S. Berliner, III's sbiii.com Sub-Z-Scale Model Railroad Continuation Page 2 keywords = IDL 1:1000 Teeny Trains Lopatinsky linear radial Z scale 1:220 miniature model rail train "

Updated:   21 Jan 2014: 08:10  ET
[Page created 03 Jan 2015
    original AT&T Worldnet Website begun 30 May 1996.]
URL:  http://sbiii.com/zscal_z2.html

S. Berliner, III
Consultant in Ultrasonic Processing
"changing materials with high-intensity sound"

[consultation is on a fee basis]

Technical and Historical Writer, Oral Historian
Popularizer of Science and Technology
Rail, Auto, Air, Ordnance, and Model Enthusiast
Light-weight Linguist, Lay Minister, and Putative Philosopher

note - The vast bulk of my massive Web presence (over 485 pages) had been hosted by AT&T's WorldNet service since 30 May 1996; they dropped WorldNet effective 31 Mar 2010 and I have been scrambling to transfer everything.  Everything's saved but all the links have to be changed, mostly by hand.  See my sbiii.com Transfer Page for any updates on this tedious process.

S. Berliner, III's


Sub-Z-Scale Model Railroad
Continuation Page 2


S. Berliner, III's


Model Railroad
Continuation Page 2


NOTE:  Page size was limited by HTML to 30kB; thus, I had been forced to add new pages just for Z-Scale, more Z-scale, and articles about Z-scale.

Datsun/Nissan Z cars
If somehow you got here in error while looking for Datsun/Nissan Z cars, go away!
No, really, you are welcome, but you need to look elsewhere;
you might start at the Z Car Home Page.


The internal links, which work fine on my home page and others, don't seem to work here!  I'm working on it, but haven't a clue; I even just copied the working links over and they don't work here.  So, scroll away!

The Z-Scale Index Page:

On the main Z-Scale page:

    Z-Scale (follows)
    Z-Scale Narrow Gauge (really)
(moved to this page 13 Nov 01)
    Scale and Gauge
    Scale Conversion Table
    Z-Scale Miscellany
    Z-Scale Wiring Conventions
    Z-Scale Repair and Hobby Shops

Sub-Z-Scale Page:

    Z-Scale Narrow Gauge (really)
    Z-Scale Meter Gauge
    Half-Z Scale - 1:440 Tiny Trains!
        (moved from Page 2 to page 3 to this page)
    1:900 Scale - Tiniest Trains!
        (moved from Page 2 to page 3 to this page)

Sub-Z-Scale Continuation Page 1:

    T-SCALE (1:450!)   new (30 Jan 2011)
    Fabergé Egg (moved from Sub-Z-Scale Page to this page on 24 Mar 2005)

Sub-Z-Scale Continuation Page 2:

    IDL ~1:1000 Teeny Trains   new (03 Jan 2015)
    IDL Modular Track   new (31 Jul 2015)

On this Sub-Z-Scale Continuation Page 3:

    IDL ~1:1000 Teeny Trains Update - Connectable Track   new (27 Oct 2015)

Z-Scale Continuation Page 1:

        Zictionary - lotZ of wordZ.

On the Z-Scale Continuation Page 2:

    Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal RR in Z
    Z-SCALE DIMENSIONS (with how to approximate a mile of track).
    Scale Card and Rule.
    Wish List - some goodieZ I'd like and some I have,
        like Freudenreich's Z Boxcab Diesel and GN/WFEX Reefer
        and Larry Hoff's Bobber Caboose and Crane!
    MT SP Moguls - the absolute top of the Wish List!

On the Z-Scale Continuation Page 3:

    Z-Scale Vehicles and Märklin Rubber Autos
    Half-Z Scale - 1:440 Tiny Trains!
    1:900 Scale - Tiniest Trains!
    Power - Volts, Amps, Watts for Z.
        [This is critically important!]

On the Z-Scale Continuation Page 4:

        Some More Z (all the latest!)
            including new HomaBed Z roadbed.

On the Z-Scale Continuation Page 5
            (a page for the Third Millennium):
        Even More Z (all the latest!)
        Microscopic Z Accessories.

Z-Scale Continuation Page 6
            (a page of the Third Millennium):
        V 32 001 Diesel Pneumatic in Z.
        Yet More Z (all the latest!)
        BEDT #14 in Z.
        8800 vs. 8805.

Freudenreich Z-Scale page:
            (concentrating my Freudenreich-Feinwerktechnik material in a single reference source)

        Freudenreich's Z Boxcab Diesels,
        Freight Cars,         and other Z products.

