Why a N-Scale Modular System

Concept drawing of the DualTraiN layout.Most model railroaders are aware of the concept of modular model railroading. That is where a set of standards are set up to allow the interconnection of a variety of different modules constructed by different people. The most popular of these is a system called N-Trak, with other variants of the same system about. (One-N-Trak, Aus-Trak etc.)

As is common with most of the modular systems about they rely heavily on the concept of having a centre operating pit with the modules arranged in a large square, rectangle or other configuration around it. This is very limiting when it comes to setting up due to the fact you need an equal length of modules on both sides, four corner modules and a lot of space.

With DualTraiN, it relies on having two ‘Up and Back’ mainlines on the one module, with an optional centre divider to separate both sides into different scenes. Also to compete the circuits two balloon, or end modules are needed. Therefore, the sort of room needed to set up a DualTraiN system is about 2m wide and as long as you can make it.

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The Basic Building Blocks

To construct a detailed DualTraiN layout, all that is required is three types of basic modules, Balloon, Straight and 45° Corner. If you want the layout to branch out you can also make a variety of branching modules.

Balloon ModuleBalloon Module

The balloon module is the basis of the DualTraiN system. Without it the circuit of track would not be complete. Also, just two of these modules is enough to make a DualTraiN Layout. Also for transport, each end is made of two standard modules bolted down the centre.

Straight ModuleStraight Module

The main reason for the DualTraiN system. This is what the individual modellers are able to construct at home, and then on days when the DualTraiN layout is to be set up, bring along and place it in the layout for maximum operating pleasure.

45 Degree Module45° Corner

This module allows the layout to be made to go around corners, on angles, or just so that you are able to have it miss some structual element in the area you are setting it up. Even though you could make a 90° corner, it is much more versitile to make two 45° corners to do the same thing. Using a 45° corner you are able to make S-bends, U-bends and other configurations to suit the area you are setting up in. The more 45° corners you have, the more versitile the modular layout will be.

Tee ModuleBranching Modules

A Branching module allows you to go off at an angle to the original layout, and construct a multi-leg type layout. You can make an almost endless array of different types of branching modules, for example, Tee’s, Y’s, Plus or X’s etc. One thing to note, is that for every branch that comes off, you will need another Balloon module.

Home End ModuleHome End Module

If you would like to be able to run your trains at home on the module/s you have constructed, you might like to make your own end modules. While these ends don’t have the minimum radius (they are 9 ½  and 11” radius), they will be quite satisfactory for home use.