TT-Tracks

Re: TT Trak

Postby ConducTTor » Mon Jan 24, 2011 8:20 pm

Ah, I see. Thanks!
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Re: TT Trak

Postby railtwister » Thu Feb 24, 2011 12:50 pm

ConducTTor wrote:Actually I was thinking along the same lines mainly to allow for smaller modules that can be carried around easily. If we can make them able to fit in with the bigger modules from the already decided on standards that would be PERFECT. Also, I wouldn't require bedding track - as long as the top of the rails are at the same height, it doesn't matter what the track is. Anyone know if standard track connects ok with bedding track?


Hi Bill and Alex,

In addition to building traditional N-trak, then both HO and On30 modules, I have also dabbled in T-Trak-N scale, and I really like the concept of smaller modules that are lighter, easier to transport (and work on), and don't require a lot of extra equipment like legs.

Are the track joiners used with Tillig's TT gauge bedding track replaceable or rather, are they molded into the track sections? Unique to the T-Trak concept is the fact that the modules use no clamps or bolts at their interfaces, the modules are held together by the snap-action of the track joiners. Where Kato Uni-track in both HO & N scales (the Uni-joiners are the same pieces for both scales) has all the other brands of track beat is in the fact that their track/rail joiners are not only very robust and able to withstand the extra load of connecting the whole module, they are also replaceable and not simply molded into the track bed like Bachmann, Life-like, and Atlas. This means that with these other brands, if you damage one of the joiners, you must replace the whole track section. Using a different style of track without the molded base and special joiners would require engineering an alternative method of holding the modules together, making them no longer within the T-Trak concept.

T-Trak modules also have no leg assemblies to support the modules, they are designed to sit directly on banquet tables which are usually three feet wide. Having the corners sized at 19" puts the minimum width of of a layout at 38", meaning it would require at least two banquet tables side by side in order to set up a layout without having modules overhanging the table's edge. It's a long way to the floor!

Can the Tillig TT bedding track be purchased from any dealers in the USA, or must it be mail ordered from overseas?

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Bill
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Re: TT Trak

Postby ConducTTor » Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:39 pm

The track joiners - not sure but I believe they're replaceable. Can someone confirm?

The modules are not held by anything else huh? Hmmm, that seems a bit un-sturdy.

The bedding track can indeed be purchased in the US from Euro Train Hobby - if something you want isn't in stock just let them know you want it and they'll add it to their next Tillig order. http://www.eurotrainhobby.com/index_cat ... 06_173_177
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Re: TT Trak

Postby railtwister » Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:42 pm

Hey Bill and Alex,

Some really good news, I think. I just checked the Euro Train Hobby Inc. website, and they had some photos of the Tillig TT gauge bedding track, which looks like it is a direct copy of Kato's Unitrack (patent infringement or licensed?). In fact, at first I thought the photos might actually be Unitrack, until I looked closer, especially at the pictures of the turnouts. If so, this means that a TT T-Trak module system is very workable, perhaps even more so for TT than conventional modules would be. The bad news is that the track is not cheap, and all of the 30 degree curves (both radii) and 166mm straights are not in stock at this time. I did select the "notify" feature on the website for all of those items when the inventory changes.

I would now ask the other Bill how important he thinks the additional short straight sections shown in the corner modules are. While they would be good to have included in the standard corner dimensions if one was to want to build a module using flex track, not including them might be more practical from the standpoint of allowing a smaller minimum overall width of the layout so that it could fit on a single banquet table instead of requiring two tables side-by-side. Eliminating the short straight sections, but still keeping the 86mm setback, would allow a corner module to be just a wee bit over 17-1/4" which means a small display layout could be narrow enough to fit on a 36" wide single table, without need for any overhang. The 86mm setback is important to allow sufficient room for a siding on the outside of the outer loop, something that is lacking in the T-Trak standards for N scale.

Now this is really the last thing I really need, and that is to build more modules in yet another scale (just ask my wife)! But, on the other hand, I do have some older as of yet unused Berliner-Bahn TT items hiding out in the train room...

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Bill
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Re: TT Trak

Postby railtwister » Thu Feb 24, 2011 8:28 pm

ConducTTor wrote:
The modules are not held by anything else huh? Hmmm, that seems a bit un-sturdy.



Hi Alex,

I thought the same thing as you, but actually it's pretty solid, especially so if there's more than the two mainlines (such as an extra track for a siding) that have to snap together. This is why it's important to have replaceable joiners. Another thing to consider is that the table top modules have a lot less mass than the typical modules such as N-trak, etc. There is no need for them to be framed with lumber as heavy as 1x4's with a deck made of 1/2" plywood like you might see with a typical train module. For my N scale T-Trak modules, I use a deck made out of 1/8" doorskin (or LitePly from the R/C model airplane section at the local hobby shop). I add a simple perimeter frame of 3/8" square hardwood to the plywood along with four 1"x1" legs at the corners and another piece of 3/8" square stock between the bottoms of the two front legs to support a 2-3/4" deep fascia along the front of the module (which acts like a truss and stiffens the whole assembly quite a bit). That's it, no back or ends, just the front fascia. The module's weight can be measured in ounces rather than pounds. Even T-Trak modules use leveling screws on their short legs to aid in getting things level, since even a single banquet table can have a sag in it's middle that could cause a bump or dip in the track work.

