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New Track Design from BBB


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#26 Eric J. Olson

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 05:11 PM

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Personally I think ME Models gave up a while ago...
ME has not given up on completing a full rail system.  There will be plenty to go around.  Stay tuned.

#27 Hrw-Amen

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 07:02 PM

There was that thread a few weeks back about a 3D printed bit of track to go from the old 4.5V to the newer system if memory serves, so I am sure something similar could be done to transition from this new track if he has not already got it in the pipeline? I would not know how myself but am pretty sure someone here could figure it out?

#28 mikka says

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 09:04 PM

View PostEric J. Olson, on 17 October 2012 - 05:11 PM, said:

ME has not given up on completing a full rail system.  There will be plenty to go around.  Stay tuned.

thanks for the update eric, as even though, the BBB one might become the new standard, i'd rather have something that sill looks like it was made by TLG....

and i realised, ive looked at code 250 nickel silver rail online..... will BBB 9v track be affordable, or will it be exclusively a rich man's trainset?

#29 Anticyclone

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 12:18 AM

Ooh I can't wait. This will certainly add some realism for those who like to build railway construction scenes. Reminds me of the old 12V system with the separate rails and ties instead of a single unit.

#30 zephyr1934

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 04:20 AM

View PostEric J. Olson, on 17 October 2012 - 05:11 PM, said:

ME has not given up on completing a full rail system.  There will be plenty to go around.  Stay tuned.

Good to hear. The half length rails have been a big help for my 9v layout and I've been looking forward to the prospect of the larger radi curves for some time. Any chance you could up date the metal rails update that aims for an end of summer availability?

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#31 Eric J. Olson

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 02:42 PM

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Any chance you could up date the metal rails update that aims for an end of summer availability?
We should be able to provide a better picture before the end of the week.  I will put any information I can on the site.

#32 domboy

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 04:03 PM

View PostHrw-Amen, on 17 October 2012 - 07:02 PM, said:

There was that thread a few weeks back about a 3D printed bit of track to go from the old 4.5V to the newer system if memory serves, so I am sure something similar could be done to transition from this new track if he has not already got it in the pipeline? I would not know how myself but am pretty sure someone here could figure it out?

Yep. It was this piece.

Posted in the thread track compatibility.

Hopefully the BBB track system will include a piece similar to this, as it would greatly increase the usefulness of the system and we wouldn't need to fiddle with some of the tricks to match the two up as discussed in that topic.

Edited by domboy, 18 October 2012 - 04:04 PM.


#33 Duq

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 05:45 PM

Rather than speculating I thought I'd ask Big Ben. On connecting to standard track:

Big Ben said:

I'll certainly be working up a way to transition from existing LEGO track.

Hrw-Amen said:

Does anyone know if these tracks are able to be mounted on baseplates or other plates for ballast and the like?

Big Ben said:

The bottom of the ties is like the bottom of a 1x8 plate without the pins.
The distance between the ties is one stud for the straights and approximately one stud at the centerline along the curves.
So that means you can't put 1x8 plates in between the ties for ballasting.

Edited by Duq, 18 October 2012 - 05:47 PM.

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#34 Mark Bellis

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 06:00 PM

In that case you can improvise on the curves with a plate and tile as SNOT for 0.8M, or use 1x1 clip plates with the innermost one having its two clip pincers arranged orthogonally to the track.  There are many ways to get <1M!

If the 1x8 sleepers will not have the pins then their clutch onto baseplate plates will be weaker.  This is not good for ballasting because a ballast scheme relies upon parts being fixed to the 'sleepers' to make a track module that then fits into the baseplate module.

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#35 Hrw-Amen

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 07:24 PM

I see he has put up an animation on how the bits fit together. It does make the system a lot clearer seeing how it comes together and I think it actually looks quite good. Just need to see the bit in store for connecting it to existing LEGO track now and I may be sold on the idea.

#36 SavaTheAggie

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 09:19 PM

After seeing the animation I have become very enthusiastic about this new track system.  I also feel it could be minimally ballasted, for example sitting on one or two layers of baseplates with nothing in-between the ties, and it would still look pretty darn good.  If the price is right, I could see myself investing quite s bit in this system.

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#37 Frank STENGEL

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 06:43 AM

View PostSavaTheAggie, on 22 October 2012 - 09:19 PM, said:

If the price is right, I could see myself investing quite s bit in this system.

Same here. What would make me go ahead even if the price is a bit higher would be a piece that would connect the current 9V-PF system with the BBB one...

