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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 manufacturer's or dealer's sites for more complete information.

          bullet May 2018

German model train manufacturer Fleischmann has announced that from 2019 they will become an N-scale only brand. It's likely that the Fleischmann H0 range will merge into the Roco range, which is under the same ownership.

Bridging the gap

Tomix has introduced a few new bridges into theiir 'Finetrack' range. First a small bridge to overpass small roads, canals etc. Just a frame with rails attached, these can be found almost anywhere

small bridge Small bridge by Tomix (photo: Tomix)

A little larger is the truss bridge, which could be used to cross wider roads, other railways, wider canals or rivers etc. This bridge is also suitable to be used as a road bridge, a tram bridge or a combined road-rail bridge, with a choice of sleepered track or paved-i n track.

truss a truss b Truss bridge, showing a few of the many possibilities (photo: Tomix)

bullet August 2017

Micro Ace have announced a sound system that makes use of a smartphone

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!

bullet July 2017

Tomytec announced too much to mention, I have highlighted a few:

hino ladder A Hino ladder engien for your fire brigade, other fire engines are also announced. (image: Tomytec)

hino truck Hino articulated truck, a modern version is also announced. (image: Tomytec)

loco shed A loco shed for your steam locos. (photo: Tomytec)

Tomix have lots of news. First the TNOS layout operating system, a programmable system that can run your layout without fitting decoders to yout trains. The system constists of a central unit and a connector box to which all track sections, pointsa nsd sensors are connected. One central box can drive several connector boxes.

tnos Tomix: TNOS layout operating system (images: Tomix)

Of course, Tomix will offer you something to control with, as there are many new model trains announced. First a whole load of DE10s in different liveries, both JR and 3rd sector operators.

de10 de10 de10 de10 de10 de10 de10 DE10 diesel locos (photos: NGI)

Soemthing to go with your DE10s: a number of 'Joyful Trains', rebuilt coaches to use on special tourist services.

joyful joyful joyful 'Joyful Trains' to match your DE10 loco (photos: Tomix)

Good news for freight train fans: Tomix announced a few new types: Taki1000 tank car in blue JOT livery, Koki106 and Koki107 container cars, the Koki 107 will have working tail lights tant are very small. Finally, the Koki71 'Car Rack' is aanounced for late 2017 / early 2018. This car is a dual-function car which can transport new cars or 4 12ft domestic containers when the car racks are folded away.

koki106 koki107 taki1000 koki71 New freight cars by Tomix, Koki106, Koki107, Taki1000 and Koki71 (photos: NGI and Tomix)

Some DMUs:

kiha40-2000 kiha120 kiha261-100 Kiha40-2000, Kiha120 Kansai Main Line, Kiha261-100 HET (photos: NGI)

genbi Genbi Shinkansen, an E3 set converted into a rolling art gallery (photo: NGI)

e235 marine Announced: E235 Yamanote line and Marine Liner (photos: Tomix)

ed62 ef63 ef65-2000 ef67 Electric locos: ED62, EF63, EF65-2000 and EF67 (photos: NGI and Tomix)

New HO:

115-2000 ef64-1000 New HO: 115-2000 EMU and EF64-1000 electric loco (photos: NGI)

The colourful packaging adds to the 'collectability' of japanese model trains, here are a few fine examples:

103 kiha58 Tomix: colourful boxes (photo: NGI)

Kato have announced a number of interesting new models. Impressive is the new luxury tran 'Shiki Shima Liner' a 5 star hotel on rails, used for train cruises.Further: EF63 banking locos as used on the Shin-Etsu line, with matching 189-500 'Asama' class express EMU. 

shiki ef63 blueef63 brown189-500 Kato: Shiki Shima Liner and Usui pass trains, EF63 loco in both blue and  brown, 189-500 express EMU (photos:Kato and NGI)

ed62taki25000hoki5700 Kato: Iida line freight train, ED62 electric loco,  Taki25000 gas tank car and Holi5700 cement hopper (photos: NGI)

Gaugemaster announced a new analogue control system, consisting of boxes that plug into the sides of each other, as per the Kato system. Announced are a power supply, a twin-track loco controller, a point control box, light control box and a sound box. All under the 'Unity'name.

            power point twin loco Gaugemaster: new 'Unity' controller range (images: Gaugemaster)

Digitrax announced a few new items: the BXP88 occupancy detector with built-in transponding receivers and power manager. Very easy to set up and a load of functions to automate your layout. Further: a range of power extenders that are smaller than the existing ones. A power extender stores power to overcome spots of bad contact, such as dirty track, insulfrogs etc.

