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These days there is a lot going on regarding Japanese-outline railway models. Many new models are released or announced by the manufacturers. This page lists the most recent and most important developments. This page is updated from time to time and only announcements of new items are included. No information is given on delays, availabilty and pricing. Please check at the manufacturers' retailer's or distributors' sites for further details. Photographs on this page are mostly by NGI of RC-Awaza and usually size-reduced, unless stated otherwise. This page does not claim to be fully complete, please check manufacturers' or dealers' websites for more complete information.

bullet April 2023


Dutch DCC controls manufacturer Digikeijs went bankrupt. A pity, as this manufacturer offered a modern and affordable DCC command station and a wide range of accessory decoders.


Micro Ace announded a model of the Hokuso Express Railway 7000 class commuter EMU with the destictive 'Sigma' shaped cab fronts.More Micro Ace: JR-East E257 'Wakasio' express EMU and the Taki 19550 tank car.

7000 e257 taki19550 Hokuso Express Rwy 7000 class, E257 class and Taki 19550 tank car, new models by Micro Ace .(photo: Micro Ace)


Kato anounned a model of the EF55 class electric passenger looc, a class of which only a few were built. EF55-1 is preserved in the Saitama Railway Museum. Being a Kato a very smooth drive and fine detail is what you may expect, an easy DCC conversion is an extra bonus.Other Kato: 113 class commuter EMU in an attrative gold colour and the 455 and 475 cEMU classes, typical of the Hokuriku mainline.

ef55 113 455 475 Kato: EF55, 113, 455 and 475 cllasses (photos: Kato)

headmarks Headmarks of Tokaido mainline express trains (photo: Kato)

Green Max announced a Keihan 9000 class express EMU in the traditional Keihan livery. Very nice are the Kiha 110 class DMU, typical for rural lines in the Tohoku area

9000 Keihan 9000 class commuter EMU (photo: Green Max)

110 110 110 Kiha 110 class DMU for use on rural lines (photos: Green Max)

The wheels on the bus...

Tomytec announceda wide range of bus models ib their 'Bus Collection' range. Worth mentioning is the Nara city bus, with an unusual 3-door configuration. Very nice is the model of the Utsunomiya Light Rail HU300 class tram car, which can be motorised with a new powered chassis. The wing body truck is typical for Japan and a few other Asian countries; the sides fold open to make loading and unloading of pallets, crates and barrels much easier. Tmytec will not only bring the truck but also a set of accessories including cargo and forklifts.

nara bus Nara City Bus (photo: Tomytec)

light raik Utsunomiya Ligh Rail HU300 tram car (photo: Tomytec)

wing body Wing body truck withh cargo and forklifts.(photo: Tomytec)

Sleeper train

Although they are no longer running on the JR networks, sleeper train remain an item of interest of many modellers. Tomix announed a Tokaido mainline sleeper train with type 14 sleeper cars and a matching EF65-1000 class electric loco.

14 ef65-1000 ef65-1000 Tokaido mainline sleeper train: type 14 coaches and EF65-1000 locomotive (photos by Tomix)

bullet January 2023

Making tracks

Minitrix hava announcced a new N-sclae track system.The track geometry is the same as with their existing track range, but with a modern concrete-sleeper appearance, and a code 60 rail profile, itmatches today's demands. Minitrix dropped the R1 radius curve (192,8 mm) for the new range. A transition track of standard length will be available for those who want to use both track systemsa on their layout. In my opinion it's a pity that Minitris made no improvemnets to the point motors and point geometry. Expected Q3 2023.

buffer detail Buffer stop and track detail (photo Minitrix)

curves Curve radii of the new Minitrix code 60 track sytem (image: Minitrix)

An overview of the 2023 Minitrtix new items (German language) on the Märklin official channel

The dream train

Kato announced an H0 scale (1:80, 16.5 mm track gauge) model of the 'Yume Kukan' class 24-25 luxury sleeper cars. A special feature of this train is the dining car with a large panoramic window at the end. The model will have working table lights, interior lighting and will be DCC friendly so that fitting a DCC decoder will be a relatively easy job. Matching loco will be a red EF81, which is also offered by Kato. EF81-95 will be a nice match!

