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#8 Turnouts for mainline single crossovers

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#8 Turnouts for mainline single crossovers
Posted by northeast_train_guy_1965 on Wednesday, March 15, 2017 4:30 PM

I am building my first HO layout in 25 years and I have always had a passion for Passenger trains during the height of rail travel in the U.S. . I like running long consists wirhn a full compliment of cars...baggage, combine, kitchen, dining, parlor, several coaches, sleepers, and observation cars and I plan on building a fully functioning yard...engine facility, commesary, railexpress, car cleaning/repair, etc.

 

With that said I want to run two lines (East/West) and teo crossovers. I have to dramatically reduce speed to negotiate #6 crossovers.

 

How popular are #8 turnouts and will my consist negotiate it better and at a faster speed?

 

 

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Posted by cuyama on Thursday, March 16, 2017 10:04 AM

northeast_train_guy_1965
With that said I want to run two lines (East/West) and teo crossovers. I have to dramatically reduce speed to negotiate #6 crossovers.   How popular are #8 turnouts and will my consist negotiate it better and at a faster speed?  

Welcome back to the hobby. You are fortunate to have room for such ambitious plans. #8 turnouts are available from multiple manufacturers in HO. Note that real-life passenger trains slowed down considerably for crossovers unless they were of a very large frog number (like #20). Blasting through a crossover made with #8s isn’t realistic for the model or the prototype. (But you could probably go through a little faster than with the #6s.)

Walthers also offers #10s.

One could certainly learn to hand-lay turnouts and experiment with much higher frog numbers -- and, like the prototype, with movable frogs at high frog numbers. But these would take an inordinate amount of room on the model.

Good luck with your layout.

 

 

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Thursday, March 16, 2017 10:50 AM

You can get code 83 #8 turn outs inexpensively from Atlas. Walthers (made by Shinohara) also makes #8 turnouts in code 83.

For long cars crossing over mainlines, I highly recommend using #8 turnouts to build a cross over.  I have a cross over in my yard and used #8 turnouts there too.  They don't eat up a ton of space and should be fine in HO - of course at high speeds, larger is a good idea but in model form #8 may be ok.

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Posted by carl425 on Thursday, March 16, 2017 12:29 PM

northeast_train_guy_1965
How popular are #8 turnouts and will my consist negotiate it better and at a faster speed?

They are popular on my layout.  I use #5's in staging, but all my visable turnouts are #8 or #10.

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Posted by RR_Mel on Thursday, March 16, 2017 2:39 PM

My layout is small (14’ x 10’) and all of my visible mainline turnouts are code 83 Atlas Custom Line #6.  I too run full complement passenger trains, ABB + 10 72’ cars.  I went with 72’ passenger cars because of my small layout, 85’ car are too long for a 10’ between tunnels mainline.
 
I can easily run a scale 60 MPH through the #6 turnouts without any problems although I rarely run any thing over 40 MPH as a rule.
 
I have a home brew double crossover using Atlas Custom Line #6s with 2” center to center spacing, works great.
 
 
 
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Posted by mobilman44 on Friday, March 17, 2017 12:18 PM

Hi,

I was really happy when Atlas brought out the #8 turnouts, and installed 4 single crossovers on my HO layout.  The only thing I had to do was add an Atlas relay to power the frogs.  With that, they are absolutely outstanding!

ENJOY  !

 

Mobilman44

 

Living in southeast Texas, modeling the "postwar" Santa Fe and Illinois Central 

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Friday, March 17, 2017 2:33 PM

I've only bought one Atlas #8 code 83 turnout so far; the only thing I didn't like about it was the frog is rather high but trains seem to go through it without issues.

My #8 crossover is made from two Watlhers code 83 #8 turnouts I bought some years back and saved for this layout.

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Posted by nealknows on Friday, March 17, 2017 3:00 PM

I have 10 sets of Atlas #8 Code 100 single crossovers on the layout. They work like a charm and haven't had any issues. I run freight thru them and will run passenger trains thru them a little faster, but nothing like a toy train running, if that makes sense. 

Neal

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Posted by steemtrayn on Sunday, March 19, 2017 9:09 AM

On the prototype, #8 switches are what you would find in a yard with a speed limit of 15 mph. Model railroading is full of compromises.

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Posted by BRAKIE on Sunday, March 19, 2017 9:20 AM

Dave,#8 switches in HO is equal to high speed switches on the prototype..If I could build a basement size switching layout I would use #8s since they look more realistic(to my eyes) then sixes.

Larry

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Posted by doctorwayne on Sunday, March 19, 2017 12:46 PM

riogrande5761
I've only bought one Atlas #8 code 83 turnout so far; the only thing I didn't like about it was the frog is rather high but trains seem to go through it without issues....

