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Double Crossover with a Double-curve Turnout

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Posted by PRR8259 on Monday, February 11, 2019 8:14 PM

I have serious concerns about this track arrangement.  I have a long radius Peco curved turnout on my layout, and I had just a small straight section before another (ladder) turnout.  The reverse curve that is created between two Peco turnouts is enough to derail some longer equipment.  It is rare for me, but once in awhile it happens.

The proposed arrangement falls far short of the needed tangent length between reverse curves that Armstrong recommended in "Track Planning for Realistic Operation" which is about 9".  Furthermore, it is basically my understanding that Peco "cheated" a little bit to save space by having a slight curve through part of the turnouts near the frog that in U.S. engineering practice is generally held tangent.  

The OP can build whatever he wants to build, but don't say we didn't try to warn you.  My biggest concern is in the taped down arrangement up above.  My eye sees kinks that are going to be a challenge in mainline use.  Also, if you are at 30" minimum radius why on earth would you want to "give that up" by reducing a section to 22" radius, or 24" radius, with kinks in it?  They say the devil is in the details.  I see kinks and I know from personal experience that kinks = pain.

Respectfully submitted--

John Mock

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Posted by railandsail on Tuesday, February 12, 2019 10:28 PM

I'm having just a little problem understanding your reply, so let me ask a question or so.

PRR8259

I have serious concerns about this track arrangement.  I have a long radius Peco curved turnout on my layout, and I had just a small straight section before another (ladder) turnout.  The reverse curve that is created between two Peco turnouts is enough to derail some longer equipment.  It is rare for me, but once in awhile it happens.

Are you speaking of the reverse curve of the double crossover itself, or the reverse curve between the 'curved Peco' and a follow on ladder turnout??

 

The proposed arrangement falls far short of the needed tangent length between reverse curves that Armstrong recommended in "Track Planning for Realistic Operation" which is about 9".

Aren't a lot of double crossovers in violation of this 9" suggestion?

 

Furthermore, it is basically my understanding that Peco "cheated" a little bit to save space by having a slight curve through part of the turnouts near the frog that in U.S. engineering practice is generally held tangent. 

Not sure I understand this, nor how this affects my configuration?

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Posted by railandsail on Tuesday, February 12, 2019 10:31 PM

Peco 'larges' instead of 'mediums'

BTW just before I locked the shed up for the evening I took a quick peak at the spot were I intended to place this double crossover arrangement. It appears to me that I can utilize 3 Peco 'large radius' turnouts rather than the 'mediums' I put in there originally. That might make the S turns of the double crossover a little less abrupt, AND as it turns out it might make the use of the underneath 'stock P10 controls' a possibility.

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Posted by Doughless on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 6:44 AM

Brian, do you mean a broader radius curved turnout, or a straight turnouts with gentler frogs?  Yes, many folks who run large "fixed" driver steamers prefer a #8 frog for crossovers.  The S curves are gentler.   #6 is usually fine for three axle diesels.

As has been stated opinion, the curved turnout itself shouldn't cause any more problems with derailing than the double crossover, since it actually eliminates one S curve.  

From experience i can say that you can fit the turnout into more combinations (of the short piece and the long flex piece) by trimming the two routes of the curved turnout, thereby shortening the distance of the fixed radii.  Once you have to rotate a curved turnout clockwise or counterclockwise to align both routes to other tracks, things become complicated, as I'm sure you're finding out. 

Edit:  And note Sheldon's comments below about the build of the crossover itself.

- Douglas

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 6:44 AM

railandsail

I'm having just a little problem understanding your reply, so let me ask a question or so.

 

 
PRR8259

I have serious concerns about this track arrangement.  I have a long radius Peco curved turnout on my layout, and I had just a small straight section before another (ladder) turnout.  The reverse curve that is created between two Peco turnouts is enough to derail some longer equipment.  It is rare for me, but once in awhile it happens.

