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I-TRACK - HOW IT ALL STARTED

I-TRACK - HOW IT ALL STARTED

A few years ago, sometime in the spring, I was walking around town and I see a train shop. So I go to see what has changed in the 50 years or so that N-size trains were the beginning of my modeling career.
And I was very surprised. First of all, the quality and detail of the workmanship, but most importantly, the fact that it's digital.
You can control several machines at once and it whirs, it whistles, it lights up, it hums and steam hisses like the real thing, shovels coal in, wheels squeak in the curves - unbelievable!

Well, the decision was made. I bought a starter set size N. Spread it out on the table at home and drove it. But what about in the evening? Take the tracks apart and put them back in the box? And being a naturally lazy person, plus the constant disassembly of the tracks "destroys" the track contacts and then you look for why the trains don't run well. So I made a base plate out of plywood. It had a bottom and a top connected by internal ribs that reinforced the structure. At the same time, the transformer and other things needed for riding fit inside the board. The whole assembly was easily covered with a lid. Storage is then simple - you slide the board under the bed or put it on top of a cupboard. This eliminates the most annoying work - disassembling and putting everything in a box and then rebuilding again – grrr.


This was the beginning of the I-Track System. Today that first motherboard of mine is called the Start board and it comes in several sizes. Start Boards are easy to connect side by side to create larger sized track that can be easily "stored".

After a week, I got tired of the small track and decided to build a larger track. I spent a lot of time searching on the internet how to make such a proper track and I was getting scared. What kind of construction could be found on the internet - various laminate boards, OSB, extruded polystyrene, cut plywood and supports. Plus sturdy frames to take the weight of the heavy structures. The mess, the dust, the sawdust. Plus, I couldn't shake the feeling that the internet structures must be twisting and collapsing. Not like this!

But what else?
In our company, the construction and manufacture of RC model aircraft and ships of all types and sizes is my daily bread, so I started to invent a system for easy, fast and accurate construction of model railroad foundations and tracks. I found out that there are standards for pitch, subgrade width, etc.
For the construction of the new N model track I used the same principle as the original small Start board, but already refined with many details. The result was a light and strong assembly of two self-supporting base plates joined together in an "L" shape of 160x130cm. I made the height of the boards 110cm. So this is a good one to build on. Compared to all the constructions I've seen, my board is very light yet incredibly rigid and just needs to be stacked on a simple perimeter frame.


"Soundproofing" is also very important. You have to make a track bed with something that absorbs the vibrations and noise from a passing train, otherwise you will be unpleasantly surprised at the noise a moving train can make. The rumble can spoil the whole impression of your creation and potential visitors won't hear anything you tell them because of the noise. I used a very high quality polypropylene foam to dampen the vibration and noise. Careful, that's not polystyrene! This high quality material is used not only for the track subfloor, but also for the embankments and ramps. Thanks to the ready-made parts - ramps, embankments, track bedding, the construction is very fast - only a sharp knife and a hot melt gun are needed. At the station, the track beds are all over - they are black in colour, so it even matches the track substructure a bit. Then I lay the tracks exactly as I want them and start gluing the ramps and embankments under the tracks one by one, using the Flexi version in the curves (Flexi ramps and embankments with slots that can be shaped into curves). If I need to run the tracks higher, I use the embankments of the required thickness as a backing and only glue the other ramps and embankments onto them. It goes very quickly and thanks to the stiffness of the material I don't need to reinforce anything. I had the N track built in a weekend (just over 20 metres of track) - I ran it in 2 days! All that's left to do is finish the landscape.
I enjoyed riding for a few weeks and also building the buildings and installing the turntable and installing the electronics.
The N Scale train models are beautiful, but everything is small and you have to wear glasses all the time.
I decided to take my experience a little further and go to - H0. Everything is bigger and much easier to see. But you also have to have a lot more room for the model track.

This is where I had to start planning a bit more. The base plates have been given proper dimensions - you can assemble any size track from them practically without limitations. The frames for the base plates are made of 40x40mm planed slats exactly according to the base plate plans. The boards are attached to the frame by simple locks in the corners. And then the same procedure is followed as I described earlier. On top of the base plate, we lay a 5mm noise damping track bed for all planned tracks, ramps, embankments, etc. In addition to the ramps, I devised a system of curved and straight plywood segments to guide the tracks at a greater height above the base board and to overcome the height differences.


Their shapes correspond to standard rail systems, with the curves following standard radii. I designed both single-track and double-track segments. The segments are placed on the struts at the required height. The struts are, again, made of plywood and have a sophisticated construction ensuring their stability and the possibility of almost any adjustment. The entire I-Track System is a kit and everything fits together precisely.

The base plates and hidden stations also have wiring "holders" and storage compartments in them. All controls are hidden inside the board. The 160mm high base plates easily accommodate the control tablet, light controls, turntable, traffic lights etc. On some sizes of base plates, pull-out control holders can be used to store electronics and controls. When you want to ride, the pull-out control holders simply slide out and the control electronics are conveniently accessible. And when you're done riding, the pull-out control holders slide inside the board. They don't get in the way and are protected against dust. Side cover plates can be attached to the sides of base plates and base plates with hidden stations. These are either transparent or white opaque and are easily fixed by turning simple locks.


Our company has been manufacturing RC aircraft and ship models since 1990. We have professional technological equipment - laser cutters, laser 3D printers, CNC milling and cutting machines and all technological equipment for processing plastics, laminate, wood and paper. We have included the I-Track System in our production program. We produce standard elements of the I-Track system and we are constantly adding new segments to make the whole I-Track system a perfect kit for every modeler, even the most demanding. Our production program also includes modules for Fremo systems.

Our I-Track System will make it easy for modelers to build any size track base so they can really enjoy building instead of having to find materials, draw, cut, underlay and clean up sawdust, chips and dust.
And the advantage of our I-Track system? You don't need any super-strong frames. The baseboards are lightweight due to their dimensional construction and we supply the frames as a kit. You don't need expensive tools for cutting, drilling, sanding. During the construction of an I-Track system track, the amount of potential sawdust or dust is significantly reduced. You don't have to worry about making complicated track pads and cutting track shapes out of plywood or chipboard. You can either use standard I-Track plywood segments for the curves or bend them from Flexi ramps and embankments. The track base, including track laying, is quick and easy to make and you'll soon be running model trains. And you'll have more time and energy left over to create the landscape and other details of your model track. We also supply kits for building model track. You don't have to think and plan anything - just assemble everything. All the frames with base plates fold side by side like modules that are bolted together. And if you're moving, your track can simply be split into individual modules and moved with you.

All necessary information can be found at I-Track-system.com

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+420 313 564 381
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Hacker Model Production a.s.
Zahradní 465, 270 54 Řevničov (map)
Czech Republic
ID NUMBER: 63271532, Vat ID: CZ63271532

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