Tram Layout Installed

Tram Layout Installed 3332

My tram layout moved to it’s semi-permanent home today. I finally gave up any hope of doing more work on the scenery any time soon, so after finishing the backdrop I moved it into the living room and wired up the tram track. The bus roadway is mostly in place, but I’m still waiting on the additional bus set (now due in late August) to add the final 140mm segment of that so I can actually run busses.

Track Plan 9b: the “final” track plan (except that I removed the crossover in the back as unnecessary)

As previously described, and updated, the layout consists of two loops of Tomix Mini-Rail FineTrack, one with 177mm curves (about 7” radius) and one with 140mm curves (about 5.5” radius) plus a loop of Tomytec Moving Bus System roadway with 103mm (4” radius) curves nestled inside each other. It’s equipped, at the moment, with a single N-400 Tomix Power pack (from the 90093 set). This is a “tram” power pack, with a maximum voltage of about 8.5 volts (plenty for what I’m doing). The nice thing about it is that it has built-in switches to throw two turnouts (by an amazing coincidence, the layout has two turnouts) plus a TCS power output suitable for powering the Tomix signals I’m using. This is fed by a step-down transformer (which cost more than the power pack, but a lot less than some I’ve seen online; I bought mine at a local electronic supply store for about $100) to provide 100V AC to it, matching standard Japanese line power.

The inner track will be home to my Modemo articulated trams, and the outer track to a one or two-car commuter train that’s presently on reservation for September delivery (the JR West 125 Series EMU). I’m pretty sure the two-car version can negotiate the 177mm curves, and if not the one-car version will (I tested with my Greenmax 1000 Series subway, and I presume the truck and coupler design is similar). I have feeders for both tracks, and for the moment I’ll just swap those on the single power pack, to run tram or EMU as desired.

Tram Layout in situ 3331
Front-on view

I think the backdrop came out surprisingly well. The buildings are just about the right size, and faded enough to seem distant. And Mt. Fuji is in exactly the right place for a front view, above the future transportation center which will be a scenic focal point. I’m pretty happy with that.

I’ll eventually need to come back to this and add actual scenery (not to mention drilling holes to hide the wiring, and adding either an A/B switch or a second power pack). But for now, I foresee some actual train driving (well, tram driving) in my near future. And that’s the most important part.

== Comments from old system:
Thursday, August 11, 2011 - 12:32 AM
Your efforts on creating urban backdrops really shine with this little tram layout. Nice work! Your tutorials on this topic are fantastic.