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I am disappointed with my scale change from 00. By forum recommendation I adopted Kato(Japanese ) Track for my station area and Peco 80 for my Fiddle Yard. The Peco track is much superior for running my British outline 6 driving wheel steamers, with none of the glitching and stopping I get with Kato points. I find the Kato turn-outs and the scissors crossover a nightmare when running my Castle and 'Jinty' , but my Diesel Railcar and 108 DMU negotiate all the Kato points smoothly by virtue of the 'wider span' of their current pick-ups. (ie. 2 well spaced Bogies) I also find the check rails of the Japenese points 'bind' the wheels of my steam outline models, presumably because of their longer wheelbase. It seems I am doomed to Diesel traction on my BR. Western Region Layout! I am forced to the conclusion that Kato track is ideal for modern imsge modelling only. Any Forum comments or advice?
 

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I've had no problems with the Kato scissors crossover, not even with my 1.5inch long Glaskasten. At the other end of the scale my 10 inch long Big Boy passes over the crossover smoothly too. There may be a switch underneath the scissors crossover to turn off power routing.
 

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QUOTE (stirling @ 11 Feb 2009, 11:55) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I am disappointed with my scale change from 00. By forum recommendation I adopted Kato(Japanese ) Track for my station area and Peco 80 for my Fiddle Yard.

I'm sorry to hear that. Personally I wouldn't have recommended Kato (Unitrack, I presume) - the plastic ballast is rather unrealistic and sets the rail top too high, the rail section is heavy with a wide square head, and the range limited to set geometries. I would have recommended Peco code 55 streamline (flexitrack) and electrofrog points on the scenic side and code 80 in the fiddleyard.

QUOTE (stirling @ 11 Feb 2009, 11:55) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>It seems I am doomed to Diesel traction on my BR. Western Region Layout! I am forced to the conclusion that Kato track is ideal for modern imsge modelling only. Any Forum comments or advice?

I wouldn't be that negative about modern traction for the WR. Some of the latest diesels and electrics being made are extremely high quality, well detailed and very accurate. You've a large choice for your WR layout. For example the Dapol Hymek class 35s, Farish Western class 42s and 52s, the Railcar DMU plus the new class 37s, 47s and class 108 DMUs. All are great performers and excellant value.

G.
 

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The problems with Farish steam locos on Kato track is well known. The only problem I have had is with the No4 radius points which was quickly solved by filing back the check rail to widen the gap to allow the wheel and pick up bearing on the back of it to pass through. Others recommend adjusting the back to back.

As to the appearance this can be disguised with (Jarvis IIRC) OO cork strip which when split to single track width has a chamfered edge that butts up against the Unitrack perfectly.
 

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hello all, sorry about this, but i am thinking of Kato track and need to know what :

"....filing back the check rail to widen the gap to allow the wheel and pick up bearing on the back of it to pass through. Others recommend adjusting the back to back."

means!

thanks
 

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This is my experience with KATO track for what it is worth.

In 2004 when I started to get things together for my new N Gauge layout I bought some KATO track and turnouts to evaluate it.
There was a KATO leaflet at that time which stated you could not run long wheelbase trucks (bogies) through the No.4 turnout.

On the turnouts the electrical contact to the rails were made using a crimp system (I haven't checked to see if the current models are the same) and I had two of these fail. I did solder the contacts but felt that it was a weakness I could do without.
Doing British steam outline I did not want to pay the £19.95 (todays price at MG Sharp £23.99) and then have to file the check rails to give the clearances to get stock through the turnouts without jumping.

With the overheight ballast the rail size and the 33mm track centres, together with the very limited turnout selection, I decided to give it a miss and use Peco Code 55 thoughout.
A Peco medium turnout costs £9.10 + £6 for the motor add a PL15 microswitch assembly for £6.50 (Kernow MRC prices) so for £21.60 I have a turnout with more control functionality than a KATO which is £2.39 more.

I could not build this layout with KATO track My Trackplan it is 3m x 1.8m and is based on using Tracksetta curves which is why it appears to be settrack sections, the smallest radius is 381mm (15").

If you do not fancy cutting track, laying ballast, making holes for turnout motors and can live with straight turnouts then my advice is buy some pieces and see if it suits you. I would think most of the more recently designed items should run on it OK, Dapol 6 wheel Milk Tankers do, I've just tested some whilst putting this post together.

I saw KATO track used on I think it was Ron Upton's layout Temple Falls yesterday at the Spalding show at it looked really good.

The KATO K1 standard set that I bought originally is used for testing and running in, Bachrus running stands fit on it very well when setting up CV's, so it was a worthwhile exercise and not a waste of money.

Chris
 
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