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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' retailers' 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' sites for more complete information.
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'
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, enjpy!
Tomytec announced too much to mention, I have highlighted a few:
A Hino ladder engien for your fire brigade, other fire engines are also announced. (image: Tomytec)
Hino articulated truck, a modern version is also announced. (image: Tomytec)
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.
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 diesel locos (photos: NGI)
Soemthing to go with your DE10s: a number of 'Joyful Trains', rebuilt coaches to use on special tourist services.
'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.
New freight cars by Tomix, Koki106, Koki107, Taki1000 and Koki71 (photos: NGI and Tomix)
Kiha40-2000, Kiha120 Kansai Main Line, Kiha261-100 HET (photos: NGI)
Genbi Shinkansen, an E3 set converted into a rolling art gallery (photo: NGI)
Announced: E235 Yamanote line and Marine Liner (photos: Tomix)
Electric locos: ED62, EF63, EF65-2000 and EF67 (photos: NGI and Tomix)
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:
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.
Kato: Shiki Shima Liner and Usui pass trains, EF63 loco in both blue and brown, 189-500 express EMU (photos:Kato and NGI)
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.
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.
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)
LocoNet Wireless Interface (photo: Digitrax)
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, that 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 train detector 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)
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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