The Flexity Tram Car Kit (SM32/G Scale)

I am looking to produce a narrow gauge tram for the garden railway scene in a kit form so that people can build up a 3 car, 5 car or 7 car tram unit with their own refinements. The Flexity Tram has been adopted by many cities to upgrade their trams system with a modern fleet of tram cars. The articulated designs allows the tram to go round tight corners with out any problems and run at modern speeds for a commuter service.

The Flexity trams have been built to run on standard gauge tracks, like Blackpool in the UK, as well as run on narrow gauge networks of 1m gauge like in many European cities.

SM32 or G Scale

The kit will be available to run on either 32mm gauge track for SM32 or on 45mm gauge track for G Scale, making it compaitble with either railway system.

Kit Construction

The parts will be machined out of 4mm ABS sheets using a CNC router table. Additional parts are cast from plastic resin parts for better detail, including the nose of the driving and trailer car which is rounded off. The kit is suppplied with all the parts to make a full tram to run off the track supply. It can then be fitted out with a battery pack and radio control or DCC encoder.

The kit can be easily constructed by simply gluing the parts together, no specialist skills are required for building the tram parts. There will be some soldering to wire up the tram and connect each car together to work as one unit.

The tram is an articulated design, so there is a suspended carriage between the power car and trailer car. Adding an additional suspended carriage and bogie power unit will extend the tram to a 5 car set and adding another pair will make a 7 car tram unit. The front driver car is powered with a motor bogie unit, each central motor bogie unit will add another power drive unit to the tram for extra power to manage the extra weight of the cars.

Switching Power Supplies

The unit will run on either 12V or 24V with a switch set on each power bogie to change the motors to run in either series for 23V or in parallel for 12V track supply. The G Scale version will then be able to run off the larger 22V supplies such as LGB controllers. The driver unit then has a switch that will allow the connection of a battery pack and radio control equipment and isolates the track pickups. 

A DCC encoder can be fitted into the driver unit so that the tram can then be controlled digitally and multiple trams can be run on the same track with independent control.

Driving The Tram

The tram is designed to be able to drive round sharp curves to easily handle 2ft radius curves on the G Scale systems; it will navigate round 1ft 3in radius curves (400mm) so that the trams can run round corners through street scenes. On the 5 and 7 car sets, each power bogie unit adds an additional pair of motors to help push the extra weight of the carriages. The tram will then be capable or running up 6% gradients (1 in 16). This allows special tram tracks to be built to any tight configuration to suite your own requirements.

Plastik Card Construction

The Flexity Tram Set will be produced using sheets of 4mm ABS plastic run through a bench CNC cutter to cut out the shapes, windows and etch in fine detail. The CNC process will then be used to cut out windows in clear 4mm UV clear ABS so that they sit in the correct profile and fit flush.

The cab will be cast in plastic resin to get the curved profile and have a clear cast curved windscreen to make the front profile.

The wheel sets are metal insulated axels using 25mm diameter wheels on a 3/8th axel and are supplied as either 32mm gauge or 45mm gauge when ordering. They are formed into a bogie unit cast in resin for strength and weight. The motor bogies are supplied with 2 motors fitted, geared down to the wheels and supplied assembled as RTR. The power block has a micro switch fitted that change the wiring of the motors from running in series to switch over to running in parallel. The motors are 12V, so need to be used in series to run off 24-volt systems.

The carriages are joined together with a large strong 6mm main pin and hole located in the floor sections. There is a smaller 6mm pin located in the roof to lock the cars together. The cars can be easily unclipped from each other by pressing the flexible arm of the top coupling pin in on the roof and sliding the bottom pin out. There are two electrical connectors between each car, a small D sub type for the interior lights and a small square 4-pin power connector for motor drive and track pickup.

The cars are constructed as a rigid open box for the carriages with a separate roof section, so that access can be easily gained to add details into the carriages at a later date or add more passengers. 

The model is designed to be strong and robust and enable the unit to run outdoors along side other garden railway equipment. It has enclosed motors so will cope with rain showers, but is not designed to be waterproof.

 

Pre Ordering

If you are interested in the progress of the Flexity Tram system, then you can keep informed by joining as a member or requesting information by emailing info@narrowgaugerailways.co.uk for more details. 

We are not accepting payments for pre-orders at the moment, but if you would like to pre-order a kit, then please let us know. 

 

If you would like to contact us regarding this project, please use the form below

Availability

The prototype will be developed in the next month to produce a running model. This will then be used in the CAD drawings to enable the CNC cutting and production of the kits to retail. The plastic molds and resin parts will then be finalized.

I aim to have the model available for the lead up to Christmas. The price has not been set as all the individual parts need to be costed out to get a final price. I want the kit to be very affordable for the average modeller to be able to buy and as simple as possible for people to construct to get a realistic tram working. People can them modify and add as much interior and exterior detail to the tram as they like to their own requirements.

Crowdfunding Project

I have launched a crowd funding project to help get the project off the ground and would appreciate any support

http://c4crowdfunding.org/projects/?name=narrow_gauge_railways 

 

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