Monday, April 13, 2009

Tomix Easy Tram Module Project

While I'm waiting on the morning to warm up a bit in the shop, I sat down and began to experiment with the first pieces of the Tram Module Project. Just to review, it is to be a loop of track running a pair of trams (or small trolleys) around some stores. The stores are located on a lower level, under the module's 'community' tracks. This is one module of a set that are to form a cityscape. I'm aiming for an October target date for completion.

Here is building set B (I also have set A) and a pier. Each pier will hold two stores, and there are four stores in a set. The pier I selected is the 'small' pier, meaning it is a few mm shorter than the 'large' pier.

I laid out the pieces from the building set, and began slipping everything together. In all these pictures, I have used no glue. In final assembly, a little will be needed, but not very much. Assembly proceeds from left to right with the pieces laid out as shown.

Begin with sliding the end panels into the pier, followed by the clear 'window' panels. The diagrams on the box are very good, even without and English. Once these are in place, the floor panel is slipped on and the assembly turned upright.

Oops, no floor in the picture. Oh, well, ...

The small exterior panels for the front and rear are slipped in place next. Eventually, a small drop of glue will be used to hold them permanently. It takes longer to tell about this whole procedure than to do it. I noticed the windows seem to beg for interiors and lighting in the structures. I will have to look into this, probably with LED lighting.

Setting the piers in front of a TTrak-N double module, I found that five piers won't quite cover the length, but six are too long. So, five it is.

I then moved up on top of the module base and added the loop of track for the trams.The intent is to run two trams in front of the shops, alternating in direction. The passing sidings are to be hidden in the rear, under structures placed at the upper track's level. I have known that this would require an extension to the front of the module on the lower level. Now, I can see what I had only sketched previously.

After working with it for a bit, I decided (for now, at least) to use all the buildings I have for the piers. That fills four piers. However, I have the parking lot kit for another pier, so all five piers will be filled. I am thinking that I want the parking lot in the middle, and the sensors on the rear sidings for stopping the trams in the middle, too. That will give kids a chance to peek through and see the other tram parked in the rear. They should find that discovery exciting.

Finally, I laid the double track for the main lines on top of the piers. I think I'd better order elevated viaduct sections to go up there.

Okay, soapbox time. While I enjoy what I do, I keep thinking that anything that causes extra excitment in a viewer is something that may help recruit new members to the model railroad fraternity. Hence, most of the rationale for doing this tram scene this way.

End of soapbox.

Here's the rear view, to be hidden from sight.
Just for size and clearance checks, I set a couple of Kato Pocket series steeplecabs on the track to see how it looks. Right now, it looks close but okay. When the final trams are in place, I may need just a skosh more room. If so, I am thinking that the parking lot pier may get a little shaving on each end. It shouldn't take much, if any at all. A couple of support beams on the ends and it should be good to go.

Speaking of going, I've got to put this all away for now and concentrate on the club needs for the show coming up soon.

No comments:

Post a Comment