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Where is T at?

Postby barneyadi » Thu May 28, 2015 3:59 pm

Hi guys

Just trying to get an update of where t gauge is at and headed? Having been away from model railways for a while am a little behind on development. Is there now a chassis for a BoBo and a CoCo locomotive? With the Virgin train in the pipeline, is anything else in the pipeline? See points are being looked at so hopefully progress may come this year and plenty of 3D stuff on Shapeways. Anything else I should be aware of?

Cheers

Dave
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Re: Where is T at?

Postby dkightley » Thu May 28, 2015 8:45 pm

Hi Dave

What an interesting question you've posed. And i I was to be brutally honest, the short answer to your questions is....T gauge is probably where it was two or three years ago, and it's anybody's guess where it's going. Having said that, the reality of the answer to your questions is very much more complicated!!

There are several factors that I believe stand in the way of T becoming more popular:

Firstly, I believe that many railway modellers have seen, and still see T Gauge as very much of a novelty...and their recollection of T Gauge is round the brim of a hat or a toilet seat, or inside a briefcase or guitar case. And this is reinforced by their perception that T Gauge is too small for them to be the slightest bit interested in. Well it's a gimmick, isn't it?

Secondly, many times I've spoken to modellers at shows, their first question is "What's the range of off the shelf rolling stock like?" When you answer truthfully, you can see their immediate comparison with what they know is available in other scales....and the immediate rejection!

Thirdly, we have the "chicken and the egg" conundrum. With a flat market for new sales, the manufacturers (or should that be manufacturer) of T gauge track & rolling stock appear to have been reluctant to plough resources into tooling up for an increasing range of track and rolling stock.......and without the expanding range of available parts, there is little or no interest in modellers investing hard earned cash in a scale for which there's no variety in parts!

Fourthly, I don't think the word about T is being spread all that enthusiatically by those who are interested.....and should anyone research T on the internet, they'll find very little activity - take a look at the number of posts this year on this forum and the T Gauge facebook page. And there's very few other forums, etc that have any discussion about the scale!

My final point (that I can think of at the moment) is that despite there being a reasonable range of components available in various places ( mainly on Shapeways), the average modeller wanting to take a look at T is not interested in unfinished and unpainted shells that fit on one of a range of power units available from elsewhere, they are more interested in ready to run locos and wagons that are not Japanese!

Well....I said things were complicated. I'll await comments from others before giving any more of my own thoughts.....
Doug Kightley
Webmaster here and volunteer at the National Tramway Museum http://www.tramway.co.uk
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Re: Where is T at?

Postby barneyadi » Thu May 28, 2015 9:39 pm

Hi

Thanks for such a comprehensive reply.

I would have hoped the interest might have increased slightly especially with space in houses getting tighter. I think the main issue I have is the points, would be so good to get proper points. I see some forum members are trying so hopefully something will come of it. Maybe with a working points system interest might increase.

People are used to getting off the shelf stock but still seems a lot of scratch building of buildings etc goes on, suppose T gauge just includes it's locos.

My dilemma at the moment is I have just moved house and finally got an indoor space for a layout. I have dabbled in T and N gauge before and have a nice size space which would suit both gauges, 8ft by 3ft minimum. I love watching trains run on layouts and the only downside to T gauge is the points. I have tried sketchup to design things and seem ok with it. I just don't want to make a decision to have a t gauge layout without making sure it still has a future.
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Re: Where is T at?

Postby mattinair » Fri May 29, 2015 10:01 am

My T gauge layout does have a "large" feel to it and it is way cheaper and so much more accessible.......but having to create your own stuff, while while really fun for some of us, makes it more Arts & Crafts & less toy trains......I keep hope'n that one of our local (SF bay) nuvo rich wiz kids will flash on these toys >>>I really want steam locos >>>>and the list "goes on and goes on and goes on" : Beafheart: train song
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Re: Where is T at?

