The Layout is built in 10 Modules. 3 each for the 2 curves and 2 each for the 2 straight sides. The radius of the inner track is 2000mm and the parallel track 2100mm. OJ Model do need at least 2000mm to run. The scale is 1:45. With the prototype being Cap-gauge of 1067mm this gives an OJ track size of 24mm. Shinohara of Japan produces flex tracks as well as a left and right switch.
What is the purpose of the Layout?
First of all it is a place to run the superb OJ Scale Models of the Japanese Railways. OJ models are not very well known outside Japan even though there are quite a few manufacturers in Japan. Some produce ready to run (RTR) models many produce kits. The Layout gives an opportunity to display the super quality and incredible detailing of OJ models.
Secondly it is a challenge to build a Layout of a prototype that is miles away and hence data is not easily available. On top of it, whatever data is available is mostly in Japanese. Last but not least this means a lot of scratch building as no ready-made scenery and building products are available.
All Locomotives are equipped with DCC decoders. RTR Models purchased with decoders installed have ESU decoders with the appropriate sound of the Japanese prototype. Decoders installed locally are ZIMO sound decoders. All passenger cars have the factory installed LED removed and replaced by golden white LED in order that the light in all cars is the same. All Passenger cars have a ZIMO function decoder with a 6’800 uf buffer capacitor. This result in beautiful flicker free interior Lights.
All Engines and cars are weathered. The passenger cars lightly and the freight cars mid to heavy.
A ZIMO MX1 with wireless handheld controller MX31FU was used initially to run the trains. The new ZIMO MX10 with MX32FU handheld is now in use.
The Turnouts are controlled by Servos. The Servo controllers are made by Tam Valley. Track occupancy detectors and DCC circuit breakers are from DCC specialists. The Signals are controlled in accordance to the Switch positions and the occupancy detectors. If the track ahead is clear the signals display green. Once a sector is occupied, the signals turn to red and stay so until the relevant secion(s) is(are) free again..