 

Are you speaking of the reverse curve of the double crossover itself, or the reverse curve between the 'curved Peco' and a follow on ladder turnout??

 

 

 

The proposed arrangement falls far short of the needed tangent length between reverse curves that Armstrong recommended in "Track Planning for Realistic Operation" which is about 9".

 

Aren't a lot of double crossovers in violation of this 9" suggestion?

 

 

 
Furthermore, it is basically my understanding that Peco "cheated" a little bit to save space by having a slight curve through part of the turnouts near the frog that in U.S. engineering practice is generally held tangent. 

 

Not sure I understand this, nor how this affects my configuration?

 

Brian, those are all code 100 PECO turnouts right? The whole diverging route is curved, even thru the frog, thus they are not good for crossovers in my view. This is what John is refering to.

With an Atlas turnout for example, or a prototype crossover, ALL the curve is before the frog. That makes the trackage straight from frog to frog in a crossover.

Just my view, I woukd never use PECO code 100 for this reason.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 6:53 AM

 Good point. There will ALWAYS be a king where the 3 turnouts have their diverging legs connectect to the crossing. Those 3 turnouts should probably be replaced with straight ones like an Atlas Custom Line #4. That would smooth out the kinks, but there's still going to be a heck of an S curve coming from the top right to lower left, especially if the track to the lower left then curves to the right to keep the track parallel with the track coming off the lower right turnout. If it keeps going straight down on the left, you might get away with it, because opposite the ability to have a long straight (one car length at least) between curves in an S curve, the other option is to make it as short as possible.

                 --Randy

 


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Posted by Doughless on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 7:03 AM

rrinker

 Good point. There will ALWAYS be a king where the 3 turnouts have their diverging legs connectect to the crossing. Those 3 turnouts should probably be replaced with straight ones like an Atlas Custom Line #4. That would smooth out the kinks, but there's still going to be a heck of an S curve coming from the top right to lower left, especially if the track to the lower left then curves to the right to keep the track parallel with the track coming off the lower right turnout. If it keeps going straight down on the left, you might get away with it, because opposite the ability to have a long straight (one car length at least) between curves in an S curve, the other option is to make it as short as possible.

                 --Randy

 

 

Randy, if Brian will be running big steam locos through that crossover, I think #4's are going to create big problems.  I think #6's even cause issues, based upon what I read.

- Douglas

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Posted by railandsail on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 7:41 AM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL

...Brian, those are all code 100 PECO turnouts right? The whole diverging route is curved, even thru the frog, thus they are not good for crossovers in my view. This is what John is refering to.

With an Atlas turnout for example, or a prototype crossover, ALL the curve is before the frog. That makes the trackage straight from frog to frog in a crossover.

Just my view, I woukd never use PECO code 100 for this reason.

Sheldon

 

So you are saying Pecos should never be used in double crossovers?

I suspect there have been quite a number of folks that have used these??

 

 

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Posted by railandsail on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 7:52 AM

I found this,..

Jim, I would suggest not thinking in terms of frog angle simply because it is changing all the way through the turnout. The curve radii posted above were also posted by another. Think of a series of pieces of track with a 60 inch radius till the rails are 12 degrees along the curve from the starting point.

An example a 1/3 section of 18 inch radius will take an atlas number 6 switch and make the track from the diverging leg parallel the straight leg, which results in a ten degree difference.

In the case of the Peco a section of 60 inch radius track that curves 12 degrees away from the tangent would be needed to match what was in the turn out.

Sharper curves would result in smaller sections of track needed but keep in mind the reverse curves that will be involved. The 60 inch curves work reasonably well with each other when used as crossovers so the reverse curve does not seem to be an issue. I have backed long trains through them with out issue (more than 100 cars) and I put that in since you are using these for staging and if single ended may be backing full length trains through them on your layout.

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Posted by railandsail on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 8:10 AM

Sheldon, I found this quote attributed to you,..