I had a similar incident with Atlas #6 turnouts, but all of my locomotives ran through them without difficulty.  I only noticed the problem when a friend brought over a couple of brass steam locomotives to run, as he had no layout at that time,  They would stall on some turnouts but not others, and I finally discovered that the problem was caused by high frogs on those turnouts.  My plastic steamers, mostly Bachmann, had all-wheel pick-up on the locomotives and I had re-wired them so that they could run without the tender (useful for troubleshoooting when making other modifications).  This allowed them to cross the raised, but dead frog without hesitation, while the brass locos, with their stiff springing, had all of their drivers on that side lifted right off the live portion of the rails as soon as a couple of drivers were on the raised portion, causing them to stop dead.
A few passes with a mill file on each of the offending turnouts solved the problem.

Wayne

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Posted by northeast_train_guy_1965 on Sunday, March 19, 2017 9:43 PM

Not sure if I should start a new #8 Crossover thread for this #8 Turnout related question.

 

if I wanted to make a #8 double crossover for my passenger terminal what angle crossing should I use so the east-west tracks run parallel?

I have tried it in Anyrail with an Atlas 12.5Degreeand a 19 degree crossover but I can' see it fittig Smmothlyor tracks running parallel.

 

 

 

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Posted by Steven Otte on Monday, March 20, 2017 8:55 AM

northeast_train_guy_1965

Not sure if I should start a new #8 Crossover thread for this #8 Turnout related question.

 

if I wanted to make a #8 double crossover for my passenger terminal what angle crossing should I use so the east-west tracks run parallel?

I have tried it in Anyrail with an Atlas 12.5 Degreeand a 19 degree crossover but I can't see it fitting Smmothly or tracks running parallel.

The frog angle of a no. 8 turnout is about 7.125 degrees, so for two of those to cross, you'd need a crossing of 14.25 degrees.

A 19-degree crossing is made for a no. 6 crossover, no. 6 turnouts having an approximately 9.5-degree frog angle.

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, March 20, 2017 9:01 AM

Steven Otte

 

 
northeast_train_guy_1965

Not sure if I should start a new #8 Crossover thread for this #8 Turnout related question.

 

if I wanted to make a #8 double crossover for my passenger terminal what angle crossing should I use so the east-west tracks run parallel?

I have tried it in Anyrail with an Atlas 12.5 Degreeand a 19 degree crossover but I can't see it fitting Smmothly or tracks running parallel.

 

 

The frog angle of a no. 8 turnout is about 7.125 degrees, so for two of those to cross, you'd need a crossing of 14.25 degrees.

A 19-degree crossing is made for a no. 6 crossover, no. 6 turnouts having an approximately 9.5-degree frog angle.

 

That is something that I never knew. So, the crossing is 1/2 the frog angle. How do you go about finding the frog angle on a turnout?

Rich

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Posted by northeast_train_guy_1965 on Monday, March 20, 2017 12:43 PM

Thanks for the info. 

 

Follow up question.  where can one get a 14.25 crossing and /or what would be the best workabble solution. I tried designing a #8 double crossover in Anyrail and a 12.5 degree Atlas crossing nor the 19 degree crossing are a workable solution yielding parallel main lines.

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Posted by rrinker on Monday, March 20, 2017 1:01 PM

arctan(1/frog number) gives the diverging angle in degrees.

It derives from trigonometry and what the frog number represents. You can just use the formula, or work it out - the frog angle is how many units you need to go before the diverging tracks are 1 unit apart. So a #6 - for every 6 units (meaning any measurement you like - feet, inches, meters, pencils, pieces of paper, whataver, as long as you use the SAME units for both the distance and the divergences) away from the frog point, the two diverging lines are 1 unit apart. SO 6 feet away, the tracks are 1 foot apart. 6 centimeters away, the tracks are 1 centimeter apart. FOr a #8, it's 1 unit apart for every 8 units away. 

https://www.mathsisfun.com/sine-cosine-tangent.html

Tan(angle) is opposite/adjacent. The frog number is the length of the adjacent side when the opposite is 1

So tan(angle) = 1/6 for a #6 turnout

or angle = arctan(1/6) = 9.5 (close enough)

The gotcha? Atlas Custom Line #4 turnouts are actually a #4.5. Other brands #4 really means #4. Atlas #6 and #8 really are those numbers.

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Posted by DSchmitt on Monday, March 20, 2017 3:08 PM

I have a book of reprinted Pennsylania Railroad Standard Plans published by The Builders Compendium.  It includes a "No 8 Turnout and Crossover 13 ft 0in Center to Center of Tracks".  It is dated Feb 1905 and last revised Jan 1913.  A pencil note says "obsolete by letter 12/8/16".    

