Where are three way turnouts generally used? I would not expect them to be on a main line so I suspect yards or multi use spurs. The reason I ask is which number to select ie 4,5, or 6?
Bruce in the Peg
Wow....perfect timing. I was just thinking last night that I've got a spot to use one in my yard, for a lead to the RIP track. Just never really looked at them before so I wasn't sure what would work there.
I use mine in a yard throat. It affords me simple directional assignment to one of two A/D tracks and a switching lead.
I think that you can use a three-way
turnout where ever you want to. If you need to save space, they will
do that. They are just two turnouts laid really close together.
However, to be practical about it, You wouldn't use the number 4 or 5
on a mainline. Use the number 6 there.
AND, because they are two
turnouts laid really close to each other, the practical places are -
coming into a track congested area where trains would be slowing down
anyway, industrial switching areas, and yards. Select the frog angle
that makes the most sense or will fit your situation better.
The above is my opinion, from an active and experienced Model Railroader in N scale and HO since 1961.
(Modeling Freelance, Eastern US, HO scale, in 1962, with NCE DCC for locomotive control and a stand alone LocoNet for block detection and signals.) http://waynes-trains.com/ at home, and N scale at the Club.
One unusual use was to replace a turntable (!) in front of a three-stall `radius house' in Rapid City, SD.
After steam vanished the old three-stall roundhouse was used to store seasonal-use MOW equipment. There used to be a wye elsewhere in town.
My own prototype occasionally used lap turnouts to shorten yard throats. I don't recall seeing any on main/through tracks.
Chuck (Modeling Central Japan in September, 1964 - with 3-way turnouts in hidden staging)
Here's an unusual 3-way turnout at the ATSF China Basin ferry slip in San Francisco:
Notice the point rails are even and stack together when thrown.Might be difficult to model, but definitely saves space and would be a conversation piece!
On my own Mt. Coffin & Columbia River N scale layout, I built a #5 / #6ish three-way for the engine house, service, and spur to the cannery:
[Yes, I know the ground throws are huge & resemble catapults ]
Since my layout is 23"x 41", the three-way made the interior useful in ways straight turnouts in series could not.
Layout Design Gallery
My YouTube Channel (How-to's, Layout progress videos)
Silicon Valley Free-moN
I use Walthers Shinohara #6 3-way turnouts between my coach yard and my passenger station.
I have three of these turnouts, back to back, to route trains to and from my main line tracks and the coach yard.
I would never want to use anything less than a #6 3-way turnout because of the intricacies of the track segments - - - too likely to derail on a #4.
Rich, can you elaborate on what you mean by " three 3 ways back to back"?
Maybe I should have said "end to end" instead of "back to back".
Here is a crude diagram of this setup. I could photo it on the layout if that would help.