TRIX TWIN in America

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A Layout from the USA

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Keith Jones’s latest layout in Michigan    


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The winter is an ideal time to build a new layout.  Keith’s latest construction uses a large amount of cantenary in a very imaginative way.  The track plan below shows 3 stations.  Two terminal stations, ( top right and far left ) showing the possibility of running an out and back service, whilst the larger through station enables continuous running for 3 trains at once.  With the cantenary it is possible to run 5 trains under independent control simultaneously – a really difficult act.

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Each square represents 12 inches (about 30cms).

The layout measures 14 feet( 4.2 meters) by 7 feet(2.1 meters)








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A view of the through station and a close up of the cantenary.  One of the problems of using the original TTR cantenary is that they did not cater for track passing under the Manyways span. Keith’s solution is to add one arm to the mast making it a central mast serving two tracks.


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The layout is run on both AC and DC.

The outer loop is electrically isolated from the two inner ones so two trains can be run on the outer loop and three trains combined on the two inner ones, for a total of five.


The controllers are paired such that one pair of controllers feeds the inner rails of all loops and another pair feed the outer.  That way a train crossing from the outer loop to the inner ones (or vice versa) can be handled by one person, (if there are two people at the controls).  The third controller is dedicated to the overhead.  All AC locos are "outer rail collectors" so two AC controllers take care of all loops.  That does mean no more than two AC units at once but that is not an issue! 





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Track throughout is the newer type of Trix Express super track. Keith has made a true larger radius to be in parallel with the R2 so that all 3 tracks are correctly spaced. He has done this by cutting the plastic base and bending the track.




The terminal station on the left of the plan is shown here.  The rare Coronation Scot from 1939 is in the background with the more modern EM1 Bo BO pulling some Pullmans from the 1960’s is on the middle platform.  This demonstrates how TTR maintained compatibility for all their stock for over 30 years of production.

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 Some other views :-



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The TE track has an Aristocraft solenoid assembly at the conveyor unload point as there was no room for a bakelite one together with the necessary adapters.  It did mean the conveyor bin is too high so some of the lip was ground off and also the conveyor was lowered below track level a little so the dump wagons can clear it.  It was an old conveyor that needed repainting anyway!


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The double slip can just be seen in the middle track under the high capacity wagon





A view of the terminal station shown in the top right of the plan



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The goods yard in the centre of the layout

Further views of the TTR Cantenary as adapted by Keith





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