Sunday, September 9, 2012

Previously unnoticed track side detail

On this latest trip to Japan last November I had noticed what appeared to be a row of concrete tiles running alongside the tracks.  It took me awhile to realize that this is actually a duct for all the signal and communications cables on the railroads.  At a grade crossing or some other obstacle it appears that pipe carries the cables to the other side where the tiled duct starts again.

Here's a photo I took while waiting for a train at Odawara station that shows one of these communications ducts.  Notice how the cable for the sensor on the track nearest the platform goes to this.

I thought this would be a good thing to model and checked my catalogs and on the Internet for something but could not find anything.

This would be easy to scratch build something like this using Evergreen tiled sheet styrene sprayed a concrete color.

Then recently I noticed this Kato kit on ebay.  They refer to them as gutters and that would suggest that they are for drainage.  Either way, they make a nice and easy detail to add to a layout.

Here's a photo I found on the Internet showing part from Kato kit 23-227 in use on a layout.

I'll be adding this detail on both the Musashi-Koyama modules and the Hot Springs Junction module and using both this kit and some scratch built versions.

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