We propose to present you trucks for maintenance and track laying, used by Japan Rail, but why not also on our Western model networks. It is not always necessary to close the door to a certain creativity.
These are two types of trucks always coupled by two. They are known as KIYA97.
The Japanese manufacturer “World Kougei” offers very good quality plastic and photoetched kits at the N scale. It seems that there were also productions in HO, but we did not find any.
We took advantage of a trip to Japan to make an appointment and visit their workshops. They are located one hour by train from the centre of Tokyo, in one of these Japanese suburbs with small houses and small gardens, without a real landmark or street name. Good preparation with tracking and Google Earth maps have made it safe to Find the location without any problem.
Rather than a workshop, we found a small building whose facade stood as a small shop, without any sign. The two people present, at the perfect Japanese welcome, immediately gave us the kits ordered and presented their productions. (See the catalogue on the website). The dialogue was a little difficult because our Japanese is non-existent while they do not speak another language. The conversation was done by computer translator.
For both kits (+ 1 motorized bogie offered) we have paid 110 € (# £100).
The first kit “JR Tokai series KIYA97 Blank Rail Truck” consists of two identical elements. Each element is equipped with a motorized bogie located under the driving cabin. The function of those trucks is probably to carry rails.
The second kit “JR Tokai series KIYA97 + 201/202” consists of two identical elements except for the super detailing of the trays. Each element is equipped with a motorized bogie under the driving cabin. This coupling seems to be used for laying rails
Assembling the kits is quite simple with a little patience. Even without great experience, we arrive at a good result. You must understand and study the diagrams attached, very well done, but the texts and identification of the parts are only in Japanese. Except if you can understand Japanese, you must do without.
We’ve improved the base kits by installing white / red lighting at the front of each driver’s cab. Not very difficult but it is better to make a small IC to weld the 4 LEDs and resistors. We can help you if you are interested.
It is possible to buy these kits either on E.Bay or directly from the manufacturer.