yume kukan ef8195 'Yume Kukan' dining car and matching EF81-95 loco (photos: Kato)

Signed, sealed, delivered

More Kato: An N-scale Kiyuni 28 Diesel Pastal Van, a variety of the Kiha28 that was used to carry mail traffic in regular passenger trains. Matching cars are the Kiha 28 and Kiha 58 classes of DMU, that found a widespread use in Japan.

kiyuni28 Kiyuni 28 diesel postal van (photo: Kato)

The daily commute

Kato announced a model of the E127-100 2-car EMU. Trains like these are used for communter services in rural areas. This train belongs to a whole family of trains based on more or less the same technology and differ mainly in amenities, like seating arrangement and having a toilet. Liveries diifer also with the area served.

e127-100 E127-100 commuter EMU (photo: Kato)


Noch have introduced a new technique to make small figurines: Multiclour 3D printing. This technique at Noch is limited to N and Z-scale figurines, which are 3D printed in realistic colours. The horses pictured are Z-scale (1:220). In N-scale there will be a choice of human figurines to start with and animals could follow later.

3d Multicolour 3D printed horses (photo: Noch)

Going underground

Green Max announced an entrance that could be used on a platform to give access to underpasses, subways or metro stations. Being a modern design it may find other aplications too.

access Metro station entrance (photo: Green Max)

Old trains

Tomix have put their focus on models of older trains. Very promising is their model of the C55 Pacific type steam loco. With a matching express train it will impress yu and your friends when running on a layout. More modern, but equally impressive is the DD51 diesel loco. These locos found widespread use all over Japan until withdrawn recently. Tomix wil make a highly detailed model.

c55 dd51 C55 prototype photo and digiutal render of the oncoming DD51 diesel (photo and render by Tomix)

One way or another

Tomytec announced a very nice model of the Asa Coast Railway's DMV-001 Dual Mode bus. This is a Toyota minibus equipped with train wheels that can be raised or lowered to run on either road or track. You can see the DMV in action at NHK's Japan Railway Journal The model features retractable train wheels and will come with a section of adapter track.

dmv dmv dmv Asa Coast  Rwy DMV dual-mode minibus (photo: Tomytec)

Blending in...

Toby Railway's 'LaView' express EMU was designed to blend in with the surrounding landscape. Used on the scenic route from Tolyo to Nikko, this luxury train boosts a remarkable design. MicroAce made a model of it.

laview Tobu Rwy 'LaView' Micro Ace)

Seeing sights...

Green Max announced a model of Kintetsu's 'Aoniyoshi' tourist train. Tourist or sightseeing trains are typical for Japan; these trains often have luxury interiors, extra large windows and a special livery. 'Aoniyoshi' runs between Kyoto and Nara, linking two cities that played a major ole in Japan';s history.

aoniyoshi Kintetsu 'Aoniyohi' tourist train.(photo: Green Max)

Of course there are lots more new models announced, please follow the links to find if there's something for your taste.

bullet November 2022

New tracks

Kato have announced a new flextrack. It's a PC type of track, with concrete style sleepers. Rail profile is the same as with Kato's Unitrack sectional track range and has a code 83 rail height.  Being a flextrack, the new track has no roadbed and is meant for more permanent layouts, dioramas or modules. Including the sleepers, the track is 3.7 mm high and compatible with most other code 83 N scale track,like Atlas, Minitrix or Fleischmann.

track1 track2 New concrete sleeper flextrack by Kato (photos: Kato)

New Trains

A large number of new traisn are announced by the manufacturers. A pity is that both Kato (first, this time) and Tomix announced the Shinano Railway SR1, Kato willmaken both SR1-100 (bleu) and SR1-300 (red) versions, as Tomix will only make the SR1-100 variety. Tomix has made a better choice by annpuncing the JBR Wamu6000 4-wheel van (box car), which is a welcome addition to a range od period freight cars. The 453 class EmU represents a Tohoku express EMU. Older liveries still look good, even on modrn trains like the Tomix E2 in the classic ivory white and green livery of the Tohoku ansd Joeysu Shinkansen lines shows you. An older train ina new livery is the KAto 381 class 'Yakumo' express EMU. The ED75 and EF66-100 electric locos will made again, but with better detailing and  new motor types for better performance.