Another detail that's necessary for the rail joiners to be able to hold the modules together, is that the module must be ever so slightly shorte than the tracks that are mounted on it. In other words, the track must extend beyond the end of the module by a tiny amount, usually between 1/64" and 1/32". This means that there will always be a slight gap between modules that are joined together, which assures that the module itself won't interfere with the "snap-action" of the track joiners. The smaller this gap, the more critical it is that the modules be built "square and true", since two adjacent modules that are out of square just a little bit can cause interference, especially if they are out of square in opposite directions from each other. Not having full depth panels on the back & ends helps ease this potential problem somewhat.

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Bill
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Re: TT Trak

Postby ConducTTor » Fri Feb 25, 2011 1:23 am

I gotta tell you, I like the whole idea very much. The "standard" modules we came up with before I'm happy with but given how few of us there are and how far apart we are, lugging 4 foot pieces across the country is probably a bit much. Take for example the upcoming show in Vancouver - these "tiny" modules would be very handy.
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Re: TT Trak

Postby Marquette » Fri Feb 25, 2011 3:53 am

I like this idea too.

While the "full-size" Bad Axe and Port Huron modules I'm planning are fine for transportation locally, I echo Alex's sentiments on movement of modules - if we were to have a meet somewhere beyond driving distance, I wouldn't want to risk transporting large modules... small ones would be perfect, though. And easier to store at home, and would allow to dabble in regions beyond my main focus area...
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Re: TT Trak

Postby Tom Dempsey » Fri Feb 25, 2011 5:52 pm

Has there been a final decision on the track standard? If so, what is it? In the past when I built N-Trak modules I tended to use Peco flextrack on cork. I just don't want to build this until the standards are pretty well set. Also, how many of these modules are currently built or under construction?
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Re: TT Trak

Postby ConducTTor » Fri Feb 25, 2011 5:55 pm

Tom, we just recently started this discussion on the mini modules so nothing has really been hatched out or set in stone yet.
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Re: TT Trak

Postby railtwister » Fri Feb 25, 2011 7:28 pm

Tom Dempsey wrote:Has there been a final decision on the track standard? If so, what is it? In the past when I built N-Trak modules I tended to use Peco flextrack on cork. I just don't want to build this until the standards are pretty well set. Also, how many of these modules are currently built or under construction?


Everyone,

While I have yet to hold any of the "Tillig TT bedding track" in my hands, from what I have seen in photos on the web, it looks like a very close copy of the Kato N scale Unitrack, only in TT gauge. If this is indeed the case, then I think the "standard" for T-Trak-TT will follow along the same path as the one for T-Trak-N, in that the Tillig track will be required at the module interface, along with some very basic dimensions, including track centers of 43mm. The conventional module length will need to be a function of the various lengths of Tillig's straight track (right now, the conventional length looks like 498mm - about 19-9/16", or three pieces of 166mm track for a "single" sized module). If someone wants to build a module using other track & turnouts (or even hand laid track), they will still have to use short pieces of the Tillig track at the ends of their module to maintain "Plug-and-Play" compatibility with everyone else, and their module's length will also need to either match or be a multiple of the "conventional" module length. A double-length module will be about a meter (39") in length, close to the limit for a light and easy-to-transport module.

T-Trak is unique from other modular concepts in a couple of ways, first that the modules are not free-standing with their own leg assemblies, but are low profile (2-3/4" high at the front fascia) and designed to sit on a table, such as the typical banquet table with folding legs we have all seen at train shows. The second unique feature is that T-Trak does not use c-clamps or bolts to hold the modules together, the Kato Uni-track joiners do this job as well as aligning the rails. I know is doesn't sound very practical or stable, but it actually works quite well. The original US T-Trak-N standard was developed and published by Lee Monaco Fitzgerald (wife of Jim Fitzgerald, who is well known in N-trak) back in the beginning of the 2000's, and it has grown to it's present-day popularity. If you are not familiar with the T-Trak concept, check out these following websites:

<www.t-trak.org> - the official T-Trak site with suggestions for several scales
<http://t-trak.cincy.home.insightbb.com/TTOC/New.Index.htm?AAO> - Paul Musselman's Unofficial T-Trak handbook
and <http://t-trak.nscale.org.au/> - the official Australian T-Trak-N site, whose standards were derived from the US ones.

There are also a couple of groups on the Yahoo Groups for discussion of T-Trak:

<http://groups.yahoo.com/group/t-trak/> - the US group
and <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Australian_T-TRAK/> the Australian group

These last two groups will require membership in Yahoo Groups first before you can join the individual group, but it's a free service, and quite easy to figure out. I hope this helps answer some questions.

Regards,
Bill
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