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Posted by Pinball Wizard on Monday, March 20, 2017 6:22 PM

Like the OP, I am returning to the hobby after several decades.  Back in the 1960s, I was doing HO.  I had the typical dogbone with passing tracks in the middle to make it look like a 4-track main line.  I used flex track & #8s for crossovers.  That worked very nicely for me.

I really don't have the space or time that I used to so I decided to try N scale & sectional track.  I got a basic oval going with Kato unitrak but when I started researching expanding it into my old 4-track main idea, I ran into some discouragement.  I understand the Kato crossovers are #4 or #6.  I really don't want to do that.  Combining two #8 turnouts seems to place the tracks too far apart to look reasonable.

So, I am asking for anyone who has N scale sectional experience doing crossovers with double track or more for advice about your experience.  I am not necessarily interested in high speed operation.....15 mph Slow Approach would be good enough.....I am more concerned with how passenger cars or something long like a GG1 would look going through the crossover.

Thanks.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Tuesday, March 21, 2017 7:39 AM

rrinker

arctan(1/frog number) gives the diverging angle in degrees.

It derives from trigonometry and what the frog number represents.

Now if someone would have only told me that back when I was taking Algebra II/Trig back in high school, I would have had a reason to pay more attention and remember it!  I  don't think we used much Trig in my college math classes like Calculus and Linear Algebra.  I didn't think I would ever use Calculus again, but as it turned out when I was in graduate school working on my masters degree, I took a hyrdogeology class and the ground water flow part of the course had a take home exam.  Turns out 4 of the 5 questions required calculus to answer; I had to drop everything and go back and relearn dif eq's and the chain rule and thankfully got a B on the exam.  Trig, well, this is the first instance I have seen out side of class where it was useful to me!

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Posted by cuyama on Tuesday, March 21, 2017 10:33 AM

Pinball Wizard
I understand the Kato crossovers are #4 or #6.  I really don't want to do that.

The KATO double-crossover is built with #6 frogs. They seem to work fine with all N scale equipment (as long as the builder does not create S-curves by placing curves too close to the double-crossovers). Single crossovers built with #6 KATO turnouts also seem to work fine.

Atlas Code 55 is not click-track, but sectional pieces are available. This includes #7 and #10 turnouts. The diverging legs may need to be trimmed a bit for the tightest track-to-track spacings.

Pinball Wizard
I am more concerned with how passenger cars or something long like a GG1 would look going through the crossover.

They don't look as good passing through the KATO #6s as they would through the Atlas C55 #10s, but in general the KATO Unitrack does not look as good as the Atlas C55, so it's a matter of trade-offs. Unitrack is easy, fast, and reliable. Atlas C55 requires more time and care in track-laying.

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Posted by northeast_train_guy_1965 on Wednesday, March 22, 2017 1:19 PM

The Atlas online catalog states the angle on a #8 Turnout to be 7.9 degrees. Other than hand laying Track, how would the crossing for the crossover on a double crossover be achieved?

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Posted by RR_Mel on Wednesday, March 22, 2017 2:24 PM

I did a quickie drawing on my CAD for a #8 double crossover and it would take up a chunk of real estate.  At 2” spacing it calcs to 32” long using a 15.8° crossover for HO.   
 
 
Mel
 
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Posted by northeast_train_guy_1965 on Saturday, March 25, 2017 5:50 PM

If I measured correctly (extremely low vision ) my two #8 left hand turnouts  together to make a single crossover are spaced apart 2" on center. I believe that is the NMRA minimum standard. My outside curves are 22" and my inside curves yeild a 20" curve. I run long passenger cars, the 85' coaches, etc.

 

Should I have a wider spacing for this type configuration and equipment?

 

I was thinking of adding a 1" section of track in between the turnouts. Would this configuration still stay within prototypical standards? 

 

 

 

 

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Posted by DSchmitt on Saturday, March 25, 2017 6:18 PM

[quote user="northeast_train_guy_1965"]I was thinking of adding a 1" section of track in between the turnouts. Would this configuration still stay within prototypical standards?   [/quote

Depends on the prototype railroad and the era modeled.  In the old days track spacing was a close as 13' (see the info on the Pennsylvania #6 crossover, I posted earlier).  In recent years the UP has been increasing the spacing to 20' (just over 2 3/4'' in HO scale) on many of their routes. This is wider spacing than the NMRA standard for 18" radius. 

 Because of our very sharp curves, compared to the prototype we usually have to have wider spacing than the prototype on curves.  Also there is no rule that spacing on tangents and curves have to be the same.  

Here are the NMRA standards for track centers (spacing) 

http://www.nmra.org/sites/default/files/standards/sandrp/pdf/s-8.pdf

Note in HO scale 2 1/6" is the prefered minimum for handling cars (being able to grab them with our fat fingers).  The Minimum for tangent track is 1 13/16"  (hopefully never need to handle cars)   and the spacing goes up from there.   The HO track centers are based on tests showing what works.

 

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