bxp88 px108-2 px108-10 px108-6 px108-6f

Digitrax: new occupancy detector, new power extenders (photos: Digitrax)

More Digitrax: a WiFi interface that connects to your LocoNet which enables you to control locos and more with your smartphone or tablet. Several control apps ill work with the LocoNet Wireless Interface (LNWI)

lnwi LocoNet Wireless Interface (photo: Digitrax)

bullet April 2017

Tams Elektronik have announced a new handheld controller for theit EasyControl DCC system. It's an updated version of their earlier HandControl. Also new is the wControl interface for use with (Android) smartphones or tablets.

handcontrol wcontrol Handheld and smartphone interface (Tams Elektronik)

Tomix announced a few new freight cars: Taki1000 oil product tank car and  Koki106 container cars. The Taki1000 tanks cars will come in green/grey and blue versions. These cars will have sprung bogies, suitable for power pickup

taki1000 taki1000 Taki1000 tank car (Tomix)

bullet March 2017

Micro-Trains have introduced new finescale couplers. These are non-automatic when it comes to uncoupling; you'll need an uncoupling toool to uncouple by hand. These couplers add realism, but at the price of hands-free uncoupling.

mt1301 Micro Trains True-Scale couplers (photo: Micro-Trains)

Uhlenbrock Elektronik announced a variety of new items:  A compact DCC command station with built-in 2 Amp booster, a whole range of N-scale suitable DCC loco decoders, a small function-only decoder, a decoder test unit and small sound modules that plug into the SuSi interface found on many Uhlenbrock loco decoders. The compact sound modules consist of the sound electronics and a loudspeaker in one enclosure.

daisy_2 digitest n decoder Daisy II DCC command station with 2 Amp booster, DigiTest decoder tester, new N-scale decoder. (photo: Uhlenbrock)

micro modul kompaktmodul kompaktmodulSound modules: micro module (left) and compact modules with built-in loudspeaker (middle and right) (photo: Uhlenbrock)

function Function-only decoder (photo: Uhlenbrock)

bulll January 2017

DCC News: Viessmann have announced a new DCC Command Station, the Commander 2, which has some new features: it uses a computer monitor, TV, Android tablet or smartphone as an external display. The SmartMaus is a hand-held controller that can be attached to a smartphone, which serves as a large display.

commander 2 smartmaus Viessmann: Commander 2 DCC station and SmartMaus hand-held (photo: Viessmann)

bullet December 2016

2016 is coming to an end and there are exiting new things announced that will become available in the new year. First some DCC news:

Lenz Elektronik from Germany, the inventors of DCC have announced a new hand-held controller that will replace the ageing LH100 controller. The new LH101 will feature a large LCD display, more functions and a rotary speed control that replaces the buttons of the LH101. All in all, a new modern controller that can face the competition.

lh101 LH101 handheld DCC controller (image: Lenz Elektronik)

A selection of the new announces by Kato: 521 class dual-voltage commuter EMU, C11 steam loco, C50 steam loco, a limited editon model celebrating 50 years of Kato N-scale.

521 c11 c50 New Kato: 521 EMU, C11 and C50 steam locos (photo: Kato)

ef70-1000 hb e300 meterbox More news from Kato: EF70-1000 electric loco, HB-E300 hybrid MU and an add-on box that ads speed, brake presuure and other meters and gauges to your controller. These are a non-functional papercraft which can be downloaded here. (photo: Kato)

20 kei 500 eva Kato: 20 type sleeper coaches (match EF70-1000 loco) and 500 type EVA shinkansen promotional image (photo: Kato)

A nice gimmick by Tomytec is this miniature miniature train, than can be pupulated with Tomytec figurine models:

minitrain Tomytec Minitrain promotional image (image: Tomytec)

ibraki bus This bus model by Tomytec depicts a 'Girls und Panzer'advertising livery (photo: NGI)

Fresh Hitachi E653 class express EMU 'Fresh Hitachi' by Green Max (photo: NGI)

Apart from the Plasser tamping machine, the E653 class EMU is a true highlight by Green Max. The prototype trains all have their own distinctive colour. The model features a new chassis with a flywheel drive and coreless motor to ensure smooth running. Modern Green Max models have mounts for TN-couplers for close coupling.

A selection of the new announces by Tomix:

de10--104 72-73 485_sendai DE10-1104, 72-73 type EMU and 485 class express EMU (photo: NGI)

500 eva 500 eva kiha47-500 Niigata  500-7000 type EVA Shinkansen, Kiha47-500 Niigata DMU (photo: NGI)

c11-325 50 kei mooka Mooka Railway: C11-325 steam loco and matching class 50 coaches (photo: NGI)

spacia ho dd51 Tobu Railway 100 class 'Spacia' and HO scale DD51 diesel loco, photo shows a pre-production sample (photo: NGI).

