Z Scale Motoring at NTS2008
Is Hard Act To Follow

Whenever I see the word amazing in an email subject head I am at the ready to boot spam, but in scale modeling that would be a mistake, somewhere, sometime someone is always coming up with something that is truly amazing.

Take for instance, Loren Snyder’s Z Scale display at the NMRA National Convention & National Train Show (NTS) in Anaheim, California, July 13-19.

His module depicted an operating section of highway with Z Scale automobiles, trucks and buses moving in both directions coming out of or entering a tunnel, rounding curves in their separate lanes.

How Loren Snyder Motivated Z Scale Vehicles

The smallest vehicles were just over ¾ of an inch in length and according to Loren can be set up two inches apart.

The video shows them moving pretty slowly but evenly around corners and along the straight aways.

Loren explained the operation: “The drive is a chain with magnets super glued onto the side of the chain. It is powered by a 12 volt Dayton gear motor with a toothed sprocket to move the chain. I built channels to guide the chain on gentle curves and let the chain go around larger sprockets inside the mountain and the return area.

The vehicles have two magnets glued to the bottom. One in front and one in back.....this makes the vehicles track correctly. I use a regular model train power pack for the power. I can make the cars "crawl", or speed about 90 scale mph,” he added.

The entire route traveled by the vehicles is about 17 feet. In Z Scale that’s a trip of about ¾ of a mile.

“I am working on a drive system that does allow the roadway to climb and dip as well as lateral but for now the chain only moves laterally. I've got ideas though to do what I dream of,” said Loren.


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