#38 monai

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 08:10 AM

View PostFrank STENGEL, on 23 October 2012 - 06:43 AM, said:

Same here. What would make me go ahead even if the price is a bit higher would be a piece that would connect the current 9V-PF system with the BBB one...

The only problem is the different section of the rails: the "vignoles" has the realistic "mushroom" profile, how to connect them, without bumps, to the LEGO ones?

Edited by monai, 23 October 2012 - 08:11 AM.


#39 Frank STENGEL

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 09:07 AM

View Postmonai, on 23 October 2012 - 08:10 AM, said:

The only problem is the different section of the rails: the "vignoles" has the realistic "mushroom" profile, how to connect them, without bumps, to the LEGO ones?

Good point. However, one could make a bit of rail that simply goes from the mushroom shape to a simple straight. The difference in shape should not affect the rolling properties as long as the top remains continuous.

#40 monai

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 10:22 AM

View PostFrank STENGEL, on 23 October 2012 - 09:07 AM, said:

Good point. However, one could make a bit of rail that simply goes from the mushroom shape to a simple straight. The difference in shape should not affect the rolling properties as long as the top remains continuous.

well perhaps it could be done, it depends from the width of the "mushroom" head, if they are very different it seems hard to make something working really smooth, it should be long enough (16 studs?). It's likely BBB is working to this topic, in phase two, switches and other items are foreseen but it will depend on how many rails will be sold.

#41 monai

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 04:28 PM

View PostEric J. Olson, on 18 October 2012 - 02:42 PM, said:

We should be able to provide a better picture before the end of the week.  I will put any information I can on the site.

Still no news?

#42 kyphur

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 07:37 PM

View Postmonai, on 23 October 2012 - 04:28 PM, said:

View PostEric J. Olson, on 18 October 2012 - 02:42 PM, said:

We should be able to provide a better picture before the end of the week.  I will put any information I can on the site.
Still no news?

I hate to be cynical but this really isn't a surprise, is it?

On thier website the newest update is May 10, 2012.

Honestly I hope BBB's ideas come to fruition, I'd surely buy some but it would take a lot for me to convert all of my track.

Sadly, based on my previous disappointment with ME rails I doubt I'll be an early adopter of any new track system. I need to see that production will continue, especially for a system that is this different.

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#43 Hrw-Amen

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 08:01 PM

I think that may be the trouble though. If everyone hangs back and puts off buying it to see if it continues then it probably won't as he will not sell much and it would be considered a failure.

I like the look of those 48 long straights. I think if i am to invest in some to start off with it would be them as they would be the easiest to mount on base plates by the looks of it. I do like the look of the wider curves, but I want to get a feel for it before buying a lot.

Also the price of import taxes have to be taken into account, at least in the UK. They can easily double the price of something by the time the post office adds it handling charge on top. I have been had like that too many times. I should know better by now.

#44 kyphur

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 10:32 PM

View PostHrw-Amen, on 23 October 2012 - 08:01 PM, said:

If everyone hangs back and puts off buying it to see if it continues then it probably won't as he will not sell much and it would be considered a failure.

As much as I both agree with you and want a better track system for when my layout can return I simply can't get over the feeling of being burned by the ME-Models Rail situation.

Currently I have TLG Track (lots & lots) & ME-Models Track (just a small bit) so if I buy some BBB Track and hey falter also then what am I left with? As it is I can't seem to sell of the ME-Models stuff that I have so it will just sit and do nothing forever. At least I can use it in tunnels and other concealed places if push comes to shove I guess.

Don't misunderstand me, if BBB Track system makes it to 12 months and actually delivers on promised components (switches, curves, etc) then I'll probably buy a massive box of it and put TLG track in boxes but I think I learned my lesson with ME-Models.

I do hope BBB Track has curve parts to match TLG's awfully tight curves. It would serve 2 purposes:

1. Ease the transition by not forcing us to redesign our layouts all at once.

2. Be another curve radius that we can mix & match to make custom fits in the absence of flex track.

Edited by kyphur, 24 October 2012 - 12:57 AM.

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#45 SavaTheAggie

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 10:46 PM

If I'm not mistaken, the smallest curve on BBB's page is the standard lego curve.

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#46 Evil Stevie

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 05:23 AM

ME Models has a LEGO-compatible rail profile but is metal only. Big Ben comes in dark blue-gray ABS but doesn't have a compatible profile. I'm crying.

But I still want to get my hands on some Big Ben track and see what it's like. And I will cross my fingers for transition pieces.

#47 domboy

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 01:57 PM

View Postkyphur, on 23 October 2012 - 10:32 PM, said:

As much as I both agree with you and want a better track system for when my layout can return I simply can't get over the feeling of being burned by the ME-Models Rail situation.