sr1-100 sr1-300 zr1-100 Shinano Railway SR1-100, SR1-300 and SR1-100, as announced byKAto (leftmost 2) and Tomix (right) (photos by Kato and Tomix)

details Details of the Tomix version of the Shinano Rwy SR1-100 (photo by Tomix)

e2 retro An old livery on a new train, E2 Shinkansen by Tomix (photo by Tomix)

453 wamu 6000 453 class express EMU and Wamu 6000 van respresent the JNR era (photos by Tomix)

bridge A plate girder bridge by Tomix (photo by Tomix)

ed75 ef66-100 ED75 and EF66-100 electric locomotives by Tomix (photos by Tomix)

3 381 class EMU for the 'Yakumo' limited express service (photo:: Kato)

Micro Ace has announced a wide variety of new models. the images below show a slection.

600 tsukuba e721 ab900 Keikyu 600 in blue livery, Tsukuba Express TX1000, JR-East E721 and Abukuma Express Rwy AB900 class EMUs, all nnnounced by Micro Ace (photos: Micro Ace)

bullry October 2022

New Technology As elsewhere in the world, Japan's railways are experimenting with new propulsion technologies. Most obvious is that new DMUs are of the diesel-electric variety rather than diesel-hydraulic. Other new technologies usd are battery-powered electric trains that charge at the termini, hybrid drives and fuel-cell hydrogen powered trains and buses. Tomytec had announced a model of the Toyota Sora FCEV hydrogen powered bus. Yhe HB-E300 (model by Kato) and HC85 (model by Tomix) represent diesel hybrid trains that run longer distance services. The GV-E400 and H100 trains are diesel-electriic trains, models are announced by Tomix. Still the most efficient way to power a train is to use eelctric power from the overhead wire. The E129 is a modern short-range EMU that runs in northern Hokuriku, on 1500V DC electrified lines. Models are announced by both Kato and Tomix.

sora Toyota Sora FCEV bus (photo: Tomytec)

hb-e300 hc85 HB-E300 and HC85 hybrid trains (photos: Kato (L) and Tomix (R))

gv-e400 h100 GV-E400 and H100 diesel-electric MUs (photos: Tomix)

129 E-129 electric MU (photo: Tomix)

Tomix also announced a new track item: a wide somwhat flexible curve on an embankment. This new element make building embankments really easy. It can be bend in a wide curve or s-curve.

curve The new flexible curve (photo: Tomix)

Bew traisn are not the only application of new technology. Airbrus manufacturer Sparmax develeoped an airbrush with exchangeble paint bottles. These bottles contain a nozzel and a special seal so that paint will not dry put when stores. The nozzel size is 0.4 mm which is rather large, so a compressor capable of delivering a high volume of compresssed air is needed.

flyer Sparmax Flyer SR airbrush wiht exchangeble paint bottles. (photo: Sparmax)

This video demonstrates how easy it is to work with this new airbrush.

bullet August 2022

The NMRA Gateway 2022 convention was held from August 7th to August 14th 2022 in St. Louis, USA, this event is often the place where new developments in model train technology are introduced. This year SoundTraxx introduced the 'Blunami' bluetooth loco decoders. This system offers direct control of your locos from your smartphone or tablet by means of a bluetooth connection. At the moment of writing 'Blunami' decoders are only available for H0 scale and larger, decoders have full sound options and are a little more expensive that the 'Tsunami' range of DCC sound decoders offererd by SoundTraxx.

blunami 'Blunami' direct to loco decoder by SoundTraxx (photo: SoundTraxx)

