, it will take some time getting to you. But the prices are very competitive against Kato. Plus whenever you assemble it together you don’t have the raised rail at the joint nor gaps between the rails. This makes cleaning the tracks a lot smoother. Without having any pieces of lent free cloth hanging up at every connection.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  10. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

    1,588
    1,626
    39
    I've been using Unitrack for over 20 years, and I don't have this problem. You shouldn't either unless the tracks are assembled improperly (rather difficult to accomplish,) it just doesn't fit they way you want, because you didn't use layout design SW, or grades are abruptly changed, which is poor practice anyway.

    But it's not like one need be stuck exclusively with either Tomix or Unitrack track. The sectional track adapter sold by Kato (for use with Atlas track) is actually designed to work with Tomix track! So you can use Tomix' curved switches on your Unitrack layout!

    And I like that my local train shops stock a healthy selection of Unitrack! Gives me another reason to support them.
     
  11. Mo-Pac

    Mo-Pac TrainBoard Member

    702
    816
    18
    I was not here to make tit for tat between the two different tracks. I gave the gentleman my scoop on Tomix tracks and why I prefer it. I don’t use Kato unitrack for my layout period. Since you insist with your opinion. I myself have noticed in my 20+ years of using Kato tracks noticed a small issue with it.

    I notice this issue with the uneven top side of the rail with every T track module that everyone in the club has. Each connected piece regardless if it’s flush with ballast to ballast and no gaps. Because everyone knows how well the Kato tracks snap together. For this Kato has a better connection piece than Tomix. Although the rails are not perfectly flat across the top of the rails on Kato whenever they are connected. There’s always an edge. I’ve noticed this year’s ago with the other t track modules from my other club, due to the standardization for Tracks is using Kato tracks at each end of the module. Because of the great connectivity between two Kato tracks and the low chance of coming apart. Each individual who built their modules noticed the issue with the top side of the rail not being completely flat. Even some of them took an emery board to smooth out the rough connections though out their modules.

    This was another reason why it took me a few years to build the layout which I designed. I was originally going to use Peco tracks due to the availability of the specific tracks needed to build my layout, which are also available with Tomix tracks. What sold me to Tomix was me not making a mess with laying ballast on the layout. Speaking of, in comparison. The plastic ballast on Tomix is not too high for the era for my layout as desired and the tie spacing is more prototypical than Kato.

    Once I was introduced to Tomix fine track, I checked the problems which plagues Kato tracks and compared to Tomix. I do have some pieces of Kato left over for Ttrack modules. I now only use two of the pieces for testing/cleaning the wheels and programming the locomotives. The first reason why I didn’t want to use Kato is because of the unevenness of the top of tracks as I have mentioned and the lack of special, specific and the different types of track pieces that Kato doesn’t offer. Here’s a great webpage that compares the two different tracks side by side. You can read about the comparison between the two.

    http://www.trainweb.org/tomix/track/tomix_track_systems.htm


    As for as cost, yes if I went to a LHS that carries Tomix fine track. I know that I will be paying a little bit more than someone buying Kato at the same shop. As I mentioned in the last post. It’s not as popular here in the USA as Kato. Whenever Kato is less desirable than Tomix in Japan or elsewhere. For less than $250 including shipping. I was able to complete my layout with my design in mind. This is over a mile of mainline track. And about three miles altogether. The biggest expense was the two three way turnouts. They were about $65 for the pair or $32.50 each. You cannot find this cheaper on eBay even with shipping. Not including the other 12 turnouts for the layout and the extra special items that Tomix fine tracks have.

