My First N Scale Japanese Tram Layout
by Guido Mandorf (

I am proud to present you my small japanese tram layout. I already presented it in the german IG nippoN forum and in the JNS forum. It is my first try in N. My name is Guido Mandorf, I am from Duesseldorf, Germany and I am 41 years old. I am building modeltrams for over 10 years in H0 gauge and today I have got a small H0 tram layout and a N layout. If you are interested in some pictures about my H0 lyout so take a look at my picasa album "Neue Anlage" (new layout). This layout shows typical a city in the Ruhr area in western Germany with trams in two track width: 1435mm and 1000mm.

I got my first contact with japanese railways, especially trams, in 2009. At a model fair I bought a model of a Kyoto tramcar in H0. This one was very rare, because nearly all japanese models are in N. I have built a small non functional diorama for this car. I have painted european figures that they fit into my japanese scenery and modified a german building for it.

Last year I have bought my first japanese N models. I wanted to build a non functional diorama, too, but then I decided to build a small working layout and so the story begins. I started with some tries for the track layout on our livingroom table and choosed the following:

The layout has the dimensions 60x40cm. It is really small, but I like small layouts. They need only a manageable time and the costs are clear, too. I decided a mixture of city- and countryside with a small hill to hide the circle.

On the top of my hill I put a model of the silver temple Ginkakuji from Kyoto. It fits perfectly in my layout. The green and the trees are from Woodlands. I prefer these products for my H0 layout, too.

When you take a look on asian cities you will recognize the wires in the air. This is really typically. Here in Germany you will see no wires for telephone or electricity in a city. Everything is dig in the earth. I thought many times how I can build it on my layout, until I found an american product: EZ Lines. In Germany you have no chance to buy it, so I ordered it directly in the USA and now you can say that my layout is really built from resources worldwide.

For the catenary of my trams I used the EZ Lines, too.

click on small images to enlarge

If you like Google Earth, you will like the following view, too:

With the help of the JNS forum I found a suitable background for my layout:

At the moment I think about an extension of my layout, because I have bought a light railway that is too large for my small curves. In April 2011 I will visit the next model fair in the hope to find more japanese models. More pictures are avaiable here.

In H0 nearly all of my tram models are selfmade, but I don´t want to try it in N. The models are really small and you have a very large collection of trains and trams, more than in H0 for german trams, so that it is not necessary for my to build models from my own.

A few weeks ago I bought a kit with four models of tram from Tokyo directly from Japan. At the moment I build two of them and motorized them with a Tomytec engine:

Maybe I will build more of these kits. The small trams are so cute.

If you have question about my layout so don´t hesitate to ask me. I hope you like my small japanese layout, the H0 diorama and also my german tram city.

Greetings from Duesseldorf, Germany

Guido (


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