TCS introduced their DCC command station together with a few accessories. The TCS CS-105 DCC command station is one of a new generation and the first to include LCC connemctions for stationary accessory modules. LCC modules can be more 'intelligent' than stationary DCC decoders and feature more programming options. Often LCC modules are built around an Arduino or similar small computers with a suitable interface.The CS-105 has connectors for NCE Cab Bus devices, XpressNet for Lenz / Roco / ZTC controllers and has a built-in WiFi for use with TCS wireless controllers, smartphones or tablets and has a built-in 5 Amp booster. More information on the TCS website. More (very technical) information on LCC can be found at the LCC section of the NMRA's website or at the OpenLCB website (LCC working group website).

tcs sc-105 TCS CS-105 DCC command station (photo: TCS)

Introduction of TCS DCC system in Ken Patterson's What's Neat This Week weekly vlog.

bullet July 2022

Your everyday train

Your everyday train, that's the one you use to commute to work or school, take for a night out in the city or to meet up with your friends. This time a choice of new models that fit in the picture.Let's start with Green Max, they have announced 2 new Meitetsu (Nagoya Railway) trains, a 1200 class express EMU and the 1800 class commuter EMU. For the Tokyo area there's an Odakyu train celebtrating 100 years of the Tokyu Group.

mei 1200 mei 1800 Green Max: Meitetsu 1200 class (left) and 1800 classs (right) EMUs (photo: Green Max)

100 yrs Tokyu Group's 100 Years anniversary is celebrated with this train. (photo: Green Max)

Micro Ace also announced a few new models: A Shin Tobu 8800 class EMU in a colourfullivery cheers up your working day. The Izu Kyuko 3000 class may be used to travel to the Izu peninsula where there are several seeaside resorts to escape the busy city.

ma-Shin tobu 8800 ma izukyu 3000 Micro Ace: Shin Tobu 8800 class and Izu Kyuko 3000 class EMUs (photos: Micro Ace)

Moving freight is also an everyday activity and Tomix depicted that in H0 scale with the Kumu 1000 class 'piggyback' or 'Kangaru' cars and matching 4 ton lorries. The EF66-100 would be a nice choice for a matching loco.

tmx kumu 1000 4 ton Piggyback cars and matching 4 ton lorries in H0 scale by Tomix (photos: Tomix)

In N-scale Tomix announced a JR Kyushu DD51 diesel loco with matching 50 type coaches, a JNR Kiha 35 commuter DMU and a very modern JR Hokkaido H100 DMU.

dd51 kiha35 h100 Tomix N-scale: DD51 loco and type 50 coaches, JNR Kiha 35 DMU and JR-Hokkaido H100 DMU (photos: Tomix)

The Aizu Mount Express AT-700 class represents the smaller railways of Japan, trains like these are typical for rural areas of Japan.

at-700 Aizu Mount Express AT-700 class EMU (photo: Tomix)

Kato announced the JR-East E531 in 'Akaden' livery. This 5-car train is used on the Mito line, a branch of the Joban mainline, the 8600  class steam loco and matching train runs on Kyushu, Kato will make a nice model of it.

akaden steam E531 'Akaden' and preserved steam train (photos: Kato)

Adding colour

Green Max have announced a stainless steel colour paint to paint their (and other's) model kts in a nie stainless steel colour. Badger Airbrush have introduced metallic coloured primers in their Stynylrez range.

stainless stynylrez Green Max stainless steel colour paint and Badger's 'Stynylrez' primer range (photos: Green Max and Badger)

Something DCC

Z21, the DCC equipment by Fleischmann and Rooc is now becoming more and more a brand on it's own. Their popular 'Multimaus' handheld controller will now be branded as 'Z21' instead of Fleischmann or Roco. A silver / white and a black version will be offered.

multimaus Z21: Multimaus branded as Z21 instead of Roco or Fleischmann (photo: Z21)

bullet March 2022

Keeping track

At the presentation of the new Märklin items for 2022 Mr. Wolfrad Bächle, CEO of Märklin announced a new track program for Minitrix. This track range will be announced officially later this year (expected late summer 2022). I think this is good news, as the Minitrax track range has come in it's years now. The video (german language) discusses the new Minitrix track, as well as other new Märklin items (BTW, I really like the Bavarian S2/6 setam loco in Gauge1!, can be seen when you rewind to the start of the video) Well, let's see what will become of Mr. Bächle's words, so watch this space!

bullet January 2022

Fit it!

