As part of the TAMR continuing education program and introduction to model railroad we sponsor the concept of T-TRAK.
T-TRAK (T stands for tabletop) it was developed in Japan as a way to create small modules that could be combined in a limited space to make up a portable train layout. . A 'standard' module is only 8-1/4 x 12"- about the size of a piece of paper! Modules are easy to build, store, and transport. Layouts are set up and run on standard banquet tables (30" x 96"). The cost of a module is minimal, around $15-$20 depending on the scenic work.
Paul Musselman on his “Unofficial T-TRAK Handbook “ website writes:
“T-TRAK modules can be built from scratch, from a kit, or on pre-fabricated modules.
A person that has wanted to enter the hobby, but didn't want all the hand tools and lumber cutting, can now enter the hobby.
No power tools are required to build a T-TRAK module. You -can- cut 1/4" plywood (well, 3/16") with a utility knife! You can build your module on the kitchen table, or in front of the TV.
These modules are great as a parent can help supervise a child, without power tools that might be beyond a child's capabilities. A child can handle this size module and learn the enjoyment of model railroading.”
The new concept in model railroading is set-up well for youth groups such as Scouts and the layout requirements for the Railroad Merit Badge.
The TAMR club has created a small T-TRAK layout that is set up at shows. Children are invited to “run” trains on the layout. It has helped spark much interest in our hobby.