BUT, there are other factors related to the curved frog that make them a non starter for me.

 

In theory (and in practice for the most part, other factors aside for a moment), when a railroad wheelset is traveling on straight track, the tapper of the wheels and the crown of the rail leave the flanges NOT in contact with the side of the railhead.

 

So a turnout with a straight path through the frog is less likely to have the flange loaded against the rail (or the back of the opposite wheel loaded on the guard rail) as it crosses the gap in the rail.

 

Yes, it is the job of the guard rail to pull it over to the other side, BUT, that too introduces more friction, more contact, and chances for conflict between the wheel and the rail if the route is curved.

 

Hence the number of modelers who have been known to modifiy PECO turnouts with styrene strips, etc, to improve performance.

 

The bottom line is he’s saying wheels on a curve like to keep going in a straight line, so a frog on a curve increases the chance the wheels will go down the other route with a frog on a curve.

 

Straight frogs minimize that tendency, that’s all.

 

He's also saying to protect a curved frog better, modelers may add shims to the guard rails to keep the wheel flanges well away from a curved frog point.

Joe Fugate‚Äč


 

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Posted by railandsail on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 8:22 AM

The Peco long radius turnout as listed in my first post is shown with an "effective radius" of 60". This is larger than the 48" quoted in your post. In US curve notation, this is a 13 degree curve from the link in the second paragraph above and using the the numbers in the original post it is closest to a #8 turnout. As observed by your self in the previous post, Turnout # and curvature need not necessarily be the same thing. As observed by Jim, a #8 turnout with a more gradual curve will be longer than a #6 turnout designed for the same track separation. 

 

I think we all may have answered Jim's original question but in different ways. If he can fit it in, the Peco long radius with an effective radius of 60" will do the job for long equipment, as will their code 83 #6 with effective radius of 43" (That's probably where the 43" came from - but it is an "effective radius" throughout the turnout, not measured at a specific place in the turnout or derived purely mathematically). 

 

Regards, John Garaty

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 8:40 AM

As seen by the quotes above, there was a lot of discussion on the Peco large at the other forum (which will not be mentioned!).  The conclusion seems to be, without getting back into the weeds, was they should operate smoothly and as good or better than a standard #6.  As you can see from the comparison photo below, the Peco large frog is probably close to a #7.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 9:05 AM

riogrande5761

As seen by the quotes above, there was a lot of discussion on the Peco large at the other forum (which will not be mentioned!).  The conclusion seems to be, without getting back into the weeds, was they should operate smoothly and as good or better than a standard #6.  As you can see from the comparison photo below, the Peco large frog is probably close to a #7.

 

I will keep this simple, curves after the frog are a problem when building crossovers, that has little to do with that previous conversation about turnouts in general.

But I simply would not use turnouts that curve thru the frog, especially for any kind of crossover.

The PECO code 83 is north american prototype, straight thru and after the frog, the PECO 100 is not, it has a continious curve diverging route.

Sheldon

 

    

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 9:57 AM

How can we not know your opinion on the matter?  Good grief.  Give it a rest.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

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Posted by railandsail on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 10:10 AM

rrinker

 Good point. There will ALWAYS be a kink (edited from king) where the 3 turnouts have their diverging legs connectect to the crossing. Those 3 turnouts should probably be replaced with straight ones like an Atlas Custom Line #4. That would smooth out the kinks,... Randy



I've got a question here. Wouldn't that statement indicate that NO straight sections of track should be attached to the diverging leg of a Peco?...because the Peco exit is radiused...??

 

            

 

 

 

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Posted by Doughless on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 10:52 AM

railandsail

 

 
rrinker

 Good point. There will ALWAYS be a kink (edited from king) where the 3 turnouts have their diverging legs connectect to the crossing. Those 3 turnouts should probably be replaced with straight ones like an Atlas Custom Line #4. That would smooth out the kinks,... Randy

 



I've got a question here. Wouldn't that statement indicate that NO straight sections of track should be attached to the diverging leg of a Peco?...because the Peco exit is radiused...??