The dsitibutor for kato in Germany, Lenke, has introduced a DCC decoder that could fit many Japanese-outline Kato locomotives. Originally intented for use in the Swiss Re620 class Tri-Bo electric loco it may be a good match for Kato's EF81, DF200, EF70 and other locos. The decoder is a simple PCB board replacement and a conversion would take 30 minutes or even less. The decoders are made for Lemke by Zimo, who make top-quality DCC components and decoders.

dcc Lemke: DCC decoder to fit Kato locos (photo: Lemke)

Detail it!

Green Max have announced non-functional model of a modern colour light signal, more detailed than the ones already offered by Green Max. 3 and 4 light versoins are announced. Further new products are the building sheets to build reinforcements for slopes and retaining walls. 2 varieties are affoerd, the one with the wafer pattern is used to strengthen embankments and ather earthworks, whilst the other is meant for retaining walls, wavebreakers etc.

concrete concrete 'Concrete' building sheets (images: Green Max)

gm signal New colour light signal(images: Green Max)

Tomytec announced a greenhouse kit, with 2 different greenhouses and models of photovoltaic panels, which are widely used across Japan.

greenhouse solar solar solar Greenhouse and solar panels (photos: Tomytec)

New trains

A number of new train models are announced, I will mention only a few. Green Max announced the BEC 819 claass of JR Kyushu, a train that can operate from the overhead or use power stored in bateries that are charged when the train runs under the wires. Tomix introduces the 185-200 class express EMU used on the popular 'Odoriko' service from Tokyo to the Izu peninsula. New H0: the classic 45 class express EMU, widely used across Honshu and Kyushu. Each model comes wiht a set of headmarks and add-on sets an be purchases seperately.

185-200 bec 819 185-200 and BEC 819 class EMUs (photos: Tomix and Green Max)

485 hakucho raicho shirasagi New H0: 485 vlass EMU and headmarks (images: Tomix)

The mail train

Kato announced a range of mail coach models. They will come in a set of coaches and smaller sets of 2 cars and single cars to extend your train, together with a loco of your choice you will have a nice mail train that surely will add interest to your layout and operations.

mail train Basic 6-car set (photo: Kato)

mani 36 mani 44 mani 50 Mani36, Mani44 and Mani50 mail coaches (photos: Kato)

suwafu8000 suni40 suyu44 Suwafu8000, Suni40 and Suyu44 mail cars (photos: Kato)

Build it!

Tomytec announced a range of construction equipment in N-scale. Apart from the buildings under construction there wll be a crane model, heavy-load trucks, concrete mixer trucks and a concrete pump, which is often used on larger sites to pour concrete to higher levels or large volumes to construct floors or columns.Fences and a yard office will complete your contruction site.

site pump mixer Contruction site, concrete pump and concrete mixer (photos: Tomytec)

heavy low Pre-fabricated parts transporter and low-loader (photos: Tomytec)

Grab it!

Kato announced a tool that really should be in your tool case: a pair of precision tweezers. Kato's will come in a deluxe wooden chest. Kato's tweezers have a special tip that is designed to hold small parts that you have to mount on your models, like air whistles and antennas.

tweezers tip Tweezers and a closer look to the tips.


The new Tams mc2 command station will also be available in a black finish, with the same red edges as the current aluminium finished model. Apart from the colour, thes command stations are the same.

mc2 Black mc2 command station (photo: Tams Elektronik)

Micro-size decoders

Zimo announced a range of N-scale suitable DCC decoders, with and without sound. These decoders are very small and may suit many, if not all, N-scale locos and MU power cars

mx615 mx616 ms500 New decoders: MX615, MX616 and MS500 DCC decodrs, the MS500 is a sound decoder.(photos: Zimo)

mx505fl mx505sl Decoders made to fit Kato MUs (photos: Zimo)

