KATO - Self Ballasted Model Railway Track
Why choose KATO Track?
Kato pre-ballasted track provides an
excellent alternative to traditional Hornby and PECO track,
particularly for modellers that don't have the space for a
permanent model railway layout. KATO track has a unique joining
mechanism which both allows for easy connecting and separating
and also holds the track together preventing the tracks
separating during operation. It is suitable for modern Hornby OO
Kato track is sold in pack quantities of 2
to 4 pieces. Per piece Kato Track is about 50% more expensive
than Hornby track. Bare in mind that Kato track is built to last
and the additional cost will be money well spent if the added
features are desirable to you. Take into account that you do not
need to ballast the Kato track.
Kato Available Track Sections
Like other track ranges Kato track is
available in a range of straight and curved sections along with a
range a special sections. Kato track is currently available in 9
different straight lengths and 9 different curved radiuses.
Special sections include buffer straights, straight crossover,
electric light signal, and re-railing / level crossing track.
You can view
the full range of Kato OO/HO track here and
the full range of Kato N-gauge track here
Kato themed track packs are a great way to
buy your track. Much like Hornby's track pack system these packs
can be used to extend your Kato model railway layout. Packs
HM1 R670 Master
Set - This is a starter oval pack that includes a
controller. It's a great place to start.
HV1 R730 Double
Track Expansion Set - This adds an additional
oval with a radius of 730mm to the HM1 pack.
Turnout Expansion Set - This adds a passing section
with two manual points to your oval.
Turnout Expansion Set - This adds two electric points
to your layout to allow you to run a model from one oval of
track to another.
Turnout Expansion Set: Just as HV3 this adds two
electric points to your layout to allow you to run a model from
one oval of track to another. It differs from HVR3 in that
the points are longer with a smaller radius.
Variation Pack: This adds an additional oval
with a radius of 550mm to the HM1 pack.
Kato points have a number of advantages over
Hornby or Peco Points. To start with Kato Points also come
pre-ballasted. Ballasting around standard points is a time
consuming job with the risk of gluing the point in position.
This is something you will be happy to avoid.
The ballast also has the advantage of
allowing Kato to hide the point motors under the track. Kato
points can be purchased either manual or with motors pre-fitted.
Motors can be fitted to manual points at a later date. Simply
remove the 2 screws holding in a ballast covered plate, fit the
motor and use the same screws to hold the motor in place.
Kato Points have the built in power routing
option. "Power Routing" mode
allows the point to switch the power in the direction the point
is thrown, feeding the power only to the train you want. This
allows you to isolate a train in sidings under DC control so
that only one train moves.
"Non-Power Routing" mode, the power is fed through both
directions, regardless of the position of the point. This is
desirable if you are using DCC control or if you have two ovals,
connected by points and would like to use only one controller to
operate one locomotive on both loops.
To change from power routing to non-power
routing, simply turn over the point and move the position of the
power routing screws.(see below)
Kato point motors run on 12V DC power which
is supplied from the Kato Controller. You can also power it from
the 16V AC power output from any model railway controller with
the use of Kato's AC / DC Converter
K24-842 and Kato Point Switch
Kato power and control products come
pre-fitted with a plug and play connecter. There is no need to
solder or use terminal blocks. This makes it by far the most
user friendly system on the market and is one of its best
selling points (excuse the pun).
Kato Power and Control
The Kato power pack provides analogue DC
power with simplified wiring connections to their feeder track
pieces, using a unique keyed plug and socket system. An adapter
wire is also included for connection to non Kato track. The
controller features a rotational variable speed control dial and
a directional switching dial. The controller has been designed
to give the impression of real locomotive controls which does
add to the experience of running trains on your model railway
Kato accessories can be connected together
(side by side) using a built in power clip. This clip is also
built-in to the Kato controller, allowing you to simply clip your
accessories switches and connectors to the side of the
Table Top Layout.
If you don't have the time to build and operate a permanent
model railway then Kato track is perfect for you. I was
contacted by someone that had recently purchased a Hornby Train
set for an elderly gentleman. They did not have anywhere to set
up the track so where using their dinning table. They were
experiencing problems with the rail joiners separating
during operation and this problem was getting worse every time
they used it. The elderly gentlemen was also struggling to align
the track. We suggested Kato track with its unique joining
mechanism which allows for easy connection and separation of the track
sections. The clip in addition to the fishplate has the added
benefit of preventing the track separating during operation. The
person was very happy with the results. Not only did the track
stay together but it was far easier to connect.
Since this initial feedback I have
recommended Kato track and controls to a number of people with
similar requirements from a child's first layout, to experienced
modellers wanting a simple and reliable track and control
system. We have always received nothing but positive feedback.
Can I use Kato track and points with my
existing non Kato controller?
Yes you can. Simply remove the plug
connector on the Kato feeder track and connect the two wires to
your controllers track power output following any instructions
provided with your controller. To power the points you will need
a Kato AC/DC Converter
24-842 to connect the points to a standard 16V AC
accessories output of your controller.
Can Kato track be pinned to a board?
Yes. Kato produce nails for the job
I would like to ballast between the track Is
their a matching ballast?
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