Postby barneyadi » Sun May 31, 2015 11:26 am

mattinair wrote:My T gauge layout does have a "large" feel to it and it is way cheaper and so much more accessible.......but having to create your own stuff, while while really fun for some of us, makes it more Arts & Crafts & less toy trains......I keep hope'n that one of our local (SF bay) nuvo rich wiz kids will flash on these toys >>>I really want steam locos >>>>and the list "goes on and goes on and goes on" : Beafheart: train song


That's a good point, maybe T gaugers are a slightly different breed to the rest of the model railway community. I think a percentage are into scratchbuilding but most just want out of the box for ease of use.

The points problem I believe is the one thing holding T gauge back. rom the posts on here about points it seems some members are making progress on this problem, so hopefully so movement might happen sooner rather than later.
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Re: Where is T at?

Postby mattinair » Mon Jun 01, 2015 7:14 am

The engineering exists to "modernize" T gauge (DCC, electric switches WITH FUNCTIONAL POINTS, uncouplers, ROLLING STOCK, etc.)>>>If only a person or persons were able to commit a lot of time and A LOT OF MONEY on what, lets face it, is not a very popular toy; this T gauge stuff could really take off....it's a real Catch 22....
I read an article about Jan Haslet (maker of the HD 500 RC helicopter) and what he went through to get the HD 500 on the shelf....WHEW....A lOT of MONEY....
The current "owners" of T gauge are making money which in these times of 0% interest makes them adverse to any changes. Also their "buy it now" price is probably quite high discouraging larger toy companies.
But still, you gotta go with T gauge .......The grace and flow you can get on 2'x8' layout with T gauge would be 16' long even in Z gauge....the same layout on a traditional Lionel train...20 feet wide x 80 feet long!... you gotta love the T ....
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Re: Where is T at?

Postby mrwrail » Mon Jun 01, 2015 8:41 am

When I first saw T gauge a few years back I immediately wanted to buy a BR HST set, however I decided to hold off until there was more rolling stock available.

A year later there was still only the BR HST available and only in one livery but I decided to buy anyway and I dolove it! It's so impressive to have a full HST running generous loops on my dining table :D

BUT another year later on and it's still the only RTR UK rolling stock available, which is really disappointing :cry:

I'm not a crafty or creative person or a serious railway modeller, I just like to play trains. I'm also at a point in my life/career where I seem to have more spare money than spare time!

I don't have the skill, desire or time for kit building or painting, but would be more than happy to pay a decent price for RTR UK rolling stock. With none available I guess I'll wait for another few months then sell up my T gauge stuff and go back to N gauge :|
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Re: Where is T at?

Postby mattinair » Mon Jun 01, 2015 9:22 am

Yeah......Bummer......plenty of people want T gauge stuff but no one's make'n it .....go figure
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Re: Where is T at?

Postby barneyadi » Mon Jun 01, 2015 2:07 pm

That all sounds depressing. Which is partly why I asked the question.
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Re: Where is T at?

Postby mattd10 » Mon Jun 01, 2015 4:32 pm

Hate to add to the negativity but there really hasn't been a lot of development, but then I'm not surprised by that!

T has nothing like the market that N or OO have. I don't know actual numbers but I'd guess the number of people who consider themselves to seriously model in T gauge (not just have a HST set as a gimmick) probably doesn't add up to more than around 100. What this means is we get a bunch of creative and resourceful modellers who do what they can with what's available!

As it stands, the running of stock has improved massively in the last few years with the new controllers and 3rd gen motors. These are fundamental developments that were needed before anything could progress any further really. Points, as has been mentioned, have always been an issue too. But then I don't see T gauge for shunting, but more for full length rakes running through a scene.

I know it all sounds like doom and gloom, but there is a lot of stock out there! Shapeways is a great start for rolling stock and buildings, there is a guy in germany who offers N scale narrow gauge, a lot of Z narrow gauge too and then there are architectural suppliers and similar (4dmodelshop for example) who offer 1:500 accessories like fencing, boats, people etc.

If you're looking for a large range of products off the shelf then I'm afraid T gauge will probably never suit your needs. The investment in design/manufacture/testing is too great for such a small market. But it's the individuals creating body shells, producing vinyls etc that make the difference.

T gauge is still here though, and I think it's here to stay.
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