A reader asks:
I was wondering of you knew anything about "TY" scale.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaueAkqvrDc
I found a website that sells layouts but I can't seem to find info on the trains themselves. Or anyone who sells the trains so one can built their own layout.
Might you know something about these things? - Steve
What they're not telling you is that it's not actually a train on tracks. It's an oval slot cut in a tiny board with a belt drive mechanism that drags whatever you attach to it in a circle. No wheels on this train.
Your best bet if you want to do something from "Scratch" would be to buy the undecorated mechanism:http://www.tiny-trains.net/product/4X7
Hawthorne Village made a set like this that was $80 or so for a single "layout" that you could combine with other ones. But they're discontinued.
Tinkerers in the 1960s and 1970s used to route a track, then drill a series of a hundred or more tiny holes all slanting in the same direction. Attach it to a reasonably air-tight box with an air pump inside (receiving input through a hole in the size). They'd carve something representing a train out of balsa wood, set it on the track, and watch it go in circles. If the pressure was too high and the thing was going up in the air, they'd drill pressure relief holes in the side of the platform. The whole thing might cost $20 plus whatever you did to put scenery on it.
Ok, more than you want to know.
Hope this helps.