Men’s Sheds Modular Railway Club
Ronnie Gaunt of Portlaoise Men’s Shed got in touch recently with an interesting proposal.
He described his idea to start a project involving model railroading – a Men’s Sheds Modular Railway Club. The idea is that each shed member can construct a module of an overall railroad and then meet to assemble what will turn out to be a very impressive structure. The benefits are that in the current climate these are projects that can be completed safely at home whilst still affording shedders the opportunity to collaborate online and work towards a completed project when all the modules are put together in person.
Ronnie recommended the T-Trak modular standard which uses modules 2 3⁄4 inches (70 mm) high, which rest on a table. A layout typically consists of four corner modules, each of which has two tracks making 90° curves. Straight modules, measuring 1 or 2 feet (0.30 or 0.61 m) wide are fitted between the corner modules, so that the layout makes a closed loop. T-TRAK modules are dioramas with sectional track, specifically Kato Unitrack, that snap together to create layouts from a simple circle to large complex layouts. Layouts are easy to assemble and disassemble. The convenient size of the modules makes them easy to store on a shelf or in totes when not in use, or to transport.
There are standards for module size, track placement, track interface, and electrical connections and it is these standards that allow for a wide range of flexibility in design yet still maintain interoperability with all modules built per the standards. The popularity of T-TRAK is worldwide allowing for modules from all over the world to connect together.
Members of the Men’s Shed Modular Railway Club will be encouraged to purchase their own sets and meet on zoom to discuss construction and tips and tricks. Hopefully when current restrictions ease a meetup can be arranged and the railroad put together.
If you’re interested in joining the Men’s Shed T-Trak Model Railway Club, let us know and we will pass your details on to Ronnie who will act as co-ordinator of the project.