Model railroading is fun
Building model railroads can be done in as many ways as there are individuals. Some create finescale detailed pieces of the real world and/or run their train using timetables, some go for less ambitious goals and enjoy running trains on a more modest scale. Most kids are in the latter category, but the attraction of running trains is still there for a lot of adults also. The idea of building modular home layouts was described in the German magazine Miba. In their February 1996 issue Wolfgang Hüpper describes how he build a layout for that purpose in 1966-1972. This article was one of the inspirational sources for C-TRAK.
Origins of the Concept
C-TRAK itself is based on the ideas of an American woman, Lee Monaco-FitzGerald. The idea was born when she and her husband travelled to Tokyo in August 2000 and 2001. The reason being that Jim was asked to speak at the International Model Railroad Convention. During that convention a number of NTRAK modules were exhibited. In March 2001 Lee wrote her first article and had built 3 T-TRAK modules by August 2001. Following the Convention she wrote her first article on T-TRAK in particular in September 2001 (source t-trak.org).
The concept starts to grow
Spring 2002 saw the first commercial T-TRAK modules. More interest also came from abroad, e.g. from Australia. The first T-TRAK Convention was the Capitol Limited 2004 Convention in Chantilly, Virginia, where a layout of more than 36 meters was exhibited. Since then, attention kept growing with more than 70 T-TRAK clubs worldwide by 2014. The June 2016 issue of Model Railroader has two articles on T-TRAK, accompanied by a 10 part video blog on creating T-TRAK modules by the Model Railroader staff.
Some T-TRAK modules made by de staff of Model Railroader, June 2016
C-TRAK as a logical next step
The articles in Model Railroader were the cause for members of the Dutch Modelspoorclub Deventer (MSCD) to use a similar concept for their youth project. The layout needed to be strong but easy to store, transport and build. So this time they did not use Kato n-scale track, but C-track by Märklin (hence the name). The tracks for youth from the my world program (for battery-powered trains) are very strong. Based on three straight sections and the R1 and R2 radius track T-TRAK could be adapted for H0 using the clever click-system by Märklin.
The modules will allow for serious modelling as well as applications for youth. On the left a C-TRAK module as part of a club project, on the right a module made by a 6 year old.
The first layout for kids was introduced on the Model Railroad Fair in Zutphen, March 2017. C-TRAK showed to have a lot of attraction for both kids and adults. In December a first worldrecord was set. C-TRAK however, is also an excellent way for education and schools, using the combination of creativity an technical know how.
First appearance of the C-TRAK layout in Zutphen