- Written by Steve Jackson
The T-TRAK Division was formed after various NVNTRAK members saw what T-TRAK was and what it could do during the Capitol Limited convention that the club hosted in August 2004. Since that time several members have started to build, or have built, T-TRAK modules. We have been pushing the T-TRAK standard to new extremes just like we have done with NTRAK by modifying the Red-Line-Route (RLR) that the club made famous at the '96 convention and building the first T-TRAK junctions allowing us to run RLR in T-TRAK too.
What is T-TRAK?
T-TRAK, like NTRAK, is a modular railroad system. The T-TRAK standard includes multiple scales, but we focus on N since we are an N scale club. In general, T-TRAK modules include a 2-track mainline and are intended to sit atop tables. The standard T-TRAK module is much smaller (310mm by 210mm [12 1/4" by 8 1/4"]) than the standard NTRAK module (2' by 4'). In addition, the T-TRAK standard calls for the use of Kato Unitrack for mainline tracks.
Because of its small size, T-TRAK allows an individual to have a layout at home on a table where an NTRAK home layout requires considerably more space and may not be possible. In addition, the small size allows the T-TRAK Division to set up in locations that are not readily accessible for NTRAK shows like train depots, hospitals, and retirement homes. T-TRAK can generally be set up more quickly than NTRAK which makes it ideal for shows with a limited running time. A T-TRAK layout can be setup and running on a folding table in less than an hour by one or two people and can be dismantled more quickly.
T-TRAK is a good choice for:
- modelers with limited space
- trying a new scenery technique
- getting into those hard-to-service venues
- modelers who cannot transport or manipulate a larger module
What specifications does the NVNTRAK T-TRAK Division follow?
We follow the 'alternate' track spacing (33 mm) called out in the T-TRAK specifications available at www.t-trak.org.
Additionally, we use a height of 4" from the top of the table to the bottom of the roadbed. If you build a module according to the T-TRAK specifications and include the T-nut with adjusting screw, then your module will mate up with our modules. Some clubs prefer to place their modules directly on the table without using the legs.
What does the NVNTRAK T-TRAK Division do that is a little out of the ordinary?
- We created the T-TRAK junction module based on the NTRAK junction module. Here is a link to our Junction Module Specifications.
- We have built very large layouts with T-TRAK, but found that the standard doesn't provide guidance on how to power large layouts. Specifically, the Kato power components are the only ones available; however, the voltage losses over large layouts are unacceptable. In response, we started to build a Bus Wire to care power around our larger layouts. Here is a link to our Bus Wire specifications.
- We have published information on how to modify Kato Double Crossovers (Kato Part # 20-210) so that they can be used on a T-TRAK single module without electrical connectivity loss.
How do I learn more about the NVNTRAK T-TRAK Division?
- Look at club member modules which have been added to the T-TRAK Wikidot Site
- Come to one of our T-TRAK Division Events
- Email or join the NVNTRAK T-TRAK Division email list. Note: You must be a member of NVNTRAK to join the list.