Those of you who are familiar with the standards of T-Trak know that the idea has its merits. Being able to set up on a table and simply click together modules makes for a quick and easy assembly. But what I do not understand is the size restrictions on these modules and their presentation.
In T-Trak, the standard module is 12″x 12″, and the space which the tracks take up subtract from the little square foot of space on the module. There are double and triple sizes also, but these sizes do not add depth to the scenes. The shallowness of the modules makes it hard to make a realistic scene on a T-Trak module. Also, the tightness of the turns makes it hard to run long equipment. I once saw a Baldwin Centipede set try to navigate the turns, and the results were not pretty.
The defense of a narrow standard must be that both sides of a loop can fit in one table. Which is logical, as the whole point is that the modules can be set up on one table, but if the standard were larger, then you could make a loop using the tables, not just the modules on the tables. Regardless, the standard restricts modeling capabilities.
Another gripe about the T-Trak standard is the presentation of a T-Trak layout can become awkward. If you want show-goers to see both sides of the table, the the operators have to stand out in the aisle on either side. If there is an “operator’s pit,” it would keep people from seeing some modules, which is always a downside. In N-trak, there is a clear operator’s pit that is extremely convenient for running trains, storing trains, and placing trains on the track. Especially when the show gets crowded as I have seen before, N-Trak operating pits keep it from descending into chaos.
I do like some aspects of T-Trak, namely the ease of construction and simplicity of set-up, but the size and the awkwardness of presenting make me question why people would use it beyond a personal display.