[J-14] ブロック橋脚 (Pier block)


この記事のねらい/Goal of this article

[J-14] ブロック橋脚について詳しく知る。
To deep dive into [J-14] Pier block.

J-14 ブロック橋脚/Pier block
The most important scenery part. Mandatory to elevate rails.
Recommended number of possession
18~60 (3~10 packs)遊びかたによりますが、もっとも大量に使うと思われるパーツです。ニュー坂レール(R-06)、高架直線レール(R-26)や高架曲線レール(R-27)にもブロック橋脚が付属しますので、合計で考えるとよいでしょう。
Though it depends on your way to play Plarail, it could be a Plarail part you need the most. As slope rail (R-06), elevated straight rail (R-26), and elevated curve (R-27) rail also come with pier blocks, take those into account to estimate total number.
When to get
For ages 3+
Get it when a kid stops just destroying a track and starts to build a track with adult.
ブロック橋脚の概要/Overview of pier block.

Pier block is necessary to elevate a track.
Place it under a rail joint.

つなぎ目を支えます/Support the joint.

The height of pier block is designed so that a train can go through the pier block and under the rail elevated by pier blocks.
Also, pier blocks can be piled up as many as you want and rails can be laid at each level.

積み重ねて、下をくぐって/Multi-story track.

1段あたりの高さは66mm (2.6″)。J-15 ミニ橋脚4つと同じ高さです。
It’s 66mm (2.6″) tall. Equivalent to 4 mini piers (J-15).

高さは66mm/The height is 66mm (2.6″).

R-06 ニュー坂レール1本でブロック橋脚1つ分の高さを上り下りします。
A slope rail (R-06) goes up/down by 1 pier block.

R-06 ニュー坂レールにもブロック橋脚が付いてきます
R-06 Slope rail comes with pier blocks.
1セット6個入り/Set of 6.
ブロック橋脚のなかま/Pier block family.

The rails on a pier block aren’t fixed and it falls down easily by being tripped over.
There are protrusions on a pier block which helps to hold rails to some extent.
Rails are fixed very well when the track passes through stacked pier blocks thanks to it being clamped.

ずれ防止の出っぱり/Protrusions to prevent falling off.

橋脚の上にあるミゾや穴には、小さな鉄橋(J-03)や大きな鉄橋(J-04)、また高架レール(R-26, R-27)や複線レール(R-04, R-05)などに付いている架線柱を取り付けることができます。
You can install small railroad bridge (J-03), large railroad bridge (J-04), or overhead wire poles which are accompanied with elevated rails (R-26, R-27) or double track rails (R-04, R-05).
Cutouts at the bottom of a pier block allows to install a railroad bridge between stacked pier blocks.

It allows multi-level turnout as well – a straight branch at one level and a curve branch at another level.
Although it looks pretty tight, you can place pier blocks as shown below.
The chamfer on the column of pier block seems in order not to be hit by a train in this use.

Pier blocks can also be used for point rails.

Can be used for point rails as well.

高架レール(R-26, R-27)は幅が広いので、組み合わせによってはうまく橋脚を置けない場合があります。
As elevated rails (R-26, R-27) are wider, several combinations won’t allow to place pier blocks for multi-level turnout.

Pier blocks support stations or traffic lights on an elevated track.

Pier block for a station or a traffic light.

We use pier blocks very frequently, though not all Plarail set products provide those.
Get 12~18 pier blocks to use those without piling up or occasionally stack. Target this number at the first step.

If you want to build a track layout with 2~3 stacks of pier blocks, then you’ll need 30~40 pier blocks. It might look too much, but it’s unique to Plarail to build a tower of train track using pier blocks.
Building 3-D track requires to use a brain a lot and good to establish fine motor skills. Also, it allows to build more interesting tracks for the area.

Having said that, no amount of pier blocks would be enough. Set your own limit and play within what you have.
Note that pier blocks are accompanied with slope rail (R-06), elevated straight rail (R-26), and elevated curve rail (R-27) as well. If you buy elevated rails after you get sufficient amount of pier blocks, that would be too much.

使いかたのコツ (Tips for Use)

重ねた橋脚の間にレールを通す (Let the rails pass through between stacked pier blocks)

Let’s take a look at the following two track layouts.

Layout B is built by modifying layout A; the 2nd level circle track on gray pier blocks is moved to the right.

Layout A looks nicer, doesn’t it?
On the other hand, a layout with tracks between stacked pier blocks, like layout B, has several advantages as follows.

1. レイアウトが丈夫になる (Increase stiffness)

Pier blocks clamping a track do not only hold the tracks but also prevent from collapse of stacking pier blocks themselves.
Regarding circle(s) built with yellow pier blocks, B is stronger than that of A.

The more pier blocks piled up high, the more important to let rails pass through between the pier blocks to get the entire track stronger.

2. 橋脚の節約につながる (Save pier blocks)

Although the number of rails used is same, the number of pier blocks used is significantly different – 24 for layout A and 16 for layout B.
In layout B, the 2nd level and the 3rd level commonly use yellow pier blocks, namely all the 8 gray pier blocks are saved which are used in layout A.

As you see above, you can save the pier blocks by letting tracks pass through common sections at each level.

There are even more ways to save pier blocks. Will introduce it in another article.

Would you like it?
We reviewed pier blocks, the most frequently used supporting part of Plarail.
It will be more fun if you get familiar with the use of pier blocks. Hope this article helps.