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MOST Reliable 3-Way Turnout

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  • Member since
    February, 2009
  • 1,081 posts
MOST Reliable 3-Way Turnout
Posted by railandsail on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 8:08 AM

What is the most reliable 3-way turnout anyone has experienced?

I intend to place one in a helix 'box' just outside my train shed layout, and will be providing a door to reach in and fix derailments, but I am hoping to do that VERY seldom.

Here is my proposed use of a 3-way.


In this mock-up the carpet represents the interior of the train shed. That 6" wide floor board above the carpet is the wall thickness of the shed. Then the 3-way is mounted inside the external helix housing.

I have some nice Peco ones (pictured), and a couple of nice Roco ones.

Other recommendations?

  • Member since
    June, 2007
  • From: Northern Virginia
  • 6,120 posts
Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 8:51 AM

Shinohara makes a nice 3-way turnout in code 100 and code 83 (the code 83 is marketed under the Walthers brand name but made by Shinohara).  I have a #6 three-way in code 100 and 83.  They look very nice and operate well.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

Silly Aspie's, I have NT syndrome

  • Member since
    February, 2009
  • 1,081 posts
Posted by railandsail on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 9:20 AM

oops., I forgot to put the code track I was using. It is code 100.

I think I also have a Shinohara one, but don't they need to be 'wired up' special for DCC operation? I don't need my trains stalling out in that area for lack of contact,...or for any other reason for that matter.... Surprise

  • Member since
    December, 2004
  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
  • 18,052 posts
Posted by MisterBeasley on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 9:20 AM

I have a couple of Peco Code 100 3-way turnouts that have worked perfectly for years.  I drive them with Peco switch machines, which give me a solid, reliable throw and hold the point rails securely.

I've also got a Walthers/Shinohara Code 83 driven by Tortoise machines.  That seems to work well too.  It's at the top of a staging yard and I'm often backing trains through it.  I haven't had much experience with it yet.  I have the occasional derailment, so it needs some tweaking.  It's exposed and easy to get to, so I haven't been annoyed enough to fix it yet.

Here's the code 83 yard throat with the 3-way Walthers/Shinohara to the lower right:

I power the frogs on all my Walthers/Shinorara turnouts.  None of this "wait and see if you need to power the frogs" nonsense.  Just do it.

The Peco turnouts I have come with plastic frogs.  They are the short 3-way versions, and have never been a problem.  I prefer Code 83 for appearance, but if your use is hidden, I would definitely go with Peco Code 100 with Peco twin-coil machines for reliability.  You will need a capacitive discharge circuit, too, as the Peco machines need more power than Atlas or other twin-coils.

Peco switch machines do not come with contacts for signal wiring, but Peco does make an add-on SPDT contact unit that connects directly to the underside of the machine for that.  I'd highly recommend them for panel displays.  I've got two curved Peco turnouts in my subways.  Those have worked flawlessly for years and the LEDs I connected to them are the oldest signals on my layout.

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

  • Member since
    January, 2010
  • 2,164 posts
Posted by peahrens on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 6:20 PM

I also have a code 83 Walthers Shinohara 3-way, with Tortoise machines and frogs wired.  The only issue I had was a not uncommon one for that choice where some wheels can bridge to the wrong small track piece and cause a short.  That can be solved with a little clear nail polish at the offending spot.  I found some old photos that point at the problem. 

 IMG_7603 (2) by Paul Ahrens, on Flickr

 IMG_7604 by Paul Ahrens, on Flickr

Not in my opinion a deal killer if otherwise you would choose the W-S, as mine has since performed nicely.

Paul

Modeling HO with a transition era UP bent

  • Member since
    February, 2009
  • 1,081 posts
Posted by railandsail on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 8:56 PM

MisterBeasley

I have a couple of Peco Code 100 3-way turnouts that have worked perfectly for years.  I drive them with Peco switch machines, which give me a solid, reliable throw and hold the point rails securely.

 

 

The Peco turnouts I have come with plastic frogs.  They are the short 3-way versions, and have never been a problem.  I prefer Code 83 for appearance, but if your use is hidden, I would definitely go with Peco Code 100 with Peco twin-coil machines for reliability.  You will need a capacitive discharge circuit, too, as the Peco machines need more power than Atlas or other twin-coils.

 

Do you use DCC on those unpowered Peco frogs??

  • Member since
    December, 2004
  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
  • 18,052 posts
Posted by MisterBeasley on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 9:27 PM

railandsail
Do you use DCC on those unpowered Peco frogs??

Yes.  They are fine.

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

  • Member since
    January, 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 3,165 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Saturday, April 14, 2018 6:02 PM

I had an old Shinohara code 70 three way that worked perfectly well for years. It had two Tortoise switch machines and I had no problems with it except with some Athearn three axle diesels that tended to derail on it. Since the problems were only with these locomotives I suspect they were the problem and not the turnout.

.

-Kevin

.

Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

  • Member since
    December, 2012
  • 104 posts
Posted by Redvdub1 on Monday, April 16, 2018 4:44 PM

We have a really old Shinohara 3 way on our club layout and it works really well with only point-stock rail contacts to route the power.  I did have to jumper most (not all) of the point rail-closure rail joints to ensure power continuity.  And, of course, since the turnout is power routing I had to isolate the exit ends of the three way. 

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