Our little trams are ready to run, but on which tracks?
The club uses two kinds of products:
- Kato system, sold under the name Kato Unitram. The available elements are all double track with integrated roadway. The pavement between rails is concrete slabs and has a very good visual appearance. (Photo 1) This system allows only simple tracings because in 2017 there is only one type of curved geometry (Double track with inner and outer radius, the radius of the outer track being 180 mm, which is quite large), 90° dual track crossing and very nice deviation (points) of the double track with motors integrated in the roadway, as well as straight elements of different lengths. There are other elements of pavement without rails to allow the construction of crossings and other urban developments. The elements are clipped together and the electrical connections are very reliable.
- Tomix system, marketed under the name Tomix Wide Tram Track. Tomix system, marketed under the name Tomix Wide Tram Track. The track elements with integrated pavement are more varied than in Kato. There are dual and single-track elements and at least 3 different radii of curvature (103 mm / 140 mm and 177 mm). There are track coupons available in different lengths, so the track layout can be quite varied. Electric points with a radius of 103 mm, very convenient for small intersections and a 90 ° crossing are also available. The paving of the pavement represents modern paving stones (Photos 3 and 4) It is also possible, if necessary, to use Tomix rails and points of greater radius, but it will then be necessary to manufacture the roadway with forex plates for example. The elements are clipped together and the electrical connections are very reliable.
Compatibility of both systems:
Basically, the two systems are not compatible due to the different geometry of the clips and the position of the fishplates that are inverted from one system to another. However, for fixed mounting, it is quite easy to connect a Kato rail to a Tomix rail by cutting off the mounting clips and changing the mounting side of the fishplate onto an element. It’s possible to improve the mounting in gluing the two elements (replacing deleted clips).
A small wedge must be fitted under the Tomix element that is less thick than the Kato element. Due to differences in pavement surface between these systems, it is better to limit the number of track system changes to the minimum required.
If you would like more information about these products and their implementation, we will be pleased to answer your questions.
I have just brought some Tomix tram track for my Swiss themed layout and I am mixing it with Kato sleepers track. I used Kato 20-045 adapter tracks to join the 2 makes together….