1. husafreak

    husafreak TrainBoard Member

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    I unsuccessful searched for more info on T-TRAK Z on this forum so I'll post here. I would like to design a layout using the T-TRAK-Z system. Whether I'll find anyone in the California Bay Area to hook up with is debatable and in fact it appears that this system has not caught on widely, but I will be doing it. I have applied to join the Facebook group but I think there is room for this topic on TrainBoard, and I find Facebook rather frustrating...

    Looking to the web I find a choice has to be made initially:

    Corner radii - three options - 195mm/220mm, 220mm/245mm, 245mm/270mm - minimum mainline radius 195mm


    Rokuhan provides a wide number of radii, spaced 25mm / 1" apart. The two core/key radii are 195mm & 220mm. That is what is provided in the starter kit, and they are the two radii available in both 45 degree and 30 degree sections, along with being the radius pair the curved turnouts are designed for. Any radii smaller than 195mm on main lines are not allowed for mainline. Designs have been created for inside/outside corner geometry, T-Junctions, star junctions, various yards and working single and double line balloon loops, in all three radius combos all without cutting any track sections. When planning a layout, there needs to a single radius combo choice, as the three size options are generally not interchangeable. Local clubs should determine their own optimal radius, and build corners and junctions to work with their choice.

    • 195/220 corner module (most common): 295mm (approx. 11 5/8") depth/width
    • 220/245 corner module: 320mm (approx. 12 19/32") depth/width
    • 245/270 corner module: 345mm (approx. 13 9/16") depth/width
     
  2. husafreak

    husafreak TrainBoard Member

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    If the largest Z scale locos like the AZL Big Boy are suggested for 220 min and 245 recommended and Marklins 88850 2019 Insider loco for 195 min 220 recommended then the 220/245 modules make the most sense to me as a practical minimum.
     
  3. husafreak

    husafreak TrainBoard Member

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    A recent article in Ztrack magazine suggests the 195/220 as most useful due to the Rokuhan starter kits coming with 195r curves but that seems a bit silly to me since the difference in size of the overall layout is only about 3" inches between 195r and 270r. I suppose a thorough review of Rokuhan track sections would be advisable at this point too. As I am planning on using Rokuhan track.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2019
  4. husafreak

    husafreak TrainBoard Member

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    Right now the only producer I see of Z-TRAC-Z is CMR Products. After getting a sense of what I'm getting myself into from this forum and the Facebook Group I'll make my decision on what size to pursue. Left in a vacuum it would be the largest 245/270 modules but I am sure there is more to it than I know!
     
  5. rvn2001

    rvn2001 TrainBoard Member

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  6. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    I myself had been building Z Bend Track modules for years, but after seeing the Portland guys bring their T-Trak Z system to the NTS, I am interested too. The fact that I am aging and cant's stand or walk around all day without severe pain each night, makes me lean towards something that can be setup on a table top easily enough, and can be stacked and shipped to train shows much easier than Z Bend track.

    Another consideration is my pending home layout. If I were to build it in small modules like T-Trak Z, I could just put up simple shelves to setup my layout on, and when I catch the last train out, my family would not have to tear everything out and trash the layout, they could simply sell the modules in an easy to ship format to ebay customers.

    There's no rule that says I can't have a couple slightly larger "bump out" modules to accomidate yards and servicing facilities, as long as the lengths and heights can match back up to the standard modules, and I can use Atlas flextrack and turnouts on my modules, but just build a couple transition modules with small Rokuhan connector tracks.

    Yes, I have joined the T-Trak Z facebook group too, so I can get the standards, and ideas from others, but Facebook is very hard to navigate. All the Facebook members are very welcome to post their T-Trak Z stuff here in the Trainboard Z forum too, I mean the Z Bend Track guys do, and so does anyone else modeling in Z.

    Also of note, The last Z Bend Track modules I built all had view blocks to seperate one side of the modules from the other, effectively only using the same amount of depth as a T-Trak Z module. I am going to seriously explore thie further.
     
