JMTN blog

(Japanese Model Train Newsletter)

Kato announce ‘Unitram’ system

After the surprise announcement of their release of the Toyama City Light Rail Transit ‘Portram’ at the Matsuya Ginza exhibition last month, Kato have made the big announcement at JAM2009 of a track system to suit …

Although it has been 3 years in the planning, Kato’s release of the TLR0600 Portram was trumped by Tomytec announcing the same item earlier in the year. However the Tomytec release is in their ‘Tetsudo Collection’ series and as such is just a static model. There will be a power chassis released to suit that you have to buy separately. Whilst the Kato version is more expensive, it does have head, tail & interior lighting, and a low floor mechanism to allow the interior to be seen (and filled with passengers 🙂

After considerable speculation, Kato have announced a track system, appropriately called ‘UNITRAM’, to fit in with their Diotown city scenery system. There will be a Base set & a Starter set, which includes the Base, a red tram and a powerpack. The tram is available separately in red (#1), blue green (#5) and blue (#6). Tomytec’s version comes in red (#1), bright green (#4) & purple (#7).

UPDATE 21/08/09 – Tomy have just announced that they will also release orange (#2), yellow (#3), blue green (#5) and blue (#6) versions in November.

The Base (seen below) is 620 x 682mm and is basically a circle of track with suitable road markings, 2 platforms, light poles and the correct spacing for Diotown buildings to be placed in the center ‘hole’. The concrete-based double track spacing is 25mm and this widens out on the curves to 33m for passing clearance and also to allow connection to track with the standard Unitrack spacing. The radius is around 180mm which corresponds to a prototype curve radius of 27m. Two of the curved sections can be placed together to make an S-curve. The trams themselves have been shown going around a 90mm radius curve 🙂

unitram1

Here are a couple of Kato’s advertising posters …

Unitram poster 1 Unitram poster 2

A couple of photos of one of Kato’s Unitram display setups at JAM2009 …

unitram2

unitram3

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August 20, 2009 - Posted by | Kato

11 Comments »

  1. […] Kato announce ‘Unitram’ system August 2009 10 comments 3 […]

    Pingback by 2010 in review « JMTN blog | January 2, 2011 | Reply

  2. […] ‘Unitram system’ Tomix has reacted to the interest in Kato’s new ‘Unitram’ system by announcing further releases in their street trackage components, and also by introducing some […]

    Pingback by Tomix’s answer to Kato’s ‘Unitram system’ « JMTN blog | December 28, 2009 | Reply

  3. Has this been released? Anyone selling it here in Aus? I’d love to get the starters set

    Comment by AL | November 6, 2009 | Reply

  4. Are other layout forms possible ?

    Comment by Count Alport | October 6, 2009 | Reply

    • You can buy more sets and use the curves and straight pieces, otherwise there are no other components available separately (yet).

      Comment by redracer | October 6, 2009 | Reply

  5. I wish these models and trackage system were available in O Scale!

    Comment by Edtallman | August 28, 2009 | Reply

  6. Any further news on the Unitram? Like a cost for the basic set and availability? I’d like to try and get hold of one for an exhibition in the UK in late November

    Comment by Mike Beard | August 28, 2009 | Reply

  7. How does this compare with the existing Tomix range (I notice the Kato one seems to lack pointwork and stuff ?)

    Comment by Alan | August 26, 2009 | Reply

  8. when will this be on the market?

    Comment by fong | August 22, 2009 | Reply

    • Initial target is winter 2009.

      Comment by redracer | August 22, 2009 | Reply


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