Sayonara DD51

2021 was the last year that the DD51 diesel-hydraulic locomotives were in regular service. Tomix made a model of the loco that ran this last service, complete with its train.The set includes container cars with containers of a type not yet offered in model form, like the bulk containers. The DD51s are now replaced with DF200 diesel-electrics, a 2 cab design wheras the DD51s are of a centre-cab type.

dd51 sayinara containers

dd51_train  Sayonara DD51, loco, headmark, containers and train composition (images: Tomix)

Smooth operator

Not Sade's debut song, but a new type of motor introducd by Kato. The new 'slotless' type of motor offers superb slow runing, even on plain DC. The slotless motor has a new type of armarture that ensures very little 'cogging' and therefore a very smooth torque. The motor also starts at a very low voltage. It's available as an aftermarket part and I think that it will come to regularl production models very soon. At the moment of writing the new motor is only avaialble as an aftermarket part; I think it will appear in regular production models soon.

slotless compare Kato's new 'slotless' motor and comparison to the older GM-3 motor (from Shigemon's video on YouTube)

A few classics

Tomix is in a process of upgrading their range, with finer detail and better motors and mechanisms. The EF66 is a classic Tri-Bo electric locomotive used to haul heavy freight trains and long-distance 'Blue Train' limited express sleepers. The later EF66-100 variant will be offered in H0 scale. The N-scale model is modelled after a freight loco in its later days, when an air-condioner was added. Another 'Sayonara' is that of the Kiha40 and Kiha48 classes of DMUs. Some are still in service with 3rd sector railways, but on JR's tracks their service life has come to an end.

ef66 ef66 EF66 electric loco (photos: Tomix)

ef66-100 H0-scale EF66-100 (photo: Tomix)

kiha40-48 Kiha40 and Kiha48 DMUs (photo: Tomix)

New faces

The Kiha40s metioned above are partly rteplaced with new DMUs, but this time with a diesel-electric propulsion system. The GV-E400 is a new DMU and Tomix will make a model of it. 2 different liveries will offered initianlly.

gv-e400 gv-e400 gv-e400 GV-E400 diesel-electric DMU (photos: Tomix)

bullet October 2021

Autumn has come, the weather gets worse, time to stay indoors and do some modelling! It's no surprise that in this time of year many new models are announced and models announced earlier will find their way to the shops I made a selection of the new models announced and some new DCC stuff as well.

Let's start with some new models annpounced by Kato: to cater for a growing interest in H0 narrow-gauge Kato will bring a 4-wheel diesel loco as a kit to fit the N-gauge 4-wheel steeple cab chassis. The result is a nice diesel loco for industrial use. In N-scale there will be a class 117 express EMU, the E351 tilting body express EMU, a Kiha181 express DMU and a Kumoya90 class parcel/mail EMU.or better said a power car. Some focus on the north with the class 50 coaches and matching ED78 AC electric loco. City life is represented by a set of office bloicks and the class 103 EMU

ho naro H0 narrow gauge diesel loco (photo: Kato)

50 ed78 Class 50 coaches and matching ED78 AC electric loco (photos: Kato)

117 103 117 and 103 classes EMUs (photos: Kato)
office These office blocks will complete your business district (photos: Kato)

dd51-800 kiha181 DD51-800 diesel loco and Kiha181 express DMU (photos: Kato)

kumoya90 e351 Kumoya90 parcels/mail electric railcar and E351 express EMU (photos: Kato)

I do not report very often on Green Maxmodels, but there are some interesting products in their range like the powered chassis, that can be used to power Green Max' own models or be a base for your scratchbuilding project. Green Max ghave upgraded their chassis with an adjustable variety and now some chassis hava a coreless motor and flywheel drive to ensure smooth runnning. The Toyoko-Inn hotel is typical for many cities. Hotels of this chain are all of a similar archtecture and the Green Max model replicates this very well.

gm gm Green Max powered chassis (photos: Green Max)
toyoko Toyoko-Inn chain hotel (photo: Green Max)

