Kato Eurostar questions -- newbie to N gauge.

Discussion of N gauge model railway specific products and related model railway topics (problems and solutions). (Graham Farish, Dapol, Peco)
abenn
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Kato Eurostar questions -- newbie to N gauge.

Postby abenn » Sun Jan 11, 2015 8:17 pm

I'm considering selling up my OO railway so that I can build a new layout in N gauge and run more realistic length trains on my current 13ft-long table.

For sentimental reasons one of the first trains I intend to purchase is a Eurostar, and the only N gauge one I can find is the Kato model, about which I have a couple of questions:-

1. I've read the "sticky" about N gauge, where it mentions that British and American N gauge models are the same scale, but European are slightly different. So, what scale does Kato use and, if different from UK, will it be noticeable when running alongside, say, Graham Farrish models?

2. I hadn't heard of Kato railway models until I Googled for a Eurostar, and it seems to be the only company doing an N gauge Eurostar. Is their quality good?

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hairyhandedfool
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Re: Kato Eurostar questions -- newbie to N gauge.

Postby hairyhandedfool » Sun Jan 11, 2015 8:47 pm

There are three 'N gauge' scales. British (1:148), European (1:160) and Japanese (1:150*). Amazon lists the Kato Eurostar as 1:160, presumably for the European market, however, as the Eurostar is actually smaller than other European trains (in particular the TGV, on which it was based), I suspect it is probably closer to 1:150 or 1:148. I'm sure someone on here has one and can confirm though.

I believe Kato are renowned for good quality models.

[*Not all Japanese N gauge is made to 1:150 scale]
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abenn
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Re: Kato Eurostar questions -- newbie to N gauge.

Postby abenn » Sun Jan 11, 2015 9:21 pm

Oh dear, three different scales :?

OK, so if the Kato model is 1:160 it will be smaller by about 9% than if it were to UK 1:148 scale. That's quite a difference, and might look silly if it's alongside a UK InterCity class 43, for instance.

Thanks for the reply hairy :D

Ben A
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Re: Kato Eurostar questions -- newbie to N gauge.

Postby Ben A » Sun Jan 11, 2015 9:25 pm

Hi there,

Kato are widely regarded as the best mass-market N Gauge models available. They have extensive ranges of Japanese and North American models, and some European stock manufactured for Lemke/Hobbytrain.

The Kato Eurostar remains, for me, the gold standard of British N Gauge models and still stands up very well against models 20 years its junior. Only now are some of the latest Farish and Dapol models coming close in terms of performance, fit and finish.

The Eurostar was created by Kato after the company president Hiroshi Kato travelled to the UK and was shown the real thing ahead of the opening of the Channel Tunnel in the mid 1990s and dozens of the models were acquired and operated extensively on the Eurotunnel display layout at Folkestone.

The only weak point of the model in my view are the couplers between the outer power car and the rest of the train; formed of two plastic prongs they have a tendency to snap if not coupled and uncoupled precisely according to the instructions, however I believe spares are available from Gaugemaster and CJM.

The model is 1:160 scale, however this does not detract too much from its appearance, especially as the real thing rarely runs alongside standard UK stock now (though it did before the completion of HS1.)

cheers

Ben A.

abenn
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Re: Kato Eurostar questions -- newbie to N gauge.

Postby abenn » Mon Jan 12, 2015 8:11 am

Thanks Ben A, I've read about coupler problems in one or two other posts in this forum. But it's good to know that it's overall high quality.

I haven't designed my layout yet, but it will be pre-HS1, without overhead lines. I suppose I can arrange its schedules so it doesn't meet any other trains.

Any rumours/news of anyone doing a proper 1:148 Eurostar in the near future?

LittleReggie
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Re: Kato Eurostar questions -- newbie to N gauge.

Postby LittleReggie » Mon Jan 12, 2015 10:05 am

Amazon occasionally advertise the Kato Eurostar from Japan for around £250. I am assuming these are new as it doesn't say otherwise, but I asked the question of the seller and never got a reply. They seem to disappear off the site and appear again regularly, for some reason.

I think you will struggle to get a new or "as new" model for much less than this. Be wary if you buy one off ebay. I bought one from the U.S. recently for a very good price which was advertised as new, but it had a broken coupling (the peg type), was missing half a pantograph and the front wheels of the power car had no electrical pick-up. I would still be tempted to get another one if I knew for certain it was good as new.

