Author Topic: What would keep you from building a TTRAK module?  (Read 8635 times)

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Dave V

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Re: What would keep you from building a TTRAK module?
« Reply #15 on: September 21, 2023, 03:54:33 PM »
+2
The best TTrak modules I've seen are right here on the Railwire. However, they are not representative of the typical TTrak module.

Why am I not building any modules specifically?

1) Rigid geometry. Difficult to do scenery below track level and track geometry itself is limited unless you go with a particularly long module.
2) Double track. Rules out a lot of prototypes.
3) Unitrack. Very difficult to pull off anything that isn't a Class I mainline.
4) Not in a TTrak club. There's one around, but I haven't really felt interested in joining. I'm already in a modular narrow gauge club.

People can do some amazing things with TTrak (such as the examples in this thread) but the result is generally in spite of and not a consequence of the TTrak format.

But for what it is--a very quick and easy modular system--it works.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2023, 03:59:48 PM by Dave V »

peteski

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Re: What would keep you from building a TTRAK module?
« Reply #16 on: September 21, 2023, 03:57:00 PM »
+1

That was in 2001…
A lot has happened since then…
Also, T-TRAK wiki, although a decent site, is not the optimum site to get ideas, info, and history.
Rather, go to the source… www.nrail.org
Formerly NTRAK.org

Anyone who was present at Altoona last weekend saw some incredible prototype modeling on T-TRAK modules.

First of all Wikipedia is fine, and the T-trak info is basically word-for-word copy if the inifo on NRAIL site.   See for  https://ntrak.org/T-TRAK-History yourself:    So there!  :)

Besides, I'm not dissing T-TRAK.  I'm sure there are some very realistic and totally non-whimsical modules out there.  But like it or not, whimsy attracts model  train show attendees. Same goes for NTRAK.  Just look at the crowds gathered around whimsical modules compared to some dull and very realistic looking ones where you would find just a few rivet-counter curmudgeons giving praises for the realism).

Yes, I exaggerated a bit, but I just wanted to make a point.  If you want to attract non-railroady people, whimsy works.  Sure, some of those people will probably become "serious" modelers, but you have to get them involved in the hobby first.
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SAH

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Re: What would keep you from building a TTRAK module?
« Reply #17 on: September 21, 2023, 04:02:41 PM »
+1
Time. I already don't have enough time to do what I need to do in my hobby, let alone the things I want to do.

YES!

I built an NTrak module many years ago.  I participated in exactly one meet.  Not my kind of thing.  Partially because I was working and hobby time was scarce.  I learned I preferred to build models rather than watching them run in circles.

Now that I'm retired time is still a major consideration.  There will likely not be enough left to do what I'd like to accomplish before the effects of age take their toll.

The irony of all this is that I recently started thinking about building a modular/sectional thing to participate in group events.  NTrak was a non-starter.  I seriously considered TTRAK.  I remember seeing it first at the Chantilly, VA N scale convention.  I was amazed at the craftsmanship and just plain beauty of the modules built by the Japanese attendees.  Wow!  A couple trips to the Ohio N Scale Weekend and local shows convinced me that TTRAK would not work for me, for many of the same reasons NTrak does not work.

At the most recent ONSW I studied the FreeMoN set up.  I liked it to the point that I have a three section module complete, raw boxes only at this point.  The deciding factor was I could incorporate it into the home layout as Spencer, OH on the AC&Y.  After thinking about it, I've concluded the effort must contribute to my goal of building an operating version of the AC&Y in my basement.  Otherwise it becomes a distraction I'd rather not indulge.

signalmaintainer

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Re: What would keep you from building a TTRAK module?
« Reply #18 on: September 21, 2023, 04:41:10 PM »
+1
Sure, some of those people will probably become "serious" modelers, but you have to get them involved in the hobby first.

Which hobby? Star Wars, Smurfs, Legos, haunted castles, unicorns and rainbows, UFOs? All, combinations of all, and even worse can be found masquerading as "model railroading" on TTrak modules. Not to mention the toylike appearance of Unitrack, no spiral easements or compound curves, and shiny rail with trains chasing their tails.

If this is what's supposed to attract people to the hobby of scale model railroading, then time to start giving thought to how an obituary for the hobby will read. Let's try "Killed by dumbing down."
« Last Edit: September 21, 2023, 04:43:07 PM by signalmaintainer »
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DeltaBravo

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Re: What would keep you from building a TTRAK module?
« Reply #19 on: September 21, 2023, 05:37:31 PM »
+1
A simple piece of Plexi solves the little finger problem. Worked great on my module.
David B.
 
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Dave V

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Re: What would keep you from building a TTRAK module?
« Reply #20 on: September 21, 2023, 05:55:43 PM »
0
Obviously there are still major misconceptions about T-TRAK.
“It’s designed to get kids into the hobby” …?
Who started that one?
A Free-MoN guy told me that one couldn’t model above track or below track scenery in T-TRAK.
Small radius? Only if you stick with the original (2001) Kato 11” and 13” radius corners.
We use large radius (19”) curves  for corners, endcaps, and junctions now. 80’ body mount cars? No problem.
How’s this for above and below the track scenery in T-TRAK?





Bruce,

I love your work... But the fact that those modules are way outside the normal TTrak standard kinda defeats the whole concept of TTrak, no? Like, you can just show up at some random TTrak meet with that trestle and expect to plug right in, right?
« Last Edit: September 21, 2023, 06:00:19 PM by Dave V »

Philip H

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Re: What would keep you from building a TTRAK module?
« Reply #21 on: September 21, 2023, 05:59:39 PM »
+2
This module was at Altoona last weekend. It remains one of the better executed ones I’ve seen. For one thing the trees scale. If this is what the right counters are opposed to they need to think about what they perceive our hobby to be.

