Lets take a look at Tomix FineTrack

fifer Jan 26, 2014

  1. fifer

    fifer TrainBoard Supporter Advertiser

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    I was able to get a few pieces of Tomix Fine Track and take a look at the stuff. I am pretty impressed but the availability here in the US seems to be somewhat limited.
    Anyone using this care to comment?

    [video=youtube;0r698e3EuUk]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0r698e3EuUk[/video]

    Mike
     
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  2. alhoop

    alhoop TrainBoard Supporter

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    Thanks for the review Mike.
    On the turnouts doesn't the part # designate the radius as P# PL541 has a radius of 21.3 "
    Al
     
  3. umtrr-author

    umtrr-author TrainBoard Member

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    I have a loop of their very small radius track that I'd intended to use for a project that never got anywhere. I don't think it was their Fine Track line (packaging is long gone) but it looked pretty good to me.
     
  4. fifer

    fifer TrainBoard Supporter Advertiser

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    Maybe so but I do not do metric. I think that is part of the US marketing problem is they do not put the Inch Radius and turnout angles (ie #4 #6 and so on) on the product.
    Thanks for taking a look Al , Mike
     
  5. TetsuUma

    TetsuUma TrainBoard Member

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    Some Fine Track Details and Pictures

    I like Tomix Fine Track for its greater variety, particularly the curved turnouts and tight radii curves, and solid construction.

    My comparison between Tomix Fine Track and Kato Unitrack is as follows:
    Roadbed - Fine Track has a much narrower molded roadbed than Unitrack.
    Rail Joiners - Kato Unijoiners are the best, hands down. Tomix joiners work, but not as nice as Unijoiners
    Tie Spacing - It's a tie (pun both intended and not intended). The spacing is exactly the same.
    Connecting to power - I think Kato does a better of concealing the wires but almost every piece of FineTrack can be connected to power via cutouts under the rails.
    Turntable - Tomix makes an operating turntable.
    Turnouts - Tomix has double slip switches as well as curved turnouts available.
    Fine Track also has single track super-elevated curves available, a wheel cleaning track, and parent company TomyTec makes a very trick switch machine levers that look like Armstrong levers.

    [​IMG]

    Here are some pictures from my Fine Track Picture Album

    [​IMG]
    Fine Track on Top

    [​IMG]
    Fine Track on the bottom

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I get my Tomix track from Hobby Search in Tokyo. They have an English (machine translated) website, good selection, points earned for all purchases, and shipping to the U.S. I believe Jun-san (PlazaJapan) lists Fine Track on eBay.

    To convert millimeters to inches, divide the mm by 25.4. Or just use a conversion website. Millimeters to Inches Calculator

    Andy
    Tetsu Uma
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 26, 2014
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  6. RWCJr

    RWCJr TrainBoard Member

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    Very interesting and informative review Mike. Thanks, Robert
     
  7. Westfalen

    Westfalen TrainBoard Member

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    Tomix track outsells Unitrack in Japan.

    I'll go along with what TetsuUma says. My brother and I have both used Tomix track on T-TRAK modules because of the wider variety of turnouts, (double slip, three way, curved, etc), but you have be careful cleaning track as someone who was a bit heavy handed with a track rubber ripped a point blade out of one of mine, but no more so than Kato #4s.

    I could add that the built in switch machines operate the same way as Kato's so whatever you use to operate them can beused for Tomix's.
     
  8. Westfalen

    Westfalen TrainBoard Member

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    My computer is going a bit slow this morning so I just finished watching the video all the way through, one of the best reviews I've seen of Tomix track.

    The switch machine is available as a seperate part, No.0107, with a catalog price of 945 yen. The standard turnout also comes as a non-powered version for about two thirds the price and you can pop in the switch machine at a later date if you want to upgrade. The use of frog numbers to denote the size of turnouts is pretty much an American thing, Kato's are in fact not true #6s or #4s either. On the same note both Kato and Tomix use metric measurements so neither make a true 12 inch radius curve, Kato's 315mm is 12.4 inches and Tomix's 317mm is 12.48 inches.

    Another difference between Kato and Tomix is the track centers, Kato's standard is 33mm and Tomix's is 37mm but that can also be gotten around if you mix your track.

    I was going to say in my previous post that my brother has a module with a Tomix double slip on the main line and we have not had any trouble with it and a train of cars with FVM metal wheelsets will back through it with no problems.
     
  9. fifer

    fifer TrainBoard Supporter Advertiser

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    Thanks Guys and great info there Westfalen.
    Mike
     
  10. rogergperkins

    rogergperkins TrainBoard Member

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    Mike, thank you for posting this review and comparison of the Tomix Fine Track and Kato Unitrack.
    You have peaked my interest in the Tomix Fine Track as replacement option for the stub end yards of my layout which is currently all Kato Unitrack.
    I have been using Kato Unitrack for more than 10 years and am pleased with it. My interest in the Tomix product line is in the straight track selection.
    I already have considerable experience with the 20-045 Kato Unitrack transition piece during the process of conversion to Kato from flex track.

    I appreciate your product reviews and your progress reports on your layout. Keep them coming. Thanks again.
     
  11. fifer

    fifer TrainBoard Supporter Advertiser

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    Thanks so much Roger, for some reason Youtube would not allow me to respond to your last post there.
    Mike
     
  12. MRL

    MRL TrainBoard Member

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    Tomix Fine Track came with a Thomas set I got years ago, it's not too bad...
     
  13. Westfalen

    Westfalen TrainBoard Member

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    Here is at least one prototype for guard rails before the switch blades although not the same as Tomix's.
    P07-09-09_08.01.JPG
     
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  14. emaley

    emaley TrainBoard Supporter

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    Has anyone played with the Tomix turntable, or any turntable in n scale? What kind of issues should be assessed?
     
  15. Westfalen

    Westfalen TrainBoard Member

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    One of our club members has a Tomix turntable on his layout and has had no toruble with it. Wouldn't fit some of the larger American steam locos though.

    Kato is also bringing out a turntable, has been in the 'coming this year' pages of the Japanese catalog for the last three years though.
     
  16. randgust

    randgust TrainBoard Member

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    I'm helping another member design a layout and we're looking at small(er) turntables. candidates include the Peco, Tomytec and Atlas. I can't stand the look or behavior of the Atlas, the Tomytec looks interesting, found this resource: http://www.trainweb.org/tomix/control/TomixTurntables.htm

    Looks like it scales out to be about 85' (163mm). 90' was a typical US length, this isn't that untypical. Short ones in the US go down to 60-65'. While it's a lot more expensive than the short Peco, it certainly 'looks' well-designed. Last turntable I messed with in N was the Heljan, and that was impossible.

    If you go look on YouTube for N scale turntables there's really a lot there. There's an 'informative' video there about the Peco that shows one of the most complicated and expensive (yet effective) drive systems I've ever seen with a flexible coupling and gear reduction big enough to move a tractor.
     
  17. Westfalen

    Westfalen TrainBoard Member

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  18. RWCJr

    RWCJr TrainBoard Member

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    The Santa Fe yard at Slaton Texas had an 85' foot turntable at part of its history. The first turntable was about 60 feet, was replaced by the 85' bridge until it was replaced by the 99'6" bridge that lasted until the mid-70's. But both the 85 and 100 foot bridges were of a design similar to the Tomix.
    Robert
     
  19. Westfalen

    Westfalen TrainBoard Member

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    According to the Tomix catalog the overall length of the turntable, including approach tracks, is 212mm which I calculate to be just over 111' so the bridge itself should be around 85', or close enough.
     
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