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|Scale||1⁄40 in (0.635 mm) to 1 ft (305 mm) |
2⁄75 in (0.677 mm) to 1 ft (305 mm)
|Scale ratio||1:450 (Japanese 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) gauge)|
1:480 (Standard gauge)
|Model gauge||3 mm (0.118 in)|
|Prototype gauge||Commercially available models are of 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) gauge.|
T gauge (1:450 or 1:480) is a model railway scale with a track gauge of 3 mm (0.118 in), referred from "Three-millimeter gauge" or "Third of N scale". It was introduced at the Tokyo Toy Show in 2006 by KK Eishindo of Japan, and went on sale in 2007. It is the smallest commercial model train scale in the world (with ZZ scale being second smallest). Since mid-2009, Railway Shop (Hong Kong) is the exclusive licensed manufacturer.
The models are powered with a battery-powered throttle (with optional AC adapter) at a maximum output of 4.5 V DC. To improve power pickup and tractive effort, the powered cars are fitted with magnetic wheels, and the track has steel rails.
The first train released is the Japanese 103 series commuter train in different versions. Each standard trainset comes with two powered cars, which are located in the centre of the train. The front and rear cars are equipped with directional headlights. The tiny pantographs are made of etched stainless steel. The Hankyu Railway 9000 EMU Series and the Kiha 40 DMU were added to the line of available trainsets in early 2010, and feature improved mechanisms for better performance.
Track is offered as flexible sections of rail and sleepers at 200, 500 and 750 millimetres (7.87, 19.69 and 29.53 in), and as rigid sections with roadbed, and a small selection of pieces without roadbed. Rigid curved track is available with four different radii: 120 millimetres (4.72 in), 132.5, 145, and 157.5 millimetres (5.22, 5.71, and 6.20 in) in 15° and 30° arc lengths; straight tracks are 30, 60, and 200 millimetres (1.181, 2.362, and 7.874 in) long. Points (switches or turnouts) are available in a single length right and left hand with manual or electric throw. Crossovers are made in 30° and 90° in 60mm length. Several miscellaneous track sections are also sold including power, isolating, and level grade crossing. The standard sectional track is "roadbed" style, with integrated ballast, or without roadbed as "fine scale". "Fine scale" track is available in Track without roadbed is available as 60 and 70 millimetres (2.36 and 2.76 in) curved sections of 90° arc length; straight tracks are 60 millimetres (2.362 in) long. The rail is approximately 0.040 inches (1.016 mm) high ("Code 40"). Track pieces are connected with gold-plated metal rail joiners plus plastic clips in the roadbed. Different types of dummy catenary masts can be attached to the track.
In addition to the trains and track, available accessories include a large variety of scenic items: houses and apartment buildings, figures and animals, trees, bikes, boats and more. The houses are assembled and pre-painted, with fully detailed interiors that the modeller can install. The plastic figures, etched metal bikes, and other small items have small pins to make installation on a layout easier; the modeller simply makes a hole and inserts the detail into the hole using a toolkit available from Eishindo. Road signs, traffic lights and other street furniture is available, as well as a street decoration decal sheet, which comes with a scale ruler to aid the placement of markings and details.
One unusual side-effect of the magnetic wheels of the powered units is that they can climb acute grades (as steep as 45 degrees).
T scale trains may be used with model aeroplanes and model airports in the 1:400/1:500 scale range. Eishindo has been planning to produce a modest line of aeroplanes and accessories of their own.
http://www.kk-eishindo.co.jp/ The manufacturer—and creator—of T Gauge
- www.tgauge.com, largest online vendor serving customers internationally.
- (in German) uwefenk.de, German Railway Models in T Gauge
- TalkingTGauge.net, a discussion forum for T Gauge modelling, techniques and layouts