Tomix takes a step back in time with their new announcements. Most new items have something nostalgic like the old DMUs that are now disapearing from Japan's rails. Modelling is a way to capture these old times. Well let's start! New are the ED76-500 AC electric loco that was used on several routes in northern Honshu, Tomix announced two different liveries, all-over red and red with a light grey lower body. Matching type 50 and type 14 coaches are also announced. JR Kyushu is represented by two 485 class express EMU varieties: Red Express naturally in red and the Kirishima Express in dark green. The latter is interesting as it is a 3-car EMU, making it suitable for smaller layouts. The DD51 diesels are now taken out of service by JR Freight, Tomix will bring a detailed model in both freight and passenger (Izumo sleeper) versions. Allthough looking very modern, the 300 class Shinkansen is already history, a good reason to bring a model of it. Modern and already history is the class 215 double-decker EMU, once introduced for longer distance commuter routes, but proved unsatisfactionry as its fewet doors, high passenger capacity forced longer stops at stations.The model is in an advanced state of development and may be available soon.

215 215 215 class double-decker EMU (photos: Tomix)

ed76-500 ed76-500 ED76-500 AC electric loco (photos: Tomix)

14 50 oha60 Matching coaches for the ED76-500 electric and DD51 diesel locos
(photos: Tomix)

dd51 dd51 izumo DD51 diesel loco in both freight andsd passenger versions
(photos: Tomix)

300 485 red 485 kirishima 300 Shinkansen, class 485 Red Express and class 485 Kirishima Express
(photos: Tomix)

Sometimes, when a route is transferred from JR to a 3rd sector railway, as is othen the case when a new Shinkansen line opens,the rolling stock is also transferred to the new 3rd sector railway. In many cases old DMUs extend their life under a new owner. Tomix will bring KTK's ex-JR class Kiha40 DMU in a 2 nice liveries.

ktk40 ktk 40 40 KTK Kiha40 DMU (photos: Tomix)

New H0: class 115-100 DC commuter EMU and Kumoni83 DC electric motor parcels van, again models that have a nostalgic touch, as they are being phased out by JR.

 115-100 kumoni83 New H0: 115-100 class commuter EMU and Kumoni83 motor parcels van (MPV) (photos: Tomix)

DCC news: Digitrax have introduced an 8-output accesory decoder that drives 8 servos and has inputs for switches, track circuits etc. Their DS78V does it all!

ds78v 8 output servo accessory decoder (photo: Digitrax)

Tams Elektronik from Germany extends their mc2 DCC command station with a power splitter that divides the 6 Amp output of the command station into 3 2 Amp outputs, very suitable for a large layout in a smaller scale like N-scale A 6 Amp booster in the same design is also announced, more suitable for larger layouts in a larger scale (H0, 0 or G scales)

ps2 ps2 b6 DCC Power splitter and DCC booster (photos: Tams Elektronik)

bull July 2021

Love it - keep it -store it; Micro Ace have announced empty storage cases, in versions for H0 and N scales. As usual these cases are of the book case type and are lined with a foam that protects your valuable model trains.

ho n MIcro Ace: storage cases for H0 (left) and N (right) scale trains.(photos: Micro Ace)

Tomytec have announced a numer of new bus models, this time they are almost all from the Hokuriku region on the Sea of Japan coast (west coast of Japan) Nice new items are the city buildings and the high-rise hotel. More figurines to come as weell, such as rail workers and soldiers in action (from the Diocolle Combat range)

hotel guests Hotel and guests (images: Tomytec)

city rail workers soldiers City buildings, rail workers and soldiers in action (images: Tomytec)

hakusanhokutetsu1hokutetsu2hokutetsu3 Hkusan and Hokutetsu buses (images: Tomytec)

hokutetsu4hokutetsu5komatsu Long-distance buses (coaches) as operated by Hokutetsu and Komatsu Bus (images: Tomytec)

And finally a nice tram model, which can be motorised with a powered chassis which is available seperately

tram Tram model (image: Tomytec)

Tomix announced a few less modern trains: JR 113-0 class commuter EMU, 12 class coaches in a set for the Daisen-Sakuma express train. More diesels: JNR Kiha82 as used on the 'Hida' service and its Meitetsu counterpart: the Kiha8200 class, which ran the 'Kita Alps' service, that shares a great part of the route with JNR's 'Hida' express trains. New H0: a JR Freight EF81-400 class electric locomotive  and Ueda Kotsu's Moha 5250 class electric railcar.

