Japanese Model Trains - Railways, Trams, Light Rail and Narrow Gauge
Welcome to my website and thanks for stopping by. My name is Bryan Carey and this site is dedicated to my model rail hobby. The site not only covers model trains but also includes trams and light rail vehicles. I mainly model using the N Scale track gauge which is the second most popular scale in the world. Recently I also started using H0e, H0f and On30 scale to expand my options and model narrow gauge railways. At the moment I am also experimenting with HO and OO gauge layouts.
The site features some photos of my model train collection which mainly consists of Japanese rail but it also covers some European and North American trains as well. Most of my collection consists of trains and trams from the era 1990 to 2011 but there are also vintage rail types dating back as far as the 1920's. Recently I have taken interest in heritage trains and the vital role they play in continuing railway traditions. Brands that make up my collection include Kato, Tomix, Tomytec, Microace, Greenmax, Modemo, Fleishmann, Roco, Liliput, Bachmann, Bemo, Piko, Hornby, Jouef, Lima, Electrotren, Halling, KleinBahn and Trix.
Over the years 2008-2013, I have created many different types of model rail layouts. Some of these are featured in the site with photos or videos of each one. The layouts use mainly Tomix and Kato products from Japan. These two brands provide most of the track, structures and buildings as well as the trains/trams.
Japanese Model LRV Layout - Kato Unitram and Unitrack
This is my latest Japanese model railway layout and features both Kato Unitram and Unitrack sections. It is 91" x 30" (231 cm x 76 cm) in size and has four tram stops. Operation is by DC control. The Kato Toyama Portrams are featured although I also use the Kato Toyama Centram and Manyosen LRV's as well. The structures, figures and vehicles are the usual mixture of both Tomytec and Kato. Check out the video I have created of the layout.
Click on the link below to visit my video page.
Kato E6 "Komachi" Shinkansen - "Japanese Bullet Train"
In March 2013 Kato Models in Japan released a version of the amazing E6 "Komachi" Shinkansen. This "Bullet Train" represents the latest version of the Japanese Shinkansen fast trains. The model is very well made and accurately reproduces E6 features such as the large headlights. The styling of the E6 is similar the E5 Shinkansen but it appears more sleek due to the narrower train width. It is possible to couple the Kato E6 and E5 together just like the real thing.
For more details click on the link below.
Kato E655 "Nagomi" - The Imperial Train
One of my favourite model trains is the Kato E655 "Nagomi". It is a 5-car train set used for luxury charter and is also used as the imperial train for special occasions. The Japanese Emperor travels in a special sixth car imperial car that is added when needed. This EMU (electric multiple unit) is quite special and is the only train of this type in Japan. The quality of the model is very impressive. Not only does it run well but it also has one of the most outstanding exterior paint jobs I have seen on a model train.
More pictures of the E655 are available by clicking on the link below.
Japanese Model Train, Tram and Light Rail Photo Gallery
A very special Japanese model train was released in January 2012, the new Keisei AE Skyliner which is made by Micro Ace. It is an awesome eight car set that is based on the train that debuted in Japan in 2010. This model train is definitely the most impressive member of my current Japanese N scale collection. The motor is absolutely silent and provides smooth acceleration at all speeds. In addition to the performance, it has the most striking headlights that I have seen on a N scale train. I have added some photos to my gallery that show it's great visual features. Click on the link below to visit the photo gallery page.
N Scale Japanese Steam Locomotive Layout - Kato Unitrack
Over the years I have acquired a large range of Japanese model trains. At the beginning of 2013 I realised there was as gap in my collection. There was a good representation of most railway types except for steam locomotives. Fortunately Kato make an impressive selection of popular Japanese steam locos for N scale. My purchases were the C11 2-6-4, C56 2-6-0, 9600 2-8-0 and the awesome D51 2-8-2. These locos completed my collection and formed the basis of a Japanese model train layout that is set during the 1960's. To find out more details click on the link below.
On30 Narrow Gauge Layout - Roco geoLINE
As a result of spending year working with H0e narrow gauge, I was tempted to try something similar. Bachmann make some great steam locomotives for the On30 gauge that have DCC and sound. I decided to invest in two Porter locos and a small range of rolling stock for a small On30 layout. One was a black 0-4-0 and the other was a maroon 0-4-2. These locomotives are a pleasure to use and provide hours of fun. The level of enjoyment that sound adds to a model railway is quite significant. Click on the following link for more details.
H0e Narrow Gauge Layout - Kato Unitrack
After creating several N scale layouts in previous years, I decided to have a change during 2012 and create a freelance H0e layout. It has allowed my to indulge my passion of narrow gauge (schmalspur) and to model a layout based on some of the picturesque railways of Austria and Germany. During the process I have been able to assemble a fantastic collection of H0e models from Liliput, Roco, Halling, Bemo and Egger Bahn. It has been a great experience and has offered me a contrasting experience compared with my previous Japanese layouts. I have created several pages that detail both the layout and my H0e collection.
Japanese Model Railway Layout - Kato Unitrack
Following on from my previous layout (Japanese Model Tram Layout), I decided to build a freelance layout that would allow me to use some of my collection of Shinkansen bullet trains, express trains, diesel locomotives and freight cars. The layout features a contemporary Japanese urban environment and uses an interesting way to display the large Kato buildings. Click on the link below to learn more.
Japanese Model Tram Layout - Tomix Fine Track
I began my model railway hobby in 2011 by building a freelance layout that would feature the Japanese trams that I have recently added to my collection. For inspiration I examined the features of many popular tram lines in Japan (Toden Arakawa, Toyohashi, Toyama, Manyosen, Tokyo’s Setagaya, Okayama, Iyo Railway). Hopefully I was able to include a little bit of each line in the layout. The link below contains a brief description and some photos of the result.
Tomix Fine Track Designs
During 2011 I have spent a lot of time designing model train layouts. I rely on the AnyRail software to visualize my ideas and develop the best approach to achieve the result I am after. Several of the layouts use the latest Tomix Wide Tram Track. Click on the links below to examine some of the layouts I have designed.
H0n30 Model Railway Layout - Kato Unitrack
Although my railway modeling mainly uses N Gauge, I have also developed in interest in H0n30. It uses the same 9mm track as N Gauge but the trains and scenery are at 1:87 scale. It simulates narrow gauge railways and provides a nice contrast to my normal modeling activities. My first H0n30 layout is a simple logging and mining railway using BCH Minitrains. Click on the link below to find out more.
Other N Scale Layouts - Kato Unitram and Unitrack
My father Kevin is also interested in N Scale model trains. I have designed two layouts for him using the AnyRail software. The first is a European alpine layout based on Austrian ÖBB railways. It is created with Kato Unitrack and the Noch Colorado preformed layout. It also uses a custom designed extension which makes the layout more unique.
The second layout is a North American layout called "Southern City". This is a urban layout built around the basic Kato Unitram layout. As well as the Unitram, it features three lines of Kato Unitrack with two crossovers and some sidings.
Click on the links below to learn more about these two model railways.
Train Simulators - Trainz
In addition to my model train activities, I also enjoy enjoy using train simulators. The Trainz (TRS 2006, TRS 2009) program from Auran is my favorite. In particular I enjoy using the tram add-on's for Trainz, Modula City and Cabon City from Trainzland. Others Train Sims I enjoy include the Japanese rail simulator BVE and MSTS (Microsoft Train Simulator). Click here to find out more about my interest in Train Simulators.