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  7. husafreak

    husafreak TrainBoard Member

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    Well that's a start! I was super impressed by the BAZ Boys Z-Bend layout but also intimidated. Those modules are big! And California houses are small, with no basements! Then I started seeing European dioramas on the forums, a logical scale for super detailed scenes, but no moving trains! So when I saw the T-TRAK-Z modules recently in Z Track Magazine I got pretty excited. So we have one builder using 245/270, and foam sounds inexpensive and light. Thank you. I'll have to find out what the Portland guys are running, it's not too far from me.
    I do wonder if the choice of module sizes affects the flexibility or variety of track choices... I don't see why it would, I just don't know. My crystal ball is too dim! But one example would be the Rokuhan curved switch tracks, which only transition from 195 to 220 curves. So you could not use those with the larger size modules..
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019
  8. SJ Z-man

    SJ Z-man TrainBoard Member

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    Many in Europe and Scandinavia have been using the Zmod modules. This is similar to T-Trak, and 'identical' to the Z-Bend Track (if you split the module in half, length-wise). They use the same 25mm/1" track spacing of the Märklin track spacing, like T-Trak and, same 50mm/2" offset from the outer edge as Z-Bend Track but not T-Trak's 3". The Zmod modules can compatibly connect to the Z-Bend Track or even the T-Trak (except for the hardware connection), if they came to the US.

    So if you want to build T-Trak modules, that's fine. There is/will be no one in your area building them in Z. The Northwest (Medford to Vancouver) are.
    Essentially, if you plan an Oval, you will need to have compatible radii. If it is for your self (so you can go to various sites say, on your own), you can use any radii and length of modules. Yes, 245-270mm would 'look' better than the basic 195-220 and most anything including a Big Boy/Challenger.
     
  9. husafreak

    husafreak TrainBoard Member

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    I suppose this may be true of anything I do here in the Bay Area. I have only seen your Z-Bend Track modules here and I understand the BAZ Boys are on the move. I have to ask myself what the goal is.

    My first goal was to build a self contained coffee table layout. This I decided knowing absolutely nothing about model trains, LOL. And I have a NOCH Cortina layout which will be finished as a rather simply detailed scene. My first. I want that up and running ASAP so I can play with my trains at home ;)

    My second goal is to build a module for use with other modules at shows. For that I think you are absolutely correct. I should build a Z-Bend module, assemble a DCC consist and learn to run that with an NCE Powercab. Then store it, and take it to shows. That is what I was thinking of doing when I began to really learn about Z.

    But now I think I would rather do a T-TRAK-Z first (after the Cortina). This goal is to plan a small layout that can be run at home, that is mounted on T-TRAK-Z modules. It will be easy to work on in small sections on a desktop while I improve my modeling skills one section at a time. And it could be used as a demonstrator or self contained layout at local shows where I might be the only one running Z.
    I hope T-TRAK-Z will catch on. I think it has a future because it is small and Z is small. And I live in an area where there are a lot of small homes and apartments. I imagine more people get into Z because of that then because they want to run the most realistic layouts possible on a grand scale (which is breathtaking by the way). And so I find it frustrating that T-TRAK-Z utilizes 3 different corner modules that (I think) are not compatible! And initial research seems to point out that of the three corner module sizes available the most popular is the only one that limits the size of loco's that can run on it :(

    More research to follow.
     
    bostonjim likes this.
  10. SJ Z-man

    SJ Z-man TrainBoard Member

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    For us BAZ BoyZ, these types of shows we give about 5 years before they dwindle away. So even with the 1, 2 possibly 3 per year, if you participate in Sacramento, Pleasanton and San Jose. The rest of the time the larger modules would likely be stored. In 2021, the National Train Show will be in Santa Clara where the ZoCal folks will join us again. The Northwest folk will likely bring down their T-Trak modules.

    So I would go forward with the T-Trak modules as you can use each to work on a scene/them and skills. Many of the modulars have different themes per module.
     
  11. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    Well, I spent considerable time looking over the T-Trak Z standards, and sadly, they are just a bit too restrictive for what I want to model.


    The main killer of T-Trak Z for me is the unwavering and militant 10-5/8" (270)mm max depth. While reading the T-Trak Z Facebook site, I read the moderator is deleting all posts with reference to T-Trak Z modules deeper than 270mm.

    I need a turntable, roundhouse, and 5 tracks of yard and mainline in front of the turntable, and don't think I can pull it off in 270mm deep. Maybe 450mm or 18". I tried to draw my T-Trak Z module trackplan with the yard tracks on a bumpout, but even then, I would not be able to fit the roundhouse behind my Rohuhan turntable like my trackplan calls for.

    Still thinking...
     
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  12. husafreak

    husafreak TrainBoard Member

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    Yeah, I saw that too, he wants to limit depth to 270mm. Those roundhouses are cool but soak up space.
     