113-0 113-0 JNR 113-0 class commuter EMU (photos: Tomix)

daisen JR 12 class 'Daisen Sakuma' express coaches (photos: Tomix)

kiha82 kiha8200 JNR Kiha82 and Meitetsu Kiha8200 express DMUs (photos: Tomix)

ef81 5250 New H0: JR Freight EF81-400 loco and Ueda Kotsu Moha 5250 railcar (photos: Tomix)

Finally Kato, who announced the following: A 700T Taiwan Shinkansen train, as used on the Taipeh - Kaohsiung high speed line in Taiwan, a re-run of a model made several years ago, with updated technology ( now suitable for Digitrax or Zimo plug-in DCC decoders), JR Kyushu's 800 class Shinkansen (same model announced by Tomix) the Chikoho Express HOT7000 express DMU, the unique M250 container EMU, JR East 701 commuter EMU as used in the Tohoku area, aloso in a variety as used bu the 3rd sector Iwate Ginga Railway (IGR), JR West Twilight Express deluxe sleeper train, hauled by a green liveried EF81 electric loco. On the last weekend of July Kato announced the N700S-3000 'Nozomi' Shinkansen, the ED76-500 AC electric loco, as used on teh Ou mainline and other lines in northern Tohoku and the E235 commuter EMU, as used on Tokyo's Yamanote Line (loop line around central Tokyo), which will also come in a new starter set.

700t  800 nozomi 700T Taiwan Shinkansen, JR Kyushu 800 class Shinkansen and N700S-3000 'Nozomi' (photos: Kato)

701 igr701 twilight JR East 701 commuter EMU. IGR 701 EMU, JR West Twilight Express (photos: Kato)

m250 hot7000 M250 container EMU, Chikoho Express HOT7000 DMU (photos: Kato)

ed75-500 e235 ED76-500 AC electric loco annd E235 Yamanote commuter EMU (photos: Kato)

megapoints MegaPoints Controllers are new to me, this UK based firm offers a control system for points, track circuits and signals. Compatible with both analogue and DCC train control. They also offer a mimic panel design and manufacturing service.

More control: Digitrax have announced the DS74 4 point accessory decoder with some extras. See the promtional video and link to the Digitax website.

 August 2017

The Moraco modelling contest was held, this is an annula competition for which high school classes and groups of students could make an entry. The level of modelling is usually high and entries were possible is several categories. I will present you the winners by short videos (source: N Gauge Information)

Module category: the categry with the most entries, as a module is compact and takes less time and resources to build. The Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Award (for Best Prize) was won by a team of the Kyoritsu Junior High School with their module 'Fukaoka'

'Excellent Prize' was won by a team from Nara National College of Technology Mechanical Study Group with their module 'Ginzan / Yukemuri Monogatari'

A second 'Excellent Prize' was awarded to the team of Keio University Shigaku High School with their module 'Seibu Akitsu - JR Shin Atsu'

Finally the Yuji Kato Award was awarded to the team of Chiba Prefectural Funabashi Higashi High School Railway Family Association with their 'Furusato' module

And now my favourite: the 1 Tatami Mat category, a complete layout in the size of 1 tatami mat (approx. 1 x 2 metres). This years' winners are the team of Tokyo Metropolitan Osaki High School Paper Diorama Department with their layout "Paper World! A journey of a magnificent Switzerland". Making use of the RhB models issued by Kato and depicting several famous scenes of the Rheatian Railways in Switzerland like the Landwasser Viaduct and the loop viaduct at Brusio they have created a stunning layout in this relatively small space. Finally, the layout was built by an all-girl team, enjoy!

Most of the mentioned new items will be available at DM Toys. Reserve early if you don't want to miss a new model!

Well, that's all folks! For more information see the manufacturer's web pages. Those can be reached from this page.

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