December 1998 MR Layout

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Image © 1998, Model Railroader, Used with Permission

In the December 1998 issue of Model Railroader, Jim Riccioli writes a very nice article entitled "Starting Out Small." Mr. Ricioli demonstrates how a modest N scale layout can be created using a piece of extruded polystyrene, some commonly available scenery materials and sectional "roadbed & rail" track. The article is an excellent step-by-step guide and very helpful for anyone wanting to get started in N scale model railroading.
In an early paragraph, while discussing his use of "track with built-in roadbed," Mr, Riccioli mentions "similar track is also made by . . . KATO." This, of course, would be KATO UNITRACK.

Despite the mention of our track, Mr. Riccioli does not include a piece-by-piece specification of appropriate UNITRACK to recreate his track plan. We are pleased to provide it to you here. (See below.) Please note the actual position of track may be slightly different from the printed overhead track plan, however, the variance should not effect operations.

UNITRACK will not only give you a more realistic looking roadbed but it will also minimize your work. Mr. Riccioli writes it was necessary for him to paint the ties of the Life-Like track he used to match the color of ties in the Bachmann and Atlas sections he also used. Since the ties used with UNITRACK are all black, this step is not necessary. Mr. Riccioli also needed to cut and trim a piece of cork roadbed for use with the Atlas 90-degree crossing. Once again, no need to do this using the UNITRACK #20-320 90-degree Crossing. Finally, the longest length straight track available to the author was five inches. Modelers will find it easier to build this layout using the 9-3/4" and 7-5/16" sections available in UNITRACK. There is also available a greater variety of other track sections, such as Road Crossings and Bumpers, which could be easily interchanged by the hobbyist to "customize" the layout for greater realism and excitement.

Besides the realistic appearance, convenience of use and variety of track sections, the other advantages to the use of UNITRACK become evident while reading the final paragraphs of Mr. Riccioli’s article. UNITRACK utilizes the patented UniJoiner connector between track sections. Track sections lock together, straight in and securely. The metal, nickel-silver rail connector embedded in the UniJoiner assures a good electrical connection between sections time after time. Furthermore, it is not necessary to tack or glue the UNITRACK to your surface (again, less work!). The structural integrity of UNITRACK, as well as the scenery material you’ll apply around and against edges of the roadbed, should be sufficient enough to hold the track in place while running your trains. [Note, if you intend on moving the layout once completed, affixing UNITRACK to the surface is recommended.]

In conclusion, we thank you for your interest in KATO UNITRACK. If you should have any specific questions about UNITRACK, please visit your local hobby shop or contact KATO USA. And, as Mr. Riccioli writes, "welcome to the hobby!"

Bill of Materials
QTYStock #Description
620-000248mm (9 3/4") Straight Track {item #4 on plan}
420-010186mm (7 5/16") Straight Track {item #5 on plan}
520-020124mm (4 7/8") Straight Track {item #6 on plan}
220-046~048Bumper (Use any of three styles) {item #7 on plan}
220-050Expansion Track {item #12 on plan}
420-09129mm (1 1/8") Straight Track {item #11 on plan}
420-100249mm (9 3/4") Radius 45º Curve Track {item #2 on plan}
1120-110282mm (11") Radius 45º Curve Track {item #1 on plan}
420-111282mm (11") Radius 15º Curve Track {item #3 on plan}
120-220#4 Left Turnout {item #9 on plan} (Includes S60L/R Straight Tracks)
120-221#4 Right Turnout {item #10 on plan} (Includes S60L/R Straight Tracks)
120-320124mm (4 7/8") 90º Crossing {item #8 on plan}
120-450~454186mm (7 5/16") Single Track Plate Girder Bridge {item #13 on plan}
124-818Terminal UniJoiner
124-843Terminal Adapter Cord
• Used to connect Terminal Joiners to power pack.
Optional Items
QTYStock #Description
1424-840Turnout Control Switch
?24-841Turnout Extension Cord (Used to extend cord from turnout)
124-842DC Converter (If 24-840 is used)
#20-021 124mm (4 7/8") Road Crossing Track can replace any #20-020 straight.

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