When projects get too daunting: T-Trak to the rescue!

T-Trak sample drawing

Drawing of a Japanese T-Trak module by Toni Helm

Work on the primary hidden yard is still progressing. It might be a little slow, but it’s progress nonetheless. The problem is, it’s very boring work for the moment. Solder all the wires (finished), lay the track (also finished), install all the servo’s for the turnouts (almost finished), and then wire up all the servo’s, including getting the correct polarity to the frogs. And of course, there’s the occupancy detectors, which need to be assembled first before being installed.

The best thing is, once the yard is finally done, I still can’t run any trains, because well, they have nothing to run to. So, I need to build a temporary section with a simple loop first. In itself that’s simple enough, but I’d really like to build that temporary section in such a way that after testing, it can be used for the helix (which, btw, will be another rather daunting build ;))

T-Trak it is!

So, my solution to not getting burnt out from building a 4.5 meter long, 24-track yard? Do some T-Trak modules every once in a while. The idea isn’t new to me, but only until fairly recently have I started actively working on them. I was never looking forward to building the actual module base, but then I came across a company that does lasercutting. So, I went ahead and made a test design for 3 different types of modules, and sent it over to the good people at Laserbeest. They got the cutting done within about a day, and pretty soon after I got a package delivered. It looked suspiciously much like a 90 x 60 cm sheet of plywood ;)

It took all of about 5 minutes per module to get everything assembled (minus the glueing of course, just dry fitting), so while lasercutting is definitely more expensive than buying a sheet of plywood and doing your own cutting, the time saved makes up for it. Also, my woodworking skills aren’t really impressive, so there’d be a lot of frustration as well …

Considering I haven’t actually really started building a module yet, I’ll leave it at that for now. Hopefully I’ll be able to glue at least one of the module bases together, and do some testing with regards to weathering the track and fixing up the Unitrack roadbed a bit. Until then, enjoy the included pictures (or not, it’s up to you ;))


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