    Yes I am aware of the connection piece that is designed for the connection of Kato and Tomix specifically. Although a lot of people are using it to connect their Atlas tracks with the same piece. The main reason why it was created by Kato is is to give people who have started with Kato tracks and needing some points/turnouts and other tracks that they don’t carry and let them expand with Tomix tracks.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2022
  12. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

    1,588
    1,626
    39
    I have a small prototyped (as in "not final", rather than "prototypical") layout with 1.47 scale miles of continuous running track, excluding yard/siding trackage. All of it is Unitrack, with about a third of it being prototyped with elevated Unitrack Viaducts on Unitrack piers, including their gradual incline intermediate pier set to mitigate the grades. The elevated track will eventually be ground-level Unitrack pieces (taken from their Viaduct structures) on built-up terrain, except for a few bridges. I've had zero problems such as these. I've had a balky, old double-crossover that needed some TLC, but that's to be expected after ~20 years of life prior to this.

    Are the rail joints so smooth that a baby's butt wouldn't feel them? No, of course not! But I do not have issues with them shredding cleaning cloths (mostly old t-shirts) either.

    It is telling that the issues with Unitrack appear to occur at module boundaries, not within the modules themselves. This strongly suggests that adjacent module heights are not properly adjusted to match rail-heights, as provided for in the T-Track standards. In the hurry to set things up and get the layout running before a show, close enough to not derail is apparently good enough.

    Perhaps if Tomix had been popular/available enough here, it would have been the choice for T-track standards; but IMHO, under the same circumstances, it would doubtlessly suffer the same issues.

    But, in all honesty, I'm tickled pink that your layout turned out so well in Tomix track. I actually prefer the brown ballast roadbed, and am downright envious of the curved turnout (not to exclude the modeling workmanship.)
     
    Mo-Pac likes this.
  13. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

    2,902
    2,217
    67
    This!!!!!
     
  14. CSX Robert

    CSX Robert TrainBoard Member

    1,399
    481
    32
    Not crazy at all, it does work; however, don't separate it into far side and near side of the layout, but inside and outside of the curve. For example: say you have a stretch of track near the front edge of the that layout that curves away from the edge and then back towards it. When it curves away from the edge, you are on the outside of the curve and want as broad a radius as you can, but when it curves back toward the edge you are now on the inside if the curve and can use a smaller radius, even though the track is still on the near side of the layout.
     
    Mo-Pac likes this.
  15. CSX Robert

    CSX Robert TrainBoard Member

    1,399
    481
    32
    That depends on your wants and needs. Tomix definitely has a wider selection, but as far as I know their widest curve is a 605 mm radius, where Kato has a 718. Additionally, Tomix's widest turnout has a 541mm curve while Kato's has a 718. If building a layout where I don't have room to use the 718mm turnouts and curves (likely the case with a door layout), then I would prefer Tomix because I would prefer 541mm turnouts over Kato's 481's, but with enough room, I much prefer Kato's 781's.
     
    Mo-Pac likes this.
  16. CSX Robert

    CSX Robert TrainBoard Member

    1,399
    481
    32
    Here is an example of misaligned track at a Unitrack joint:
    Unitrack1.jpg
    These are sitting on a flat desk, so this is not being caused by misaligned modules, no incline, and just two pieces hooked together so not being forced out of alignment. I certainly don't have this happen at "every connection" but it does happen enough to be aggravating. I don't know why some people seem to never have this issue but it does occur. Maybe it's just the luck of the draw and those that don't have it just happen to not have any pieces that exhibit the problem. Part of the problem is the Unijoiner does not hold the rail in a tight vertical alignment. If you look at the metal insert of a Unijoiner, you can see that it tries to contacts the top of the rail's web all the way across the joint, but not the bottom of the rail. The plastic part does contact the bottom of the rails but only at the ends, not all the way across, which allows for some misalignment of the rails.
    Unijoiner2.jpg

    If you remove the metal insert and use a standard rail joiner the the rails are forced into alignment:
    Unitrack2.jpg

    Since the Tomix railjoiners are of a more conventional design, they don't have this issue. That's not to say the Unijoiner are a bad design, I've got some pieces I've probably assembled and disassembled hundreds of times and they still make as good a connection as when new, I suspect the Tomix joiners would have loosened some by now.
     