A selection of the new announces by Micro Ace:

1000_shink e653-1000 1000 class prototype Shinkansen, E653-1000 Shirayuki (photo: NGI).

kiha59 furano kiha28 Kiha59 Furano Express and Kiha28 school excursion DMUs (photo: NGI).

bullet October 2016

More news from Digitrax: the Empire Builder II and Super Chief DCC sets have been replaced with the new Evolution sets. Available in both 5 and 8 Amps capacity they come in IR, simplex and full duplex radio versions. Apart from the new command station/booster unit they feature the new DT500 throttle. The new command station has a USB connector and thus saves a seperate computer interface.

evulution New Evolution DCC starter set (photo: Digitrax)

Tomix have announced a new control system, at the moment not everything is completely clear, but it seems like some kind of automatic control unit. It is the central part of a whole range of new control devices. Announced are a wireless train-mounted camera and a station automaton controller.The units have a slot in which a smartphone or tablet computer could be placed an act as a video screen or touchscreen controller. Tomiix is also working on a sound unit. Watch out for updates!

tomix controller setup New automatic controller by Tomix (photo: Fujigaya2 blog)

Green Max

Apart from tha many new train models Green Max announced a new motorised chassis with a coreless motor to ensure smooth operation. New trackside details: new signals, including semaphores (japanese lower-quadrant type)

gm coreless  gm signals Green Max: new power unit and signals (photos: Green Max)

bullet June 2016

Digitrax has announced a new top-end DCC command station, the DCS240. Digitrax has been working silently on this project, as their last change on their webiste dates back to February 2016. Very promising unit with 3 LocoNet sockets, 5 or 8 Amp output at controllable voltage, 400 active locos and 400 active throttles it could handle any layout.  A new HO-scale sized loco decoder complets the news. Tje DH126MT dceder has a MTC21 socket (Märklin type) and seems very suitable for a number of european loco models.

dcs240 dh126mt DCS240 DCC command station and DH126MT loco decoder (photo: Digitrax)

bullet  January 2016

Well, a yaer that showed many new items and new trends and new trains. I selected a few highights. Kato has recently developed a new chassis for steam locos, with the motor mounted inside the boiler, which is the ideal in terms of weight distribution. There's also room for a pretty large flywheel, so smooth running is guaranteed.  More Kato: A type 10 sleeper train witht he unique 12-wheel luggage van. The C59 would be a good match for the type 10 sleeper coaches.

c59 chassis Kato: C59 chassis (photo: NGI) 10 ei Kato: Type 10 sleeper train (photo: NGI)  c59 Kato C59 steam loco (photo: NGI)

Tomix also introduced a steam loco: C57-1 the one that is preserved for steam services on the Yamaguchi line. More news: Kiha 82 express diesel train. New HO: EF510-500 class dual-voltage electric loco and type 24-25 'Hokutosei' sleeper train.

c57-1 Tomix C57-1 (photo: NGIkiha82 Tomix: Kiha82 (photo: NGI

ef510-500 Tomix: HO EF510-500 (photo: NGI24-25 Tomix: Type 24-25 sleeper coaches (photo: NGI)

And finally a new controller by Tomix, featuring a 'Mascon' design with on control lever used for both accelarating and braking. Rated at about 1 Amp this controller is suitable fort HO and long illuminated N-scale trains. As usual there are seperated outputs for Tomix points (on the left side), controlled 0-12 V DC and 12 V DC for TCS units.

masconA new controller by Tomix (photo: NGI)

Micro Ace introduced a larger number of new models, I would like to mention the 485 class express EMU 'Grade Up Hokuetsu'and the EF67 banking loco, used near Hiroshima

Hokuetsu Micro Ace: 485 EMU (photo: NGI) ef67-2 Micro Ace: EF67-2 (photo: NGI)

Popondetta took over the Kawai range and extened it with new models. Very welcome are the 20 ft tanktainers. Further: Toki25000 and Taki 1200 wagons used for transporting zinc concentrate to the smelter at Annaka on the Shin-Etsu line between Takasaki and Yokogawa.

tank1 tank2 tank3 Tanktainers by Popondetta (photo: NGI)

taki1200 toki25000 Taki1200 and Toki25000 wagons by Popondetta (photo: NGI)


All of the mentioned new items will be available at Modellbahn Union. 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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