TOMY Trackmaster Plarail and Tomica world layouts and rollingstock

  ucwepn Locomotive Driver

Hey guys I posted in a very old thread that got locked but theres no dedicated thread on TOMY Trackmaster Plarail or Tomica world trains and layouts so it seemed a good idea to start one as i found quite a few people who play with these trains and it would be a good place to share what you have done or are planning.

Plarail was originally released in Japan in 1959 and Its first battery powered locomotives were released in 1962 (I believe). To this day the gauge and track system has remained largely unchanged.

So post away!!

I'll start with mine, Its about 7 meters long and constant double track using the TOMY sky blue railroad track system originating in Japan, It is built on 5 plastic folding trestle tables which are 183cm X 80cm, then on top of the tables is outdoor type fake grass matting sourced from clark rubber to give an effect of grass without being realistic Smile It has a small storage yard in the middle for rollingstock and a Trackmaster Thomas Tidmouth sheds motorized turntable with a yard for locomotive storage. Right up the other end is a small town scene with a large 4 line station, this is joined by 2 long double track girder bridges that cross some fake water, I have quite a large fleet of locomotives and rolling stock and I keep buying more due to the very cheap prices. i find it a good way to run trains on a long layout without any of the huge expense and skill needed to construct an electric layout. I only started collecting this year and built this layout about 3 months ago, I have been making lots of videos of Thomas and friends locomotives and Plarail locomotives and have watched with amazement as my youtube channel has grown as these are very popular trains and not just with kids (my kids included). It is in no way realistic and i'm not trying to make it so, its just a fun layout to run long trains on and to mess about with, and if I ever get bored with it I can pack it away in 1 day and you would never know it was ever there Smile

I have almost 50 locomotives and about 50 pieces of rollingstock. I also have the Mr.Motorman control system which can remote control any locomotive that runs on a single C size battery.

The long twin bridges

Plarail D51 locomotive with headlight

The layout just freshly built no scenery added

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  TomBTR Chief Train Controller

Location: near Sydney
Finally we have a two-year old grandchild, and coincidentally a grand-nephew of the same age. So time to get them hooked on the hobby of a lifetime - trains.

We have a small collection of wooden railway (Skaneateles from the 50's to contemporary Ikea and Aldi) and visiting children still enjoy the freedom of connecting up their own random layouts on the floor and the satisfaction of putting rolling stock on the rails and moving them around. Included in the collection were a few early Tomica plastic wagons and some track pieces. Although wooden and plastic trains fit on each other's tracks nobody made a combined layout because the tracks would not connect. Nor did the Skaneateles tracks with the rectangular connectors.

Now that the new children are interested in the wooden railway and able to use it I took another look at what is available. As well as the Thomas themed trains described by ucwepn that are available locally, the Japanese sell trains styled to represent modern trains run by various railway companies in Japan. These are aimed at slightly older children and collectors.

Nowadays it is not so hard to make plastic parts at home, provided that precision is not required. I have made adapters that allow Plarail track to connect to Ikea and Aldi (and presumably Brio) and also some for connecting Plarail to Skaneateles and Skaneateles to Brio etc. Then I went on a orgy of buying second-hand Tomica type trains and tracks: well actually just two great Gumtree finds. So the 60-year old wooden rails and trains are now hidden until they can be appreciated. Meanwhile they can run wild with the plastic and Aldi wooden rails, complete with trains that move without being pushed by hand.

Next birthday they will get the Japanese Country-link lookalikes that arrived in the mail last month.


p.s. I know that this is an old thread but the opening post above is still a good description of the product.
  ARodH Chief Train Controller

Location: East Oakleigh, Vic
It's old but relevant. Plarail layouts popup in my youtube feed from time to time and for something that simple, you can sure come up with some complicated layouts with automatic starting & stopping of trains. If you wander into Daiso they even have some available, though I've only ever seen straight track & carriages, no curves, points or the steam engine to lead the carriages.

Plarail, Lego and the wooden trains is a gateway to the rest of the hobby though it's not something I'd expect to see much of in Trainworld.
  TomBTR Chief Train Controller

Location: near Sydney
Thanks for the Daiso tip. It had not occurred to me to look there.

So far I have only found rear carriages. I bought one to try yesterday. The coupling system is entirely different and the gauge is narrower than all the others but the car does just fit in the grooves. Next time I pass I shall buy half a dozen more. I'll make couplings that mate with Plarail family (paper clips) or Ikea/Aldi (Jaycar magnets on a radial arm).  

At $2.80 each I can afford to be a generous uncle.

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