Philip H.
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Dave V

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Re: What would keep you from building a TTRAK module?
« Reply #22 on: September 21, 2023, 06:03:29 PM »
+3
This module was at Altoona last weekend. It remains one of the better executed ones I’ve seen. For one thing the trees scale. If this is what the right counters are opposed to they need to think about what they perceive our hobby to be.


That's supposed to be the Imperial base on the forest moon of Endor, isn't it? I'm not sure a Star Wars module supports your argument.

arbomambo

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Re: What would keep you from building a TTRAK module?
« Reply #23 on: September 21, 2023, 06:06:01 PM »
0
You can absolutely plug that trestle module into a regular T-TRAK layout.
Jaime Valdez (the builder) does just that.
In fact, the module is ‘standard’ quad length.
Again, far too many don’t know enough about T-TRAK or the ‘standards’. The only real ‘standards’ concern module wiring and interface with adjacent modules. The same with T-TRAK layouts. Apparently, many here seem to believe that T-TRAK layouts must be arranged in an oval (back-to-back) on single tables…we rarely configure layouts like that, and, at most, only create peninsulas off of the main layout, using back-to-back configurations, for visual or operational interests.
"STILL Thrilled to be in N scale!"

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Dave V

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Re: What would keep you from building a TTRAK module?
« Reply #24 on: September 21, 2023, 06:13:32 PM »
0
You can absolutely plug that trestle module into a regular T-TRAK layout.
Jaime Valdez (the builder) does just that.
In fact, the module is ‘standard’ quad length.
Again, far too many don’t know enough about T-TRAK or the ‘standards’. The only real ‘standards’ concern module wiring and interface with adjacent modules. The same with T-TRAK layouts. Apparently, many here seem to believe that T-TRAK layouts must be arranged in an oval (back-to-back) on single tables…we rarely configure layouts like that, and, at most, only create peninsulas off of the main layout, using back-to-back configurations, for visual or operational interests.

I'm just basing it off the TTrak setups I've seen in person. They tend to be exactly what you describe as what I'm not supposed to think of...table-top only in tight ovals back-to-back (which is what I thought the original idea was). You must have to plan at least a little when you show up with those.

Does anyone remember who did that awesome PRR electrified TTrak module? That's the kinda stuff I think I'd do if I did TTrak. It was Lancaster County, PA on the Pennsy's Atglen & Susquehanna Low Grade Line...a prototype near-zero grade double-track electrified main through rolling farmland...perfect for a more traditional TTrak module.

John

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Re: What would keep you from building a TTRAK module?
« Reply #25 on: September 21, 2023, 06:15:33 PM »
+1
IDK - Model railroading is a pretty big tent .. there is something for everyone .. as my 38 year old son likes to tell me when I try to suggest things to him " you do you, I'll do me : ...

peteski

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Re: What would keep you from building a TTRAK module?
« Reply #26 on: September 21, 2023, 06:27:21 PM »
+4
Which hobby? Star Wars, Smurfs, Legos, haunted castles, unicorns and rainbows, UFOs? All, combinations of all, and even worse can be found masquerading as "model railroading" on TTrak modules. Not to mention the toylike appearance of Unitrack, no spiral easements or compound curves, and shiny rail with trains chasing their tails.

Not everybody in the hobby is (or will ever be) a prototype modeler. You just have to realize that.  But even the "snowflakes" purchase model RR items, helping to keep the model RR companies afloat.  MTL's also sells fantasy schemes, while also producing some more serious models.  They seem to be dogging well.

Quote
If this is what's supposed to attract people to the hobby of scale model railroading, then time to start giving thought to how an obituary for the hobby will read. Let's try "Killed by dumbing down."
Oh please! I think your prediction of dumbing down as a reason for killing the hobby is greatly exaggerated.  What could actually kill it is lack of "fresh blood" in the hobby while the old fogies die off.

I'm not going to keep sparing with you - some time ago I came to a conclusion that we have to agree to disagree.  Nobody's forcing you to join the T-TRAK collective.
Happy prototype modeling!
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Dave V

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Re: What would keep you from building a TTRAK module?
« Reply #27 on: September 21, 2023, 06:28:25 PM »
+1
Just to clarify...the answer to the question "why doesn't Dave Vollmer build TTrak modules" isn't to do with what other people have done, whether it's Hallmark Christmas tree ornaments glued to grass paper or some of Bruce's jaw-dropping amaze-balls work. I just don't see the TTrak format fitting in with any of my current modeling objectives/goals, either from being in a modular club (already in one) or from a prototype/era perspective.

At some point that may change though. I've always wanted to model 1970s/80s Northeast urban decay, and TTrak would be a great format for that.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2023, 06:35:01 PM by Dave V »

EJN

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Re: What would keep you from building a TTRAK module?
« Reply #28 on: September 21, 2023, 06:30:40 PM »
0
This photo of some modules at the National Train Show posted on MRH stirred up a hornet's nest
https://forum.mrhmag.com/post/2023-national-train-show-day-1-friday-8252023-12722540





« Last Edit: September 21, 2023, 06:32:29 PM by EJN »

John

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Re: What would keep you from building a TTRAK module?
« Reply #29 on: September 21, 2023, 06:53:33 PM »
0
This photo of some modules at the National Train Show posted on MRH stirred up a hornet's nest
https://forum.mrhmag.com/post/2023-national-train-show-day-1-friday-8252023-12722540



Is this a cake?