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Three Way Turnouts

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  • Member since
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  • From: Miles City, Montana
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Three Way Turnouts
Posted by FRRYKid on Sunday, December 03, 2017 7:31 PM

This one is coming out of left field but: Has anyone in HO ever worked with 3-way switches? I have been floating the thought of using one to condense a yard ladder out of a car shop. I have heard positives and negatives about using them. Any advise would be wlecomed.

"The only stupid question is the unasked question."
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  • From: Collinwood, Ohio, USA
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Posted by gmpullman on Sunday, December 03, 2017 7:53 PM

I have two on my layout. Both Walthers/Shinohara code 83. In one case by the Diesel shop one leg of the three-way goes directly to a wye turnout and the geometry works out pretty well.

I don't have any issues with them. I DO make the usual checks before installing as with any turnout:

Does it sit perfectly level, is there plastic that needs to be filed from the frog, are all the jumpers securely welded in place and do the points move freely and mate with the stock rail smoothly. Then I check these things again after it is installed.

YMMV as they say Smile

Good Luck, Ed

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Posted by peahrens on Sunday, December 03, 2017 8:14 PM

I have a W-S code 83 3-way (I forget which #).  My overall advise is to go with what you want in terms of yard design.  While there may be a quirk to contend with, it will be quite manageable and worth the effort.

In my case, DCC operation where minor shorts can yield sound hiccups, I did have a not so uncommon issue occur.  The particular W-S I chose has a really short piece of rain where too deep loco wheel treads in one path can bridge to another rail piece such that a quick short occurs.  Someone here pointed out how to deal with the quirky issue.

A common fix is to simply paint that tiny piece of track with some nail polish.  But you may need to re-coat it every 5 years or so!  I'll see if I can see the related photos.  I'd say go for it, not a big deal.

 

Paul

Modeling HO with a transition era UP bent

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  • From: Miles City, Montana
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Posted by FRRYKid on Sunday, December 03, 2017 8:19 PM

Are those "hot" frog or "dead" frog? From what I have read, "hot" frogs are an electrical headache to wire. If I were to purchase one, I am leaning toward a Peco Insulfrog (Code 100 as almost all the track I have is code 100 Atlas) as it has the "dead" frog which doesn't require the special wiring.

"The only stupid question is the unasked question."
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Posted by peahrens on Sunday, December 03, 2017 8:52 PM

FRRYKid

Are those "hot" frog or "dead" frog? From what I have read, "hot" frogs are an electrical headache to wire. If I were to purchase one, I am leaning toward a Peco Insulfrog (Code 100 as almost all the track I have is code 100 Atlas) as it has the "dead" frog which doesn't require the special wiring.

 

My reaction is that the first question is whether you are going to power your frogs on all your turnouts.  If so, power these also. 

My switches are Tortoise thrown, and I powered the frogs like all my other via the Tortoise aux contacts.  Not a problem after I had the habit of prepping my turnouts before installing by adding a frog wire and inserting it through a hole.  I don't know how the Peco's work but my bias is that whatever you do for a normal turnout re: frog powering is simple to apply the 3-way, just done twice.

 

Perhaps, if you are not powering typical turnouts frogs, these are an issue as your loco can hit sequential unpowered frogs on the 3-ways.  In that case, I can't say whether to power the 3-way frogs only..  Perhaps others can advise for that case.

Paul

Modeling HO with a transition era UP bent

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  • From: Collinwood, Ohio, USA
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Posted by gmpullman on Sunday, December 03, 2017 9:05 PM

FRRYKid
From what I have read, "hot" frogs are an electrical headache to wire.

Are you using DCC?

If so, in a situation like this, a Tam Valley Frog Juicer can be used to power your frogs quickly and reliably.

http://www.tamvalleydepot.com/products/dccfrogjuicers.html

 

One of my three-ways is Tortoise thrown and, like Paul, I use the Tortoise contacts to power the frogs on that one. The other is on hand throws and the Frog Juicer is the way to go.

 

Regards, Ed

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  • From: Miles City, Montana
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Posted by FRRYKid on Sunday, December 03, 2017 9:20 PM

I don't use DCC. I have a few steamers that I don't know how I would convert them to DCC. Additionally, converting my 30 diesels would get expensive.

My frogs don't ribbit. (Sorry, my humor decided to make an appearance.) I run large enough wheelbase engines with all wheel pickup that I have never had a problem.

