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Neat Plarail Advance Layout
#1
One of the best Plarail Advance Layouts I have seen. A nice use of what looks like 'N' Scale Tomix buildings to create a City Scape. I really like the looks of the embankments for the elevated line, custom built maybe??? I think they would look much better with grey Tomy rails Big Grin Anyone know if these are a manufactured item repurposed for this Layout? The YouTuber has other videos showing these in different configurations.

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[Image: super-smiley-emoticon.gif]
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#2
This is really nice! Great N-Scale houses/scenery! And yes, it would be better with gray tracks! Big Grin

*

Plarail Advance has some cool elements; I'm particularly fond of THIS station. 
As I understand, they cancelled the whole line... Why?
My YouTube Channel: Mister No
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#3
I was truly sad when they decided to cancel the plarail advance system.  It was a strange decision as well because that 'station' you are fond of is probably about the last item they released for it.  The automated stations that send one train running as the next pulls in etc... were the items last released, the big station being literally the last I think.  I was lucky enough to get my mits on one of those as well as a couple of the auto-release stations before the cancellation was announced.

Nowadays if you look on ebay anything plarail advanced listed is going for in some cases frankly silly money.  I've been sorely tempted over the last year or so to let my collection go as I have pretty much every train and accessory they made for the system.  There's just one set I don't have as I recall.  Most of them are still minty fresh sealed boxed as well, although I do have a good number of loose used trains as well as I managed to snag a few job lots before they cancelled the line and they became highly sought after.

Ironic really, if it had been in as much demand when the line was live it may never have been cancelled in the first place...

As for the first post, yes a lovely layout, I suspect the embankments are custom made somehow.  It seems strange that the owner has dedicated so much investment in the buildings etc... yet seems content to run with such a shoddy mish-mash of track pieces, some of them look truly ancient and faded looking at the various colours/shades used.  He/She really should have gone for all grey tracks as they are just made for this range...
Happily collecting things all my life... Big Grin
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#4
Plarail advance is more for the older people to enjoy.  Older people tend t lean more toward real scale model trains rather than plastic toys to a certain degree.
My Trackmaster/Tomy/Plarail Photo Gallery Page (over 600+ photos and still under construction)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/183311600@N03/
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#5
LOL  [Image: troubled-old-man-smiley-emoticon.gif]

I wasn't fond of them but I must admit that my Grandson and I did consider them when they first released but I didn't like how they didn't manage curves well at first.
[Image: super-smiley-emoticon.gif]
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#6
(05-02-2021, 01:43 PM)leylandvictory2 Wrote: Plarail advance is more for the older people to enjoy.  Older people tend t lean more toward real scale model trains rather than plastic toys to a certain degree.

"Waves hands", yes I'm an older person and yes I prefer the more realistic dimensions.  But more importantly I like the elegance of the smaller trains and the fact that you could get two running on the same set of rails concurrently without having to re-invest in a whole brand new setup.  Why they never sold I don't know, although I do agree with Super's comment about cornering with the early models on standard track.  But that was resolved with the grey track expansions they made specifically for the Playral Advance line...
 
(05-02-2021, 11:23 PM)Super Wrote: I wasn't fond of them but I must admit that my Grandson and I did consider them when they first released but I didn't like how they didn't manage curves well at first.

This is of course true, some people did find that they struggled on standard blue curves, but as you can see in that layout they are using the dual blue tracks on the corners with no problems.  Tomy did also release the special grey expansions specifically for Plarail advance towards the end of its life which had grey rails with higher walls to alleviate the problem totally.  The other thing to consider is if you only have room for an 'N gauge' layout but can't afford the real thing this used to be a great way into the hobby as they still look pretty good.