 

 

            

 

 

 

 

Brian, what John Mock and Sheldon are suggesting is that the curved portion of track beyond the frog takes space that would otherwise be straight, which limits the amount of straight track in the middle of the S curve of a double crossover.  To John's point, that distance is less than what Armstrong recommended, if you will be using the turnouts you photographed.

There is more straight track in the middle of a double crossover when using Atlas turnouts than when using the Peco 100 (european geometry) because the track exiting the frog is straight (as well a entering the frog, even more length of straight).  

But, yes, if the frog # is large enough on a Peco 100, it might not cause problems, but the double crossover made with those turnouts will inherently take up more space to get that same length of straight track in the crossover than if you made it with more north american geometry track (Atlas, Peco 83). 

You could say that the straight portion of a double crossover actually starts within the turnout itself, before the frog, so its longer.

- Douglas

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 10:53 AM

 No, if you just run a siding out it would be like conencting a piece of straight track to any curve. It would continue off, no kink, at the angle of the curve. But in trying to make a double crossover, you are trying to put that piece of straight track on a very specific angle which is NOT the angle of the curve through the turnout, hence a kink.

As for #6's and steamers - would have to be a pretty darn big one to not handle a #6. My old layotu with #6's, I could run any loco I cared to try at full speed through a pair of Atlas #6's crossing over from one main to another. Up to and including 4-8-4's. The same 4-8-4 would not go through the Atlas #4 (actually a#4.5). At any speed.  If this doubel crossover is part of the main, then it should be of a radius similar to the mainline minimum radius, I know there are areas liek the yard with tighter curves and sharper turnouts where the bigger engines will not need to run, but if this double crossover is part of the main, then Atlas #6 would be a better choice. If it's part of the yard trackage where there are already 18" radius curves, then a #4 is fine. If a loco can get around 18" radius it should get through an Atlas #4 at least as well.

                             --Randy

 


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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 11:48 AM

riogrande5761

How can we not know your opinion on the matter?  Good grief.  Give it a rest.

 

I'm not the only one with this opinion, and it is based rail/wheel relationship geomtery. 

The only question is when and how much it matters.

But many seem determined to ignore the geometry.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 1:40 PM

Ok Brian, what brand/angle is the cossing? All PECO turnouts have "final angle" at the end of the divirging route of 12 degrees, and they make 12 and 24 degree crossings to match them.

Sheldon 

 

    

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Posted by railandsail on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 6:21 PM

My Peco crossing is labeled 24 degrees

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 7:32 PM

railandsail

My Peco crossing is labeled 24 degrees

 

Then it should line up correctly with your PECO turnouts, they are PECO turnouts right?

As I'm sure you figured out, I don't like PECO code 100 track. It is great quality, but it is European track geometry.

But, to each their own.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by railandsail on Friday, February 15, 2019 7:39 AM

Yesterday I discovered a problem with some of my NEW Peco crossovers. Four of my new Pecos had problems,...2 had plastic joiners in a few of the tracks had 'dips' in them, and 2 of them had little tip projections into the flangeway.

These were discovered when I experimenting with running a model 6 axle tender over them. Granted the flanges on these wheels were ever so larger than standards these days, but it was just enough to cause them to bump way up in the air as they encountered these blips in the flangeways. And I double rechecked the gauge on these wheel sets, and they were right on.

 


 

 

This is the tender that had the suspect wheels that encountered the problem thru those X crossings. It came with a nice IHC Mehano steam locomotive built in Slovenia.

 

 

I won't really describe these wheels as 'cookie cutters', but I guess their profile interacted badly with the defect in those Peco X crossings. They do not seem to have a problem with the std Peco turnouts, nor with any of the multiple Atlas turnouts I had on my old Central Midland layout.

