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Author Topic: kato track  (Read 15648 times)

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Offline trevboy

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kato track
« on: October 19, 2011, 03:39:04 pm »
Hi,
Just returning to the hobby after 30years previously had n gauge with peco streamline and farish locos was not impressed,has it improved,I have been looking at the Kato track, but I don't know what it would look like on a british outline layout of the mid 50s any suggestions.

        many thanks

Offline Lawrence

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Re: kato track
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2011, 03:50:01 pm »
Hi Trev, welcome to the forum, there are a few members on here who use Kato track, for what you can make it look like take a look at Bob (K)'s layout here http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=335.0

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: kato track
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2011, 03:53:10 pm »
Hi Trev and welcome to the forum :wave:
Great era you're thinking about :thumbsup:

Offline EtchedPixels

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Re: kato track
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2011, 04:23:43 pm »
Hi,
Just returning to the hobby after 30years previously had n gauge with peco streamline and farish locos was not impressed,has it improved,I have been looking at the Kato track, but I don't know what it would look like on a british outline layout of the mid 50s any suggestions.

        many thanks

Sleeper spacing is about right, rail is quite thick (like Peco code 80) so definitely wants the sides painting. Ballast moulding is pretty basic but if you are ballasting properly around it then disappears into the scenery just fine and can be painted easily. Points are electrofrog but without the need for complex extra wiring and also have nice built in motors.

Biggest problems to my mind are
- Very weak against vertical deflection so must be laid flat or you get bumps at the joins
- Much higher voltage drop than long pieces of flexitrack
- #4 points don't like some of the old deep wheel profiles

The best plain track visually for the period without a doubt is the 2mmSA easitrac, although it's a fair bit of work to make it flow nicely into pointwork from other manufacturers (needed unless you are making them from bits) but doable.

"Knowledge has no value or use for the solitary owner: to be enjoyed it must be communicated" -- Charles Pratt, 1st Earl Camden

Offline Pengi

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Re: kato track
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2011, 06:58:41 pm »
I have been using Kato track for the past month or so having moved from OO. I was originally going to buy a Farish starter set and supplement it with flexitrack but having researched Kato user comments on this site and others I decided to go with Unitrack - particularly as my main interest is in fast modern trains.

What I like about Kato is that they seem to have thought of so much to make it easy for the user to set up a great layout. For example, setting up the points is a doodle and the point switches just clip together. I use a Gaugemaster D controller and it works fine and you can get an adaptor to connect the points to it. There is no flexitrack equivalent in Kato so you are limited to 'set track' type designs - although there is a very wide range of curves, I am using super elevated curves. You can also buy the track with bridges and making elevated sections is also supposed to be easy (although I do not have any elevated sections myself). The straight sections can be purchased with wooden or concrete sleepers but all of the turnouts have wooden sleepers. The Master and Variation packs can save quite a bit of money when compared with buying the parts separately.

The scissors point is amazing - just plug it into the switch and it works straight away. I can run an eight coach Eurostar backwards and forwards through it at max speed without any glitches.  It is a great space saver for the fiddle yard.

The possible downsides are:

It needs additional ballasting to make it realistic particularly at the rail joiners.
There is an issue with the height of the track when using non-Kato stations.
The track is noisy - personally I like the whooshing noise but then I am into fast trains.
Set track designs only

There is a good supplier, fastrack99 on e bay and Hattons have good prices on the unitrack variation sets.



Just one Pendolino, give it to me, a beautiful train, from Italy

Offline trevboy

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Re: kato track
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2011, 08:08:28 pm »
Thank's everyone after seeing those pictures kato it is, now using the anyrail program will keep you updated

Offline Pengi

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Re: kato track
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2011, 08:47:12 pm »
Forgot to mention that there are no curved or Y points with Kato
Just one Pendolino, give it to me, a beautiful train, from Italy

Offline Deltic9001

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Re: kato track
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2011, 11:50:01 am »
Hi,

I converted over to Unitrack a number of years ago and despite the limited point geometry, have found that Kato can be adapted to almost any situation. The Kato USA website has a number of plans which show how to construct reversing loops and triangular junctions (see http://www.katousa.com/track-plans/n-plans.html).

My dad, now in his eighties, is also using Kato as he isn't able to have a permanent layout and Kato is well suited to building a layout and then taking it apart again. There are a number of suppliers of Kato but I tend to use this one - http://www.traintrax.co.uk/ - as they seem to have most of the track and aren't too badly priced.

Enjoy the Kato experience!

Best Regards,
Andy Hoskins
Falkirk
Best Regards,
Andy

Offline Pengi

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Re: kato track
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2011, 10:14:55 am »
Yes - I use traintrax - they are Fastrack99 on eBay. They are very fair in refunding postage for multiple items.

For me Kato has put the fun back into running a railway. It has made all of the electrics and point connections so easy so I can concentrate on the trains and not wiring and setting up point motors and point switches - or worrying about loose connections or derailments. The automatic level crossing looks fantastic although expensive so I have ensured that I won't need a level crossing on my layout (to stop me buying one).

I have also bought a couple of the one-sided platform kits. I think these are good value as they are over 900mm long and have subways, fencing, station boards, roofs, seats, kiosks and loads of other stuff. They do a good value kit of two modern signal boxes. Probably not for the era you are modelling though. They do some rural platform and freight platform kits too.
Just one Pendolino, give it to me, a beautiful train, from Italy

Offline trevboy

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Re: kato track
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2011, 08:13:54 pm »
Still using the anyrail program does anybody the Kato part number for the piece of track that comes with the points 20203


          cheers trevboy


Offline trevboy

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Re: kato track
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2011, 11:15:43 am »
Thank's you sent me in the right direction it was 20-171 that i was looking for.
next question i know you should use the largest radius curves possible,but what is the minium i could get away with, the curves would be hidden ,but i would want them to be able to take a Minitrix Brittania and possibly a Farrish b1 at slow speed


              trevboy

Offline Pengi

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Re: kato track
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2011, 11:39:57 am »
Hi, the minimum for express trains is 315mm. The article below might help. They make 216mm but it is too tight.

http://modeltrains.about.com/od/layoutconstruction/tp/track_curves.htm

There are links at the bottom to other useful articles
« Last Edit: October 24, 2011, 11:50:36 am by Pendy, Reason: additional information »
Just one Pendolino, give it to me, a beautiful train, from Italy

Offline trevboy

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Re: kato track
« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2011, 12:19:44 pm »
what is that in degrees i have been looking at using 20110 at each end of the layout

Offline Pengi

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Re: kato track
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2011, 12:48:41 pm »
Try this link for all of the curves:

http://www.kato-unitrack.co.uk/kato-n-unitrack-ground-level-curved-track-1096-0.html

There is a load of useful stuff on this site - including downloads of the track parts.

Just one Pendolino, give it to me, a beautiful train, from Italy

 

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