Interestingly I notice that on that layout he has roads which look like they may be the Tomix bus system, but curiously if they are he has no buses running on it, that's a bit of a shame as having some moving buses as well would be the finishing touch - well doubly so if he had some street/building lighting as well Smile  Even some stationary 'N gauge' cars or other vehicles would help finish it off - they are available as well before you ask as I have some from Japan Smile

Incidentally, when I said 'silly prices' on eBay for advance stuff, you know the desirable station mentioned earlier in the thread, I saw several listed and presumably sold for ~ £400 to £450 each!!!!
Happily collecting things all my life... Big Grin
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#7
Thanks to Nigels mentioning the Tomix brand I did some snooping around into those embankments and sure enough they are Tomix made. Whats neat about them is that, looking at the video, one level of the embankment equals to two 3/4" Tomy/Plarail risers (1 1/2") which would work out perfect for using the double stacked embankments for normal Plarail train riser height of 3". There are 2 styles, a double wide and single, The single can be stacked above the double wide. Also note that the Tomy track does not rest inside where the 'N' track would sit but atop it. It does look like that is the exact same size. It does look like the end abutments may have to be purchased separately. I would love to get a hold of some of these to test them out. I do like those decks that can be added to the sides of the embankments to put light poles or other accessories.

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#8
I do love some of the accessories and systems that Tomix produce, they are definitely great products for the most part.  It's also nice the way they can sometimes be mixed into a layout that is based around Tomy systems such as Plarail as well whether this is by design of just lucky coincidence I don't know but its a great thing...
Happily collecting things all my life... Big Grin
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#9
(05-03-2021, 10:42 PM)Super Wrote: ... I did some snooping around ...
Excellent researching, Super.
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#10
You simply must test some of them on your layout, Super. If they fit (and it seems they would), they'll look really great with your blue gray plastic tracks...! Wink
My YouTube Channel: Mister No
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#11
@Mr-No
LOL..I was just thinking how they would look marvelous in your Layout...lol Smile

@Chrisjo
Thats quite a compliment coming from the Master Researcher...you! But honestly, if it weren't for Mr Nigels mentioning the Tomix brand I probably would have been lost in research land. Confused
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#12
Tomy was open and transparent about why they made Plarail Advance.

It was designed to help people transition from Plarail to near-N-scale toys.

Once you were invested in the Plarail Advance range, they recommended Tomytec/Tomix N-scale scenery to sit next to your Plarail Advance for 'increased realism'.

The collection of Tomytec/Tomix N-scale scenery would eventually make your Plarail Advance appear out of place and you would eventually step up to N-scale trains.


The age recommendations for the toys also made this clear:
Plarail --> 3+
Plarail Advance --> 6+
Tomix N-scale --> 15+

Clearly, the plan didn't work and Plarail Advance was terminated.

***

With the collection of Plarail Advance I have, I think the series is more for looking than for running. Running the little trains take about 10 times the effort than standard Plarail.

The key issues being the wheel design and limited track variations. 

Adhesion issues
The wheels prevented the trains from having enough traction on the often worn or uneven Plarail tracks. They designed it by using rubber that had greater adhesion than the standard Plarail. However, it also resulted in greater adhesion to dust. Unless you vacuumed your floor every hour or you filtered your air like a clean room, the dust eventually settled on the tracks and was picked up by the Plarail Advance train.
Tomy knew about this and recommended cleaning using tape but I realised this needed to be done almost every day for it to run smoothly.

Derailment issues
Additional to the dust issues on the track, the requirement that the tracks needed to be aligned evenly meant Plarail track from multiple generations or badly formed track (these exist!) would not work. This was especially pronounced on curved track. My recommendation is to sort your tracks!

Limited track variations
There were only a few special tracks released for Plarail Advance: Basic rail set, points, stopping track, cross-point rail, automatic link system (stopping station + sensor/timer).
Despite what Tomy tried to demonstrate with their videos, the variations are more restrictive than standard Plarail. 

-plarnold
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#13
That is a very interesting take on the whole line and what Plarail's intentions were. If it had worked it would have been genius. I found this to be very enlightening..
 
(05-06-2021, 09:36 PM)plarnold Wrote: Tomy was open and transparent about why they made Plarail Advance.

Once you were invested in the Plarail Advance range, they recommended Tomytec/Tomix N-scale scenery to sit next to your Plarail Advance for 'increased realism'.

The collection of Tomytec/Tomix N-scale scenery would eventually make your Plarail Advance appear out of place and you would eventually step up to N-scale trains.

Thanks Plarnold Smile
[Image: super-smiley-emoticon.gif]
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