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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Having just made my first post
thought I had better say hello


My name is Keith and I live in Folkestone. Up until about 6 years ago I lived in Asia (most of the time being spent in Japan) and during that time I built up a rather varied collection of models - Japanese, Chinese, UK, European and US.

Since returning home I have started to build my first layout in a shed at the bottom of the garden. Progress has been rather slow as I discover all the ins and outs of railway modelling!! At least I've got some track down, started blasting, done some scenic work and can now watch the trains go round. Last year I went digital so can enjoy some of the dacca sound-equipped locos in my collection. Eventual plan is to build another room on the back of the house so the layout can move indoors.......

About two years ago I got the garden railway bug and started off with an LGB digital starter set. This quickly expanded so that I now have an out and back line down one side of the garden...eventual plan is to take the railway round the garden so on a hot summer's day can relax and watch and listen to the big trains as they make their way majestically around the garden. Bliss.......


Keith
 

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DT
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Hi Keith, welcome to the forum.

We'd like to see what you have, so please post some photos if you can. What is the model railway hobby like in Japan. I know that Kato is quite big over there, but do people have the space for layouts?
 

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Hi Doug, thanks for your welcome to the forum.

Will try to post some pics once I've mastered the close-up features of my digital camera and sussed out the way to post pics to the forum


The model railway scene in Japan is quite big with Kato and Tomix being the main players with MicroAce and Modemo being recent arrivals on the scene. N gauge (1/150) takes most of the market although there is a growing interest in HO (my area of interest!!). In HO most Japanese models are made to 1/80 scale - to represent Japanese 3ft 6in gauge on 16.5m track although HOj does exist for the purists - 1/87 on 12m track (the Japanese equivalent of Bemo and the RhB!!) - this stuff, however, is mainly brass and quite expensive.

Space is a problem for layouts.....and in many cases this problem is solved by some of the larger model shops providing rental layouts - you can book the use of the layout and take your rolling stock down to the shop for a running session!!

Interestingly, the ageing society in Japan has also led to a resurgence of HO - as youngsters grow up rather than marrying and staying in the family home they are moving out and setting up home on their own - this means that father is able to grab one of the kids' rooms and build his own layout!! Father chooses HO rather than N so Kato and Tomix have responded by introducing a small range of plastic models in HO. MicroAce are also going to release some HO plastic models and Bachmann have also produced some HO plastic models for Tenshodo, a major Japanese Model Railway Shop and producer of expensive HO brass models!!

Keith
 

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Thanks for the very interesting information. I've used Kato track in the past and find it very dependable. The one question I have is why don't I see any DCC companies? I know that Kato even reccomends using Digitrax. Coming from Japan with all it's electronic companies I find this strange.

Kato locomotives and Shinohara track are very popular in the U.S. and Tenshodo is well known for their US Prototype brass locomotives.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Dennis, for some unknown reason dcc has not yet got started in Japan. Tomix does not believe it exists although, as you mention, Kato does know it is around and are starting to make new HO locos dcc-friendly - the new HO F40PH has the dummy plug and an empty fuel tank ready for a sound-system speaker!! I also believe that in the US they are selling third-party installed dcc sound-equipped versions!! In the latest Bachmann-produced models for Tenshodo the steam C55/57 has a dummy plug in the tender and the KiHa20 railcar has a plug in the fuel tank - in which I've managed to install a Lenz Gold decoder!!. Not sure about N-gauge developments though.....

Keith
 
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