I don't believe you will find anyone in this country selling the peg type couplings. I spent ages looking for them and finally found some in a model shop in Japan trading on Rakuten who were happy to post to UK. Pantographs are even rarer...

Reg.

abenn
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Re: Kato Eurostar questions -- newbie to N gauge.

Postby abenn » Fri Jan 16, 2015 11:40 am

Thanks Little Reggie, and sorry for the late reply.

I've seen an Amazon ad for £253, with two available. I've also seen threads about the problems finding couplings.

I've just started the process of selling my OO gauge, so it'll be a while before I even get started building my N gauge layout, so I'll look around again when I've got a track ready for it to run on. I'm still concerned a little at the scale difference from my other proposed models, which will be to the regular UK scale.

LittleReggie
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Re: Kato Eurostar questions -- newbie to N gauge.

Postby LittleReggie » Tue Jan 20, 2015 3:10 pm

If you buy one of these from Japan on Amazon I'm fairly sure you will have to add 20% import VAT onto those prices, which is an extra £50.

Reg.

Grahame
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Re: Kato Eurostar questions -- newbie to N gauge.

Postby Grahame » Tue Jan 20, 2015 6:39 pm

Hi abenn,

If you're starting new in N gauge I'd suggest and recommend joining the N Gauge Society. Check out their website at: http://ngaugesociety.com/

Cheers,
G.

abenn
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Re: Kato Eurostar questions -- newbie to N gauge.

Postby abenn » Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:47 am

Yes, I'm familiar with the import charges on overseas purchases, including the GPO's extra £8, or whatever it is, for "handling" :x

I've just had a look at the N-gauge Society web site, and I'll certainly be joining. Looks like good value for money.

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michaelasc
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Re: Kato Eurostar questions -- newbie to N gauge.

Postby michaelasc » Fri Jan 30, 2015 6:59 pm

Hello everyone, I bought a Eurostar from Japan and it came with some couplings broken. Does anyone know where to get these from?
This is not my circus and these are not my monkeys!

LittleReggie
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Re: Kato Eurostar questions -- newbie to N gauge.

Postby LittleReggie » Sat Jan 31, 2015 10:18 am

Which ones are you looking for, the little peg type coupling, the flat one, or both?

Do you mind if I ask who you bought your Eurostar from?

Regards.

abenn
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Re: Kato Eurostar questions -- newbie to N gauge.

Postby abenn » Sat Jan 31, 2015 11:54 am

I'd be interested in knowing the source too. I was looking at a couple on Amazon recently, but chickened out because they're dispatched from Japan.

If you bought them from Amazon, then the vendor should send you spares or, at least, give you a refund to cover their cost.

jivebunny
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Re: Kato Eurostar questions -- newbie to N gauge.

Postby jivebunny » Sat Jan 31, 2015 6:13 pm

Kato haven't produced these sets for a long time (they were released in 1995 IIRC) so I'd be very surprised if those being sold on Amazon were new. The only ones I've seen on Amazon were being sold by third parties and not Amazon themselves.

There are plenty of sets on eBay all the time, and at least if what you buy turns out to be damaged or have bits missing off it you'll get your money back from PayPal (as long as you pay using PayPal, that is). I rarely use Amazon for high-value purchases so I don't know what happens if you order something from the other side of the world and find it's unusable.

As to scale, the Eurostar is indeed a 1:160 model. It is simply smaller than the TGV because the same is true of the prototype.

JB

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michaelasc
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Re: Kato Eurostar questions -- newbie to N gauge.

Postby michaelasc » Sun Feb 01, 2015 8:04 pm

LittleReggie wrote:Which ones are you looking for, the little peg type coupling, the flat one, or both?

Do you mind if I ask who you bought your Eurostar from?

Regards.


I bought it from EBay from a seller named Down2Earth2 with this item id: 201263972887 - he was a gentleman about it and gave me a partial refund so now I need to find the spare parts I need. What I really need is one of the peg couplings that connect the two R9 cars together (one is fine) - I think the driving car uses the same connector, plus I need 2 bogies like the ones on the end of cars R1, R2, R3, R6 or R7. It is the lugs on top of the bogie where the coupling connects that are sheared away and therefore the coupling does not hold tight.

Does this make sense and do you know where I can source these?
Michael
This is not my circus and these are not my monkeys!


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