Where is T at?

The place for general discussions and requests for help on all matters relating to T gauge.
barneyadi
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Joined: Wed Nov 20, 2013 8:50 pm
Location: Carlisle

Where is T at?

Post by barneyadi »

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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dkightley
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Location: Nottingham, UK

Re: Where is T at?

Post by dkightley »

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

barneyadi
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Location: Carlisle

Re: Where is T at?

Post by barneyadi »

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.

mattinair
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Re: Where is T at?

Post by mattinair »

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

barneyadi
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Location: Carlisle

Re: Where is T at?

Post by barneyadi »

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.

mattinair
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Re: Where is T at?

Post by mattinair »

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 ....

mrwrail
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Re: Where is T at?

Post by mrwrail »

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 :|

mattinair
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Location: Sebastopol California

Re: Where is T at?

Post by mattinair »

Yeah......Bummer......plenty of people want T gauge stuff but no one's make'n it .....go figure

barneyadi
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Re: Where is T at?

Post by barneyadi »

That all sounds depressing. Which is partly why I asked the question.

mattd10
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Re: Where is T at?

Post by mattd10 »

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.

mattinair
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Re: Where is T at?

Post by mattinair »

Reading about people being frustrated to the point of giv'n up....depressing. But there's a real pitch to be made for T gauge......Toy trains are one of the oldest mechanical toys. And still one of the most popular with MANY MILLIONS of users. But when my son in law set up a standard Lionel loop around the Xmass tree(beautiful thing with amazing sound effects) the kids reaction was like "neat"....Their generation has been surrounded by NOISY BLINK"N computerized mechanical toys literally since infancy..........3 weeks ago I took my very VERY far from finished layout down to show the kids (a big PLUS for T gauge>The whole thing is only 2'6" X 3'6" and weighs 5.4 pounds)....There were actual squeals of delight. One neighbor kid cried when I had to head home....Several parents were quite interested as well...There's almost a primal reaction..."it's so small"
DSCN0766_01.JPG
DSCN0766_01.JPG (335.37 KiB) Viewed 15791 times
If some one does spend a couple a million to put something out there similar to what Marklin did with Z gauge the numbers appear to crunch positive..

barneyadi
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Location: Carlisle

Re: Where is T at?

Post by barneyadi »

Hearing people feel it is here to stay is good. Have a layout plan which I think is perfect for T gauge and will post in layouts tonight hopefully. Would love a point I could change with a flick of a switch. Have noticed a video from T gauge.com where they were using the sensor to change the point. That would be all I want. Quite happy to work with what is out there and use 3D as and when needed.

mattinair
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Location: Sebastopol California

Re: Where is T at?

Post by mattinair »

My control panel is still in the mock up stage... but it's working great.
tamvalleydepot.com has all the stuff needed to electrify T gauge switches.......push buttons with colored led indicators>
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from the back
DSCN0787_01.JPG
DSCN0787_01.JPG (345.85 KiB) Viewed 15788 times
>>controllers
DSCN0782_01.JPG
DSCN0782_01.JPG (329.56 KiB) Viewed 15788 times
>>> and servos
DSCN0781_01.JPG
DSCN0781_01.JPG (266.61 KiB) Viewed 15788 times
I mounted the servos so they could be removed from the back with out disturbing the switch.
hope this helps.

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Nutter
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Re: Where is T at?

Post by Nutter »

I have to ask what exactly do you want to get out of your T gauge layout?
I appreciate that there is not a lot of RTR stock but as has been mentioned, the physical size is also a big factor especially with varying sizes of locomotives - small 4 or 6 wheeled stock etc. will be very light. People are doing great stuff but some effort has to be put in by the end user to make the best of what people are producing - often in their spate time - to make it work.
I personally came to T gauge via Z gauge and N gauge. I have had a spell modelling Narrow gauge in several scales so am quite happy modifying and scratch building stuff.
I know the points /switches depending on your location leave a lot to be desired bit truthfully I think the scale is better suited to continuous tracks unless you are prepared to think outside the RTR limits.

Sorry if I've rambled on but just look at what has been achieved with what we have.
Mike
DON'T knock it at least I am trying to do something, with only one good hand.

barneyadi
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Location: Carlisle

Re: Where is T at?