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Posted by richhotrain on Friday, February 15, 2019 8:39 AM

So, what are you going to do about those four "defective" Peco crossings (not crossovers)?

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by railandsail on Friday, February 15, 2019 8:56 AM

I'm going to write a message to Peco and send some photos. Perhaps they had a faulty production run?

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Posted by railandsail on Friday, February 15, 2019 8:58 AM

First stage of testing

Yesterday I got one of my DC power packs and several locomotives out to see what happens when I try to run trains thru the 'custom double crossover' I am proposing. I did a rather 'slap it together' job in the interest of brevity, and not wanting to cut up too much track until I arrived at a final solution (so please excuse the blue tape holding things in place temporarily.

 

 

 

Regrettably I continued to utilize that same sort piece of 22” sectional track, just to see what would happen. Not only was it marginal in curvature, but it had sligthy deformed ends I discovered with a close up photo,...here...

 

What turned out surprising was that all the trains I ran through this route experienced NO derailments or noticeable problems with this short decreased radius track section,...even my Broadway Ltd 2-10-4 C&O T-1.

However the long driver 2-10-4 did NOT like to make the right hand turn after exiting the curved Peco (dbl curved) turnout. Its front driver would consistently jump the frog of that reverse curve.

All the other locos and cars did NOT have a problem here, even the long Bachmann northern 4-8-4 that ran over this route multiple times, slow-fast, fwd-backward, pushing-pulling those double auto racks.

 

 

 

The 6 axle Proto E8 did not have a problem. That IHC tender did not have a problem once I substituted a better Peco short X.

 

Perhaps I forgot to mention that I replaced the 3 other standard Peco turnouts with the 'large radius size' verses the 'medium radius sizes' I originally sought to use.

 

I became so engrossed with making this particular route thru the double crossover work, that I forgot to test the other route,...the one with a more direct S curve.      I will have to do that today.

I also discovered one other IMPORTANT item,....how lousy those metal track connectors are for transmitting electricity along the rails. They either MUST be soldered, or feeders run to every little section of track !!

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Posted by Doughless on Friday, February 15, 2019 9:18 AM

There was no doubt that it could work through the crossing and through the curved turnout.  The 22 inch radius curve was the only question, and that not so much since that short of a curve may not bind a long-drivered steamer.  A full curve of that radius where the length of curve provided no relief, might be an issue. 

Your first photo shows me that you can probably make that short curve even shorter and even maybe 24 inch radius and still have the diverging route of the curved turnout line up with the tangent track of the upper turnout.

Not sure about what's going on in the middle photo.  It looks like you have another turnout immediately after the curved turnout and heading the other direction, judging by the skewing of the locomotive and the tender.  It might work, but its not recommended.

And the pizza cutter flanges on old mehano equipement caused problems on some tracks.  The general consensus is that those flanges are the problem, not the offending tracks.  Although those tracks may be defective, just because they don't accomodate pizza cutter flanges doesn't mean they are.

And use a razor saw and straight edge to score the tracks evenly before cutting.  Perfect 90 degree angles helps too. One track shorter than the other causes kinks.

As far as the S curve, the first photo shows the issue with the curved diverging routes of the turnouts preventing the crossing from being straighter longer than just that short piece of sectional crossing track.  Again, it may work, its just not recommended.

- Douglas

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Posted by rrinker on Friday, February 15, 2019 10:55 AM

 Joiners that ae repeatedly connected and disconnected always work loose. And differnet brands of track, while nominally the same 'code' rail, have variations, so a joiner that fits tight on one brand of track may be loose on another. That's why I keep a handful to use for fitting track, they are the ones that get connected and disconnected multiple times. Once it's all sorted out, the final assembly of the track, when it gets fastened down, gets a set of fresh from the package, never before used joiners. 

