< Note: this page is a work in progress >

We have T-TRAK specifications so that we may build modules that interface with each other for the purpose of building layouts. A major point to keep in mind is while we have module specifications in place we don't have layout specifications. Unfortunately we often attempt to apply module precepts to the layout and it doesn't always work, or, if it does, it limits our abilities at the layout level. Case in point, the periodic call for BWBW wiring of modules1. Granted, it appears to simplify wiring for a crossover, but in some layouts it complicates wiring far beyond reversing polarity for a crossover. Complications such as having to use isolated track or automatic reversers for a straight section of track between two T-Junctions. Another precept that does not transfer from the module to the layout is what to call the tracks. Whereas it is easy to discern two tracks within the context of the module, layouts comprised of T-TRAK modules may have one to many loops or discrete circuits. Layouts need not always be the common double row of modules, loop within a loop arrangement. So let's explore layout possibilities with T-TRAK.

During the website re-write, we wanted to provide examples of a few basic layouts. The intent was to show the progression of layout possibilities using basic T-TRAK modules starting with four corners and adding a few straight modules. It stopped after a pair of T-Junctions and an Inside Corner with a simple L-shaped layout. Let's expand on that concept from one of many beginning points to any number of T-TRAK layout possibilities.

The Starter Set

Naturally, the simplest beginning point is a single and for approximately $30 (module and track but no scenery) it is definitely not a budget buster. It epitomizes the T-TRAK concept of small and portable while forcing the modeler to concentrate on detail without being overwhelmed. This starting point is great for those who are near a club or other T-TRAK modelers. However, it's a bit difficult to make a layout out of one single. So for those who want to get started in T-TRAK and build their own layout the most logical path is the "starter set". No, there is not really an "off the shelf" T-TRAK starter set. However, you can purchase a few items and make your own five foot T-TRAK-N starter layout. Here are the items you will need:

Kato Components
Kato M1 Basic Oval Track Set (track & power pack only) OR Kato Starter Set (includes M1 contents plus a train))
Kato V5 Inside Loop Track Set
One pack of Kato N20000 (S248 4pk, Item 20-000)
One Kato 3-Way Extension Cord (Item 24-827)


Figure 1. Kato Components based on the Kato M1 Basic Oval Track Set

Module Bases
Four Corners*
(or One 180 End Cap and Two Corners)
(or Two 180 End Caps)
Two Singles and Two Doubles*
(or One Single, One Double, and One Triple)
(or Two Triples)

*Recommended bases for starting out

The Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the Kato components range from $499 (M1 option) to $555 (depending on the Kato Starter Set). The module bases can be purchased as kits or can be built using various techniques as documented in the Tutorial Section. The cost of unassembled kits, not including shipping, will range from $130 to $160 for Masterpiece Modules. Based on this information the MSRP for a T-TRAK starter set, devoid of scenery but capable of running trains, ranges from $630 to $735. If you have a workshop with the appropriate tools modules could be built for less than half the kit price. Also, as everyone is aware, prices better than MSRP are available. So the knowledgeable train owning shopper with a workshop could assemble the T-TRAK starter set for approximately $250-$300 (not including scenery). This layout, especially if built with the recommended module bases, makes for a great starting layout for any individual or club. It can be setup on a six-foot folding table in a matter of minutes and disassembled even faster.


Figure 2. Starter Set layout in use as the North Texas T-TRAK Jr. Engineer Layout

Next Steps

But where to go from this starting point? One can continue to add straight modules but the shape of the layout will be the same double row configuration, only longer. Additional modules that greatly expand layout possibilites are (click image to enlarge, browser back arrow to return to this page):

Single Crossover
Inside Corner
Delta Junction (Rattlesnake Junction)
Double Cross Junction
Star Junction
45 degree Corner
30 degree Corner

The following depicted layouts do not need to be built exactly as designed and are provided to stimulate ideas on what can be done with the basic building blocks of T-TRAK modules. Many are shown as double row but can be reduced to a single row spine. Some create inner spaces that would be difficult for some to access.

