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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.
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.
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 tank car (Photo:Tomix)
More Tomix: 115 class commuter EMU, 189 class 'Asama' express EMU and EF63 class banking locos, as used on the Yokokawa - Karuizawa section of the Shin-Etsu main line, type 14 'Moonlight Kyushu' coach set, older passenger ars of the 62 and 45 types.
189 'Asama' EMU and EF63 banking locos, class 115 EMU (Photo: Tomix)
Suha 45 and Suhafu 44 coaches (Photo: Tomix)
Suhafuu 62 and Suha 62 coaches (Photo: Tomix)
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.
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 II DCC command station with 2 Amp booster, DigiTest decoder tester, new N-scale decoder. (photo: Uhlenbrock)
Sound modules: micro module (left) and compact modules with built-in loudspeaker (middle and right) (photo: Uhlenbrock)
Function-only decoder (photo: Uhlenbrock)
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.
Viessmann: Commander 2 DCC station and SmartMaus hand-held (photo: Viessmann)
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 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.
New Kato: 521 EMU, C11 and C50 steam locos (photo: Kato)
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)
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:
Tomytec Minitrain promotional image (image: Tomytec)
This bus model by Tomytec depicts a 'Girls und Panzer'advertising livery (photo: NGI)
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:
DE10-1104, 72-73 type EMU and 485 class express EMU (photo: NGI)
500-7000 type EVA Shinkansen, Kiha47-500 Niigata DMU (photo: NGI)
Mooka Railway: C11-325 steam loco and matching class 50 coaches (photo: NGI)
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 class prototype Shinkansen, E653-1000 Shirayuki (photo: NGI).
Kiha59 Furano Express and Kiha28 school excursion DMUs (photo: NGI).
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.
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!
New automatic controller by Tomix (photo: Fujigaya2 blog)
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)
Green Max: new power unit and signals (photos: Green Max)June 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.
Kato: C59 chassis (photo: NGI) Kato: Type 10 sleeper train (photo: NGI) 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.
Tomix C57-1 (photo: NGI) Tomix: Kiha82 (photo: NGI)
Tomix: HO EF510-500 (photo: NGI) 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.
A 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
Micro Ace: 485 EMU (photo: NGI) 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.
Tanktainers by Popondetta (photo: NGI)
Taki1200 and Toki25000 wagons by Popondetta (photo: NGI)
DCC News: Roco and Ffleischmann have announced news components for use with their Z21 DCC control system: Z21 Booster light. a small 3 Amps DCC booster, Z21 Booster, again 3 Amps but configurable by PC, tablet or smartphone, Z21 Dual Booster, 2 x 3 Amps and configurable and Z21 Detector, a DCC trac circuiit which connects by CAN bus or R-Bus to the Z21 Command Station.
New add-ons for your Z21 DCC system (images: Z21)
More DCC News: Uhlenbrock have announced a number of new products, including a LocoNet -> TCP/IP interface that makes control of a LocoNet based DCC system with a smartphone or tablet computer possible. Suitable apps are under development. Further, there will be a module that serves as an interface between the 'TrackControl' control panel modules and an analog layout.
Uhlenbrock: LocoNet -> TCP/IP interface (left) and LocoNet plug-in panel (right) (photo: Uhlenbrock)
ALAN computer block control. This is something new, a modular computer block control system that is made up of pluggable modules that is controlled by a PC, tablet computer or smartphone. Distributtion is done by Busch. The manufacturer has announced modules that can drive single-coil solenoids like the ones used in Kato, Tomix and Rokuhan turnouts.
The ALAN computer block control system, that can be controlled by pc, tablet or smartphone (photo: Toy-Tec)
SEEP, made by Gaugemaster, have announced an alternative to the Peco PL-10 point motor. The SEEP GMC-PM10 is both a successor to old SEEP point motors and the Peco PL-10. The GMC-PM10 is a twin-solenoid point motor that draws about 1 Amp from the power supply, which is more friendly to your switches and wiring. However, I would still recommend a capacitor discharge unit when using these new SEEP poitn motors.
New SEEP point motor (photo: Gaugemaster)
Märklin have announced a range of new mfx/DCC ompatible decoders, with or without sound. To program these decoders a programming device that plugs in an USB port on your computer completes the range.
mfx/DCC decoder programmer (photo: Märklin)
The japanese N-Gauge Information site has moved to a new location. From now on it can be reached at http://www.jp-ngauge.info/
I have added a report on the 2013 Nuremberg Toy Fair. A report on the recent announcements from Japan is to follow soon.
Good news for all those interested in the Kawai range. Production of the freight cars has been ttaken over by Popondetta, most of the Kawai freight cars are now available again, new versions will follow soon.
Well, it has been quiet here for a while, but that doesn't mean nothing has happened since. I'll try to catch up with recent developments, both from Japan and elsewhere.
First, some DCC news. Viessmann showed their first expansion of their 'Commander' DCC system. Now a dedicated booster unit will become available. At the moment of writing, no further expansions are announced, we still hope for handhelds or a WiFi expansion and an 'app' to convert your mobile phone into a controller.
Viessmann's Eco 4 DCC booster (photo: Modellbahntechnik Aktuell)
Hornby announced something new and interesting for 2013: eLink, which is a DCC booster and command station that is connencted and controlled form your PC. Hookup is simple: connect tte unit to a PC, your layout and a power supply. The Railmaster software (see below) makes everything run. eLink will come as a starter kit without or with DCC decoder-fitted trains. This set will also be availabkle in continental Europe.
Hornby eLink computer-controlled DCC (photo: Hornby)
RailCommunity: a new interface plug for N-scale and other small scales: the Next18 plug/socket combo. This new combo offers more contacts than the existing NEM651 plug/socket combo (18 instead of only 6) and better contact reliability. There are several other new plug/sockets on the market, an overview will follow soon. Disadvantage is that there is more space needed to mount the decoder.
Next18 interface plug/socket combo (photo: RailCommunity)
Sad news from Japan: Kawai went bankrupt. It's a pity that these nice little models (remember their freight cars, steam loco and scenic accessories) will sell out and never return. I am the lucky owner of a range of freight cars and the 'Onsen' kit with outdoor pool. ** Update ** Most of the railway models range is taken over by Popondetta, who has already announced new models.
DCC news: Zimo have showed their new DCC main unit, the MX10. It has a massive 400 VA output, very suitable for use with garden railways like LGB and Gauge 1 systems. It still has Zimo's CAN-bus connectors, a (USB) computer interface, function inputs, adjustable max. output voltage and power, an antenna for use with wireless handhelds and lots, lots more... One of the connectors is an Ethernet connector. This can be hooked up to a wireless router. Hmmmm, what about an app that turns your smartphone into a model railway controller??? All-in-all, the most versatile DCC command station available, but at a price, RRP is fixed at a staggering € 1,290.00, which includes the power supply, but no hand-held controller.
Zimo's new MX10 DCC main unit (Photo: Zimo)
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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