Currently I have TLG Track (lots & lots) & ME-Models Track (just a small bit) so if I buy some BBB Track and hey falter also then what am I left with? As it is I can't seem to sell of the ME-Models stuff that I have so it will just sit and do nothing forever. At least I can use it in tunnels and other concealed places if push comes to shove I guess.

Don't misunderstand me, if BBB Track system makes it to 12 months and actually delivers on promised components (switches, curves, etc) then I'll probably buy a massive box of it and put TLG track in boxes but I think I learned my lesson with ME-Models.


I guess I don't understand your perspective... even if ME never sells any more track, they were designed to be compatible with Lego's track, so why are they suddenly rendered mostly useless?? And assuming BBB track system does includes a transitional pieces (as previously mentioned), why would you have to completely replace the Lego tracks? Why can't you use all of them??

#48 kyphur

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 02:11 PM

View Postdomboy, on 24 October 2012 - 01:57 PM, said:

I guess I don't understand your perspective... even if ME never sells any more track, they were designed to be compatible with Lego's track, so why are they suddenly rendered mostly useless?? And assuming BBB track system does includes a transitional pieces (as previously mentioned), why would you have to completely replace the Lego tracks? Why can't you use all of them??

For the same reason I sold off all of my 9V track, I prefer uniformity....

I can stand mixing during the transitional phase but there is no way I'd plan to leave 3 distinct types of track on my layout without a plan to eventually have ALL of my track uniform.

The ME-Models track is very close to TLG's but BBB Track design doesn't look close. To be honest, I prefer jthe BBB design and hope he is able to bring it to fruition as I'd become a good customer of his system.

Adopting BBB Track would mean my 90 degree crossings and double crossovers would be designed out of y layout unless he has solutions for these but I can live with that compromise.

I do hope the curve pieces can be used in place of flex track to create custom curves.

Edited by kyphur, 24 October 2012 - 02:33 PM.

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#49 Eric J. Olson

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 04:30 PM

View Postmonai, on 23 October 2012 - 04:28 PM, said:

Still no news?
I am going to try and put some perspective on this for you, but understand, this is an explanation and certainly not meant to be an excuse.

The manufacturing process we began with in April of 2011, was not up to the standard that we wanted it to be.  With that said, we began searching for an alternate manufacturer that could provide the consistent quality that we demanded.  After consultation with an experienced micro-engineer, we finally located a firm that we believe will be able to deliver a product that meets the standards that you expect from us and we demand of ourselves.  This manufacturer also has many other projects that they work on including ours.  We have learned through this process that it's not as simple as just taking a piece of metal, rounding it off, and drilling a few holes.  It has now taken us almost a year to find a process that will meet or exceed our tolerances on a consistent basis.

As I said, I'm not offering any excuses here, but just trying to give you a perspective of where we have been and where we are now.  As I said previously, we will give you an update that I think will put any concerns to rest.  I was hoping that this would have been done last week as I said, however, to make sure we are giving you the most accurate information, it was necessary to wait until our manufacturer had something 100% concrete that we would be proud to share.

To those who feel that we have somehow misrepresented anything, we apologize and this certainly was not our intent.  If our timeline had been what we envisioned (and were led to believe by our first manufacturer), we would have our store shelves full of track for everyone in all four straight lengths as well as all 3 additional radii and we would be onto the next phase of the complete system.  

Please understand countless man-hours and capital have been invested in this project to keep electric trains alive for the community.  Like yourselves, we are hobbyists but, we are also shouldering the risk involved with this venture for the benefit of all.

Rest assured, we HAVE NOT given up and WILL NOT give up until we have delivered the complete rail system with a quality that you expect at a price that will be affordable to everyone.

Quote

ME Models has a LEGO-compatible rail profile but is metal only. Big Ben comes in dark blue-gray ABS but doesn't have a compatible profile. I'm crying.
P.S.  You want plastic as well?  We can look at it, and it's a lot easier than metal.

Edited by Eric J. Olson, 24 October 2012 - 04:32 PM.


#50 kyphur

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 09:03 PM

View PostEric J. Olson, on 24 October 2012 - 04:30 PM, said:

I am going to try and put some perspective on this for you, but understand, this is an explanation and certainly not meant to be an excuse.

Eric, please don't think I'm trying to dog-pile you or anything. I certianly can understand the issues you've mentioned and to be honest a quality product is worth the wait. The big problem here has been the silence, it's deafening.

If you had removed the track listing from your store and provided some information about all of this then at least we'd know that something is happening.

Edited by kyphur, 24 October 2012 - 09:04 PM.

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