THe issue of throwing the switch is another one that would have come up eventually. I would want to have an "automatic" throw as the control panel for that area hides behind a background building.

"The only stupid question is the unasked question."
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Posted by MisterBeasley on Sunday, December 03, 2017 9:53 PM

I've got two Peco 3-way turnouts and one Walthers-Shinohara.  They all work fine.  I do power my frogs on the W-S turnouts.  The Pecos are short code-100 models and have plastic frogs, as I recall.  I use Tortoises for the W-S turnout an Peco machines for the Peco turnout.

Here, I used both a curved turnout and a 3-way turnout to build a tight 5-track yard throat on a curve.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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Posted by FRRYKid on Monday, December 04, 2017 9:52 AM

MisterBeasley: Sent you a PM.

"The only stupid question is the unasked question."
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Posted by babefluff on Monday, December 04, 2017 11:31 AM

I use a 3 way Peco code 100 insulfrog at the entrance to a staging yard with no issues.

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Posted by EMDSD40 on Friday, December 08, 2017 6:31 PM

I have two AHM 3-way turnouts soldered in place for nearly 30 years. These are code 100 brass rail and powered by the original switch coils. Too date they have functioned correctly with both steam and diesel locomotives.

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Posted by BigDaddy on Friday, December 08, 2017 6:45 PM

EMDSD40
I have two AHM 3-way turnouts

They are hard to find these days, IF someone really wanted brass track

 
 

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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Posted by rrebell on Saturday, December 09, 2017 8:40 AM

Great space saver and no problem on my Shinohara 3-way. 

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Posted by railandsail on Wednesday, May 09, 2018 10:27 PM

3-Way Peco, code100,

I have 2 nice code100 Peco 3-way turnouts. I want to use at least one of them to route traffic to my 3 different staging areas.

Mine appear to have plastic frogs with good separation of the tracks forming the frogs at the two locations where the 3 tracks exit the turnout. The single frog where the two diverging routes seperate has a plastic frog as well, but its frog looks as though it could allow shorting by wide wheels.

I assume it is an insulfrog version?

I want to run DCC, so I am a bit concerned about this insulfrog 3-way producing stalling of some locos that may not have a multiwheel pickup capability.

And I doubt I could convert it to an electrofrog version??

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Thursday, May 10, 2018 6:28 AM

railandsail

3-Way Peco, code100,

Mine appear to have plastic frogs with good separation of the tracks forming the frogs at the two locations where the 3 tracks exit the turnout. The single frog where the two diverging routes seperate has a plastic frog as well, but its frog looks as though it could allow shorting by wide wheels.

I assume it is an insulfrog version?

I want to run DCC, so I am a bit concerned about this insulfrog 3-way producing stalling of some locos that may not have a multiwheel pickup capability.

And I doubt I could convert it to an electrofrog version?? 

You can't convert insul frog to electro frog because the frog is plastic and naturally does not conduct electricity.

On a forum, he who should not be mentioned recommended electro frog for two reasons:

- the plastic frogs on insul frog have been observed to wear down over time with heavy use (plastic is less durable than metal).  Some may say they have never had a Peco plastic frog wear out; mileage may vary, but if you want to "future proof" your layout, then metal frogs are logically more durable.

- electro frog if powered, you will have much fewer problems with loco's stalling for those more prone to it.

I do have a small number of insul frog turnouts but any future purchases I plan on going with all electro frog.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

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Posted by Redvdub1 on Thursday, May 10, 2018 7:43 AM

Our club uses a very old Shinohara 3-way and we have no problems with DCC even though it is technically "not DCC friendly".  I did jumper the point-closure rails because the rail joiners were not adequate for electrical continuity.  No gapping required. 

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Friday, May 11, 2018 10:01 AM

I red recently on another forum a post by a hobby shop notifying that Walthers was discontinuing their line of code 83 track made for them by Shinohara.  If so, that is sad news as I always thought it was fine looking track.

Apparently the demand is no longer there.  Mostly I bought it for speciaty turnouts like the large #8 curved turnouts, 3-way turnouts and double slip switches, #8 turnouts etc.

 

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

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Posted by BigDaddy on Friday, May 11, 2018 5:17 PM

riogrande5761
I red recently on another forum a post by a hobby shop notifying that Walthers was discontinuing their line of code 83 track made for them by Shinohara.

There is a flury of post saying that either Walthers is for sale or Shinohara is closing.  Back to Atlas

 

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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