On the Z-Scale Articles page:

    Z-Scale Hell Gate Bridge

Ztrack page:

    Ztrack Magazine

On the first Model Railroad page:

    Sunrise Trail Division (STD) of the
        Northeastern Region (NER) of the
        National Model Railroad Association (NMRA)
    Long Island - Sunrise Trail Chapter (LIST) of the
        National Railway Historical Society (NRHS)
    Long Island Live Steamers (now on its own page)

On the second Model Railroad page:

  Vest Pocket Railroads You Can Model

You may also wish to see how I take the detailed photographs on the these pages; see my model RR page 4.

On separate pages:

    Berlinerwerke-Z Saga
    Berlinerwerke-Z Saga Continuation Page
    Berlinerwerke Saga (HO, included with Horseshoe Curve info.)
    Berlinerwerke Apocrypha (tall tales of the BW and its equipment and such).
    Schnable and other Giant RR Cars.


Z-Scale model railroading, at an incredible 220 times smaller than life size, or slightly under half the size of the familiar HO scale, with rails only 6.5mm (~¼") apart, was started in 1972 by Gebrüder Märklin (Maerklin Brothers - der site ist auf Deutsch) in Göppingen, Germany, as "mini-Club".  It is now handled in the U. S. by Märklin, Inc., in New Berlin, Wisconsin, and their site has a Z page.  The renowned N-Scale manufacturer, Micro-Trains Line Co., in Talent, Oregon [itself a brotherly spinoff from equally-renowned Kadee Quality Products Co., the coupler manufacturer in Medford, Oregon], now has a large line of Z-scale locomotives, cars, and accessories.   rev (30 Jan 2011)

BUT - there are smaller sizes and scales!  Wherefore this page.

The leading U.S. manufacturer of Z is still Micro-Trains; they had a trio of Z-scale SP 2-6-0 Moguls that were truly scrumptious!  They were, however, based on Nn3 models.

Here's a teaser:

MT Z SP Mogul 16000
Micro-Trains® photo used by permission.

A lot of Z equipment comes from Germany and a good Eisenbahn- und Modellbahn-Wörterbuch - Deutsch-Englisch (Railroad and Model Railroading Dictionary - German-English) is available courtesy of Chris Ozdoba.

Z scale is about 2½ times smaller than HO!  In Z scale, a scale ¼-mile is exactly (and only) 6 feet; in other words, a mile is only 24 feet!

HO is a mix of metric and English measurements in a scale of 3.5mm to the foot or 0.138" = 1', which is about 1:87.1.  HO-gauge rails are 16.5mm or 0.650" (<3/4") apart.

IDL ~1:1000 Teeny Trains
    "An Instant Classic"


Ed Lopatinsky, President of IDL Motors in San Diego, California, and his staff have developed what is almost without question the smallest operating "model" (read "miniature") railroad system in the world to date. Founded in 1951, IDL (Industrial Design Labs) specialized in manufacturing air filtration systems used for defense against nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) weapons.  Later, in the 90’s, IDL Motors engineers incorporated several unique designs of very special thin and ultra-thin motors (both radial and linear) to activate radial or linear moving devices.  DING!  Moving devices?  YES!  Working miniature railroads at an unheard of ~1:1000 scale!  Why not?   new (03 Jan 2015)

[Much of the information which follows, including most photographs and diagrams, is from, with permission, the IDL Teeny Trains website and from material kindly furnished by IDL Motors.]

[In some of the pictures which follow, you can see ~1:500 vehicles mixed in with the ~1:1000 trains.]

The basic idea is that of the well-known linear induction motor, in which an object can move controllably along any smooth surface without electrical connection or mechanical guides.  It is an enhanced linear drive made from two basic elements, a stator and a rotor run by an electronic controller.  Larger coils (wider tracks) would move heavier vehicles (that would also require higher energy consumption); similarly, smaller coils (narrower tracks) would move lighter vehicles (requiring less energy consumption).  Varying speed, stopping, and reversing (including acceleration and deceleration) are easily accomplished by changing frequencies and polarities.  Many sound options are also available, such as horns or whistles in correlation with train movements.

The concept is best shown in this patent drawing:


The sequentially-powered coils pull the magnets along.

The latest developments allow climbing steep grades and sectional track is expected soon (as of 01 Jan 2015).  Teeny Trains are "protected by: US 7623013; US 8421280 PCT/US2008/002969".  Here's a screen shot from a video showing cars climbing and descending what appear to be 30° (possibly even 45°) grades:


Here are two still shots of a similar setup:   new (09 Jan 2015)

IDLTeenyTrainUpsnDowns  IDLTeenyTrainBulletTrain

You can see the prototype Bullet train a little better in the latter photo.

There are two types of railroad-themed products offered by IDL - items suitable for moderately-serious modelers (the scale does limit one a bit) and novelty items with flashing light strings and such; we will only touch on the latter here, for informational purposes only.  However, the ability to generate sound promises to liven up the possibilities quite a bit.

