As the first post here, it’s purpose is to tell you what this Blog is all about …

  1. To research the history of Bandai’s “B-Train Shorty” range of N scale model trains, and promote them outside of Japan where there are virtually unknown.
  2. To advertise new and upcoming releases.
  3. To show how they can be assembled/modified.
  4. To document the building of TWO layouts that will feature these trains 🙂

If you are looking for information about them on the web, it is written in Japanese like this =>  Bトレインショーティー

Their web page link is in the Blogroll but is not updated with the latest releases until they are usually already out.

Bandai introduced this model range  a few years back, and since then have released literally hundreds of sets covering everything from Bullet trains, electric steam & diesel locos, passenger & freight cars and diesel & electric multiple unit sets. Basically they are static N scale train models that have been ‘shortened’ !!! The detail level is quite good and the only thing missing is a length of the car in the middle. Supplied are plastic wheels and bogies that do not swivel, but they will fit on N gauge track. If you want to operate these, you can replace the bogies with certain ones supplied by Kato, and there are also power units from Kato that can be used to make these trains run.  Shorty trains are very popular in Japan, with whole layouts being used that have only these trains on them.  If you see pictures of these trains along their length, you do not really notice that they are shorter than they should be – the illusion is only destroyed if you see the train side-on.

Most sets come in a 2 car pack, which includes one end car and one middle car.  If you buy two sets, you can then run a 4 car train. However if you want more middle cars, you will have extra end cars wasted 😦 Some sets have been released in 4 or 6 car versions, so you have a more ‘correct’ version of the train. I thought it would be a nice touch to run one of these for the kiddies at exhibitions – you often see Thomas running on other layouts, but I am not willing to go that far 🙂

When in Japan recently, I picked up Bandai’s 700 series Shinkansen releases. They make a 4 car set plus a 4 car add-on, so there are 8 different cars out of the prototype’s 16. Extra side/roof parts are included so that you can actually create all 16 individual cars, however to do that you need to buy 3x the main set and 5x the addon set 😦  I wasn’t willing to waste that much money, so I worked out a reasonable approximation of the train in a 16 car configuration using just two main sets and three addon sets. After this I decided it would be nice to have a layout specifically to run these on, so that will be the topic of future posts …


2 Responses

  1. Hi mate, I clicked on this link because I wanted to find out the basics behind these cute little trains.

    I first saw them when I was shopping for toys at Jusco Daito (Sasebo, Kyushu) at Christmas 2008.
    Then they were just cute toys to me but now the range has expanded and maybe there are good reasons to think about them.
    Why do you like them? Why do you collect them? Will they fit and run OK on the more normal N scale layouts?

    Any chance of expanding this page to cover these and any other beginner level questions that might be useful to expand on?

  2. Hi,

    Thanks for this page- the first I’ve seen about B Train Shorty sets that’s not in Japanese. I run B Train Shorty EMUs with Kato chassis, Lenz decoders and working Sommerfeldt pantographs- and smLED lights!

    I’m not so keen on the Shinkansen sets, which to my mind don’t fit the format as well as the EMUs.

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