Building an N-Trak module

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by ddavidv, Jul 28, 2004.

  1. ddavidv

    ddavidv Member

    Quite by accident, I stumbled on a few local guys trying to get an N-trak club going. I'd actually considered doing a module when I first returned to the hobby last year but there weren't any clubs in the area. Anyhow, they have elected to stick with a simple 3 track system, no mountain division for now. To get my feet wet, I'm going to do a simple straight 4 footer as it seems we have enough corners to make a full 'circuit'. I haven't yet come up with a concept, but wouldn't mind doing something with bridges as my own layout has none and it would give me a new skill I haven't learned yet. I'd like to hear suggestions anyone may have regarding construction, things to stay away from, etc. I've got the official book for the technical aspects. Scenery and structures are sort of my favorite areas, so including some hills and buildings would be good. Don't really want to do a whole town, though. ;) I want to get the basic platform built for our meeting next week.
  2. Belmarvalley

    Belmarvalley New Member

    I'm considering building a straight 4' module as well. Mine will be in a farmland theme. Yeah, it's pretty straight forward. But my club does not have a module with this theme and I need something on the simple side to practice up on.

    As for ideas, I often surf around the various Ntak websites. Most of them have photos of their modules. I've found it to be a nice place to get ideas. Here is the link to the Ntrak "connections" page that lists all the known links to Ntrak clubs all over the US.
  3. inkaneer

    inkaneer Member

    Ntrak modules

    My advise, provided it is feasible for you to do, is to do two modules. If you clamp them together so that the back drops are opposite of each other and the scenery side faces each other they are easy to transport and the scenery stays protected. Also If you have a mini van I would suggest doing 6 foot modules rather than 4 foot ones. One of the more time consuming efforts during set up is adding the bridge tracks between modules. A 12 foot distance would be spanned by two 6 foot modules having only one set of bridge tracks between the two modules whereas it would require 3 four foot modules with 2 sets of bridge tracks. The four foot module was the defacto standard for Ntrak because the Ntrak concept was devised before the minivan came along. A four foot module would fit in the back seat of most cars. Today, however, any serious Ntrakker has either a minivan or a pick/up with a bed cap. That is unless you belong to a club like Dayton Ntrak who have access to an enclosed trailer :D :D :D
  4. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    From observing our N-Trakers over the years, I'll make a couple of suggestions.
    See if your friends have a standard length. If you use that, then they'll all fit together.
    A pair of modules the same length. Can go on opposite sides of a loop for balance.
    A bridge module or two (narrow, no scenery beyond tracks, protective sides, no legs)that can be used a) as a duckunder and b) as a balance if an odd number of modules shows up. This could be built as a foot-wetter.
    See what everyone else is doing. It often seems that everyone wants to do a station, and you end up with compact stations every six feet.
  5. upguy

    upguy Oregon Western Lines, CEO

    The group that I am affiliated with has decided to do modified N-Trak and 2-track group of modules. Some of the modules will have three tracks and be compatible with N-trak and some will be two-tracked. We have built the modules so we can isolate the tracks from each other or we can connect them all together. We plan to run DCC, so for us the tracks do not have to be separate.

    One of my modules is built primarily as a run through module with scenery. I also have built three other modules (and working on a portion of another person's module) for the Cement Plant that I am kitbashing. Pictures of the cement plant modules can be see here:

    Attached Files:

  6. ddavidv

    ddavidv Member

    Thanks for the tips.
    We are using the 3 track version. I've ditched the bridge idea as it is a bit much for me to make benchwork that will dip/be raised where necessary. I've got a few ideas rolling around in my noggin so we'll see what comes out.
    I agree, a longer module would be great, but I'm doing a 4' for now for simplicity sake (and it will usually be transported in a car). No minivans for me, thanks. My pickup doesn't have a cap or bed cover yet either. So we work with what we have. :)
    I'll take some pictures of the progress. So far it's just a pile of lumber in the truck bed. :sleeping:

Share This Page