    MK and Mo-Pac like this.
  17. Mo-Pac

    Mo-Pac TrainBoard Member

    702
    816
    18
    If you had read my post to big jake the link in middle of the post. Mentioned about the two oddball oversized curves although the 605 will come out somewhat bigger because it’s a 10 degree curve vs the 781’s 15 degree curve. Due to the odd curve arc “It is intended to be used as two pieces in an "S" shape on one of two straight parallel tracks. In this situation it widens the track spacing by 18.5 mm (half the standard track spacing) over a length of 210 mm (3/4 of the standard straight length).”
    Although these are way too big to be used on a HCD to begin with.

    Attached is the link that I provided before.
    http://www.trainweb.org/tomix/track/tomix_track_systems.htm


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2022
  18. Mo-Pac

    Mo-Pac TrainBoard Member

    702
    816
    18
    Thanks about the design for my layout and the setup. I used RailModller Pro https://www.railmodeller.com/home-railmodeller.html to design it since I am using Mac. For Mac users I would suggest it. It works just as easy as SCARM. Without using a PC emulation program to design layouts. It helped me determine what pieces to go where and what would be the best fit for it. Plus after months and months of designing it. I was able to check with the package quantity so I would be able to not to have any left over tracks to waste.

    I wish that they still made the brown tracks. I enjoy the color of it more than the newer versions. It looks more realistic as for as older railroads that used brown ballast. Do admit that the connection piece for the brown ones don’t snap together like the newer versions, glad that I nailed the tracks onto the layout. Now I will have to blend in the colors to make it transition to each different color section. This curve turnout I was so excited to use it for the layout in the feedmill and the grain silo’s. Plus I was going to use the Double Slip Switch for the crossover, so I will be able to run two shorter trains at the same time. But decided against it because of the sharper bend and that I would have to constantly monitor at least one train. To keep it from sideswiping the other one.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  19. Mo-Pac

    Mo-Pac TrainBoard Member

    702
    816
    18
    Thanks for showing us the issue for what I was talking about. Very well explained. Like I’ve mentioned before, not only it was the issue that I had noticed on the connection side of the modules, but also across the whole module themselves.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  20. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

    1,588
    1,626
    39
    Interesting photos. I have a few observations (O) & questions (Q):

    Q: Did you try replacing the Unijoiners with new Unijoiners?

    O: The track beds themselves do not appear to be aligned, both before and after the rail joiner(s) were replaced. Were the undersides of the roadbeds inspected for mold flash, or other defects?

    O: the near Unijoiner's plastic body appears not to be seated evenly in both track-bed sockets, both before and after the rail joiner is replaced.

    O: It does not appear that the far unijoiner was replaced. The gap between far rails looks to have gotten worse after the (near) unijoiner was replaced with a conventional one. Meanwhile the right track bed appears to ride a little higher, even comparing the bottoms of the roadbeds, but the difference in exposures makes it difficult to directly compare them before and after replacement. The second photo appears to show a widening shadow line at the base of the roadbed, the further right of the track joint, indicating the roadbed is not laying flat on the surface. It is difficult to tell due to exposure whether this occurred before the replacement as well.

    O: It is difficult to tell whether the left near rail end was high, or the right near rail was low (or both), before joiner replacment.

    O: Manufacturing defects occur in all product lines, and while you and Mo-Pac have experienced problems, many of us have not.

    O: the new, conventional joiner does not fit evenly on top of the Unijoiner housing riding higher at right(!) Yet this would seem to exacerbate the rail height mismatch, but they appear more closely matched with the conventional joiner. That is puzzling.

    Q: Do both of these Unitrack pieces lie flat on a flat surface, with no external pressure on them, and when not connected to any other track (including each other?)

    Q: When the individual Unitrack pieces are placed upside down on a known flat surface (e.g. plate glass mirror or window pane), do the rails lay flat on that surface? Sometimes bent rails deflect the plastic road bed, and sometimes vice versa.

    Q: When were these track pieces purchased? New?

    Thanks for the photos and explanation!
     
    MK likes this.

Share This Page