  13. husafreak

    husafreak TrainBoard Member

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    Actually, I was surprised by that post and went back to have a look at the CMR Products page. I had not realized the straight sections can be ordered in different depths. But ultimately I am in favor of T-TRAK-Z standards that allow us to combine our layouts at meetings. The minimum depth straight modules can work with all three corner modules (195/220, 220/245, 245/270) so Joshua's decision makes sense to me now. Anyone will have a chance to contribute if they have a 270 deep straight module. His suggestion to me was a "branch line" to an area with my larger curve radii if I want to go that way.
    But going back to my "goals" post then I will initially just use the 195/220 end modules. Looking at Rokuhan's project and layout pages last night it is pretty obvious that Rokuhan considers 195/220 their core line, a lot of their turnouts are specifically for those sizes. It is a smaller area to detail and so can be done faster. And probably gives me the best chance of combining the maximum number of modules with others at a meet.
     
  14. husafreak

    husafreak TrainBoard Member

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    Wouldn't an end piece work? I am confused by the math and my lack of layout skills but 2x270+the trench width (100mm?) is 640mm. Please don't take this post too seriously, I am just excited that you might want to build a T-TRAK-Z module ;)
     
  15. husafreak

    husafreak TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks Jeff. Now I am excited for the next couple of years shows. I'll need to get those dates on my calendar before my wife does! I can certainly put up a display using T-TRAK-Z modules and hopefully generate some interest. They don't even have to be detailed.

    Regarding the Northwest group, Cascade Z Modelers, I have learned that their own club standard for Z "varies in many ways from the standard" or Joshua's T-TRAK-Z as specified on Wikidot.
     
    bostonjim likes this.
  16. husafreak

    husafreak TrainBoard Member

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  17. poppy2201

    poppy2201 TrainBoard Member

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    I hear you. I have long had a disagreement with the 270mm max depth among other things. I had a couple of posts that were deleted. That is why I have left the group but continue to pursue the concept. I currently have 195/220 corners and also 220/245 corners which I am currently using. I just ordered (4) 245/270 corners and will be pairing those up with 320mm depth modules.

    If you want you can follow my progress in https://www.facebook.com/groups/590418677997012/. I'm still debating if I'm going to resurrect my website.
     
    bostonjim likes this.
  18. husafreak

    husafreak TrainBoard Member

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    I would like to see how you could add a junction utilizing inside turnarounds with 320 depth modules to a standardized layout.
    It seems unfair to have you excluded by deleting your posts. Even though I agree in theory with making a single "hard standard" for everyone to use. I got the impression I could use any corner radius I want as long as I could integrate it into their standard at meetings. I think you should post your work on your own site, absolutely. But what I really want is for T-TRAK-Z to spark interest in layouts that can be combined with others at social gatherings.
     
    bostonjim likes this.
  19. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    This is a track diagram I heavily compressed, and to get all the elements I want, I need a module that is 66" x 20". So I can break it up lengthwise easy enough, but the one section where the turntable and roundhouse is, needs to be deeper, if the right of the module is east.

    [​IMG]

    So, thinking outside the box, I guess it would be possible to switch eastbound for westbound, and the roundhouse would be sticking out in the isle, off the edge of the table at train shows? The problem is that all the good scenes are facing away from the viewer. The depot, front of the hotel, etc. all hidden from the viewer.
     
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  20. tjdreams

    tjdreams TrainBoard Member

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    I give (_ _ _ _) on facebook credit for creating the group and pushing the T track Z modules, But he needs to pull his head out of his 270 mm box.
    While I understand the idea and need for the wire trench and the distance between the front and back modules in the middle, i don't understand why you cant go bigger than a 270 mm module? just set the track back a extra inch on the 295 mm or 2 inches extra on the 320 mm to maintain the 2" trench. or better yet CMR dose custom work if you ask i'm sure they would build you a pair of double or triple wide transition modules that are 270 mm deep on one end and 295 mm or 320 mm on the other. This way you can use the 295 mm and 320 mm wide modules with standard track setback together with the 195/220 mm corner and keeping the 2 inch wire trench in the middle The 295 mm would hang off a 2 foot table by less than 1 inch and the 320 mm less than 2 inches on each side and give the ability to interconnect all 3 radius corner options,
    As far as the track goes a pair of the 490 mm radius tracks turned opposite each other should offset the track the required 1 inch to step it in or out to the next size radius.
    Also many of the show halls around here have 30 inch wide tables available you just have to ask for them. using 30" wide tables their would be no overhang.

    If you want a larger deeper with module in the front just make a equally smaller one for the back you may have to chanter the corners a little or make a short pass through hole to to make room for the wire to continue through the 2' trench but their is no reason why it would not work.

    Their are so many other options available if he would just think outside that 270 mm box.

    David
     
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