Layout Shapes (click images for a larger picture)
Space Saver - Tables end to end Layout%20-%20Two%20Table%20Oval.jpg
A Layout%20-%20Double%20Row%20A-Shaped%20on%2010%20Tables.jpg
B, 8 Layout%20-%20Double%20Row%208-Shaped%20on%2011%20Tables.jpg
C or U Shape Layout%20-%20U-Shaped%20on%206%20Tables.jpg Layout%20-%20Single%20Row%20U-Shaped%20on%206%20Tables.jpg
E,3,W,M Layout%20-%20Double%20Row%20E-Shaped%20on%208%20Tables.jpg Layout%20-%20Single%20Row%20E-Shaped%20on%208%20Tables.jpg
F Layout%20-%20Double%20Row%20F-Shaped%20on%207%20Tables.jpg
h Layout%20-%20Double%20Row%20h-Shaped%20on%207%20Tables.jpg
H Layout%20-%20Double%20Row%20H-Shaped%20on%209%20Tables.jpg
L Shape using 2 T-Junctions
L (2 layouts - small & medium) Layout%20-%20L-Shaped%20Two%20Layouts.jpg
O Layout%20-%20Double%20Row%200-Shaped%20on%2010%20Tables.jpg
p,b,d,9 Layout%20-%20Single%20Row%20P-shaped.png Layout%20-%20Double%20Row%20P-Shaped.png
S,5,2 Layout%20-%20S-Shaped%20on%208%20Tables.jpg
T Layout%20-%20Double%20Row%20T-Shaped%20on%207%20Tables.jpg
x, + Layout%20-%20Double%20Row%20X-Shaped%20on%208%20Tables.jpg
Y, Goalpost Layout%20-%20Double%20Row%20Y%20on%209%20Tables.jpg
Z Layout%20-%20Z-Shaped%20on%206%20Tables.jpg
Psi, trident Layout%20-%20Double%20Row%20Trident%20on%2010%20Tables.jpg
C Clamp Layout%20-%20C%20Clamp.jpg
Odd Shaped
Marching Soldier
Layout within a layout (concentric layouts)
Hockey Man (Turn diagram 90 Deg to right )
Balancing Rock (Turn diagram 180 Deg)
Cloverleaf - Four loops interconnected with four T-Junctions and a Crossover
By Modules
Crossover Modules
* Inner Figure 8 (inner to inner) Layout%20-%20Figure%208%20-%20Inner%20to%20Inner.jpg
* Folded Figure 8 (outer to inner) Layout%20-%20Figure%208%20-%20Inner%20to%20Outer.jpg
* Inner Figure 8 v2 (FUNTRAK)
Inside Corners Modules
* L-Shaped Layout%20-%20L-Shaped%20Tri-Oval%20on%204%20Tables.jpg
* Inside Out Layout%20-%20Inside%20Out.jpg
T-Junction Modules
* To many of the examples to list here separately.
C-Junction Modules
* Bunker Hill Train Club Show Apr 2013 Two "T-1-Trak" junctions (in yellow, on the right) give an idea of how a C-Junction could be used to create a passing siding/setup track.
Double Cross Junction Modules
* Normal L Mobius
* L Mobius
* L Mobius with Dogleg
* Big Base L Mobius
* Ballooon Mobius
* T Mobius 20141018 - VA Fall Der All
* Double Track Figure 8
* Eagle (Double Track Figure Eight)
* Mobius Spiral
Y-Junction Modules
* Balancing Rock
Hockey Man
Star Junction Modules
* Flying Wing Layout%20-%20Two%20Ray%20Flying%20Wing.jpg
* Lazy X Layout%20-%20Four%20Ray%20Double%20Row%20Star.jpg
* Y Layout%20-%20Three%20Ray%20Double%20Row%20Star.jpg
* Martini Layout%20-%20Three%20Ray%20Double%20Row%20Star%20Martini.jpg
* Sunrise, K Layout%20-%20Four%20Ray%20Double%20Row%20Sunrise.jpg
* Big C Layout%20-%20Double%20Row%20C-Shaped%20with%20Star%20Junctions%20and%2016%20tables.jpg
* Star, Asterisk Layout%20-%20Six%20Ray%20Double%20Row%20Star.jpg
* M, W
S-Transition Modules
* Australian "Paperclip" Layout (gap is filled with a 124mm bridge) Layout%20-%20Australian%20Paperclip%20with%20Tables.jpg
Orthodox Shapes General shapes usually seen at club/home layouts
Oval See "Space Saver" above - first layout example
Point to Point (NOTE: won't any series of single depth modules with a yard module on each end be a point-to-point?)
Figure 8 - Double Track Also listed above in the Double Cross Junction Modules section
Figure 8 - folded (also "Double Lap Oval") See "Folded Figure 8" in the Crossover Modules section above
Figure 8 - inside line only See "Inner Figure 8" in the Crossover Modules section above
Dogbones (Second option would need T-Junction Spacers ) Layout-Dogbone_ideas.png
Record Breaking
2008 Derby City Express 10.08 scale miles of red mainline track
2011 OKC Big X (4 Star junctions) unknown
2014 OKC unknown
2016 World's Greatest Hobby On Tour Show, San Antonio 15.6 scale miles of red mainline track
2018 NTS KC, MO 340 separate modules making up 28.4 scale miles or red mainline track
Convention Layouts
Capitol limited 2014
NMRA Mini-Con 2011
Home Layouts
Model Railroader Beer Line Adaptation By Daniel Rydell
Cactus Flats
Steve Jackson's "The Enigmatic Line"
* Bob's
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