Post by barneyadi »

Nutter wrote:I have to ask what exactly do you want to get out of your T gauge layout?
I appreciate that there is not a lot of RTR stock but as has been mentioned, the physical size is also a big factor especially with varying sizes of locomotives - small 4 or 6 wheeled stock etc. will be very light. People are doing great stuff but some effort has to be put in by the end user to make the best of what people are producing - often in their spate time - to make it work.
I personally came to T gauge via Z gauge and N gauge. I have had a spell modelling Narrow gauge in several scales so am quite happy modifying and scratch building stuff.
I know the points /switches depending on your location leave a lot to be desired bit truthfully I think the scale is better suited to continuous tracks unless you are prepared to think outside the RTR limits.

Sorry if I've rambled on but just look at what has been achieved with what we have.
Well my main things is to see trains run, so have decided T gauge is way to go. The painting of the 3d stuff always worries me but hopefully with practice I can get it to an acceptable standard for me. The vinyls you can get will also help, especially the 158 graphics as they ran on the settle-Carlisle line. Will not be many points on the layout but if I could find a way to control even 1 or 2 by switch or something would be nice.

mattinair
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Re: Where is T at?

Post by mattinair »

Neat!.....3 x 9 feet in T..........positively monumental!

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dkightley
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Re: Where is T at?

Post by dkightley »

Will not be many points on the layout but if I could find a way to control even 1 or 2 by switch or something would be nice.
Been there....done that!! ;)
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=24&p=231&hilit=points+cable#p231
Doug Kightley
Webmaster here and volunteer at the National Tramway Museum http://www.tramway.co.uk

barneyadi
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Re: Where is T at?

Post by barneyadi »

dkightley wrote:
Will not be many points on the layout but if I could find a way to control even 1 or 2 by switch or something would be nice.
Been there....done that!! ;)
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=24&p=231&hilit=points+cable#p231
Perfect, gives me something to work with.

mrwrail
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Re: Where is T at?

Post by mrwrail »

barneyadi wrote: Well my main things is to see trains run, so have decided T gauge is way to go...
Funny how we both have the same objective (to see trains run) but have come to a different conclusion about T gauge! :D I'd love to have trains (plural!) to run, but with only one RTR UK train available I may have to reset my objective to "to see train run" haha.

However on a positive note I have ordered some 153 and 313 vinyls from Electra so fingers crossed I may have a few more trains to run soon...we shall see :)

hank55
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Re: Where is T at?

Post by hank55 »

Hi folks,
greetings from Czechia.

I am just entering a similar life period like someone above me: Having had freshly retired equals in my case having more spare money than spare health and remaining lifetime...

I have just registered here being not a railway modelling beginner. During last 50 years I had built and then from various reasons dismantled four layouts, three in TT gauge 1:120 - quite popular here in central Europe - and one in N gauge... Besides building a new TT layout and a small automated N diorama I am considering to try something in T-gauge to get a small layout with long trainsets in a large landscape. I must admit I am none too much skilled rolling stock builder but I have another modelling experience - with paper. Working in this gauge we can never be what we here in Czechia call "rivet counters" and I think the most important thing is an overall impression. And for this purpopse paper may be an ideal material.

Here in Czechia are crowds of guys (even a couple gals ;) ) making paper miniatures in scales around 1:300. Look for example here:
http://doprava.unas.cz/pages/modely.html
I tried to print out some 1:300 items scaled down to 67% on an ordinary ink-jet printer onto ordinary 80 gsm copy paper. I got something like this:
840_RS1_Tgauge.jpg
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It is a Czech Railways Class 840/841 railbus, the German Stadler made Regioshuttle type RS1. Diameter of the coin in the front is 20 mm, the paper shell after cutting the bogies away should match to the Eishindo 23 m motorised chassis.

I see more advantages: You can print out almost for free a plenty of items and use them to simply "change clothes" of your rolling stock. You may be - like me - a modelling duffer. And a choice of Bo Bo real Czech(oslovak) rolling stock compared to a choice of the T-gauge motorised chassis (16 - 19 - 21 - 23 m long) covers almost all the real Czech(oslovak) regional lines rolling stock since 1960s until now.

Anyway I have already decided to start up. As soon as I purchase tracks and chassis I will come back to show you more. In the meantime I would like to learn your opinions on using the printed paper shells in the described way.

Well... and... yes: What about Co Co chassis 17,5 - 18 m long? It would help a lot...

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