Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Progress Update

As I mentioned in my last post, after a pause of nearly five years, I am finally re-starting the Taihoku 1937 project.

I started with an adaptation of my original layout designed for Kato Unitrack (I ended up re-designing the upper level a little bit).

This layout would retain the loop and crossover of the original but added a little more detail including a section of double track. The total size was close to 6 x 3 feet, which was perfect for my planned baseboard, a hollow-core door.

I knew that I wanted to be able to move the layout out of the way since the room that it's in is not that big, so I bought a pair of folding table legs and laid them out on the door as pictured.

I quickly realized that the door, which is only two thin sheets of (MDF?), would not support the screws for the legs, so I bought and had cut some plywood and used them as a base for the legs. The plywood was attached in place with wood glue and the screws were just long enough to go right through and bite into the surface of the door. It turned out to be strong, light, and portable which was perfect.

Once I had the table ready I laid out my track. The base level was easy and quick to set up - I just had to drill out the holes in each piece of track, drill holes for the power and switch wires to pass through, then nail the track into the surface of the table. The material of the hollow core door is perfect for grabbing the nails with enough force to keep the track in place.

I started with the yard area and laid out the track mostly by eye, trying making sure that all the connections were as square as possible, although Unitrack has quite a bit of flexibility in its connections which is nice. I also tested each connection as I went, and also ran a locomotive around to make sure there were no problematic connections. The following image is quite blurry but you can see the finished ramp up to the upper level, which I built from thin MDF and supported by balsa cylinders cut to size.

Next step is to build the MDF base for the upper level and build a custom piece of track for the wooden bridge.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018


After several years not being able to have a layout in my home, I finally have enough space to restart the Taihoku Railroad. I have a place, a baseboard, and a collection of Kato Unitrack ready, more updates to come shortly.