Just for example, here is the most basic miniature railroad sets (called "kits" by IDL), PS-100-A, with a steam loco and three passenger cars, and one of the wilder novelty items, a Christmas scene with two independent tracks, lights, and all the doodads:

IDLTeenyTrainPS100A13  IDLTeenyTrainDualDome

A typical set with appeal for the modeler might be the PS-100-A, with controller and optional 110/250VAC adaptor


This is a set with 1:500 taxis and buses AND a 1:1000 train, PCT-200-1, showing the controller and the optional 110/250VAC adaptor:


Those 1:500 buses might easily pass as 1:1000 railcars!

There is an optional battery pack, Battery Holder PS-001, as well:


In addition, dual-track sets with semi-independent running of two trains, are available, such as set PS-100A-T:


A beautiful wooden box can hold the parts or even a full layout:

IDLTeenyTrainWoodBox  IDLTeenyTrainBox/Layout

Designed for the craftsman for customizing is the TeenyTrack - Made in USA! PS-200US:

IDLTeenyTrackUS  IDLTeenyTrackUSbw

It will be hard for serious modelers to wait for the forthcoming sectionalized track!

Two more of the novelty items are domed sets with a haunted castle and eerily-glowing train and a train running around a Christmas tree:

IDLTeenyTrackCSHaunt  IDLTeenyTrackXmasGSDome

Finally!  I finally got around to taking a macro snaphot of the steamer and a passenger car with a U.S. dime (10¢) and the proverbial Lincoln penny (1¢):   new (21 Jan 2015)

(19 Jan 2015 photo by and © 2015 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

This has to be reshot but it's better than no shot at all.

- - - * - - -

Modular Track - TA, RA! - IDL has releaed it's new line of modular track, as well as a number of improvements to the existing line.  For starters, let's look at the new track and riser arrangement (as well as some large-scale figures and some intermediate-scale vehicles):   new (31 Jul 2015)




IDLModular4 IDLModular5
(Photos courtesy of IDL - all rights reserved)

Of course, the track is not particularly restricted to any specific scale.

- - - * - - -

More to follow - stay tuned!


See the SCALE and GAUGE and the SCALE CONVERSION TABLE: on the main Z-scale page.

You might also like to look at José Lopez, Jr.'s The Scale Card, for a most extensive discussion of scales.  I have a write-up and photo of his Z-scale Scale Card and Scale Rule on my Z-Scale page 2.

BW Script

The BERLINERWERKE SAGA, the story of the HO Berlinerwerke pike,
is now on its own page with the Horseshoe Curve story.


The full BERLINERWERKE-Z SAGA, the Z-scale pike story
now appears on its own page (and continues onto two more).

Visit these courtesy and official home pages:

Long Island Sunrise - Trail Chapter
(National Railway Historical Society)

Sunrise Trail Division
(Northeastern Region)
(National Model Railroad Association)

Ztrack Magazine
The Newsletter for Z Scale Model Railroading

Long Island Live Steamers

Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal Railroad

Degnon Terminal Railroad

Marion River Carry Railroad

You may also wish to jump to SB,III's RAILROAD Page,

A sampling of some of the finer (and tinier) Z accessories can be found at Microscopic Z Accessories on Z Scale Continuation Page 2; Miller Engineering material formerly here has been moved there.


        (on Z-Scale page 3 as of 01 Jan 2000 - click on heading above to go there directly)

Z-Scale continues on the Z-SCALE CONTINUATION Page 1.

For Z-scale construction articles, see my Z Scale Articles page.

For the story of the Berlinerwerke-Z (my layout), see the Berlinerwerke-Z Saga page, et. seq.

For tall tales of the BW and its equipment and such, visit the Berlinerwerke Apocrypha page.

Should you run across a Z-Auction (I found it on the HotBot search engine), it has nothing to do with Z-Scale; it is an electronics, computer, and Beanie Baby (really!) auction!

Oh, Hell!  Wouldn't you know!  Amazon.com now has some feature called zShops, whatever they might be (I can't find any explanation on their site).

Best regardZ,  S.B.,III

Someone else signs off, "Be Z'ing you!"


  What happens to all this when I DIE or (heaven forfend!) lose interest?  See LEGACY.


See Copyright Notice on primary home page.

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Contact S. Berliner, III

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prevpage.gif = frstpage.gif subjndex.gif nextpage.gif
To tour the Z-scale pages in sequence, the arrows take you from the first Z-scale page to the Z-Scale index, then to this page, continuation pages 1 and up, the Z articles page, the 6 BW-Z saga pages, and, and finally to the current Ztrack page.

© Copyright S. Berliner, III - 2005, 2011, 2013, 2015  - all rights reserved.

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