                                  --Randy


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Posted by railandsail on Friday, February 15, 2019 10:03 PM

Second Stage of Testing

First order of business was to check that opposite cross-over route,...the one with just the two large Pecos on either corner of the short 24 degree Peco X. All of the locos, including a few new ones when thru this route with no problems. And the long auto racks as well, and that tender as well.

Next I decided to replace that short section of 22” curved track, along with the outer connecting track between the dbl-curve and the straight track portion of the std Peco. Interesting those 2 curved pieces need massaging at the same time. I had to make the short piece of the inner route shorter than what I had yesterday in order to get a decent fit with the outer curve. Trying to utilize a short piece of flex track to make the short curve connection was a real pain in the ____. I'm seriously thinking of going back and redoing it with a short piece of 24” fixed curve track,...shortened to the proper length,...holds its shape better than the short flex track piece. (if the older 22”r piece worked find, then replacing it with a 24”r piece should be just find.

I then tested all those engines on these new curves, and everything within the double crossover system worked find.

Outside of double crossover system I had placed a right hand turnout connected to the other end of the curved turnout. That creates a S turn of its own. I had tried to utilize a 'med size' Peco there, and it caused a derail almost every time with my 2-10-4 steamer. I replaced that with a 'large size' Peco, and the 2-10-4 still has some problems on occasions. I'm going to recheck that tomorrow to be sure my memory is working correctly. All of the other locos and cars worked fine on either the Med of Large size Peco. I'll probably just end up using the large size to be safe,.... for this relatively more difficult spot to reach on my layout plan.

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Posted by railandsail on Saturday, February 16, 2019 8:23 AM

PRR8259

I have serious concerns about this track arrangement.  I have a long radius Peco curved turnout on my layout, and I had just a small straight section before another (ladder) turnout.  The reverse curve that is created between two Peco turnouts is enough to derail some longer equipment.  It is rare for me, but once in awhile it happens.

The proposed arrangement falls far short of the needed tangent length between reverse curves that Armstrong recommended in "Track Planning for Realistic Operation" which is about 9".  Furthermore, it is basically my understanding that Peco "cheated" a little bit to save space by having a slight curve through part of the turnouts near the frog that in U.S. engineering practice is generally held tangent.  

The OP can build whatever he wants to build, but don't say we didn't try to warn you.  My biggest concern is in the taped down arrangement up above.  My eye sees kinks that are going to be a challenge in mainline use.  Also, if you are at 30" minimum radius why on earth would you want to "give that up" by reducing a section to 22" radius, or 24" radius, with kinks in it?  They say the devil is in the details.  I see kinks and I know from personal experience that kinks = pain.

Respectfully submitted--

John Mock

 

Thanks for that warning John. Some of your 'predictions' came true.

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Posted by railandsail on Sunday, February 17, 2019 9:32 AM

Peco Turnouts need flangeway shim (code100)

 

I thought it better to make this observation while it was fresh in my mind.

I decided to once again try running my 2-10-4 C&O T-1 thru the Peco curved turnout of my custom double crossover arrangement. It has NO problems with the 4 turnouts that make up the crossover itself. Where it has a problem is when it tries to turn off to the right after exiting the curved Peco. IF I use a MED size Peco to affect this right hand turn, the front driver on the engine derails everytime. If I use a LG size Peco things are OK. Here is photo showing all three size Pecos lined up there.

 

I experimented with putting a small straight section of track to proceed the rt hand turnout. It did NOT produce any better result,...same result as without it.

 


I do realize that the Peco CODE 100 turnouts do have curved tracks thru, and after their frogs, so that made me want to look at the radii involved. The MED size nominal radius quoted for Peco is 36". If my BL steam engine can negotiate its quoted 24" minimum, why can't it negotiate this turnout??

I am now convinced that what is needed is an old time recommendation for the Peco turnouts,....shim up the guard rail opposite the frog. That flangeway is too wide over there, allowing the axle on the locomotive to shift over just enough to make that leading driver wheel want to bump up over the frog point and derail.

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